Lecture 12 begins the student’s study of the influencing function of management. The
chapter focuses on the importance and challenge of improving communication within
organizations. The chapter is divided into two main parts: fundamentals of influencing
and fundamentals of communication.
1. A fundamental understanding of influencing
2. Insights about emotional intelligence
3. An understanding of how communication works
4. Hints for communicating in organizations
5. Useful ideas for encouraging organizational communication
Communication Skill: the ability to share information with other individuals
This is divided into five sections:
1. Fundamentals of Influencing
2. Emotional Intelligence
3. Communication
4. Interpersonal Communication in Organizations
5. Encouraging Organizational Communication
Fundamentals of Influencing:
This section introduces students to the managerial function of Influencing. The section also
provides a definition of Influencing and a discussion of the influencing subsystem.
Defining Influencing
o Influencing
 The process of guiding the activities of organization members in
appropriate directions
 Those that lead the organization toward its goal attainment
 Involves focusing on organization members as people and dealing with
issues involving morale, conflict, development of good working
 Ability to influence others is a primary determinant of a successful
The Influencing Subsystem
o Figure 12.1 illustrates the influencing function as a subsystem within the overall
management system
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o Whole purpose is to enhance employees’ attainment of organizational
objectives by guiding the activities of those employees in appropriate
o Figure 12.2 illustrates the constituent parts of the influencing subsystem
o The input of the influencing subsystem are the total resources of the overall
management system
o The output of the influencing subsystem is the appropriate organization
member behavior
o Process of influencing subsystem involves the performance of six interrelated,
primary management activities
 Leading
 Motivating
 Considering groups
 Communicating
 Encouraging creativity and innovation
 Building corporate culture
o Table 12.1 identifies the skills top-level executives have identified that should be
taught to management students
Emotional Intelligence:
This section introduces students to the concept of Emotional Intelligence. The influencing
function of management focuses on guiding people to accomplish goals. This function requires
the use of management’s emotional intelligence skills.
Emotional Intelligence – Concept developed by Daniel Goleman
o The capacity of people to recognize their own feelings and the feelings of
others, to motivate themselves, and to manage their own emotions as well as
their emotions in relationships with others
o Includes self-awareness, self-motivation, self-regulation, empathy for others,
and adeptness in building relationships
o The text provides a good discussion of the value of emotional intelligence for
o Figure 12.3 lists skills possessed by emotionally intelligent managers
The influencing function and emotional intelligence both emphasize the following
critical management concepts and skills areas:
o Motivation
o Communication
o Leadership
o Teamwork
o Creativity
o Innovation
All of these areas focus on building positive psychological capital in an organization
This section of the chapter provides a discussion of Communication.
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o Process of sharing information with other individuals
o Involves the process of one person projecting a message to one or more other
people, which hopefully results in everyone involved arriving at a common
understanding of the message
o Communication activities of managers all involve interpersonal
Interpersonal Communication
o Managers need to understand the following in order to be successful at
interpersonal communication:
 How interpersonal communication works
 Relationship between feedback and interpersonal communication
 Importance of verbal versus nonverbal interpersonal communication
o How Interpersonal Communication Works
 Interpersonal communication involves transmitting information to
 Requires three basic elements:
 Source/Encoder
 Signal
 Decoder/Destination
 Figure 12.4 in the text provides an illustration of the roles of the source,
signal, and destination in the communication process
 The source determines what information to share, encodes that
information in the form of a message, transmits the message as a signal
to the destination who then decodes the transmitted message to
determine its meaning and then responds accordingly
o Successful and Unsuccessful Interpersonal Communication
 Successful communication refers to an interpersonal communication
situation in which the information the source intends to share with the
destination AND the meaning the destination derives from the
transmitted message are the same
 UNDERSTANDING exists between the sender and destination
 Unsuccessful communication occurs when the information between
the source and destination and the meaning the destination derives
from the transmitted message are different
 Management must take care to encode the message so that the
source’s experience of the way a signal should be decoded is
equivalent to the destination’s experience of the way it should be
decoded – when these experiences match up, we tend to see successful
 Figure 12.5 in the text illustrates these overlapping fields of experience
o Barriers to Successful Interpersonal Communication
 Factors that decrease the probability of obtaining successful
communication are called barriers
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Macro Barriers – Relate primarily to communication environment
 Increasing need for information
 Need for increasingly complex information
 Reality is people in U.S. are increasingly coming into contact
with people who use languages other than English
 Constant need to learn new concepts cutting down on the time
available for communication
Micro Barriers – Relate directly to the communication message, source,
and destination
 Source’s view of the destination
o Figure 12.6 in the text lists several examples of negative
attitudes and stereotypes managers might possess
regarding various types of employees
 Message interference
 Destination’s view of the source
 Perception
 Multimeaning words – The text provides a great example of the
word RUN as an example of a multimeaning word
o Feedback and Interpersonal Communication
 Feedback – the destination’s reaction to a message
 Feedback can be used by the source to ensure successful
 Managers should encourage feedback wherever possible due to its
potentially high value
o Gathering and Using Feedback
 Feedback can be verbal or nonverbal
 To gather verbal feedback, the source can simply ask the destination to
repeat directions or ask questions related to the content of the
 To gather nonverbal feedback, the source can observe the destination’s
nonverbal responses to a message
 If managers determine through their gathered feedback that their
communication effectiveness is relatively low, they should assess
further to determine how to improve their communication skills
 As an example – Are there words managers are using that are
causing confusion?
