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Communications at Work. The Glue, the Oil or the Lifeblood of an Organization. Communication. Defined as the transmission of information from one person or group to another person or group Communication is a fundamental and essential component of organizations

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communications at work

Communications at Work

The Glue, the Oil or the Lifeblood of an Organization

  • Defined as the transmission of information from one person or group to another person or group
  • Communication is a fundamental and essential component of organizations
    • Although neglected by much I/O research
quick group
Quick Group
  • Looking at the model, where are places where the communication process can break down?
source factors
Source Factors
  • Higher Organizational Status
    • More likely to be listened to
  • Credibility
  • Encoding skills
    • Ability to “translate” internal message to codes
    • Does someone tailor the message encoding to the audience
what about email as a channel
What about Email as a Channel
  • QG: What are two advantages and two disadvantages to email as a communication channel?
media choice choosing the right channel
Media Choice: Choosing the Right Channel
  • Complicated, negative, and personnel communications should be on “richer” media
    • People don’t always do this, but they should
  • Can use lean media for complicated messages
    • ONLY if the organization promotes it as important
more communication media issues
More Communication Media Issues
  • FtF is important
    • Can share a lot of information quickly
    • More satisfaction at work
  • Computer communication
    • Reduces status differences
    • Distributes power
semantic issues in channels
Semantic issues in channels
  • Connotations of different words
    • “Good”: is it average or actually good?
  • Jargon
    • “Businessese”: to show “in group” from “out group”
    • Can be confusing
quick groups
Quick Groups
  • What jargon have you encountered at your work?
    • What advantages and disadvantages have you noticed?
audience factors
Audience Factors
  • Attention span and perceptual ability
  • Receiver’s relationship to the speaker
    • Higher receiver relationship more difficult
  • Decoding skills
    • Special case of bilingual decoders
nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication
  • Comprises a substantial amount of communication
  • Facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, body movements, posture, style of dress, touching and physical proximity
nonverbal communication at work
Nonverbal Communication at work
  • Can substitute for verbal communication
  • Can enhance verbal communication
  • Can subvert verbal communication
  • What about email?
  • Pygmalion Effect
    • Nonverbals are very influential!
quick group15
Quick Group
  • How can nonverbal communication affect hiring decisions?
    • Turn in!
communication flow
Communication Flow
  • Communication moves
    • It’s not communication if you’re only talking to yourself
communication direction
Communication Direction
  • Downward communication
    • Instructions, information & feedback
  • Supervisors overestimate how much information their subordinates have
    • Including how to do their jobs
  • Downward communication important for job satisfaction
communication direction18
Communication Direction
  • Upward Communication
    • Information for managers to make decisions
    • Complaints and suggestions
    • Performance feedback
  • Upward communication is often lacking
communication direction19
Communication Direction
  • Lateral communication
    • Between people at the same level in the organization
  • Good for work coordination
  • Good for friendships
  • Same applies to “managing” up, down and sideways.
communication networks
Communication Networks
  • Systems of communication lines linking senders and receivers
  • Centralized networks
    • Information is centered in or directed through specific members
  • Decentralized networks
    • Communication can start anywhere and travel anywhere
centralized networks
Centralized Networks
  • Chain
    • Traditional hierarchical model
      • Very slow
      • Very formal
  • Y
    • Similar to chain, but more “pyramid” like
  • Wheel
    • Higher status in the center
    • Communicating individually to lower level
      • Hopefully NOT telecommuters
decentralized networks
Decentralized Networks
  • Circle
    • People talk to two other people
    • information flows around
  • All-Channel
    • Everybody talks to everyone
    • Information can be quick
    • Power is distributed
real network




















Real Network
formal vs informal communication
Formal vs. Informal Communication
  • Organizational Chart
    • Lines of formal communication
    • Official communication goes through this
informal communication
Informal Communication
  • Grapevine
    • Held together by friendships
    • Stronger if used more
    • Can be very efficient in transporting info
    • Can be important in increasing employee attachment
    • Rumors can be a problem though.
  • Sociogram
    • Like the previous communication network
communication outcomes at work
Communication Outcomes at Work
  • Issue is not just enough communication, but the right communication
  • Computer communication is changing organizations
  • Communicating up good for employee satisfaction (perceived control)