Study Guides - Cengage Learning

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          Chapter 10: Communicating for Results
                              Chapter Outlines

The Communication Process and Communication Strategies
     Selecting a Medium
Communication Strategies

Dynamics of Organizational Communication
     The Grapevine
     Nonverbal Communication
     Upward Communication

Communicating in the Online and Wireless Workplace
    Getting E-Mail Under Control
    Hello! Can We Talk About Cell Phone Etiquette?

Becoming a Better Communicator
     Effective Listening
     Effective Writing
     Running a Meeting


communication interpersonal transfer of information and understanding.

media richness a mediums capacity to convey information and promote

noise any interference with the normal flow of communication.

grapevine unofficial and informal communication system.
body language nonverbal communication based on facial expressions, posture,
and appearance.

upward communication encouraging employees to share their feelings and
ideas with management.

exit interview brief structured interview with a departing employee.

videoconference live television or broadband Internet video exchange between
people in different locations.

telecommuting sending work to and from ones office via computer modem while
working at home.

                         Learning Objective Summary

Learning Objective 1: Identify each major link in the communication process,
explain the concept of media richness, and specify guidelines for using the
five communication strategies.
• Communication is a social process involving the transfer of information and
• The links in the communication process include sender, encoding, medium, decoding,
receiver, and feedback.
• Noise is any interference with the normal flow of communication.
• According to the Lengel-Daft contingency model, media richness is determined by the
amount of information conveyed and learning promoted.
- Rich media such as face-to-face communication are best for non-routine problems.
- Lean media such as impersonal bulletins are suitable for routine problems.

Learning Objective 2: Discuss the managerial importance of grapevine and
nonverbal communication, and explain how to encourage upward
• The grapevine is the unofficial and informal communication system that sometimes
complements and sometimes disrupts the formal communication system.
• Recognizing that the grapevine cannot be suppressed, managers are advised to
monitor it constructively.
• Nonverbal communication, including facial, gestural, and postural body language,
accounts for most of the impact of face-to-face communication.
• Managers can become more effective communicators by doing a better job of
receiving and sending nonverbal communications.
• Upward communication can be stimulated by using:
- Formal grievance procedures
- Employee attitude and opinion surveys
- Suggestion systems
- An open-door policy
- Informal meetings
- Internet chat rooms
- Exit interviews

Learning Objective 3: List two practical tips for each of the three modern
communication technologies (e-mail, cell phones, and videoconferences), and
summarize the pros and cons of telecommuting.
• E-mail, supposedly a real time saver, has quickly become a major time waster.
Organizations need to create and enforce a clear e-mail policy to improve message
quality and curb abuses.
• Cell phone users need to be discreet and courteous to avoid broadcasting privileged
information and/or offending others.
• Videoconferencing restricts how people communicate because televised contacts are
more mechanical than face-to-face meetings.
• While telecommuting can offer employment to nontraditional employees and reduce
travel time and expense, it severely restricts normal social contact and face-to-face
communication in the workplace.

Learning Objective 4: Specify at least three practical tips for improving each
of the following communication skills: listening, writing, and running a
• Listening does not get sufficient attention in communications training. Important
aspects of listening include:
- Tolerate silence
- Ask stimulating, open-ended questions
- Paraphrase and summarize
- Know your biases and prejudices
• Writing skills are no less important in the computer age. Written messages need to be:
- Simple
- Concise
- Specific
• Meetings, an ever-present feature of organizational life, need to:
- Be agenda-driven
- Communicate expectations
- Encourage broad participation
- Begin and end on time

                                   Test Preppers

                                  Test Prepper 10.1

True or False?

_____ 1. One of the links in the basic communication process is feedback.
_____ 2. The basic communication process begins with decoding.
_____ 3. Face-to-face communication ranks high on media richness, according to the
Lengel-Daft model.
_____ 4. For routine problems, lean media are most appropriate.
_____ 5. Two examples of “noise” are lies and a speech impairment.
_____ 6. Managers who employ the Tell & Sell communication strategy apply the “more
is better” strategy.
_____ 7. The Withhold & Uphold communication strategy should be used as much as

Multiple Choice

_____ 8. According to research, _____ percent of each 40-hour workweek is wasted
because of poor communication between staff and managers.
      a. 14
      b. 4
      c. 29
      d. 96
      e. 58

_____ 9. Communication involves the interpersonal transfer of _____ and _____.
      a. authority; responsibility
      b. sender; receiver
      c. social; political activities
      d. encoding; decoding
      e. information; understanding

_____ 10. Which of these is not part of the basic communication process?
      a. Medium
      b. Encoding
      c. Sender
      d. Receiver
      e. Technology

_____ 11. According to the Lengel-Daft model of media richness, what can happen
when a rich medium is used to communicate a routine message?
      a. Maximum understanding
      b. Speedier action
      c. Data glut
      d. Communication success
      e. Creative feedback

_____ 12. Users of Clampitt’s Spray & Pray communication strategy would likely say
      a. “More is better.”
      b. “Be quiet.”
      c. “Help.”
      d. “Let’s talk.”
       e. “Less is more.”

