Research Paper (postgraduate), 2007
19 Pages, Grade: Doctorate
Many managerial models have been published on the subject of communication elements for decades. After most of them being thoroughly scrutinized, it is found that they are missing some important elements that compose the communication task per se. Therefore, a model has been developed as a thought paper covering the shortcomings in the other models. By all means, it is about time to participate with the other administration scholars in the world with any valuable effort as an addition to the accumulative knowledge of management. The main goal of this paper is to introduce an alternative model of communication components. This model has been built up upon ten clearly explained elements that are as follows:
1) Sender; 2) Objective; 3) Message; 4) Dispatching; 5) Time-Place Factor; 6) Medium; 7) Reception; 8) Receiver; 9) Understanding; and 10) Response.
These elements are directly or indirectly affected by the twenty-four-hour current of information, plus the internal and external environment. If any of these elements should be missing, there will be incomplete function of communication.
There are a number scholars who wrote about communication components and its effect on the managerial activities in the organization. These components, as appraised in this study, are incomplete in their writings. Therefore, this study suggests another model that supposedly contains complete elements of the communication operation.
1. Communication is the nerves information.
2. Communication is the channels that orders, directing, leading, investigating, answering, and the like, are done through.
3. Communication is considered as one of the management functions.
4. Underlining its components is an indicator of its quality.
1. To show the missing elements of communication.
2. To give a new dimension to the functioning of these elements.
3. It supports the decision making processes.
4. It makes the communication processes with its full components produce a better meaning and action.
Most of the present models of communication elements in the available managerial literatures are incomplete.
The descriptive approach is employed as a method of collecting materials on the subject, and also as a tool of analysis. Through this approach, there will be a lot of writings on the study topic to read, compare with each other, and demonstrate the differences between them.
1. This study is only focusing upon the components of communication. It is doing nothing else in the field of management functions.
2. This study has nothing to do with information theory.
3. The study doesn't cover mass communication in the political context.
It is important to understand the meanings of; a model, components, and communication. "In the behavioral sciences, models are developed in an effort to represent some portion of the real world and to identify particular variables … in a way clarifies, simplifies, promotes understanding." (Klauss&Colleague, 1982, 24).
In other words, as it is viewed, a model is a frame of translating a thought, a case, an idea, or a meaning into graphical shape aiming to make the subject matter more understandable to others.
Before demonstrating the types of communication elements as models initiated by some scholars in management, the traditional model of communication was the Aristotelian one. It was diagrammed in a linear manner with a sequence of steps as one person transmitted a thought, idea, or feeling to another person. (Lewis, 1987, 24)
"The communication process is that unique sharing of thoughts and feelings that defines us as human" (Osborn & Osborn, 1991).
"Communication is the process of verbally and nonverbally sharing with another person or persons one's knowledge, interests, attitudes, opinions, feelings, and ideas" ( Samovar & Mills, 1995 ).
"We can define communication as the simultaneous sharing and creating of meaning through human symbolic action" ( Seiler & Beall 2002 ).
Lewis also gave his own definition that communication is the exchange of messages resulting in a degree of shared meaning between a sender and a receiver (Lewis, 1987, 8). It is as simple as the following shape:
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
In addition, the study states its own definition as communication represents the verbal and nonverbal messages that happened between two or more parties as a sender and a receiver for reaching a certain objective.
The communication processes supposedly show how information pack is taking place between the sender and the receiver via particular means known to both. The study feels no need to go through history to see the classical models of communication, simply because recent researches done on the topic are sufficient for this purpose.
A political scientist Harold Lasswell ( 1948 ), said the communication process could best be explained by the simple statement : "Who says what to whom in what channel with what effect".
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
"Lasswell communication process"
Shannon and Weaver in 1949 added two elements which were "noise" and "decoding". Another scholar recognized this and added "feedback” to it.
