Lesson14ChoiceOfCommunicationChannel

Lesson14ChoiceOfCommunicationChannel - Lesson:-14 C'HOICE...

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Lesson:-14 C'HOICE OF COMMUNIC-ATION CHANNEL Neal L. Pattersonl CEO at medical-software maker Cerner Corp. likes e-mail. Maybe too much so. Upset with his staffs work ethical he recently sent a seething e-mail to his firm's 400 managers.21 Here are some of that e-mail. highlights: Hell will freeze over before this CEO implements ANOTHER EMPLOYEE benefit in this Culture. . . . We are getting less than 40 hours of work from a large number of our Kansas City- based employees. The parking lot is sparsely used at 8 A.M.; likewise at 5 P.M. As managers- you either do not know what your EMPLOYEES are doing; or YOU do not CARE. . . . You have a problem and you will fix it or I will replace you. . . . What you are doing as managers, with this company makes me SICK.” Patterson's e-mail additionally suggested that managers schedule meetings at 7 A.M., 6 P.M., and Saturday mornings; promised a staff reduction of five percent and institution of a time-clock system, and Patterson's intention to charge unapproved absences to employees' vacation time. Within hours of this e-mail, copies of it hade made its way onto a Yahoo! Web site. And within three days, Comer’s stock price had plummeted 22 percent. Although one can argue about whether such harsh criticism should be communicated at all, one thing is certainly clear: Patterson erred by selecting the wrong channel for his message. Such an emotional and sensitive message would likely have been better received in a face-to-face meeting. Why do people choose one channel of communication over another-for instance, a phone call instead of a face-to-face talk? Is there any general insight we might be able to provide regarding choice of communication channel? The answer to the latter question is a qualified "Yes./1 A model of media richness has been developed to explain channel selection among managers.22 Research has found that channels differ in their capacity to convey information. Some are rich in that they have the ability to (1) handle multiple cues simultaneously, (2) facilitate rapid feedback, and (3) be very personal. Others are lean in that they score low on these three factors. As Exhibit 10-7 illustrates, face-to-face conversation scores highest in terms of channel richness because it provides for the maximum amount of information to be transmitted during a communication episode. That is, it offers multiple information cues (words, postures, facial expressions, gestures, intonations), immediate feedback (both verbal and nonverbal), and the personal touch of "being there./1 Impersonal written media such as formal reports and bulletins rate lowest in richness. The choice of one channel over another depends on whether the message is routine or no routine.
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2010 for the course BUSINESS Organizati taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Open Uni..

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Lesson14ChoiceOfCommunicationChannel - Lesson:-14 C'HOICE...

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