The Nature of Organizational Communication
"In any exhaustive theory of organization, communication would occupy a central place."
Chester I. Barnard
"All human action takes place in a cross-fire of information."
"Communication is a good deal more talked about than understood."
The purpose of this book is to familiarize the reader with the main concepts, viewpoints, and research findings and applications in the field of organizational communication. Our focus in this book is on the ways in which organizational structure affects communication behavior, and vice. versa.
We discuss, for example, how structure can restrict communication flows, leading to problems of distortion and omission, and how solutions to these difficulties can in turn lead to information overload. The existence of informal communication behavior, typified by rumors, and of informal communication roles, such as liaisons and gatekeepers in communication networks, suggests that the formal structure in an organization far from completely determines communication behavior. Furthermore, such approaches as "office landscaping" imply that communication behavior can occasionally determine organizational structure. Instead of viewing an organization as a completely stable structure, we show how external communication across its boundary with the environment is essential to its functioning, and especially to the innovation process. Our use of open system theory directs us to emphasize information exchange with the organization's environment, as well as communication flows within the organization.
So this book is about communication, but about a rather special kind of communication, viz., that occurring in highly structured settings. Generally, communication scholars have avoided studying the way in which structure affects human interaction. Perusal of communication research literature, at least prior to the 1970s
Communication in Organizations
- Free Press |
- 224 pages |
- ISBN 9780029267103 |
- March 1976
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