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Chapter 11 Communication

MULTIPLE CHOICE
1.

Research indicates that poor _____ is probably the most frequently cited source of
interpersonal conflict.
a. motivation
b. leadership
c. training
d. communication
e. hygiene
(d; Moderate; p. 368)
2.

Individuals spend nearly _____ percent of their waking hours communicating.


a. 60
b. 70
c. 80
d. 90
e. 100
(b; Challenging; p. 368)
3.

Communication must include both the _____ and the understanding of meaning.
a. transportation
b. interpretation
c. triaging
d. transference
e. intention
(d; Moderate; p. 368)
Functions of Communication
4.

Formal guidelines and authority hierarchies are examples of which function of


communication?
a. control
b. agreement
c. organization
d. information
e. all of the above
(a; Moderate; p. 368-369)
5.

Communication serves all of the following functions within a group or organization


except _____.
a. motivation
b. planning
c. emotional expression
d. control
e. conveying information
(b; Moderate; p. 368)
6.

Which of the following is the most important function of communication in organizations?


a. motivation
b. control
c. information
d. none of the above
e. all of these factors are important
(e; Moderate; p. 368)

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7.

When employees are required to follow their job description or to comply with company
policies, communication is performing a(n) ______ function.
a. control
b. motivation
c. emotional expression
d. information
e. feedback
(a; Moderate; p. 369)
8.

Clarification to employees about how well they are doing, and what can be done to
improve performance, are examples of which function of communication?
a. information
b. control
c. motivation
d. emotional expression
e. none of the above
(c; Moderate; p. 369)
9.

Which function of communication transmits the data necessary for decision-making?


a. emotional expression
b. information
c. control
d. motivation
e. all of the above
(b; Easy; p. 369)
The Communication Process
10.

The means by which a communication is passed is called _____.


a. a medium
b. a conduit
c. a conductor
d. a transmission
e. Surberism
(a; Moderate; 369)
11.

The receiver of a communication is most likely to _____ a message.


a. explain
b. reproduce
c. reflect
d. translate
e. discard
(d; Easy; 369)
12.

In the communication process, which of the following steps occurs first?


a. transmitting
b. decoding
c. encoding
d. understanding
e. analysis
(c; Moderate; p. 369)
13.

During communication, the _____ initiates a message by encoding a thought.


a. receiver
b. channel
c. sender
d. speaker

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e. leader
(c; Easy; p. 369)
14.

The product of a senders encoding is the _____.


a. channel
b. message
c. transmission
d. medium
e. all of the above
(b; Moderate; p. 369)
15.

The medium through which communication travels is called a _____.


a. transmission
b. message
c. media
d. channel
e. vessel
(d; Moderate; p. 369)
16.

John writes a memo to his employees. Putting his thoughts onto paper is an example of
_____.
a. encoding
b. communicating
c. messaging
d. channeling
e. cryptography
(a; Moderate; p. 369)
17.

What step determines whether understanding has been achieved during the
communication process?
a. decoding
b. feedback
c. channel
d. encoding
e. transmission
(b; Moderate; p. 370)
18.

Formal channels traditionally follow the _____ within an organization.


a. communication chain
b. authority chain
c. influence chain
d. transmission chain
e. social chain
(b; Moderate; p. 370)

19.

A receiver who translates a senders message is engaging in the process of _____.


a. encoding
b. decoding
c. transmission
d. feedback
e. recoding
(b; Moderate; p. 370)
Direction of Communication
20.

The communication used by managers to provide job instructions is _____


communication.

220

a. downward
b. lateral
c. formal
d. directional
e. diagonal
(a; Moderate; p. 370)
21.

Which of the following is an example of downward communication flow?


a. suggestion boxes
b. envelope attitude surveys
c. feedback on job performance
d. identifying with and discussing problems with the boss
e. letters to your senator
(c; Moderate; p. 370)
22.

All of the following are examples of downward communication flows except _____.
a. managers assigning goals
b. managers informing employees of procedures
c. managers pointing out problems that need attention
d. employees completing attitude surveys
e. managers telling employees to work more quickly
(d; Moderate; p. 370)
23.

Suggestion boxes, employee attitude surveys, and grievance procedures are examples
of _____.
a. organizational structure
b. horizontal communication
c. managerial communication
d. upward communication
e. diagonal communication
(d; Easy; p. 371)
24.

Communication that takes place among members of work groups at the same level is
known as _____ communication.
a. tangential
b. cross-functional
c. job
d. lateral
e. downward
(d; Moderate; p. 371)
25.

Which of the following is not an example of upward communication?


a. performance reports prepared by lower management for top management review
b. informing employees of policies
c. suggestion boxes
d. grievance procedures
e. a letter to your boss
(b; Moderate; p. 371)
26.

When can lateral communications create dysfunctional conflict?


a. when the formal vertical channels are breached
b. when members go above or around their superiors to get things done
c. when bosses find out that actions have been taken without their knowledge
d. all of the above
e. none of the above
(d; Challenging; p. 371)

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Interpersonal Communications
27.

