Organizational Communication

Dr. Lee McGaan  

  Office:  WH 308  (ph. 309-457-2155);  email
  Home:  418 North Sunny Lane (ph. 309-734-5431, cell 309-333-5447)

Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016

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last updated 12/1/2006

Technology in Organizations

Features of new technology

  1. Speed

  2. Geographic dispersion

  3. Asynchronous communication

  4. Ways of addressing messages

  5. Memory - storage and retrieval

  6. Cue availability

Theories of Media Usage

Media Richness Model - (People select message media by its richness (information capacity) or leanness and by the potential ambiguity of the the message.  the more ambiguity, the richer the medium choice.)

Media differ in in four ways:  (the more of these available, the richer the medium)

  1. availability of instant feedback

  2. use of multiple cues

  3. use of natural language

  4. personal focus of the medium

Social Information Processing Model  (media choice reflects a variety of media and personal characteristics, including...)

  1. Objective and perceived task requirements

  2. Objective and perceived media characteristics

  3. Media experience/knowledge

  4. Attitudes toward media

  5. Individual differences

Dual-Capacity Model   (Media choice is determined by data capacity, as in the media richness model, AND by what the medium itself symbolizes.)

  1. Data carrying capacity

  2. Symbolic capacity

Effects of Technology on Organizational Communication

  1. Fewer cues can inhibit emotional and social message content

  2. Inappropriate emotional content may be encouraged (flamming)

  3. New media more often augments and increases message transmission than substitutes  (drowning in data) -- "data smog"

  4. Greater upward communication may occur

  5. Greater equality of participation (with less leader emergence) may occur

  6. Lower group identification may result from greater mediation

  7. New technology has facilitated:  distributed work, less organization centrality, flex time, tele-work, virtual organizations

Paradoxes of New Technology

  1. Greater flexibility tends to yield more structure

  2. Greater individuality tends to yield greater emphasis on teamwork

  3. More individual responsibility tends to yeild the urge for more control.