Barriers to Effective Communication

Topics: Communication, Information, Information theory Pages: 7 (2071 words) Published: April 23, 2011
Table of Contents
What barriers to effective communication do you detect in this case?2
Perception barrier2
Personal barrier3
Information overload / Work overload3
Gender barrier4
Language barrier - Ambiguity4
Is anyone wrong in this situation? By what other means could Randell have requested the information from Tom Ballard? What do you think of Tom Ballard’s reaction? Why?6
Tom Ballard6
Leigh Randall7
While communicating information vertically up or down the organization does not present a major problem, why is horizontal communication more difficult to attain? Give your recommendations to improve communication in this organization.8

Horizontal communication8

What barriers to effective communication do you detect in this case? Communication means "Any act by which one person gives to or receives from another person’s information about that person's needs, desires, perceptions, knowledge, or affective states. Communication may be intentional or unintentional, may involve conventional or unconventional signals, may take linguistic or nonlinguistic forms, and may occur through spoken or other modes." (National Joint Committee for the Communicative Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities, 1992, p. 2)

Communication barriers in the given case
* Perception barrier
* Personal barrier
* Information overload / Work overload
* Gender barrier
* Language barrier
* Communication channel
Perception barrier
“Perception barrier is the process of receiving information about and making sense of the world around us.”(S.L Mcshane.2006, p.86) Perhaps Tom dislikes Randell. It is implied in his statement. It is true that Tom also had ideas to upgrade the system and Kent is also said to be aware of it. (“You know I’ve also had ideas on how to improve the system for quite some time.”) So Tom was adamant in his opinion on changes to the system. And he dislikes others’ opinions because he doesn’t want to change his own. Tom thinks that his understanding of the organization is better than Randell. Tom seems to ignore that Randell has seven years of experience in the same field. Perhaps Tom must have thought that if he gives the necessary information to Randell, she will attract the attention of the management and will be prominent above all. Therefore he must have refrained from giving information. Personal barrier

Tom Ballard works in the Passenger Services Department as a representative and Leigh Randell works in the In – flight Service Department as a supervisor. Tom didn’t care to give the necessary information to Randell because she worked in a different department in the same organization. The connection between the two departments was less. So he didn’t believe her. In an organization, there should be an effective system of communication to build trust among the employees. Therefore the level of interpersonal trust is very low between Randell and Tom. And the level of poor listening skills of Tom has also affected the communication between them. After getting Randell’s memo Tom could have talked with Randell about the matter.

Information overload / Work overload
“Information overload is a condition in which the volume of information received exceeds the person’s capacity to process it.” (McShane.2006, p.347) According to Tom’s statement he had been busy for the last two months. So, it can be the reason why he didn’t answer Randall’s memo. At the same time, he had regarded Randell’s opinions as wrong. He said that he also had ideas to improve the system. And also he has more experience in the same airline than Randell. Because of his work load and his experience he must have thought that the information she requested was not very important. He further stated that he had got a job to do. Therefore, we can estimate that his work load can be greater too.

(Appendix A)

Gender barrier
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