Communication messages that are passed through a great many people will most likely
suffer from which of the following?
a. disruption
b. distortion
c. lack of non-verbal cues
d. decoding
e. formal communication decay
(b; Challenging; p. 372)
28.

Memos, letters, e-mail, fax transmissions, and organizational periodicals represent


examples of _____.
a. informal communication channels.
b. formal communication channels.
c. written communication.
d. technological communication.
e. none of the above
(c; Moderate; p. 372)
29.

A sender may most likely choose to use written communication because _____.
a. written communications are tangible and verifiable
b. written messages can be retracted easily
c. the messages can only be stored for short periods of time
d. written messages usually take minimal time to prepare
e. written messages often require additional feedback
(d; Moderate; p. 372)
30.

Which of the following is not a drawback of written messages?


a. Theyre time consuming.
b. They are unlikely to be well thought-out.
c. They lack built-in feedback mechanisms.
d. It is difficult for senders to confirm whether they have been received.
e. They may be misinterpreted by their receivers.
(b; Moderate; p. 372)
31.

Messages conveyed through body movements and facial expressions are _____.
a. body language
b. kinesics
c. physical characteristics
d. connotations
e. semantics
(a; Easy; p. 373)
32.

Facial expressions, physical distance, and looking at your watch are all examples of
_____.
a. kinesics
b. nonverbal communication
c. informal networks
d. verbal communication
e. adaptors
(b; Moderate; p. 373)
33.

All
a.
b.
c.

of the following are examples of nonverbal communication except _____.


intonations or emphasis
instant messaging
physical distance

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d. facial expressions
e. hand gestures
(b; Moderate; p. 373)
34.

Which of the following statements is not a characteristic of nonverbal communication?


a. It includes intonation.
b. Its significance is unproven in explaining and predicting behavior.
c. It can be argued that every body movement has meaning.
d. We rarely send these types of messages consciously.
e. It can convey meaningful information.
(b; Moderate; p. 373)
Organizational Communication
35.

A(n) _____ network of communication would most likely be found in direct-line authority
relations with no deviations.
a. vertical
b. direct
c. chain
d. all-channel
e. box
(c; Moderate; p. 374)
36.

A(n) _____ communication network occurs when a checkout clerk reports to a


department manager, who in turn reports to a store manager, who reports to a regional
manager.
a. direct
b. all-channel
c. vertical
d. chain
e. horizontal
(d; Moderate; p. 374)
37.

When all communication is channeled through one person, a _____ communication


network exists.
a. direct
b. chain
c. lateral
d. wheel
e. box
(d; Moderate; p. 374)
38.

The _____ communication network is best illustrated by an unstructured committee.


a. wheel
b. all-channel
c. interpersonal
d. circle
e. box
(b; Moderate; p. 374)
39.

In a(n) _____ communication network, any network member can communicate with any
other member.
a. wheel
b. all-channel
c. interpersonal
d. circle
e. free

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(b; Moderate; p. 374)


40.

The most effective communication network for facilitating the emergence of a leader is
_____.
a. chain
b. all-channel
c. wheel
d. direct
e. box
(c; Moderate; p. 374)
41.

In one study of the grapevine, it was found that only _____ percent of the executives
participated by passing the information on to more than one other person.
a. 10
b. 15
c. 20
d. 25
e. 30
(a; Challenging; p. 375)
42.

The _____ network best serves to promote high member satisfaction.


a. direct
b. circle
c. wheel
d. all-channel
e. box
(d; Moderate; p. 375)
43.

Which of the following types of networks is most likely to promote accuracy?


a. chain
b. direct
c. wheel
d. all-channel
e. circle
(a; Moderate; p. 375)
44.

An informal communication network is typically called a _____.


a. gossip monger
b. grapevine
c. chain
d. contextual system
e. free acting system
(b; Easy; p. 375)
45.

Which of the following statements most accurately characterizes the grapevine?


a. It is used to serve the self-interests of outsiders.
b. It is perceived as being more reliable than formal communication.
c. It is generally used as an anti-management tool.
d. It is usually inaccurate.
e. It serves as a formal communication channel.
(b; Moderate; p. 375)
46.

Studies have shown that _____ percent of the information transmitted through the
grapevine is accurate.
a. 55
b. 65
c. 75

224

d. 85
e. 100
(c; Moderate; p. 375)
47.

Computer-aided communication includes all of the following except _____.


a. intranet links
b. teleconferencing
c. videoconferencing
d. e-mail
e. extranets
(b; Easy; p. 376)
48.

Rumors would most likely flourish in situations where there is _____.


a. well-communicated change
b. ambiguity
c. a trivial issue at hand
d. assurance by management
e. a chain communication style
(b; Moderate; p. 376)
49.

