Chapter 8 Case: Whole Foods
Principles of Organizational Behavior
Discuss how the basic interpersonal communication model that is presented in Figure 8.1 can be applied to the impersonal nature of an online forum. The basic interpersonal communication model deals with a communicator and a receiver. The communicator originates the message while the receiver obtains it. Each has their own perpetual screens. These are what each entity uses to interact with one another. They affect the quality, accuracy and clarity of the communication. The message consists of two primary components. The conceptual component deals with the words, ideas, symbols and concepts which are chosen to relay the message. The emotional component deals with the demeanor, force, intensity and often gestures of the communicator. Once the message has been transmitted from communicator to receiver, feedback may occur. This is when the receiver provides the communicator with a response to the initial message. It completes the cycle of two way communication. This model can be applied to the impersonal nature of an online forum. Much like the basic interpersonal communication model, the communicator would originate the message and the receiver would obtain it. The message would still contain the thoughts and feelings that the communicator intends to stimulate in the receiver. However, the communicator must rely heavily upon the conceptual component rather than the emotional component. Since the message is being conveyed electronically, the communicator will not be able to personalize the delivery of it with non verbal actions. Instead, the communicator must set the tone of the message through word selection, punctuation, capitalization and even font. While most may feel that this limits communications to a very cut and dry approach, the possibilities are in fact endless. For example, posting “have a great day” appears to mean so much more when typed “Have a GREAT day! ” Once the communicator has conveyed their message to the receiver, the receiver can either accept the message and act upon it or offer the communicator feedback. While the presentation of a message can have many different appearances, the important factor will always be whether or not the actual message was understood. I believe that a primary reason for online forums to be so impersonal is due to the potential for the receiver to not interpret the communicator’s data and turn it into information effectively. Written words, no matter how presented, are still in fact just written words. Unless the receiver is already in tune with the communicator, the process of identifying and understanding the message and acting upon it will not be as effective nor efficient had the communication taken place in person. I feel that a significant difference between the interpersonal communication model and an online forum lies within the existence of perceptual screens. When communicating through an online forum, aside from relying upon the conceptual component, there are no other options than to just type a question or response. While perceptual screens can either enhance or hinder the communication process, their absence in online forums can be critical. Simple statements, requests or demands can be misconstrued or misunderstood. When a person is communicating face to face, the opportunity to attempt to fully understand the communicator is available. In an online forum, posts may not happen in a timely fashion and it may take much longer than necessary to have the communicator and receiver on the same page. How does defensive communication enter into this case?
Defensive communication exists in both the basic model and in communication through online forums. In interpersonal communication, the communicator can be overly aggressive in delivering their message. The receiver could depict their message as negative,...