Organizational Communication

last updated 11/14/2003



Listening to messages


1.      Messages have meanings at 3 levels

1.        cognitive (content) - literal

2.        emotional

3.        relational


2.       Messages have implications at 2 levels


1.      Organizational

(1)   the functional quality of the message

(1)         decision-making,

(2)         information-giving,

(3)         command, ritual?

(2)   the negotiation of organizational roles


2.      Personal - how does it appear to impact the person.

(1)   psychologically (motivation, esteem, etc.)

(2)   career-wise


Constructing Effective Messages


1.      Consider the implications of the above and adapt message to them

2.      Give good reasons

1.      Universal good reasons - fairness, equality, consistency, strength, moral (in context) -- also lesser reasons: science shows, others are doing it

2.      Topoi - the "good reasons" of your org.


3.       Types of Messages Used in Defending a Damaged Personal Image


1.      denial - not my fault

2.      bolstering - error is part of a virtue

3.      differentiation - split issue into parts and focus on the good part (e.g. "but in the long run we'll be better off.")

4.        transcendence - making the issue a broader one