Hargie and others (2000, 22-25) mentioned the following elements:
1. Message 2. Channel
3. Noise 4. Feedback
5. Context 6. Culture
These elements, as listed, are incomplete because there are no senders or receivers that are essential elements in any communication practice.
Koehler and others (1981, 6-7) indicated seven elements as follows:
1. Source 2. Encoding of idea
3. Message 4. Channel
5. Reception 6. Decoding 7. Feedback
Here, the elements are also incomplete since there are no senders and no receivers, although it did include encoding and decoding which are unclearly added and imply a vague message.
Hunt (1980, 36-37) explained the following elements:
1. Sender 2. Receiver
3. Message 4. Purpose 5. Climate
Hunt, here, forgot to add other important elements such as dispatching, channel or media, and reception.
Hattersley and his colleague (1977, 4-5) discussed other elements as follows:
1. Source 2. Audience
3. Goal 4. Context
5. Message 6. Media 7. Feedback
These elements are still incomplete because the dispatching and reception elements are not there if "source" is considered to be the sender and receiver.
Finally, by virtue of the deficiency of all these models of the communication elements, the suggested model of communication components, as an alternative, is demonstrated next.
After a brief and clear literature review as above, again for further clarification the following question has to be answered:
A model means an idealized presentation of an event, mostly practical, in a systematic form in order to reach a meaningful result.
Models are scholarly needed for vast purposes. Some of them are as follows :
1. It simplifies the movement of the action.
2. It identifies the steps of the action.
3. It clarifies the stages of the action steps.
4. It answers the questions raised about event or / and its processes.
5. It points out the strength and weakness of event processes.
6. It helps researchers develop better alternative models.
7. It summarizes a lot of literatures by putting the main ideas in brief.
8. It helps the reader capture the whole action of event.
An element of something means a part and parcel of it. Accordingly, an element of communication means one of its components, and heavily and completely depends upon its existence. So, if any element is absent, communication service is absent too. Based on this meaning of element, this study is conducted herein.
This suggested model represents the elements of communication which is normally happening in the daily activities in any organization. After intensive reading in the managerial literatures, and investigating a number of communication models introduced by scholars, this study has come up with this particular model as an alternative. This model consists of ten cohesive chains of elements. That means if any element is missing, there will be no complete form of communication. These ten elements are demonstrated in the following diagram:
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
And they are explained as follows:
This can be a person per se, or a team in an organization; public
or private, national or international.
This means what the sender wants to accomplish. Simultaneously, a goal is an umbrella of a number of objectives that lead to reach certain purposes which are heading to achieve some aims. It is believed in this logical and gradual arrangement, thinking it is better to collect all of them by their first initials in one term as "GOPA" which refers to the following:
G = Goals, O = Objective, P = Purpose, A = Aim.
This is the content to be sent whether it is written, verbal, color, light, signal, symbol, official or unofficial.
This means to start sending the message; as the phone number is dialed, or the letter is mailed, or the memo is distributed to the employee(s), and so on.
5. Time-Place Factor:
This element is inevitable, and means any behavior or motion or sound in this universe is surrounded by time and place; since time and place are as two faces of one coin.
This means the tools that are used as a channel to transfer the message. It could be voice, sound, signal, color, writing, manual, mechanical, electronic, …. etc.
This simply means the arrival of the message. In other words, the letter is in the mail box, or the telephone is ringing, or the instructions sheet is hung on the ads board, and so forth.
In brief, this means exactly as the first element; the sender. He/she is supposed to answer the phone, or collect the mail, or read the ads on department board, ….etc.
This means the realization of what the content of the message is asking for.
The response is the container of the receiver's reaction to the message whether the behavior is expected or unexpected.
In addition to these basic elements of communication, there are two factors affecting the contact operation; information current and internal and external environment. This environment covers cultural (ethics and values), technical (noise and electronic devices), political, economical, social, individual and group, local and global factors.
