Fundamentals of Organizational Communication Individuals in Organizations Chapter Five
Individuals in Organizations • Intrapersonal experiences - comprises our personal needs, predispositions for behavior, communication competencies, and expectations.
Individuals in Organizations • Primary Communication Experiences
Individuals in Organizations • Motivation - term to describe intrapersonal experiences that influence behavior.
Motivation • Hierarchy of needs - Maslow’s description of human behavior based on an ascending order of physiological, (safety and security, love and social belonging, esteem and prestige), and self-actualization needs.
Motivation • Need Levels in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs • The theory implies that individual communication behavior in some way reflects an assessment of need satisfaction. • It also implies that it is not motivational to communicate about needs that are reasonably well met.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs • Maslow’s theory also suggests that if communication behavior in the organization does not meet the perceived needs of the individual, the individual will continue, in what is essentially healthy behavior, to seek need satisfaction.
Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory • The theory proposes that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not polar opposites, and what produces dissatisfaction with work when corrected will not necessarily produce motivation.
Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory • Hygiene factors can produce dissatisfaction but not satisfaction. • Motivation factors produce satisfaction. • Work itself, achievement, growth and responsibility, recognition, and advancement
Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory • From a communication perspective this theory suggests that dissatisfaction can be relieved by satisfactory communication and action directed toward hygienic work factors. Motivation, however, will not be achieved by such communication.
Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory • Motivational communication is more likely to be effective when directed to achievement, recognition, challenging work, increased responsibility, and growth and development.
B.F. Skinner’s Behavioralism • Rewards - positive feedback or tangible reinforcements for organizational behaviors. • If behavior is to be influenced, communication must be directed at specific behaviors and linkages must be understood by people the organization seeks to influence.
Social Information Processing Theory • Salancik and Pfeffer • - theory that proposes that a person’s needs and attitudes are determined by the information available at any given time.
Social Information Processing Theory • This theory challenges notions that individuals have stable, relatively unchanging internal needs.
Relating Communication and Motivation • Research has found that individuals have a complex mix of intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) motivators that, depending on their importance in a particular situation, influence how the individual responds to managing information, problem and solution identification, conflict management, and behavior regulation.
Relating Communication and Motivation • Cummings, Long, and Lewis suggest “that a highly motivated worker will be productive when the worker’s communication preference (associated with the worker’s motivational patterns) matches the managerial communication environment of the organization.”
Motivation • Worker Examples of Personal Motivation
Predispositions for Organizational Communication Behaviors • Communication apprehension (C.A.)- predisposition for behavior described as an individual’s level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with others. • Related to our occupation choice, job satisfaction, productivity, advancement, and job retention.
Predispositions for Organizational Communication Behaviors • Leadership and Conflict Preferences • Various predispositions for leadership and conflict behaviors are generally described as preferences for collaboration, compromise, avoidance, competition, or accommodation.
Predispositions for Organizational Communication Behaviors • Communication Competency • Perception of competency is related to communication apprehension and leadership and conflict preferences, but it is also related to past experiences, the presence or absence of particular skills, and deliberate attempts to improve competencies.
Interpersonal Experiences • Descriptions of important one-on-one organizational relationships such as supervisors and subordinates and peer-to-peer.
Interpersonal Experiences • The relationships supervisors and subordinates and peers establish are governed not only by individual predispositions, but also by important task and social considerations as well as increasing diversity in the workplace.
Interpersonal Experiences • Research reveals that primary dyadic relationships are important to overall job satisfaction.
Interpersonal Experiences • Communication Networks • Personal • Group • Organizational • interorganizational
Communication Networks • Three General Properties of Links in networks • Symmetry • Strength • reciprocity
Communication Networks • Network Roles for Individuals • Liaisons • Bridges • Gatekeepers • Participants • Nonparticipants • isolates
Communication Links • Black Boxes Illustrate Gatekeeper, Liaison, Bridge, and Isolate Communication Links
Communication Networks • People communicate in organizations to reduce uncertainty and make their environments more understandable or predictable. • Innovation, on the other hand, fosters change and introduces turbulence.
