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Understanding Management

First Canadian Edition

Slides prepared by Janice Edwards College of the Rockies

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.

Chapter 13

Communicating in Organizations

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Learning Objectives




Explain why communication is essential for effective management and describe how nonverbal behaviour and listening affect communication among people. Describe the concept of channel richness, and explain how communication channels influence the quality of communication. Explain how managers use communication to persuade and influence others. Explain the difference between formal and informal organizational communications and the importance of each for organization management.

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.

Learning Objectives (Contd)





Identify how structure influences team communication outcomes. Explain why open communication, dialogue, and feedback are essential approaches to communication in a turbulent environment. Identify the skills managers need for communicating during a crisis situation. Describe barriers to organizational communication, and suggest ways to avoid or overcome them.

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.

What is Communication?
The process by which information is exchanged and understood by two or more people, usually with the intent to motivate or influence behaviour. Includes listening and other forms of feedback.

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Ex. 13.2

A Model of the Communication Process

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Ex. 13.3

The Pyramid of Channel Richness

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Nonverbal Communication
Most nonverbal communication is unconscious or subconscious. Occurs mostly face-to-face. Messages sent through human actions and behaviour rather than through words:
7% Vocal 38% Facial Expression 55%

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Ex. 13.4

Ten Keys to Effective Listening

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Ex. 13.5

Downward, Upward, and Horizontal Communication in Organizations

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.

Downward Communication

Messages sent from top management down to subordinates. Most familiar and obvious flow of formal communication.

Major problem is drop off: the distortion or loss of message content.

Another concern, distortion.

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Upward Communication
Messages that flow from the lower to the higher levels in the organizations via: Suggestion boxes Employee surveys Open-door policies MIS reports Face to face conversations

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Horizontal Communication

Lateral or diagonal exchange of messages among peers or coworkers.

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Personal Communication Channels

Personal networks Management by walking around (MBWA) Grapevine

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Communication During Turbulent Times

Open communications Sharing all types of information throughout the company, across functional and hierarchical levels Dialogue A group communication process aimed at creating a culture based on collaboration, fluidity, trust, and commitment to shared goals.

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Communication During Turbulent Times (Contd)

Crisis Communications: Maintain your focus Be visible Get the awful truth out Communicate a vision for the future

Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.


Ex. 13.8

Dialogue and Discussion: The Differences

Conversation Lack of understanding, disagreement, divergent points of view Discussion
State positions Advocate convictions Convince others Build oppositions


Reveal feelings Explore assumptions Suspend convictions Build common ground

Long-term, innovative solutions Unified group Shared meaning Transformed mind-sets
Copyright 2009 Nelson Education Ltd.

Short-term resolution Agreement by logic Opposition beaten down Mind-sets held onto

Ex. 13.9 Communication Barriers & Ways to Overcome Them

Barriers Individual Interpersonal dynamics Channels and media Defense mechanisms Semantics Inconsistent cues Organizational Status and power differences Departmental needs and goals Lack of formal channels Communication network unsuited to task Poor coordination
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How to Overcome Active listening Selection of appropriate channel Question underlying assumptions Knowledge of others perspective MBWA Climate of trust, dialogue Development and use of formal channels Encouragement of multiple channels, formal and informal Changing organization or group structure to fit communication needs Feedback and learning