It is necessary to make a comparison with each of the previously discussed models. Back to the literature review to see carefully what elements Hargie wrote in his communication model, the reader will find the third and fourth elements, noise and feedback, are not practically considered as communication elements. That is to say communication can be carried out with and/or without them. For instance, at a roaring and rumbling workshop, the boss can normally direct his team to do their tasks. Yet, feedback is important, but not an element because it has nothing to do with the communication which could happen with and/or without it. Feedback doesn't exist in the communication practice of dictator leadership, or the leader who enjoys managerial centralization.
Koehler model of communication contains seven elements; the only elements under certain reservation are encoding and decoding. These two words implicitly and explicitly indicate some special meaning as a symbolic expression used by the intelligence members. This type of highly complicated jobs needs to be encoded and decoded between the sender and receiver; but in the daily services firms, public or private. Of course, goal, dispatching, and reaction elements are missing.
Hunt model of communication elements clearly shows the absence of the elements-dispatching, channel, reception, understanding, and reaction. No wonder if communication function is declined or artificially made.
Hattersley and his colleague's model of communication elements started with "source", which could mean both; sender and receiver. Concerning the element "feedback" the comment is still as previously stated. Moreover, the element "context" in this reading material is synonymous with the main subject or the content of the message itself.
The suggested model of communication components shows how communication operations take place between the two major elements; a sender and a receiver. It is highly important to notice that each one of these two elements can be a sender and a receiver at the same time during the contact operation. In other words, the receiver becomes a sender when he responds to the thought, idea, order, demand, question, … etc., meanwhile the sender turns to be a receiver as a reaction to the response to his original message. These essential ten elements of communication are directly surrounded by the information current which is considered the nerves of any communication function. In other expression, there will be no communication with the absence of information. The communication message also gets affected by the environment circumstances; whether internal or external. For plain illustration, the following example makes the picture more obvious.
Example: The case is an invitation for staff meeting.
Sender =Chairman of the department.
Goal =Invitation for a meeting.
Message =The topics of agenda.
Dispatch =Action of sending.
Time-Place Factor = To decide how much speed is required to contact the staff members. Would it be enough by a written memo? or is a telephone call needed for some of them who are not present? or face to face? or …..
Media = What kind of tools to be used for transferring the message to the staff members? Would it be a paper, via phone calls, mail box, e-mail, ads on board at the department …etc.?
Reception = Now the invitation letter may be in the box, or in the e-mail, or the telephone is ringing, or personally handed by the secretary…. etc.
Receiver = Here, it is the staff member to pick up the phone, or the letter from the mail box, or to chick his e-mail, and so on.
Understanding = He realizes the invitation for the meeting, contents table, time and place, purpose of the meeting.
Response = So, he may or may not attend the meeting or reject the invitation with or without justification.
Now, just suppose to exclude one of the above mentioned elements of communication. What would happen?
If the Sender is excluded, there will be no communication.
If the Goal is excluded, the message will be meaningless.
If the Message is excluded, what is the communication for?
If the Dispatch element is excluded, the message has not been sent yet.
If the Time- Place Factor is excluded, there will be something out of our planet, simply because this factor is a part and parcel of human life.
If the Medium is not available, there will be no transfer of the message from the sender to the receiver.
If the Reception is not there, there will be nothing as a sign to show the arrival of the message.
If the Receiver does not exist, all the previous functions of the elements will be in vain.
If the Understanding element is excluded, all the message execution will be messed up, and management operations will be randomly carried out.
If the Reaction element does not appear, there must be something wrong in the contents of the message, or the receiver may have a problem; therefore, the communication will be incomplete.
All of these elements of communication are functioning in the orbit of the information current which is considered as vessels in the organization structure. Furthermore, it is subjected for any expected or unexpected environmental reason/event/factor, internally and/or externally that may affect all or some of the message.
After a careful study of different communication models offered by a number of scholars as reviewed before, the following points are firmly proposed:
1. The sender must be known in his message to the receiver, otherwise he will be anonymous, and nobody will tend to listen to him at work.