Which element does not have to be present in order for a rumor to emerge?
a. anxiety
b. importance
c. confidence
d. ambiguity
e. solid deadlines for decisions
(c; Moderate; p. 376)
50.

With regard to the grapevine, a manager should try to _____.


a. ignore it
b. destroy it
c. limit its range and impact
d. use it to your advantage
e. all of the above
(c; Moderate; p. 376)
51.

There is a rumor in your organization that layoffs are inevitable. Which of the following is
the least likely way to reduce the negative consequences of this rumor?
a. Explain decisions that may appear inconsistent or secretive.
b. Emphasize the downside, as well as the upside, of current decisions and future
plans.
c. Discount the rumor.
d. Openly discuss worst case possibilities.
e. Discuss deadlines for decisions.
(c; Moderate; p. 377)
52.

Which of the following is not a benefit of e-mail as a communications tool?


a. E-mail messages can be quickly written, edited, and stored.
b. E-mail messages can be distributed to one person or thousands with a click of a
mouse.
c. They have less emotional content.
d. They can be read at the recipients convenience.
e. none of the above
(c; Moderate; p. 377-378)
53.

_____ are private, organization-wide information networks that look and act like a web
site but to which only people in an organization have access.

225

a. Intranets
b. Extranets
c. Internets
d. Corporatenets
e. all of the above
(a; Challenging; p. 378)
Choice of Communication Channel
54.

When Neal Patterson, CEO of Lerner Corporation sent his seething e-mail to 400
managers, he erred by selecting the wrong_____.
a. channel for his message
b. message
c. distribution
d. emotional charge
e. none of the above
(a; Easy; p. 382)
55.

Which of the following statements is not true regarding face-to-face communication?


a. It has high channel richness.
b. It provides for a maximum amount of information to be transmitted.
c. It usually results in delayed feedback.
d. It offers multiple information cues.
e. It is highly personal.
(c; Moderate; p. 382)

226

56.

A communication channel with greater channel richness is most likely to provide _____
than less rich channels.
a. greater feedback density
b. greater filtering capability
c. greater perceptual wellness
d. larger amounts of information
e. more significant communication barriers
(d; Moderate; p. 382)
Barriers to Effective Communication
57.

When a person manipulates information so that it will be seen more favorably by the
receiver, he is _____.
a. using selective perception
b. filtering information
c. using politically correct communication
d. suffering from communication apprehension
e. using ineffective communication means
(b; Challenging; p. 383)
58.

Which of the following is not a barrier to effective communication?


a. filtering
b. silence
c. selective perception
d. language
e. all of the above are barriers
(b; Moderate; p. 383-385)
59.

Jake tells his boss only what he believes the boss wants to hear. Jake is engaging in
_____.
a. filtering
b. selective perception
c. communication apprehension
d. emotional block
e. selective selection
(a; Moderate; p. 383-384)
60.

Receivers in communication see and hear based on their needs, motivations,


experience, background, and other personal characteristics. This is called _____.
a. communication apprehension
b. filtering
c. selective perception
d. emotional block
e. projection
(c; Moderate; p. 384)
61.

An interviewer who believes female applicants will put family ahead of career is using
_____.
a. prejudice
b. selective perception
c. values judgment
d. filtering
e. projection
(b; Challenging; p. 384)
62.

During the communication process, which of the following is most likely to result in lost
information?

227

a. information processing
b. information overload
c. information filtering
d. effective communication
e. the maximal effort effect
(b; Moderate; p. 384)
63.

Variables that influence the language a person uses include all of the following except
_____.
a. age
b. incentives
c. education
d. cultural background
e. nationality
(b; Moderate; p. 384)
64.

Specialists develop their own technical language, or _____, to aid communication within
their groups.
a. slang
b. culture
c. norms
d. jargon
e. region
(d; Easy; p. 384)
65.

Communication _____ is the tension and anxiety about oral, or written communication,
or both.
a. obstruction
b. apprehension
c. breakdown
d. block
e. frustration
(b; Moderate; p. 385)
66.

If Albert is apprehensive regarding oral communication, which of the following behaviors


is he least likely to display?
a. He prefers to talk on the phone.
b. He distorts the communication demands of his job.
c. He limits his oral communication and then tends to rationalize his behavior.
d. He relies on memos or letters.
e. He avoids face-to-face communication.
(a; Moderate; p. 385)
Current Issues in Communication
67.

Tannens research indicates that men use talk to _____ , while women use it to _____.
a. emphasize status; create connections
b. get promotions; problem-solve
c. establish blame; gossip
d. create networks; emphasize individualism
e. establish interdependence; create relationships
(a; Moderate; p. 385)
68.

Which of the following behaviors are women most likely to demonstrate during
communication?
a. They tend to be more boastful than men.
b. They seek to undermine others.

228

c. They avoid directness and prefer subtlety.


d. They tend to be more covert than men.
e. They apologize less than men do.
(c; Moderate; p. 386)
69.

