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Commerce 2BA3: Communication and Individual Decision Making Week 5 & 6 Dr. T. McAteer DeGroote School of Business McMaster University Communication • Opening Exercise • Basic Model of Communication What is communication? • The process by which information is exchanged between a sender and a receiver • Effective communication is when the right people receive the right information in a timely manner Organizational Communication • Chain of Command – Lines of authority and formal reporting relationships – Upward, downward, horizontal communication • Deficiencies of the Chain of Command – Failure to consider informal communication – Filtering (messages are watered down) – Slowness Barriers to Effective ManagerEmployee Communication • Conflicting role demands – Manager must attend to both task and socioemotional functions • The mum effect – The tendency to avoid communicating unfavourable news to others The Grapevine • An organization’s informal communication network • Pros – Can keep employees informed – Provide a test of employee reactions to proposed changes – Adds a little interest and diversion to work setting • Cons – Pipeline for rumours Non-verbal Language • The transmission of messages by some medium other than speech or writing • Body language • Office Décor and Arrangement • Clothing Gender Differences in Communication • • • • • • • Getting credit Confidence and boasting Asking questions Apologies Feedback Compliments Indirectness Information Richness INFORMATION MEDIUM Face to face INFORMATION RICHNESS Highest Telephone High Written, personal Moderate Written, formal Low Numeric format (computer output) lowest How to communicate effectively… • Take the time • Be accepting of the other person • Do not confuse the person with the problem • Say what you feel • Listen actively • Give timely and specific feedback Discussion Question • What could organizations do to improve communication??? Discussion Question • 360 Degree Feedback • Employee surveys and feedback • Suggestion systems • Telephone hotlines, TV Networks and Intranets • Management Training Individual Decision Making Decision Making • Opening Exercise • The process of developing a commitment to some courses of action The Rational Decision Making Process • Identify problem • Search for relevant information • Develop alternative solutions to the problem • Evaluate alternative solutions • Choose best solution • Implement chosen solution • Monitor and evaluate chosen solution Perfect vs. Bounded Rationality • Perfect rationality – A decision strategy that is completely informed, perfectly logical, and oriented towards economic gain • Bounded rationality – A decision strategy that relies on limited information and that reflects time constraints and political considerations Framing & Biases • Framing – Aspects of the presentation of information about a problem that are assumed by decision makers • Cognitive Biases – Tendencies to acquire and process information in an error-prone way Bounded rationality can lead to…. • Problems with problem identification – Perceptual defence (defend against unpleasant perceptions) – Problems defined in terms of the solution – Problems defined in terms of symptoms Problems with information search…. • Too little information – Confirmation bias • Too much information – Information overload Problems with evaluation of alternatives….. • Anchoring – The inadequate adjustment of subsequent estimates from an initial estimate that serves as an anchor • Satisficing – Establishing an adequate level of acceptability for a solution to a problem and then screening solutions until one that exceeds this level is found Problems with solution evaluation…. • Escalation of Commitment – The tendency to invest additional resources in an apparently failing course of action – Examples???