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Establishing a Framework for Business Communication . Chapter 1:. BCOM 3e Lehman/ Dufrene. What is Communication?. Communication is the process of exchanging information and meaning between or among individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, and behavior.

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chapter 1

Establishing a Framework for

Business Communication

Chapter 1:

BCOM 3e Lehman/Dufrene

what is communication
What is Communication?

Communication is the process of exchanging information and meaning between or among individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, and behavior.

purposes of group communication
Purposes of Group Communication
  • To serve on a decision-making or problem-solving group
  • To get the job done
  • Achievement or task purpose
  • Maintenance or social purpose
  • Feel better about yourself and each other
  • To develop group morale
encoding decoding
Encoding & Decoding
  • Encoding
    • The process of selecting and organizing the message
  • Factors that influence encoding:
    • Receiver’s education level
    • Experience
    • Viewpoints
    • Power status/relationship to sender
  • Decoding
    • The process of interpreting the message
  • Receiver responds to sender’s message
  • Verbal or nonverbal
  • May prompt sender to modify or adjust original message
  • aka “noise”
  • Sources:
    • Contradicting nonverbal signals
    • Differences in education & culture
    • Words not present in receiver’s vocabulary
    • Ambiguous, nonspecific ideas
    • Distractions (mannerisms, inappropriate dress, hunger, stress, deadlines, intimidation)
    • Noisy environment/interruptions
    • Receiver unreceptive to new ideas
    • Receiver pre-judges topic as boring/difficult
    • Complications caused by the communication channel
  • What do these phrases mean to you?
    • Bless his/her heart.
    • How much do you lack?
    • Cut the lights out.
    • I’m fixin’ to …
    • That dog won’t hunt.
  • Which term or phrase do you use?
    • Do mash a button or press a button?
    • Shopping cart or buggy?
two way face to face
Two-Way, Face-to-Face
  • Examples:
    • informal conversations, interviews, oral presentations, speeches, videoconferences
  • Advantages:
    • Instant feedback, nonverbal signals, personal connection
  • Disadvantages:
    • Expensive to convene groups spread across great distances, difficult to coordinate schedules
  • Best channel for conveying sensitive or unpleasant news
two way not face to face
Two-Way, NOT Face-to-Face
  • Examples:
    • Telephone conversations, online chats, instant messaging, texting
  • Advantages:
    • Instant feedback, real-time connection
  • Lacks nonverbal elements, so verbal message must be especially clear
one way not face to face
One-Way, NOT Face-to-Face
  • Examples:
    • Letters, memos, reports, e-mail, fax, voice mail, web pages, newsletters
  • Advantages:
    • Message considered more permanent and official
  • Lacks both nonverbal elements and instant feedback
  • Confusion must be anticipated and prevented
what direction of communication is this an example of
What direction of communication is this an example of?

Your boss tells you “that’s not the way we do

things here” and then shows you the correct

procedure for completing a task.

  • Upward communication
  • Downward communication
  • Horizontal communication
what direction of communication is this an example of1
What direction of communication is this an example of?

Your co-worker provides constructive criticism on a draft of a letter you’re writing.

  • Upward communication
  • Downward communication
  • Horizontal communication
what direction of communication is this an example of2
What direction of communication is this an example of?

You tell your boss that you think you

deserve a raise.

  • Upward communication
  • Downward communication
  • Horizontal communication
organizational communication
Organizational Communication
  • Rules procedure
  • Created by management to control individual and group behavior
  • Formal channels
  • Informal channels
  • Emerge as people interact within a formal system to create a satisfying environment
grapevine an informal communication channel
Grapevine:An Informal Communication Channel
  • Grapevine is ___ _____ or _____ accurate than other communication channels
  • Message distribution is __________ rather than linear in nature





workplace gossip
Workplace Gossip
  • 28% of employees say gossip is their

first source of information

  • (among those who work in offices without a consistent method of communicating news, like staff meetings)
  • Two forms:
    • Company (mergers, layoffs, promotions, staffing changes)
    • Personal (affairs, conflicts, health issues)
at the water cooler
At the water cooler?
  • Not anymore:
  • (36%) office break room
  • (33%) at a co-worker's desk, workstation or office
  • (10%) e-mail or instant messaging.
  • (1%) water cooler
who gossips more
Who gossips more?
  • Men? Or Women?
  • It’s actually about the same.
  • Purpose differs:
    • Women gossip to network, stay connected with friends.
    • Men use gossip in a more competitive way (who’s earning what, who’s dating whom)
    • Women are more interested in discussing other women, men are more interested in discussing other men.
is gossip harmless
Is Gossip Harmless?
  • Human nature
  • Helps build office friendships
  • Helps us figure each other out (who can we trust? Who should we avoid?)
  • Helps us let others know who we are
  • Forms a sense of connection in work teams
  • Releases hormones that reduce anxiety and stress
  • Helps new hires learn about the corporate culture (what’s not in the employee handbook)
or dangerous
Or Dangerous?

Danger #1: Lawsuits

  • Gossip spread in e-mail can be used to support a defamation case
  • If an employee spreads malicious gossip via e-mail and the target of the gossip finds out, he or she could make a case for harassment or a hostile work environment claim.
dangers of workplace gossip
Dangers of Workplace Gossip

Danger #2: Career damage

  • Employees known as gossips can be valued by managers who see them as a way of getting a read on workplace morale, but they can also be viewed as not trustworthy

Danger #3: Productivity drain

  • Time spent gossiping takes time away from your real job

levels of communication
Levels of Communication
  • Intrapersonal
    • Communicating with yourself
    • Not true communication?
    • Example: Reminding yourself of your to do list
  • Interpersonal
    • Communication between two people
    • Goals: accomplish task, maintenance function
  • Group
    • Communication among two or more
    • Goal: achieving output greater than individual efforts could produce
levels of communication cont
Levels of Communication, cont.
  • Organizational
    • Groups working together to achieve large tasks
  • Public
    • The organization communicating externally to its constituents
    • Examples: advertisements, corporate website

Causes of Illegal and Unethical Behavior


  • Excessive emphasis on ______
  • _________ corporate loyalty
  • Obsession with _______ advancement
  • Expectation of not getting ______
  • Unethical ____ set by top management
  • _________ about whether an action is wrong
  • Unwillingness to take a _____







barriers to intercultural communication
Barriers to Intercultural Communication
  • Ethnocentrism
    • Assume your way is the right way
  • Stereotypes
    • Preformed ideas
  • Interpretation of time
  • Personal space
  • Body language
  • Translation limitations