Week Eight Notes
Week Eight Notes Comm 101
Popular in Communications in the 21st Century
Popular in Communication
This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashley Choma on Friday October 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Comm 101 at University of Nebraska Lincoln taught by Dr. Aaron Duncan in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Communications in the 21st Century in Communication at University of Nebraska Lincoln.
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Date Created: 10/14/16
Communication in the 21 Century COMM 101 Week 8 Notes 10/5 Reading (from week 7) Communication and the Changing World of Work (p.3-27) Worldviews – habitual ways of seeing the world that reflect our inclinations and experiences Organizational communication: the interaction required to direct a group toward a shared goal The inevitability of change The impact of globalization organizing o Globalization: the closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world which has been brought about by the enormous reduction of cons of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods and services, capital, knowledge and people across borders Outsourcing – when a U.S. company chooses to hire people in other countries to do some of their work Multicultural management” the ability to adapt one’s leadership style to both respond to and make the most pervasive cultural differences in values and practices among a diverse employee population Trafficking – the illegal trade of human beings across borders Communication technology: any type of electronic tool or device that may be used to enhance or enable information sharing or person-to- person interaction Identity theft – in which someone steals individual’s identifying information and impersonates them in transactions with various stores and institutions Wetware – threats to identity and security become even more frightening when one recognizes that the future of communication technology is aimed at ever close integration between information software and biological processes Urgent organizations: companies whose main challenge is to shorten the time in which employees can respond to customers and to one another Communication networks: relationships with trusted coworkers characterized by quick, verbal communication New social contract – a different kind of employment relationship in which “job security” is fleeting and tied expressly to whether one’s skills fit the organization’s needs at that time Quality of life: the overall satisfaction with one’s work experience in the context of other life experiences, constraints, and aspirations 10/10 reading Defining Organizational Communication (p.28-60) The four approaches that have attracted the greatest number of adherent’s o Communication as information transfer o Communication as transactional process o Communication as strategic control o Communication as a balance of creativity and constraint The information-transfer approach – views communication as a metaphoric pipeline through which information flows from one person to another o This version assumes the following: Language allows us to transfer thoughts and feelings from one person to another Speakers and writers insert thoughts and feelings into word Words contain those thoughts and feelings Listeners or readers extract those thoughts and feelings from the words Transactional-process model – asserts that in human communication, clear distinctions are not made between senders and receivers Strategic-control perspective – regards communication as a tool for influencing and shaping the environment Strategic ambiguity – an important concept that describes the ways in which people may communicate unclearly Balance of creativity and constraint – organizational communication Duality of structure: creativity and constraining aspects of structure Theory of structuration – sees human behavior as an unresolvable, productive tension between creativity and constraint Situated individual: a person conducting the everyday business of constructing and maintaining the social realities in which he or she lives Communication and cognition researchers believe that most of us are somewhat mindless – communicating without conscious, purposeful intent – most of the time A mindful approach to organizational communication enables us to understand talk “as a mental & relational activity that is both purposeful and strategic” Equitable transaction – one in which all participants have the ability to voice their opinions and perspectives Voice: the ability of an individual/group to participate in the ongoing organizational dialogue Empathetic conversation – the ability to understand or imagine the world as another person understands or imagines it Real meeting – through communication, a genuine communication can take place between people that transcends differences in role or perspective and that recognizes all parties’ common humanity Ethics – refers to the systems of rules, duties, and morality that we use to guide our behavior 10/10 in class notes Multicultural Workforce o Multicultural management – is the ability to adapt one’s leadership styles to both respond to and make the most of pervasive cultural differences in values and practices among a diverse employee population o However, managing a diverse work culture is difficult and fraught with challenges Global Concerns o Organizations must acknowledge the differences in religion, ethnicity, race, and culture if they are going to successfully address them o Very easy for organizations to become complacent and to foster organizational cultures that only promote and listen to people with “right beliefs” o IMF – International Monetary Fund – lends money to member nations (188 members) in order to allow them to prevent economic collapse o WB – World Bank – created by the UN to give loans to developing