2. The goal of the message must be clear and specific; if not, it will be vague and unreachable.
3. The message must be well informing and applicable at the same time.
4. The message remains as a thought or a plan only, unless the sender begins to dispatch it. When it is dispatched, it becomes a message. So, the sender has to carefully dispatch his question(s), answer(s), order(s), thought(s), direction(s)...etc.
5. The time-place factor is an important element, and the sender must put it into account as to how fast and where the message should be dealt with when sending to the receiver.
6. According to the time-place factor element, the sender can determine what kind of medium he should use for transferring his message to the receiver. The urgent event is not like the normal one, and the secret information is not like the general one. So, for acceptable result of the communication, the sender has to use the right channel for the right message and receiver at the best time and place.
7. The sender must be sure that his message has been received by any means of reception
that is accessible to the receiver.
8. The receiver must be up to the expectation of the sender in terms of the:
* capacity of response
* ability of action
* span of the sender's dealings
9. Understanding is the key of communication effectiveness. In the absence of this element all endeavors of communication might be in vain, and a waste of time and efforts. To maintain a good level of understanding with the subordinate, the receiver has to make his wording oral and/or written, simple, clear, and free from metaphor. In other words, the element of understanding is a sharing attribute between the sender and receiver.
10. Now, the element of response is the actual sign of the party's receiving the message. He has to act according to the contents of the message. It is the real evidence of the receiver's understanding of what the sender wants him/her to do. If he doesn't respond to the message, it means either :
* the message is not well perceived by the receiver, or
* the receiver doesn't want to carry out the message, or
* the receiver is hesitant to act upon the message.
In any of these expectations, a fast justification for such attitude is needed through a timely response to the sender.
As explicitly illustrated, the proposed ten elements of the suggested model of communication, as an alternative model, is considered as a master managerial behavior plan in the field of communication. These proposed ten elements of communication undoubtedly uncover the main nerves and vessels that information run through in any activities of a firm, public and/or private. The decision makers should take care of these ten elements by reviving them through several steps, as:
a. Renewal of all medium of transmitting information tools.
b. Intensive training programs for employees in communication.
c. Considering the cost-benefit policy in communication.
d. Making technical maintenance available at once.
e. Forming an incentive policy for those employees who are active with the massages they receive, and investigating with careless ones.
f. Following up the move of the message, from the first source (sender) via all the other nine elements till the element Reaction. This will help the manager discover the weak element that needs special care.
g. These ten elements of the suggested communication model give a full picture of the whole and exact communication function that may be no model before brought up as such.
h. This model should serve all directions of communication; vertical (downward and upward), horizontal, diagonal, and circular.
(1) C. David Mortensen, Communication: The Study of Human Communication, Chapter2.
(4) http:// www.expage.com/definitionsofcommunication.
(5)Hargie; Owen, David Dickson, Dennis Tourish (2000), Communication Skills for Effective Management, N.Y. : Palgrave Macmillan.
(6) Hattersley; Michael E., Linda McJannet (1977), Management Communication: Principles & Practice, N.Y. : McGraw- Hill, Inc. .
(7) Hunt; Gary T.( 1980 ), Communication Skills in the Organization, N.J.: Prentice- Hall, Inc.
(8) Klauss; Rudi, Bernard M. Bass (1982), Interpersonal Communication In Organization, N.Y.: Academic Press.
(9) Koelher; Jerry W., Karl W. E. Anatol, Ronald L. Applbaum (1981), 2nd. Ed., N.Y., Halt Rinehart & Winston.
(10) Lewis; Philip V. (1987), Organizational Communication, 3rd. Ed., N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
1 http:// www.expage.com/definitionsofcommunication
2 http:// www.expage.com/definitionsofcommunication
4 http://envstudies.brown.edu/Thesis/2003/Jessica_Galante/pages/commmodels.html ,p.2 of 3.
See also, C. David Mortensen, Communication: The Study of Human Communication, Chapter2.
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