Which of the following statements is least likely to be true regarding the relationship
between silence and communication?
a. Silence reflects groupthink.
b. Employees express dissatisfaction through silence.
c. Silence can indicate that an individual is upset.
d. Managers use silence to show favoritism.
e. Important messages can be conveyed through silence.
(d; Moderate; p. 387)
70.

Which of the following would be least likely to pose a barrier to cross-cultural


communications?
a. tone difference
b. word connotations
c. semantics
d. political correctness
e. differences among perceptions
(d; Challenging; p. 389-390)
71.

_____ cultures rely heavily on nonverbal and subtle situational cues when
communicating with others.
a. High-context
b. Low-context
c. Neutral context
d. High-content
e. Low-content
(a; Moderate; p. 390)
72.

Individuals from which of the following countries would be most likely to rely essentially
on words to convey meaning?
a. China
b. Saudi Arabia
c. Vietnam
d. Germany
e. Greece
(d; Moderate; p. 390)
73.

Which of the following values is most important to low-context cultures?


a. status
b. directness
c. titles
d. trust
e. space
(b; Moderate; p. 391)
74.
In dealing with cross-cultural communication, a manager might practice putting herself in
the place of the employee, a method termed _____.
a. evaluation
b. empathy
c. complicity
d. commiseration
e. apathy
(b; Moderate; p. 391)

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75.

Which of the following is most likely to help reduce misperceptions when


communicating with people from a different culture?
a. Assume similarity until differences are proven.
b. Emphasize interpretation rather than evaluation and descriptions.
c. See the others point of view.
d. Treat your interpretations as a confirmed hypothesis.
e. Make judgments quickly and decisively.
(b; Challenging; p. 391)
76.

Which of the following is most likely to be true regarding U.S. businesses with overseas
parent companies?
a. Parent companies in high context cultures tend to downplay status.
b. Languages differences promote diversity and creativity on work teams.
c. Managers are rarely required to learn the language of the parent company.
d. U.S. managers communicate successfully by relying solely on body language.
e. Language differences interfere with the effective conduct of business.
(e; Easy; p. 392)
TRUE/FALSE
77.
No group can exist without communication.
(True; Easy; p. 368)
78.

Poor communication is probably the most frequently cited source of interpersonal


conflict.
(True; Easy; p. 368)
79.
Communication must include either the transference or the understanding of meaning.
(False; Challenging; p. 368)
80.
Reading is a form of communication.
(True; Moderate; p. 368)
Functions of Communication
81.
Informal communication can be used to control behavior.
(True; Moderate; p. 369)
82.

Communication provides a release for the emotional expression of feelings and for the
fulfillment of social needs.
(True; Moderate; p. 369)
83.

Of all the functions served by communication, providing information is the most


important.
(False; Challenging; p. 369)
84.

Communication serves four major functions within a group or organization: control,


motivation, information, and agreement.
(False; Moderate; p. 369)
The Communication Process
85.
In the communication process, decoding should precede encoding.
(False; Easy; p. 369)
86.
The means by which a communication is passed is called the conduit.
(False; Moderate; p. 369)

230

87.
Encryption is the process through which a message is converted into symbolic form.
(False; Moderate; p. 369)
88.
The encoder is the object to whom a message is directed.
(False; Easy; p. 370)
89.
When two people are talking, the message that they exchange is referred to as noise.
(False; Moderate; p. 370)
90.
Feedback determines whether a message has been received.
(False; Moderate; p. 370)
91.
The receiver ciphers the communication.
(False; Easy; p. 370)
Direction of Communication
92.
Communication can flow perpendicularly or vertically.
(False; Easy; p. 370)
93.

Within an organization, the channels available for upward communication are generally
very limited.
(False; Moderate; p. 370-371)
94.

When feedback is being given to higher-level individuals in an organization, upward


communication is taking place.
(True; Easy; p. 370)
95.

When information is given to a subordinate, this process occurs through formal


communication.
(False; Easy; p. 370)
96.

Lateral communications are often created to short-circuit the vertical hierarchy within an
organization.
(True; Moderate; p. 371)
97.
Lateral communication can create dysfunctional conflicts.
(True; Moderate; p. 371)
Interpersonal Communication
98.
Oral communication is the chief means of conveying messages among group members.
(True; Easy; p. 371)
99.
The advantages of oral communication are precision and feedback.
(False; Moderate; p. 371)
100.

Oral communications are more likely than written communications to be logical and
clear.
(False; Moderate; p. 372)
101.
Written communication has a built-in feedback mechanism.
(False; Moderate; p. 373)
102.

Examples of nonverbal communication include messages transmitted by facial


expressions and body movements.

231

(True; Moderate; p. 373)


103.

Body language can convey the relative perceived status between a sender and a
receiver.
(True; Easy; p. 373)
104.
Body language tends to make verbal communication less complicated.
(False; Easy; p. 373)
105.

