Status and Communication

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Introduction
Status, Choice of Communication Channels, Quality of Communication The main idea of Chapter 11, Power and Status, is that power and status can affect the communication and behavior of the employees in the company. Status is a person’s role or position within a group or an organization and it can be earned or awarded to us by our position in the organization. As a matter of fact, there is a connection between communication and status. For instance, as the perceived status differential increases between supervisors and subordinates, the quality of communication decreases. In other words, as the status differences go up, communication goes down, vice versa.

In our point of view, the choice of communication channel is one of the behaviors affected by the status of both parties. We believe that a more indirect method is usually adopted to communicate with upper level of status; and a more direct method is usually adopted to communicate with similar level of status. If the status differences go up and a more indirect communication is adopted, the quality of communication will be affected. Our research aims to investigate how people choose the way to communicate and what the effects are. Research question (RQ) & rationale

How does status affect the choice of communication channel and the quality of communication in customer service industry in Hong Kong?

With this question we want to investigate the different perspectives that senior and junior staff members have towards the choice of communication when communicating with people who have different status. Also, we want to see how the choice of channel affects the quality of communication.

Critical Literature Review
Research question: How does status affect the choice of communication channel and the quality of communication in customer service industry in Hong Kong?

There are three key areas related to the RQ.
1.Different status
There are many levels of employees in an organization. The number of levels is based on the structure of the organization. For example, there may include frontline staff and managerial staff in the organization. Each class of them can be classified as junior and senior position. Different levels of employees would have different status. 2.Communication channels

Communication channels can be classified into direct communication channels and indirect communication channels. Face-to-face communication is an example of direct communication channel while email is an example of indirect communication channel. 3.Quality of communication

During communication, we want to transmit our messages and ideas to others. The quality of communication is about the effectiveness of messages and ideas delivery. The higher quality of communication means the more effective of messages delivery.

Other source of information
Status:
“… Status is our relative social position within a group,” said in 2003-2006 by Dennis O’neil. (http://anthro.palomar.edu/status/stat_2.htm)

Communication channels:
“… for the information in a message to be processed clearly, quickly, and with a minimum amount of degradation, management must establish clear, formal communication channels.” “The communication channel selected for transmitting a message plays a significant role in maintaining the quality of the original message in its passage from the sender to receiver.” “There are three channels: formal, informal, and unofficial. Formal: The communication within the formal organizational structure that transmits goals, policies, procedures, and directions. Informal: The communication outside the formal organizational structure that fills the organizational gaps, maintains the linkages, and handles the one-time situations. Unofficial: The interpersonal communication within (or among) the social structure of the organization that serves as the vehicle for casual interpersonal exchanges, and transmittal of unofficial communications.”...
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