Chap1 - COM217 Communication in Organizations August 30,...

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COM217 Communication in Organizations August 30, 2007 Chapter 1 Classical Approaches to Organizational Communication
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What is an Organization? No single right definition But, agreement on elements Social collectivity Coordinated activity Individual and collective goals Structure to facilitate interaction in larger organizational environment
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What is Communication? Process Transactional? Symbolic
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Org Comm is… Understanding context of Org Contextual influence of Org on Communication processes Why Study Org Comm? Change in production processes Shift from agrarian society to…
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History Began in 1950’s Relatively young? Borrowed from psychology, sociology, management Theories were developed in attempt to understand new phenomena Goal- to inform on how to best organize, manage
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Theory Aim of Science is Theory To explain natural phenomena General explanations that link together many different behaviors
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Theory Example: Instead of trying to explain children’s method of solving arithmetic problems, seek general explanation of problem-solving
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Theory Definition Set of interrelated constructs, definitions and propositions that represent a systematic view of phenomena, by specifying relations among variables, with the purpose of explaining and predicting the phenomena
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Example Theory of School Failure Variables Intelligence Verbal aptitude Anxiety Social class membership Motivation
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Other examples Magic bullet theory Darwin’s Evolution Instrumental action Social Learning Theory
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Back in the Day… Work used to be done… How? By who? Examples? What does Agrarian mean? What changed? How did this impact ‘work’ Impact organizations?
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Industrial Revolution Move from farming/agriculture society to… Urbanization Differentiation of labor The age of machines…
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Machine The power of metaphor They suggest we can understand something by using a conceptually ‘similar’ framework ‘An organization is like…’ Theorists of the time used machine metaphor to describe organizations Why?
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Machine, Metaphor Metaphors Offer partial view Emphasize some aspects Deemphasize others… Very popular metaphors in use today?
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Chap1 - COM217 Communication in Organizations August 30,...

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