Organizational Communication for Survival: Making Work, Work Book Review

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Jane Le
Professor Mahjail
MGMT 360
22 April 2013
Book Review Assignment

Communication is a tool that we use in our daily lives. Having good communication skills helps people achieve what they want or need in their lives. Too often people take good communication skills for granted. We communicate at home, in the public world, at school, and at work, especially when we conduct business transactions with others. Most people spend most of their day at work and good organizational communication skills are needed the most during this time. An organization is defined as, “a group of people working together to achieve common goal(s).” Organizational communication is the interactions and messages that occur between members of the organization. In most cases, the organization is work and the members of the organization are the employees and the management. Organizational communication is important because communication is an important function of work. Good communication can lead to a better work environment, respectable working relationships and more. Good communication in an organization can help add to the work culture and “help individuals and groups coordinate activities to achieve goals, make decisions, solve problems, share knowledge and manage change processes.” In the book, Organizational Communication for Survival: Making work, work, by Virginia Peck Richmond and James C. McCrosky, Richmond and McCrosky explains to readers what organizational communication is, how to communicate in an organizational environment with managers and peers while thriving and surviving in different organizational climates and culture.

In order to communicate effectively in an organization, one must understand what an organization is, what organizational communication is, and how to communicate within the different networks. An organization can be a group, club, team, or in most cases a place of employment— where most work. An organization can be for profit or nonprofit, but one thing holds true, communication is the key to an organization’s success. Richmond and McCrosky define organizational communication as “the process by which individuals stimulate meaning in the minds of other individuals by means of verbal or nonverbal messages in the context of a formal organization”. Organizational communication is complex and ever changing. Through organizational communication, members of the organization are able to stimulate and formulate ideas, communicate using the organization’s own language, symbols, and use nonverbal gestures to convey a meaning. In order to communicate well, one must understand how communication works. Communication components consists of the source (person who starts the message), the message (either verbal or nonverbal), the channel (how the message is transmitted), the receiver (the person who gets the message), and the feedback (receiver’s response to the message, can be verbal or nonverbal). This process happens quickly. It is important in organizational communication to understand how to pick the right channel for the receiver in order to get the intended message across. Otherwise messages may be misconstrued or the meaning might be lost on the receiver. In additional to knowing the communication process, it is useful to know the different organizational networks: formal and informal. The formal communication network follows the chain of command, and is explicit in regards to who gets what information from who. The informal communication network is an unofficial network and does not follow the chain of command. It follows the rumors and/or gossip. “Until you have access to this informal network, you have not really become a part of the system.” Not only is understanding organizational imperative, but also understanding the organizational environment and culture is just as important.

Effective communication occurs when you understand organizational environments and culture....
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