Communication between managers and employees provides
the information necessary to get work done
effectively and efficiently in organizations. In this and following
lecture, basic concepts in managerial
communications will be presented including: the interpersonal
communication process, methods of
communicating, barriers to effective communications and ways to overcome
these barriers, communication
flow and communication networks, and contemporary issues and challenges
associated with electronic
communications and information technology.
The Nature of managerial communication
Communication is the transfer and
understanding of meaning.
1. If no information or ideas have been conveyed or transferred,
communication hasn’t taken place.
2. For communication to be successful, the meaning must be imparted and
B. Good communication does not require agreement with the message, just
clear understanding of the
C. Managerial communication encompasses both
(between two or
more people) and organizational
communication (all the patterns, networks,
and system of
communication within an organization).
interpersonal processes are important
is the exchange of messages between people for the
purpose of achieving
F. Managers use two types of communication in their work.
1. Verbal communication
is the use of words to communicate.
a. Written communication includes letters, memoranda, reports,
policy manuals, etc.
b. Disadvantage includes the fact that the conversations may be
and difficult to terminate, and that additional time may have to
be spent to document what was said.
2. Nonverbal communication
is communication by means of elements and
behaviors that are not coded into words.
3. Nonverbal Communication
is communication transmitted without words. The
of nonverbal communication are body language and verbal intonation.
a. Body language
refers to gestures, facial expressions, and other
body movements that convey
b. Verbal intonation
refers to the emphasis someone gives to words or
phrases that convey meaning.
The communication process can be analyzed into its basic components
sender is the initiator of the message.
is the process of translating the intended meaning
a. Symbols include words and gestures.
b. The sender’s choice of symbols depends upon
1) Sender encoding skills.
2) Assessments of the ability of the intended receiver to understand
3) Judgments regarding the appropriateness of the use of certain
4) Past experience in similar situations
5) Job status and education
6) Emotional state at the time of the communication attempt
message is the encoding-process outcome,
which consists of verbal and
nonverbal symbols that have been developed to convey meaning to the
a. The medium
is the method used to convey the message to the
receiver, e.g., telephone, meeting, formal report.
b. Factors to consider when selecting a medium include relative speed,
intelligibility, convenience, timing, flow of communication, feedback
options, interpersonal dynamics, and documentation.
4. The receiver
is the person with whom the message is exchanged.
is the process of translating the symbols into the
1) Effective communication results in the senders and receivers
achieving a common meaning.
2) The receiver needs to consider the medium and the context of the
is any factor in the communication process that
interferes with exchanging messages and
achieving common meaning.
is the basic response of the receiver to the
1) The receiver becomes the sender during feedback.
2) Feedback provides preliminary information to the sender about the
success of the communication.
3) One-way communication
is the communication that results when the
does not allow for feedback.
4) Two-way communication
is the communication that results when the
explicitly includes feedback.
Barriers to Effective Interpersonal Communication
is the deliberate manipulation of
information to make it appear more favorable to the
a. As information is communicated up through the organizational levels,
it’s condensed and
synthesized, and those doing the condensing filter communication through
their personal interests
and perceptions of what is important.
b. The more that organizational cultural reward emphasizes style and
appearance, the more that
managers will be motivated to filter communications in their favor.
2. Selective perception
is when people selectively interpret what they see or
hear on the basis of
their interests, background, experience, and attitudes.
influence how a receiver interprets a message when it
is received. It’s best to avoid
reacting to a message when the receiver is upset because he/she is not
likely to be thinking clearly.
4. Information overload
happens when the information we have to work with
processing—such as 600 waiting e-mail messages in the inbox.
a. Receivers tend to select out, ignore, pass over, or forget
information when they have too much
b. Or, receivers may put off further processing until the overload
situation is over—still ineffective
in behaviors such as verbally attacking others, making sarcastic
being overly judgmental, and questioning others’ motives—happens when
people feel that they’re
mean different things to different people.
a. Age, education, and cultural background can influence language use
and definition given to words
is specialized terminology or technical language that
members of a group use to
communicate among themselves.
7. National culture
can affect the way a manager chooses to communicate.
Overcoming the Barriers to Effective Interpersonal Communication
1. Use feedback. This feedback can be verbal
2. Simplify language.
3. Listen actively.
a. Listening is an active search for meaning, whereas hearing is
listening is listening for full meaning
without making premature judgments or
interpretations, and demands total concentration.
c. Active listening is enhanced by developing empathy with the
sender—placing yourself in the
d. Emotions: The simplest answer is for a manager to refrain from
communicating until he/she has
4. Watch nonverbal cues—actions speak louder than words.
A. Formal versus Informal Communication.
1. Formal communication
refers to communication that follows the official
chain of command or is
part of the communication required to do one’s job.
2. Informal communication
is organizational communication that is not defined
organization’s structural hierarchy.
a. Informal communication systems permit employees to satisfy their
needs for social interaction.
b. Informal communication systems can improve an organization’s
performance by creating
alternative, and frequently faster and more efficient, channels of
Direction of Communication Flow
communication—flows from a manager to
employees and is used to inform, direct,
coordinate, and evaluate employees.
2. Upward communication
flows from employees to managers
a. Upward communication can be used in order to keep managers aware of
how employees feel about
their jobs, their coworkers, and the organization in general.
b. The organizational culture influences the extent of upward
communication. A climate of trust,
respect, and participative decision making will encourage considerable
upward communication. A
highly mechanistic and authoritarian environment will severely limit
upward communication in
both style and content.
3. Lateral communication
takes place among employees on the same
4. Diagonal communication
is communication that cuts across both work areas and
a. The increased use of e-mail facilitates diagonal communications.
b. Diagonal communication has the potential to create problems if
employees don’t keep their