countries to allow them to better their economies o WTO – World Trade Organization – created to eliminate trade tariffs and settle international trade disputes Costs and Benefits of Globalization o Human trafficking: the illegal trade of human beings across borders o Environmental degradation: heightened companies move in attempts to find locals with the least environmental regulations and/or the most resources to be exploited o McDonalds Theory of Peace – no two countries with a McDonalds have ever fought in a war Transcending Space and Time o To be successful, organizations must eliminate traditional boundaries and obstacles to communication o Urgent organization: organizations whose main goal is to shorten the time period in which employees can respond to their customers and each other o Informal communication networks: relationships with trusted coworkers characterized by quick, verbal communication, and are the most dynamic source of power in contemporary organizations because of the role they play in responding to a turbulent business climate Changing World of Work o The new social contract – refers to the new implied contract between employees and employers; a different kind of employment relationship in which job security is fleeting and tied to the fit of employees’ skill and fit with the organization’s needs at the time o Ethical concerns – the new world of work is replete with unique and challenging ethical concerns Defining Organizational Communication Basic Ideas o Organizations are a key “site” in which we make sense of ourselves o The history of human civilization is the history of organizing o In order to co-exist, we must figure out how to reconcile varying interests Organizational Communication o The interaction required to direct a group toward a shared goal Shared interests need to be discovered and communicated Difference is always present Defining Organizational Communication o Why so many definitions? Different assumptions and goals o Different broad approaches Communication as information transfer Metaphor – pipeline Communication as a transactional process Metaphor – process Communication as a strategic control Metaphor – control Communication as a balance between creativity and constraint Metaphor – balance 10/12 Reading Casing the Promise Land Casing a Promised Land is about what happens when an ordinary scholar of organizational communication decides to get out of the office and confront a crisis of interpretation 10/12 in class notes Organizational Communication cont. Informative Transfer o This is the way many people still think about organizational communication o Focuses on exchange of information and the transmission of meaning o Pros: it is a basic foundational approach o Cons: it is incomplete, assumes receiver that is not participating in the message Transactional Process o There is no clear distinction between the sender and receiver – people play both roles simultaneously o Feedback – you cannot communicate o Meanings are in people o Pros: meaning is “co-constructed” o Cons: over emphasis on creating shared meaning, assumes wide spread agreement Strategic Control o Communication is a tool for shaping and influencing the environment Message clarity is not always the goal instead, communication has multiple goals o Makes room for strategic ambiguity – strategic use of vague communication to accomplish goals o Procs: realistic look at communication and goals o Cons: minimizes ethics, focused on individuals Balancing Creativity and Constraint o Communication as balancing creativity and constraint Communication is a moment to moment working out of the tension between individual creativity and organizational constraint Constraint: The rules, norms that come with a particular system that those within the system are expected to abide by Creativity: the design and modification of social systems through communication o Structuration Theory (Anthony Giddens) Duality of structure Human behavior seen as an unresolvable, productive tension between creativity and constraint. We cannot see people as inherently constrained or inherently creative. It is through communication that balance between creativity and constraint is achieved. E.g. Dealing with overbearing leaders Classroom setting Balancing Creativity and Restraint o Luckily, although some form of structure is required for any organization, the balance of creativity and constraint does not always favor constraint. Organizations as Dialogue o We construct our sense of self through dialogue not monologue George Herbert Mead (1934) posits that the self includes two interrelated stories “I” which is the creative, unpredictable self that is usually kept private, impulsive, desires meaningful action with others Socially constrained, relatively consistent part of a person openly shared, guides actions by anticipating responses and applying social rules. o The situated individual – the everyday business of constructing and maintaining multiple social realities. The individual is an actor whose thoughts and actions are based on the interpretation of contexts. More than one context always exists to guide actions and interpretations. Communication is a practice that includes both interpretation and action – as such, it can reveal sources of creativity, constraint, meaning, interpretation and context. o Mindful communication Scripts and grand narratives – mindless Talk is a mental, relational activity that is purposeful and strategic – mindful Promotes an environment where equitable exchange of ideas is possible o Equitable transaction All participants can voice their opinions and perspectives Voice is the ability to participate in ongoing organizational dialogue o Empathic conversation Understand and imagine the world of another person Perspective taking This is key for managing diversity Dialogue as a collective mindfulness in which people are more