Facial expressions can indicate something quite different from the verbal message that a
sender is communicating.
(True; Easy; p. 373)
106.

During communication, the acceptable amount of physical space between individuals


varies according to cultural norms.
(True, Easy, p. 373)
Organizational Communication
107.
Three common small-group networks are chain, wheel, and global.
(False; Moderate; p. 374)
108.

The all-channel network uses one figure to act as the conduit for all of the groups
communication.
(False; Easy; p. 374)
109.
The grapevine is a type of chain communication.
(False; Moderate; p. 375)
110.

The grapevine is perceived by most employees as being more believable and reliable
than formal communiqus issued by management.
(True; Moderate; p. 375)
111.
Rumors flourish in ambiguous situations.
(True; Moderate; p. 376)
112.

Evidence indicates that about 90 percent of the information conveyed through the
grapevine is accurate.
(False; Challenging; p. 376)
113.

A benefit of e-mail as a communications tool is that it helps keep employees focused on


work.
(False; Moderate; p. 377)
114.

Electronic mail is the ideal method for conveying messages that might evoke emotional
responses.
(False; Moderate; p. 378)
115.

Intranets are electronic networks used to connect international employees with selected
suppliers, customers, and strategic partners.
(False; Moderate; p. 379)
Choice of Communication Channel
116.

Managers can communicate non-routine messages most efficiently through channels


that are lowest in richness.
(False; Moderate; p. 382)

232

117.

Technology-based communication like electronic mail is the least rich form of written
communication.
(False; Moderate; p. 383)
Barriers to Effective Communication
118.
Filtering is most likely to occur in organizations in which there are many vertical levels.
(True; Challenging; p. 384)
119.

Selective perception refers to manipulating information so that it will be seen more


favorably by the receiver.
(False; Moderate; p. 384)
120.

Filtering, selective perception, defensiveness, and silence are all barriers to effective
communication.
(False; Moderate; p. 383-385)
121.

When the information we have to work with exceeds our processing capacity, the result
is selective perception.
(False; Moderate; p. 384)
122.
Individuals have an infinite capacity for processing data.
(False; Easy; p. 384)
123.

A receiver who is experiencing depression may interpret a message differently than a


receiver who is in a positive mood.
(True; Easy; p. 384)
124.

It is estimated that 5 to 20 percent of the population suffers from debilitating


communication apprehension.
(True; Challenging; p. 385)
125.

People who suffer from communication apprehension experience undue tension and
anxiety only in oral communication.
(False; Challenging; p. 385)
Current Issues in Communication
126.

Gender differences between men and women are accepted as rarely creating oral
communication barriers.
(False; Easy; p. 385)
127.
Women typically use talk to gossip, whereas men use it to create individualism.
(False; Moderate; p. 385)
128.
Men are likely to use an indirect communication style to be covert or sneaky.
(False; Moderate; p. 386)
129.
Women tend to view telling a problem as a means to promote closeness.
(True; Moderate; p. 386)
130.
Men are often more covert than women in conversation.
(False; Easy; p. 386)
131.
Silence generally reflects a lack of communication.
(False, Easy, p. 386)

233

132.

When we eliminate words because theyre politically incorrect, we reduce our options for
conveying messages in the clearest and most accurate form.
(True; Easy; p. 388)
133.
Cross-cultural communications may have a barrier caused by tone differences.
(True; Moderate; p. 390)
134.

Individuals in high-content cultures rely heavily on nonverbal and subtle situational cues
to convey meaning.
(False; Moderate; p. 390)
135.

In high-context cultures, enforceable contracts tend to be in writing and precisely


worded.
(False; Moderate; p. 390)
SCENARIO-BASED QUESTIONS
Application of the Communication Process
Mary telephones her employee, Joe, to let him know that todays meeting has been moved to
one oclock.
136.

In the communication process, Mary is:


a. the sender.
b. the receiver.
c. the message.
d. the channel.
e. the encoder.
(a; Easy; p. 369)
137.

The telephone is the:


a. sender.
b. receiver.
c. medium.
d. message.
e. decoder.
(c; Easy; p. 369)
138.

Joe misses the one oclock meeting because he misunderstood which meeting Mary was
referring to. Joe forgot to ask Mary to clarify which meeting she meant. Joes
misunderstanding therefore occurred due to a lack of:
a. encoding.
b. decoding.
c. noise.
d. feedback.
e. channel.
(d; Moderate; p. 370)
Application of Barriers to Effective Communication
Zeus Industries sells satellite television systems. In the past, the company has been highly
successful, and the senior management has created special perks and lavish offices for
themselves. Other employees do not have access to these perks, and their facilities are nondescript.

234

Recently, the company invested heavily in one of the many new technologies available.
Employees tell senior management that this investment was the right choice, but sales keep
decreasing. Some sales employees have also given incorrect information to suppliers, even
though the company has held numerous intensive training sessions to keep sales personnel
apprised of changes in the industry. The company has also received low customer service
ratings from recent consumer surveys. These surveys indicate that customers are frustrated with
the specialized technical knowledge necessary to operate their satellite systems.
139.