Communication Networks • Communication networks are also described in terms of their overall size, inclusiveness, density, centralization, and a host of other features.
Interpersonal Experiences • A Diverse Work Force • Work force diversity - description of workers that emphasizes differences in age, sex, race, ethnicity, and values.
A Diverse Work Force • Six Trends in the Work Force • Diversity of Personnel • Expansion of worker support services • Flexible work arrangements • Focused human resource development • Competing in the global talent pool • Creating virtual corporations and communities
A Diverse Work Force • Diverse people bring different intrapersonal attitudes, experiences, expectations, and competencies to organizations.
Forming Interpersonal Relationships • Our effectiveness in interpersonal relationships is related to our awareness of differences and similarities in groups and our willingness to test the accuracy of our understanding. • Effectiveness is also related to our ability to accept differences as legitimate and important for organizational effectiveness.
Forming Interpersonal Relationships • Attraction • Similarity • Physical proximity • Rewards • We are more likely to establish satisfying interpersonal relationships based on similarity than relationships characterized by diversity.
Forming Interpersonal Relationships • Supervisors and Subordinates • The supervisory-subordinate relationship can be described as the primary interpersonal relationship structured by the organization. • “A subordinate’s satisfaction with his work and supervision is correlated with the communication competence of both the subordinate and supervisor as perceived by the subordinate” (Smith & Hellweg)
Supervisors and Subordinates • Supervisor-subordinate relationships frequently have been described in terms of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) theory. • LMX theory suggests that leaders have limited time and resources and share both their personal and positional resources differently with their subordinates.
Supervisors and Subordinates • Numerous studies report that supervisors who are high in communication apprehension are not as well liked as those lower in apprehension, and highly apprehensive subordinates are not as likely as others to seek supervisory positions.
Supervisors and Subordinates • Research on supervisor-subordinate communication reports a “positivity bias” in upward communication. • Trust in a supervisor is the most important factor for open, upward communication.
Forming Interpersonal Relationships • Peers • Although secondary in importance to supervisor-subordinate relationships, peer relationships are an important part of an individual’s organizational experiences. • Few research studies have focused on the one-to-one aspect of peer relationships.
Forming Interpersonal Relationships • Peers • Peers exchange information about job requirements, provide social support, and are in a position to give advice without formally evaluating performance. • Peers can withhold important information from one another, contributing to a variety of problems
Forming Interpersonal Relationships • Customers and Vendors • These relationships are based initially on task concerns but frequently emerge into social-support relationships as well.
Trust and Interpersonal Relationships • Research generally supports • Accurate information, • Explanations for decisions, and • Openness • as communication behaviors affecting perceptions of trustworthiness and overall job satisfaction. • Information flow has the strongest relationship with trust in supervisor.
Trust and Interpersonal Relationships • Fully competent organizational members learn to think about their behaviors in terms of whether they contribute to or detract from building trust.
Technology and Interpersonal Relationships • Technology has changed and is changing literally all types of relationships in which we engage. • Rich channels are more likely to be used for ambiguous and important messages, whereas channels low in richness are better suited to deal with unambiguous tasks.
Technology and Interpersonal Relationships • Teleworker - individuals who work at home or in other organizationally-owned or controlled spaces. • Technology use in general promotes less face-to-face interaction. • Trust becomes increasingly important to virtual environments because we must act, perform, and behave without the cues with which we are most familiar.
Increasing Interpersonal Effectiveness • Barriers & Positive Approaches • Valuing diversity • ability to understand and appreciate the contributions that differences in people can make to organizations.
Barriers & Positive Approaches • Barrier One: Preconceptions and beliefs that foster inaccurate information and confusion between perceptions of behaviors and actual behaviors • Positive Approach: Personalize knowledge and perceptions
Barriers & Positive Approaches • Barrier Two: Stereotypes that limit the potential contributions of individuals based on their membership in a group or class. • Positive Approach: Tolerance for ambiguity
Barriers & Positive Approaches • Barrier Three: Prejudices that produce negative emotional reactions to others. • Positive Approach: Nonjudgmentalness