Business Communication the Business Environment Is Analyzed Literature Review Chapter

Pages: 12 (3383 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 30  ·  Level: Doctoral  ·  Topic: Communication

Business Communication

The business environment is analyzed by numerous research studies that intend to understand the rules that determine business behavior, its factors of influence, and some of the most important effects of these factors. Communication is one of the elements that are intensely addressed by the literature in the field. The importance of communication in the business environment relies on its effects on companies, business owners, and their employees.

Communication within companies is used in planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. Communication and informational flows are different in each company, in accordance with its size, activity, and objectives. Therefore, it is important to study theoretical aspects of business communication before designing the communications model that needs to be implemented within companies.

When studying business communication, it is important to refer to the two types of communication: oral and written communication. Oral communication is either formal or informal, and takes the form of meetings, group discussions, speeches, and others. Written communication refers to agendas, manuals, and reports.

Literature Review

The literature in the field provides useful information on business communication and related issues. The approaches presented by these sources vary from description of the process, to recommendations on how to develop a successful communicational system, to factors of influence regarding communication in the business environment. There are numerous books that address business communication. For example, Business Communication, published within the Harvard Business Essentials series is intended to address communication from an individual point-of-view. The book is organized as a guide that can be used by businessmen, managers, employees in developing their communication skills, and becoming efficient communicators in the relationship with their business partners, colleagues, and subordinates. The book provides several examples of how the communication process should be organized and controlled (Luecke, 2003).

The interesting aspect about this book is that it presents some of the most important principles that must be taken into consideration when analyzing the communication process. The principles discussed by the authors are represented by the audience focus principle, the clarity of purpose, focusing on the topic, economy of words, and key messages principle. The methods that this book investigates refer to the questioning, the traditional, the brainstorm outline, the free writing, and the work scoping method. The writers develop these efficient communication strategies. This book is useful for trainers that provide communication teaching classes, and for students that are interested in approaching this subject. This guide can also be used by managers that want to improve communication within their companies by developing suitable strategies.

Peter Hartley and Clive G. Brukmann propose a more complex and comprehensive point-of-view on business communication. Their book titled Business Communication starts by discussing the fundamentals of communication. In addition to addressing business codes in communication, the authors also provide a process model of communication (Hartley & Bruckmann, 2002).

Different approaches to communication are presented in the book written by Mary Ellen Guffey and her colleagues. The writers focus on discussing communication in groups and teams, in analyzing the writing process, and on discussing business correspondence (Guffey et al., 2010). The writers also address intercultural communication.

There are several theories on communication that follow different approaches in accordance with their scope and period of development. Although it might seem surprising, the theory of communication was first addressed by Aristotle. The philosopher tried to develop a communication theory in the Rhetoric, where Aristotle described communication from the point-of-view of an orator that must address large audiences. His work is somewhat relevant in the field, but the model proposed by Aristotle included a reduced number of elements. The communication model developed by Aristotle is represented bellow:

Aristotle communication model

In modern periods, the first communication model was proposed by the U.S. As a result of the influence of politics, films, and radio. Sociology and psychology also contributed to developing this model. This model was a simple one and is represented by sender -- channel -- message -- receiver. This communication model was continuously developed. The concept of feedback was added to this model. In addition to this, scientists addressed the fact that receivers usually perceive, interpret, and retain messages on a selective basis (Saha, 2007).

Another important communication model was developed by the political scientist Harold Laswell. This model takes into consideration numerous factors that are considered to have a significant impact on communication (Croft, 2004). However, there are certain limitations to this model. This is because Laswell did not include factors like noise, field of experience, language used during the communication process, and others. The communication model developed by Laswell is presented bellow:

Shannon and Weaver have developed these communication theories by identifying common aspects they address and by expanding them. Therefore, they introduce several elements to Aristotle's model. These elements refer to the transmitter, the receiver, and the sources of noise. Although this model seems to refer to telecommunications, it is obvious that it can be expanded to all fields that involve communication (Maier et al., 2009).

Shannon and Weaver communication model

Independent communication models were addressed b other scientists also. Wilbur Schramm has developed numerous communication models that are intended to respond to different questions regarding communication. For example, Schramm focused some of its models to taking into consideration the field of experience of the sender and of the receiver involved in the communication process (Kaul, 2009). The importance of this issue is represented by the fact that the sender encodes the message in accordance with its field of experience. But the correct decoding of the message by the receiver depends on the differences between their fields of experience.

Schramm's contribution to the field of communication also refers to addressing the concept of feedback from the receiver to the sender. The model developed by Schramm represents communication as a continuous process of messages and feedback. In other words, the model proposed by Schramm is based on interaction.

Schramm's communication model

Other communication models are more developed and address communication from a complex point-of-view. For example, the Westley-MacLean model can be applied in mass and interpersonal communication (Fiske, 1990). In addition to this, the model is focused on developing and elaborating the feedback concept. This model states that the message is influenced by the knowledge of the audience and its feedback.

Westley-MacLean communication model

Referring to communication, Kincaid developed a convergence model where communication is considered to be a process that consists in participants creating and sharing information with the objective of reaching some understanding level. According to this model, this understanding model is influenced by the cycles of information sharing. In addition to this, the convergence model presents communication as a dynamic and cyclical process. In the scientist's opinion, this process is characterized by mutual causation, and by the relationships between participants (Gudykunst & Mody, 2002).

Kincaid's convergence model

As mentioned above, there are numerous theories on communication that various specialists in the field have developed in accordance with different objectives. For example, John Greene has developed the action assembly theory. This theory is intended to provide an explanation of the mental processes that take place in order for the sender to develop and transmit a message to the receiver. In other words, Greene is basically interested in describing the relationship between cognition and behavior, and on assembling verbal behavior (Greene, 1989). He also addresses several factors that influence this situation.

Interesting theories on communications have been developed by other scientists also. For example, Marshall Scott Poole has worked on developing the adaptive structuration theory that refers to group and public communication and group decision making. In Poole's opinion, structuration refers to the production and reproduction of social systems by the rules and resources used by individuals in their interaction (Poole, 2011).

The writer focused much of his work on this subject because of its importance that relies on the fact that communication seems to be one of the most important factors that must be taken into consideration when groups make decisions. In other words, the quality of structure refers to the fact that the rules and resources discussed above, are used by members of the group in case and affect their decisions. Therefore, these structures are affected by their decisions.

Fritz Heider has developed the attribution theory in communication. The attribution theory refers to individuals' judgment when others are communicating something. According to Heider, attribution is a three step process. These steps include perception of the action, judgment of intention, and attribution of disposition (Heider, 2011). In this process, other individuals are perceived as causal agents. In Heider's opinion, attributions depend on perceived freedom of choice.

In addition to these aspects, Heider also addresses special cases of attribution, like self-perception. Heider also provides an outlook on the critiques addressed to his theory. His work represents the starting point for significant research in the field, and Heider is trying to help his peers investigate the subject by identifying several questions that must be answered by further research. Heider's work is also useful because it details the steps of attribution,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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