Which of the following best characterizes the communication problem occurring between
employees and senior management?
a. filtering
b. sabotage
c. communication apprehension
d. overload
e. selective perception
(a; Moderate; p. 383-384)
140.

The mistakes committed by the sales staff suggest that sales personnel are probably
experiencing which of the following as a result of their intensive training?
a. filtering
b. lack of feedback
c. information overload
d. defensiveness
e. selective perception
(c; Moderate; p. 384)
141.

Zeus Industry customers are most likely having difficulty understanding which of the
following?
a. formal channels of communication
b. industry-related buzzwords or jargon
c. informal channels of communication
d. knowledge gathered from the grapevine
e. rumors originated by company employees
(b; Easy; p. 384)
142.

Which of the following approaches would be most likely to help resolve the
communication problems that the company is experiencing?
a. increased filtering of messages from management to employees
b. increased training of sales staff and customer service employees
c. improved company communication through rich communication channels
d. selective perception by senior management when choosing which concerns to
address
e. increased use of memos and formal reports to communicate policy changes
(b; Moderate; p. 383-385)
Application of Gender Differences in Communication
You sit in on a meeting between two of your managers. The following conversation occurs:
Mary:
I have been thinking all day about which one of the employees should be promoted
to manager. Ralph, Id like to get your opinion about the three possible candidates.
Ralph:
Hire Jackson.
Mary:
Well . . . Id really like to discuss this so that we can both be comfortable with the
decision.
Ralph:
You asked for my opinion. I said that we should hire Jackson. We really need to
get a move on this, Mary. Cant you just make a decision?
Mary:
Im sorrymaybe we can talk later.
Ralph:
Youre sorry? Are you having trouble handling the pressure?

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143.

What of the following best reflects Marys motives in this conversation?


a. Mary is attempting to stall the hiring decision.
b. Mary wishes to make a connection with Ralph before making her decision.
c. Mary is using the dialogue to solicit grapevine information.
d. Mary is attempting to avoid hiring Jackson.
e. Mary is being assertive.
(b; Challenging; p. 385)
144.

This conversation gives support to all the following generalizations except:


a. When men hear a problem, they usually offer solutions.
b. Men often see apologies as a weakness.
c. Women use apologies strategically to avoid the issue.
d. Men tend to use talk to emphasize their status.
e. Women generally look to conversations to provide support.
(c; Challenging; p. 386)
145.

Ralphs direct response to Marys initial statement most likely serves to emphasize his
_____.
a. irritation
b. indecision
c. independence
d. subordination
e. understanding
(c; Moderate; p. 386)
Application of Cultural Context
Brenda is a new employee orientation trainer for a global corporation with subsidiaries all over
the world. She needs to convey information to new employees that will help them understand
the importance of communicating across cultures.
146.

Brenda explains to new employees that _____ cultures, like China and Vietnam, rely
heavily on nonverbal cues.
a. low-content
b. high-content
c. neutral-content
d. low-context
e. high-context
(e; Moderate; p. 390)
147.

Oral agreements imply strong commitments in _____ cultures.


a. low-content
b. high-content
c. low-context
d. high-context
e. neutral-context
(d; Moderate; p. 390)
148.

Brenda should advise new employees to do which of the following when dealing with
others from different cultures?
a. Remember that individuals are similar in many ways.
b. Avoid interpreting anothers actions until you know the full story.
c. Act decisively and quickly to demonstrate your power.
d. Minimize opportunities for feedback.
e. Do your best to avoid conflict.
(b; Moderate; p. 391)

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Harriet has been assigned the task of setting up work teams for a complex software development
project. Each team has different work requirements. Harriet must choose the best structure for
each team, based on its specific requirements.
149.

Team A must operate very quickly to meet stringent deadlines. The quality of the final
project depends highly on Team As output, so Team A must also work very accurately.
Which of the following network structures should Harriet choose for this team?
a. chain
b. wheel
c. grapevine
d. informal
e. all-channel
(b; Moderate; p. 375)
150.

Harriet has been charged with the task of evaluating two employees for possible
promotions. She is interested in learning which employee has the most effective
leadership skills. One of the employees is assigned to Team B, and the other is assigned
to Team C. Which network structure should Harriet choose for these teams if she wishes
to place the two employees in clear leadership positions on the teams?
a. wheel
b. chain
c. concentric
d. all-channel
e. diverse
(a; Moderate; p. 375)
151.

After establishing Team D in a wheel network structure, Harriet receives negative


feedback from members of the team. Many team members express frustration about
working in the group, and most dislike the interpersonal style of the team leader. Which
of the following strategies would most likely help to improve the team members morale?
a. Leaving the team as a wheel network and encouraging team members to share the
leadership responsibility.
b. Restructuring the group as a chain network and replacing the leader with another
group member.
c. Leaving the team leader in place and restructuring the group as a chain network.
d. Transferring the team leader to another group and restructuring the group as an allchannel network.
e. Leaving the team as a wheel network and replacing the team leader with another
group member.
(d; Challenging; p. 375)
SHORT DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
152.

