comn 3111 organizational communication
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COMN 3111 ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION. TALK: THE BASIS FOR ALL ORGANIZATIONS Lecture 1b. INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION. MY DEFINITION Two or more people, within a particular context Who are aware of each other Acting together to create, sustain, and manage shared meanings

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comn 3111 organizational communication



Lecture 1b

interpersonal communication
  • Two or more people, within a particular context
  • Who are aware of each other
  • Acting together to create, sustain, and manage shared meanings
  • Through simultaneously sending and receiving messages
  • About both themselves and the topic of conversation
  • Using socially shared verbal symbols and socially defined, biologically shared non-verbal symptoms and symbols
  • In an ongoing process of mutual adjustment.
interpersonal communication1
  • All these elements are found in your first reading by Shockley-Zalabak.
    • Read the co-worker’s conversation
  • Nice summary of it in the chapter:
  • “…their exchange is an example of communication behaviors creating and shaping both relationships and events through a culturally dependent process of assigning meaning to symbols.”
three universal questions
Three Universal Questions
  • We always speak to answer three on-going questions
  • What’s going on?
  • What going to happen next?
  • How am I being treated in this situation?
  • These questions make sense in any situation but often mean more in conversations in the workplace
the essential model
The Essential Model

The shaping power of the organized life

Many places for “loss or distortion of information”

context matters to meaning
Context Matters To Meaning
  • The context shapes the meaning and the quality of the words and gestures being exchanged.
  • Where you are, when you’re speaking and with whom makes a big difference
  • Work place meanings interpenetrate personal meanings
  • If a decision goes one way – the communication relationship is “good” but if not - “it’s bad” - and that will affect next decision
organization as context
Organization as Context
  • We communicate differently when talking with
      • People we know well
      • Who do the same thing we do
      • Who we think of as equal to us in competence or skill
    • Compared to talking with people
      • We don’t know
      • Who do something quite different
      • Have higher social status and we think of as more skilled or intelligent
what s an organization
What’s An Organization

In a general way

  • Groups of people working together towards specific, shared goals
  • Division of labor – different people do different but inter-connected jobs
  • They are directed by a stable and legitimate hierarchy of authority
definition we ll use throughout course
Definition We’ll Use Throughout Course
  • Farace, Monge and Russell Definition of Organization – 5 Elements
  • Two or more individuals
  • Who recognize that some of their goals can be more readily achieved through interdependent (cooperative) actions, even though dis­agreement (conflict) may be present
  • Who take in materials, energy, and information from the environment in which they exist (input)
definition we ll use throughout course1
Definition We’ll Use Throughout Course
  • Who develop coordinative and controlrelationships to capitalize on their interdependence while operating on these inputs (throughput)
  • Who return the modified inputs to the environment in an attempt to accomplish the goals that interdependence was meant to make possible. (output)
organization as system
Organization as System
  • This definition not only establishes an organization as
      • a system of relationships but also
      • as a system embedded in it’s surrounding environment (from which it gets its input, including energy) and to which it returns the modified inputs as outputs to meet goals.
  • The internal system of human relationships is connected to the larger system of input/output relationships
      • This matters because as the outer relationship changes so do the internal human relationships – and the quality of the communication – the supports them.
key themes functions of communication
Key Themes: Functions of Communication
  • Organizing messages
    • Rules and regulations, task descriptions –defining those coordinative and control relationships
  • Relationship messages
    • Positively connecting people to their work and the organization
  • Change messages
    • Making decisions, solving problems, responding to changes in the environment
Key Themes: Types and Channels and Direction of Messages
  • As organizations respond to their environments successfully they get larger
  • Shift types: informal to formal
  • Channels: less emphasis on face-to-face talk and more emphasis on writing: text-on-page or text-on-screen documents
Key Themes: Types and Channels and Direction of Messages
  • Direction: a balance between horizontal, downward and upward shifts to more downward, less upward, less horizontal
  • Load: number of messages moving through the internal communication system of an organization changes as it grows.
    • How many messages each person deals with is their communication load – over-, under-, or manageable
    • As organizations grow overload becomes a key issue – particularly as you go up the hierarchy.
    • A key reason for organizational change
what i want you to notice
What I Want You to Notice
  • How we communicate to create organizations
  • How, once created, they actually shape how we talk to others
  • And if our organizations develop a successful relationship with their environments, how they are compelled to change structures
  • And how those changes in structure, compel changes in channels, direction, and the amount of communication we use just to keep the organization going while meeting our own goals.