concerned about group effectiveness than individual ego or position. o Real meeting Respect of another’s subjectivity and worldview. Buber: Dialogue is a fundamental human activity and meeting as relationship between I and thou where we recognize each other as interpreters. Dialogue is not something that we do to one another. All parties are responsible Defining Dialogue o When people work to coordinate their contexts, interpretations, communication, and actions, they are said to be “organizing” which we can view as a dialogue. o Dialogue increases satisfaction, improves relationships, creates great organizational climate, but is time consuming. Also, all ideas and opinions cannot be implemented Casing the Promise Land There are two problems that organization communication scholars need to be focused on o Language – offers us insight into motives and behaviors This is why it is important to pay close attention to the way that people in an organization talk and use direct quotes from them when possible to represent their views and feelings when writing about the organization o What language does UNL use that represent its culture? The Nebraska “N” Changing it from University of Nebraska – Lincoln to just University of Nebraska o Stories – the philosopher Alasdair Macintyre once said that humans are “the only story telling animals.” What makes human beings unique is our ability to tell stories. One way to gain insight into an organization is to examine the stories that they tell. What stories do they tell about the origin of the organization? What stories represent the organization’s present? What stories do the members tell about where the organization is going or about its future? Author Bud Goodall contends there are additional problems with the way we study organizations o First, the way academics write bares little resemblance to the actual way people communicate in the real world Traditional forms of scholarly writing did not allow for the writer to effectively communicate the way organizational members actually live, talk, and think o Second, in order to study organizations, you have to go out into the field. Field Research or Fieldwork is the collection of information outside of a laboratory, library, or workplace setting. The approaches and methods use in field research vary across disciplines We need to approach academic writing the same way we approach good writing in general. o Good writing is rich, detailed, specific, and make us feel like part of the journey We need to include stories and direct quotes from the people within the organization o We don’t want to sterilize and sanitize or rather academic-ize the language of real people; instead we want to represent them We need to get into the field and do fieldwork; you cannot learn about organizations from a distance – you need to get up close with them o This is while you will be working on a group organization audit; this will be your chance to pick an organization on or off campus and conduct and audit of them Try to choose an organization one or more of your group members is a part of because it will make gaining access easier Become an organizational detective – good detectives ask a lot of questions, take notes, observe and watch, and solve the mystery of the organization How to do fieldwork o There are several types/aspects of fieldwork that you will need to engage in Interviews – one way to learn about organization is to interview the members of the organization; make a list of important questions your group wants to ask – remember that you want to focus on issues of organizational culture and communication Make sure that you talk to people of different statuses within the organization Ethnography – refers to a method of inquiry focused, detailed, in-depth description of everyday life and practice This is sometimes referred to as “thick description” – a term attributed to the anthropologist Clifford Geertz writing on the idea of an interpretive theory of culture in the early 1970s Good ethnographers observe, watch, and attempt to not disturb the culture they examine o You will take on one of the two roles when examining the organization Observer – depending on the organization and your affiliation or lack thereof you may not be an active participant and will function as an outside observer to the culture Observer participant – if you are someone who is also a part of the organization or you take on the role of a participant during your study then you are an observer participant Writing your organization audit o You must get permission of the organization in order to study them o First, introduce your organization and explain key information about it o Second, explain why you chose this organization o Third, discuss some questions you hoped to answer through your organization audit o Fourth, explain the methods you used to study the organization Who you interviewed and why Explain the questions you asked them If attended meetings, tell about them and what you/they did during them If you observed the organization, explain when, where, and for how long o Fifth, explain your findings – what did you learn about the organization? o Sixth, make recommendations to the organization about ways to improve, do not be overly critical o Seventh, share your findings and recommendations with the organization Give the organization a copy of your finished paper and hopefully this will help them to improve their organization Writing Tips o Show don’t tell – don’t tell us that a culture is sexist, show us that the organization is sexist; how could this be done? o Quote directly and accurately from those you interviewed o Be specific and detailed in your observations o Focus on the symbols, stories, language, and how organizational members communicate o Remember “everything counts” o Dig – do not rely on superficial and easy answers, find what is really going on