What are the four functions of communication?


Communication serves four major functions within a group or organization:
control, motivation, emotional expression, and information. Communication acts
to control member behavior in several ways. Communication fosters motivation
by clarifying to employees what is to be done, how well they are doing, and what
can be done to improve performance if its sub par. For many employees, their
work group is a primary source for social interaction. Finally, communication
facilitates decision making by providing information. (Page 369)

153.

What are the steps in the communication process model?

237

The seven parts of the communication process are the source, encoding, the
message, the channel, decoding, the receiver, and feedback. The source initiates
a message by encoding a thought. The message is the actual physical product
from the source encoding. The channel is the medium through which the
message travels. The receiver is the object to whom the message is directed. The
symbols must be translated into a form that can be understood by the receiver.
This is the decoding. The final link is a feedback loop. ( Page 369)
154.

Identify and describe the different types of communication flows.


Communication can flow vertically or laterally. The vertical dimension can be
further divided into downward and upward directions. (Pages 370)

155.

Explain the concept of nonverbal communication.


Nonverbal communication includes body movements, the intonations or
emphasis we give to words, facial expressions, and the physical distance between
the sender and receiver. (Page 373)

156.

What is the grapevine?


The informal communication system is the grapevine. While it is informal, it
doesnt mean that it is not an important source of information. A survey found
that 75 percent of employees hear about matters first through rumors on the
grapevine. (Pages 375)

157.

What is channel richness?


Channels differ in their capacity to convey information. Some are rich in that they
have the ability to handle multiple cues simultaneously, facilitate rapid feedback,
and be very personal. Face-to-face conversation scores highest in terms of
channel richness. (Page 382-383)

158.

What is communication apprehension?


Communication apprehension is a major barrier to effective communication.
People who suffer from communication apprehension experience undue tension
and anxiety in oral communication, written communication, or both. (Page 385)

MEDIUM LENGTH DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


159.

What are the three basic methods of interpersonal communication?


The three basic methods of interpersonal communication are oral, written, and
nonverbal communication. The chief means of conveying messages is oral
communication. Speeches, formal one-on-one and group discussions, and the
informal rumor mill or grapevine are popular forms of oral communication.
Written communications include memos, letters, electronic mail, fax
transmissions, organizational periodicals, notices placed on bulletin boards, or
any other device that is transmitted via written words or symbols. Nonverbal
communications includes body movements, the intonations or emphasis we give
to words, facial expressions, and the physical distance between the sender and
receiver. (Pages 371-373)

160.

Discuss the three common small group networks. Evaluate each on their effectiveness.

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The chain rigidly follows the formal chain of command.


This network
approximates the communication channels you might find in a rigid three-level
organization. The wheel relies on a central figure to act as the conduit for all the
groups communication. It stimulates the communication network you would find
on a team with a strong leader.
The all-channel network is most often
characterized in practice by self-managed teams, in which all group members are
free to contribute and no one person takes on a leadership role. The structure of
the wheel facilitates the emergence of a leader. The all-channel network is best if
you are concerned with having high member satisfaction. The chain is best if
accuracy is most important. No single network will be best for all occasions.
(Page 374)
161.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of e-mail?


E-mail messages can be quickly written, edited, and stored. They can be
distributed to one person or thousands with a click of a mouse. They can be
read, in their entirety, at the convenience of the recipient. And the cost of sending
formal e-mail messages to employees is a fraction of what it would cost to print,
duplicate, and distribute a comparable letter or brochure.
Information overload is a drawback. Its not unusual for employees to get a
hundred or more e-mails a day. Reading, absorbing, and responding to such an
inflow can literally consume an employees entire day. In essence, e-mails ease
of use has become its biggest negative. Employees are finding it increasingly
difficult to distinguish important e-mails from junk mail and irrelevant messages.
Another drawback of e-mails is that they lack emotional content. The nonverbal
cues dont come across in e-mail. They can be cold and impersonal. As such, its
not the ideal means to convey information like layoffs, plant closings, or other
messages that might evoke emotional responses and require empathy or social
support. (Page 377)

162.

List and explain four of the barriers to effective communication.


Filtering refers to a senders purposely manipulating information so it will be seen
more favorably by the receiver. Selective perception occurs when receivers
process communication selectively to see and hear based on their needs,
motivations, experience, background, and other personal characteristics. When
the information we have to work with exceeds our processing capacity, the result
is information overload. How the receiver feels at the time of receipt of a
communication message will influence how he or she interprets it. Words mean
different things to different people. Age, education, and cultural background are
three of the most obvious variables that influence the language a person uses and
the definitions he or she gives to words. (Pages 383-385)

163.

