After studying this chapter, students should be able to:
Describe the communication process.
Contrast the advantages and disadvantages of oral versus written communication.
Compare the effectiveness of chain, wheel, and all-channel networks.
Identify factors affecting the use of the grapevine.
Discuss how computer-aided technology is changing organizational communication.
Explain the importance of channel richness to improving communication effectiveness.
Identify common barriers to effective communication.
List behaviors related to effective active listening.
Contrast the meaning of talk for men versus women.
10. Describe potential problems in cross-cultural communication.
A careful review of this chapter finds a common theme regarding the relationship between communication and
employee satisfaction—the less the uncertainty, the greater the satisfaction. Distortions, ambiguities, and
incongruities all increase uncertainty and, hence, they have a negative impact on satisfaction.
The less distortion that occurs in communication, the more that goals, feedback, and other management
messages to employees will be received as they were intended. This, in turn, should reduce ambiguities and
clarify the group’s task. Extensive use of vertical, lateral, and informal channels will increase communication flow,
reduce uncertainty, and improve group performance and satisfaction. We should also expect incongruities
between verbal and nonverbal communiqués to increase uncertainty and to reduce satisfaction.
Findings in the chapter further suggest that the goal of perfect communication is unattainable. Yet, there is
evidence that demonstrates a positive relationship between effective communication (which includes factors such
as perceived trust, perceived accuracy, desire for interaction, top-management receptiveness, and upward
information requirements) and worker productivity. Choosing the correct channel, being an effective listener, and
utilizing feedback may, therefore, make for more effective communication, but the human factor generates
distortions that can never be fully eliminated. The communication process represents an exchange of messages,
but the outcome is meanings that may or may not approximate those that the sender intended. Whatever the
sender’s expectations, the decoded message in the mind of the receiver represents his or her reality, and it is this
“reality” that will determine performance, along with the individual’s level of motivation and his or her degree of
satisfaction. The issue of motivation is critical, so we should briefly review how communication is central in
determining an individual’s degree of motivation.
You will remember from expectancy theory that the degree of effort an individual exerts depends on his or her