o Achieving Communication Effectiveness
 Ten Commandments of Good Communication
 1 – Seek to clarify your ideas before communicating
 2 – Examine the true purpose of each communication
 3 – Consider the total physical and human setting whenever you
 4 – Consult with others, when appropriate, in planning
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5 – Be mindful of the overtones while you communicate rather
than merely the basic content of your message
 6 – Take the opportunity, when it arises, to convey something of
help or value to the receiver
 7 – Follow up your communication
 8 – Communicate for tomorrow as well as today
 9 – Be sure your actions support your communications
 10 – Last, but by no means least, seek not only to be
understood, but also to understand – be a good listener
o Verbal and Nonverbal Interpersonal Communication
 Verbal Communication – uses either spoken or written words to share
information with others – has up to now been the focus of the chapter
 Nonverbal Communication – sharing information without using words
to encode thoughts
 Gestures, Vocal Tones, Facial Expressions
 In most communications, we see a combination of both verbal words
and nonverbal gestures and facial expressions
o The Importance of Nonverbal Communication
 Nonverbal communication tends to have a stronger and greater
emphasis on the total effect of the message
 Mehrabian Formula
 Total Message Impact = 100%
 Words/Message = 7%
 Vocal Tones = 38%
 Facial Expressions = 55%
 Other nonverbal communication that impacts the message includes
facial expressions, gestures, gender, and dress
 Effective managers use verbal communication in support of nonverbal
communication so both complement each other
 University of Virginia study showed the skill organizations must seek
in prospective employees is facility at verbal and nonverbal
Interpersonal Communication in Organizations:
This section focuses on the importance of managers understanding not only general
interpersonal communication concepts but also the characteristics of interpersonal
communication within organizations
 Organizational Communication
o Directly relates to the goals, functions, and structure of human organizations
o To a large extent, organizational success is determined by the effectiveness of
organizational communication
o Three fundamental organizational communication topics:
 Formal Organizational Communication
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 Informal Organizational Communication
 Encouragement of Formal Organizational Communication
Formal Organizational Communication
 Follows the lines of the firm’s organizational chart
 Organizational charts depict relationships among people and job and
show the formal channels of communication among them
Types of Formal Organizational Communication
 Downward Organizational Communication
 Flows from any point on an organization downward to another
point on the organization chart
 Focus is on communication related to direction and control of
o Job duties, Dates
 Upward Organizational Communication
 Flows from any point on an organization chart upward to
another point on the organization chart
 Focus is on communication managers need in order to evaluate
their organizational area
o Attitude surveys, Grievance procedures, Suggestion
 Managers should be cautious with upward communication as it
tends to be filtered when the communication is delivering bad
 Lateral Organizational Communication
 Flows from any point on an organization chart horizontally to
another point on the organization chart
 Focus is on coordinating activities of various departments and
developing new plans for future operating periods
Patterns of Formal Organizational Communication
 Communication creates Serial Transmissions
 Passing information from one individual to another in a series
 Figure 12.7 illustrates a comparison of three patterns of organizational
communication based on the variables of speed, accuracy, organization,
emergence of leader, and morale
 A known weakness of serial transmissions is that the messages
become distorted as the length of the series increases – Message
details may be omitted, altered, or added in a serial transmission
 Serial transmissions can also influence morale, leadership emergence,
individuals’ efficiency, and degree to which individuals involved in the
transmissions are organized
Informal Organizational Communication
 Does not follow lines of the organization chart – Follows the pattern of
personal relationships among organization members
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Generally exists because organization members have a desire for
information that is not furnished through formal organizational
 Spontaneous human communications that occur outside of the formal
organizational hierarchy
 Water Cooler, Coffee Pot, Office Kitchen, Desk, Email conversations
among workers
o Patterns of Informal Organizational Communication
 Grapevine
 Springs up and is used irregularly within the organization
 Not controlled by executives, who may not even be able to
influence it
 Exists largely to serve the self-interests of the people within it
 Estimate is that 70% of all communication in organizations flows
through the grapevine – managers must learn to understand it and
work with it – they will never be able to remove it from the
 Does use serial transmissions – difference is that informal organization
serial transmissions are more difficult for managers to identify the
organizational members involved in these transmissions
 Figure 12.8 in the text illustrates the serial transmission grapevine
patterns as identified by Keith Davis through the Harvard Business
 Single-strand grapevine
 Gossip grapevine
 Probability grapevine
 Cluster grapevine
 Dealing With Grapevines
 Grapevines often do generate rumors detrimental to
organization success
 Managers should therefore learn to work with the grapevines –
studies show when employees have what they view as sufficient
organizational information, their sense of belonging to the
organization and their level of productivity seem to increase
Encouraging Organizational Communication:
This section sums up the importance of organizational communication, listening, and
encouraging communication across the organization.
Organizational communication is known as the nervous system of the organization as
it directs the organization to act
Management should encourage the free flow of communication
Listening attentively is a key strategy for promoting formal organizational
Table 12.2 presents general guidelines for enhancing listening skills
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Other strategies to encourage flow of formal organizational communication are as
o Support the flow of clear and concise statements through formal
communication channels
o Take care to ensure all organization members have free access to formal
communication channels
o Assign specific communication responsibilities to the staff personnel who
could be of help to line personnel
o Make sure leaders sending messages are trusted by the workforce
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