How can gender create oral communication barriers?


Men use talk to emphasize status, while women use it to create connection.
Communication is a continual balancing act, juggling the conflicting needs for
intimacy and independence. Intimacy emphasizes closeness and commonalities.
Independence emphasizes separateness and differences. Women speak and hear
a language of connection and intimacy; men speak and hear a language of status,
power, and independence. So, for many men, conversations are primarily a
means to preserve independence and maintain status in a hierarchical social
order. For women, conversations are negotiations for closeness in which people
try to seek and give confirmation and support. Men are also more direct than
women in conversation. Women tend to be less boastful than men. Finally, men
often criticize women for seeming to apologize all the time since they see the

239

phrase Im sorry as a weakness. They interpret the phrase to mean the woman
is accepting blame. (Page 385-386)
164.

Discuss four ways to reduce misinterpretations when communicating with people from a
different culture.
The following four rules can be helpful when communicating with people from
different cultures.
1. Assume differences until similarity is proven. You are less likely to make an
error if you assume others are different from you rather than assuming
similarity until differences are proven.
2. Emphasize description rather than interpretation or evaluation.
Delay
judgment until youve had sufficient time to observe and interpret the
situations from the differing perspectives of all the cultures involved.
3. Practice empathy. Before sending a message, put yourself in the recipients
shoes.
4. Treat your interpretations as a working hypothesis. Recognize that you need
further testing of your hypothesis. Carefully assess the feedback provided by
recipients to see if it confirms your hypothesis.
(Page 391)

COMPREHENSIVE ESSAYS
165.

Describe the communication process. Include the communication process model and
explain the seven parts of this model.
Before communication can take place, a purpose, expressed as a message to be
conveyed, is needed. It passes between a source (the sender) and a receiver. The
message is encoded (converted to a symbolic form) and passed by way of some
medium (channel) to the receiver, who retranslates (decodes) the message
initiated by the sender. The result is a transference of meaning from one person
to another. The seven parts of the communication process are the source,
encoding, the message, the channel, decoding, the receiver, and feedback. The
source initiates a message by encoding a thought. The message is the actual
physical product from the source encoding. The channel is the medium through
which the message travels. The receiver is the object to whom the message is
directed. The symbols must be translated into a form that can be understood by
the receiver. This is the decoding. The final link is a feedback loop. (Page 369)

166.

Contrast the advantages and disadvantages of oral versus written communication.


The advantages of oral communication are speed and feedback. A verbal message
can be conveyed and a response received in a minimal amount of time. If the
receiver is unsure of the message, rapid feedback allows for early detection by the
sender and, hence, allows for early correction.
The major disadvantage of oral communication surfaces in organizations or
whenever the message has to be passed through a number of people. The more
people a message must pass through, the greater the potential distortion. The
messages content, when it reaches its destination, is often very different from
that of the original. In an organization, where decisions and other communiqus
are verbally passed up and down the authority hierarchy, there are considerable
opportunities for messages to become distorted. The advantages of written
communications include that they are often tangible and verifiable. When printed,
both the sender and receiver have a record of the communication and the
message can be stored for an indefinite period. If there are questions concerning
the content of the message, it is physically available for later reference. This
feature is particularly important for complex and lengthy communications. A final

240

benefit of all written communication comes from the process itself. Youre usually
more careful with the written word than the oral word. Youre forced to think more
thoroughly about what you want to convey in a written message than in a spoken
one. Thus, written communications are more likely to be well thought out, logical,
and clear. Written messages also have their drawbacks. Theyre time consuming.
So, although writing may be more precise, it also consumes a great deal of time.
The other major disadvantage is feedback, or lack of it. Oral communication
allows the receiver to respond rapidly to what he thinks he hears. Written
communication, however, does not have a built-in feedback mechanism. The
result is that the mailing of a memo is no assurance it has been received, and, if
received, there is no guarantee the recipient will interpret it as the sender
intended. The latter point is also relevant in oral communiqus, except its easy in
such cases merely to ask the receiver to summarize what youve said. An accurate
summary presents feedback evidence that the message has been received and
understood. (Pages 371-373)
167.

Describe and discuss specific problems related to cross-cultural communication. Include


cultural barriers and cultural context.
There are four specific problems related to language difficulties in cross-cultural
communications. First, there are barriers caused by semantics. Second, there are
barriers caused by word connotations. Third are barriers caused by tone
differences. Fourth, there are barriers caused by differences among perceptions.
Cultures tend to differ in the importance to which context influences the meaning
that individuals take from what is actually said or written versus who the other
person is. High-context cultures rely heavily on nonverbal and subtle situational
cues when communicating with others. What is not said may be more significant
than what is said. A persons official status, place in society, and reputation carry
considerable weight in communications. People in low-context cultures rely
essentially on words to convey meaning. Body language or formal titles are
secondary to spoken and written words. (Pages 389-391)

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