_____ 13. When selecting a communication strategy appropriate to the situation,
managers need to follow all of these guidelines except
      a. use Identify & Reply sparingly.
      b. avoid Spray & Pray.
      c. avoid Underscore & Explore.
      d. use Underscore & Explore as much as possible.
      e. use Tell & Sell sparingly.

                                 Test Prepper 10.2

True or False?

_____ 1. Based on research, employees of relatively small organizations viewed the
grapevine as
less influential than did those from larger organizations.
_____ 2. The three kinds of body language are facial, gestural, and vocal.
_____ 3. Examples of upward communication include attitude and opinion surveys.
_____ 4. With an open-door policy, employees are free to leave work whenever they

Multiple Choice

_____ 5. The term grapevine best matches which description?
      a. Dangerous
      b. Sociotechnical
      c. Legitimate
      d. Informal
      e. Official

_____ 6. The term _____ refers to an online diary.
      a. blog
      b. grapevine
      c. spam
      d. IM
      e. e-mail

_____ 7. Which statement about grapevine accuracy is correct?
      a. Nearly 30 percent accurate
      b. About 75 percent accurate
      c. Never accurate
      d. The lower the organizational level, the more accurate
      e. The higher the organizational level, the more accurate
_____ 8. During a job interview, Lucinda places her hand over her mouth while
speaking, thus indicating that she
       a. feels superior to the interviewer.
       b. is confident.
       c. wants to be helpful.
       d. is nervous.
       e. is shy.

_____ 9. In unionized organizations, which description most accurately portrays the
formal grievance process?
       a. Ineffective thing of the past
       b. Third party mediation
       c. Too little, too late
       d. One strike and you’re out
       e. Multistep appeal process

_____ 10. One of your friends, the owner of a dry cleaning chain, is thinking about
starting a suggestion system. You should recommend which of these?
        a. Verbal suggestions only
        b. Only managers eligible
        c. No monetary incentives
        d. Prompt feedback
        e. Part-timers not eligible

_____ 11. Which of these is a useful method for getting feedback from departing
      a. Third-party mediation
      b. Suggestion systems
      c. Arbitration
      d. Outplacement
      e. Exit interviews

                                  Test Prepper 10.3

True or False?

_____ 1. Workplace e-mail systems can be used for personal purposes without being
monitored, according to the recent privacy laws in the United States.
_____ 2. Because of the growing use of cell phones, managers need to be particularly
sensitive to the risk of inadvertently broadcasting proprietary company information.
_____ 3. Videoconference participants should avoid wearing solid white clothing because
it tends to glow on camera.
_____ 4. A potential problem with telecommuting is the fear of being overlooked at
promotion time.
Multiple Choice

_____ 5. When using organizational e-mail systems, what assumption should managers
      a. Use of capital letters required to get attention
      b. No privacy
      c. Increased productivity
      d. Immediate response required
      e. The longer the message, the better

_____ 6. Which of these is not a suggestion by Joan Tunstall for composing a CLEAR e-
mail message?
       a. Action-oriented
       b. Copies to all relevant parties
       c. Logical
       d. Empathetic
       e. Concise

_____ 7. A live television exchange between people in different locations is called a(n)
      a. videoconference.
      b. closed-system e-mail.
      c. teleconference.
      d. telemetric display.
      e. off-network television system.

_____ 8. The text sums up the future of telecommuting as
      a. a serious threat to productivity.
      b. just a passing fad.
      c. more than a passing fad.
      d. already obsolete.
      e. the standard work routine in twenty years.

                                    Test Prepper 10.4

True or False?

_____ 1. Managers typically get a lot of training in listening skills.
_____ 2. Good writing is clearly part of the encoding step in the basic communication
_____ 3. In writing, conciseness equates to brevity.
_____ 4. In meetings, an agenda should be sent out at the end of the session.

Multiple Choice

_____ 5. A practical tip for effective listening is asking _____ questions.
      a. easy-to-answer
      b. no more than two
      c. many
      d. open-ended
      e. yes-or-no

_____ 6. Which of these is not one of the four reminders for good writing?
      a. Write concisely.
      b. Be specific.
      c. Keep words simple.
      d. Don’t sacrifice communication for rules of composition.
      e. Use a computer spelling checker to improve your grammar.

_____ 7. Yoshi, a management trainee at a newspaper company, asks how he should
handle the agenda for an upcoming department meeting. You should tell him to
       a. e-mail it to all those who attended after the meeting.
       b. send it out a day in advance.
       c. forget about an agenda.
       d. develop it during the first few minutes of the meeting.
       e. send it out after the meeting to those who didn’t attend.

_____ 8. At the end of a formal meeting, a committee chairperson should
      a. offer constructive criticism about comments.
      b. hand out the agenda.
      c. ensure that everyone understands their action-item responsibilities.
      d. criticize those who failed to attend.
      e. praise all attendees for their contributions.

Test Prepper Answer Key
1. T  2. F  3. T  4. T  5. T          6. F    7. F    8. a   9. e    10. e    11. c   12. a
13. c
1. T   2. F   3. T   4. F   5. d   6. a   7. b   8. d   9. e   10. d   11. e
1. F   2. T   3. T   4. T   5. b   6. b   7. a   8. c
1. F   2. T   3. F   4. F   5. d   6. e   7. b   8. c