Navigating the Business Communication Environment

MGT 354 Navigating the Business Communication Environment

The Shaping of the Business Environment today and thus Business Communications

  • Business Communications are influenced by the environments in which they are created & interpreted.  The environment is influenced by 5 areas:
  1. Technology
  2. Trends (example –globalization or green movement)
  3. National Culture (example- how culture views ethics
  4. Corporate Culture
  5. Individual Behaviors –individual’s personal preference

  • Ethics-According to the Ethics Resource Center, the most frequent misconducts are unethical or illegal behavior involving:

Abuse of company resources & abusive behavior

Lying to employees or stakeholders

Email or internet abuse

Conflicts of interest


Employee benefits violations

Health or safety violations

Employee privacy breech

Improper hiring practices

Falsifying time or expenses

Each employee should practice ethical behavior in all aspects of their job including communication – include all the facts and don’t twist them, site or acknowledge, sources, insure the audience understands the communication and its implications.

*If you are in a situation you are not sure how to handle – ask for legal help through your company

Practicing good ethics will – attract customers and employees

Having a benevolent view point will broaden company’s view of society and give greater opportunity for innovation by bringing to their attention unmet needs besides promoting customer goodwill.

Benevolent – (Random House Dictionary definition)

1) desiring to do good to others

2) intended for benefits rather than profit.

  • Corporate culture –

Formal – individual offices, more formal dress code, hierarchical chain of command.

Informal– open office space, casual dress code, flat organizational structure

             Popular Corporation Cultures include profit sharing, good training, health

             insurance & wellness programs.

  • Interpersonal Communication –

Listening –pay close attention, acknowledge what was said, and paraphrase

Conversational Style –fast or slow, rate of turn-taking, rate of topic shifting

  • Nonverbal Communication
  1. Spatial Cues – the size, placement, and privacy of your office
  2. Body Language – facial expressions, eye contact, posture, gestures, body positions – OPEN vs. CLOSED
  3. Social Signals (new p. 96) tone of voice, gestures, proximity to others, facial expressions

In Business – most successful employees are energetic, positive, talk more but also listen more and draw others out.

  • Networking – ability to connect with many different kinds of people – need to use for not only getting hired for a job but to perform your job duties (get help, get information, and find materials). Need to network before you need help.
  • Time Management –

Prioritize your time and tasks and allocate appropriate amount of time to each task.

ü  Keep lists, do larger, important tasks first and then fill in around with smaller tasks

ü  Break large tasks into smaller ones

ü  Determine what you will do tomorrow at the end of the day

  • Multitasking – often just switching from one task to another.

  • Trends in Business Communications- 11 trends from text + 2 added

o   Focus on Quality & Customer’s Needs-customer satisfaction leading indicator of financial success.

Example – name a successful restaurant – TX Roadhouse serves provides quality food and good service at a reasonable price.

o    Diversity – other example of diversity- everyone pitching in & knowing how to do several jobs

   Teamwork- team members need to be diverse -need each team member’s talents, expertise to come up with best ideas, solutions, and implementations. Must be able to work with anyone regardless of differences.

   Diversity of a committee or work group would include having staff representing different work areas, different departments, different shifts, different areas or types of experience, different amounts of time with the company, in addition to the normal variants of diversity we usually think to include.

o   Globalization and Outsourcing- requires international communication abilities, knowledge of customs.  Outsourcing = outside the company Off-Shoring= outside the country.  Globalization – now not just doing business around the world but having offices, factories, etc.

o   Balancing Work and Family- flextime, telecommuting, family leave.

 Flip side- new communication technology makes employee available 24/7 so no free time and with global time differences, may have to be available at unconventional times.

o   Teamwork- used to solve problems, make decisions.

Cross-functional teams = (different departments or job areas)

Cross –cultural teams

o   Job Flexibility- won’t do same job everyday or do whatever needs to be done for the situation- requires Lifelong Learning & autonomy

o   Rapid Rate of Change – always need to learn & stay flexible

o   Innovation & Entrepreneurship – without innovation will go out of business.

 Intrapreneurs (within an organization)

o   Data Security – hackers, smart phones, lost or stolen flash drive or laptop, flash drive – steal secrets, phishing messages to get personal info or credit card info or persuade to send money

o   Electronic Privacy – review employees email, monitor internet usage, block websites, video surveillance, time on phone and #’s dialed, review computer files. GPS chips in company phone or car, postings on Facebook, blogs, Twitter

o   Protection of and investing in the environment/green technology

o   Apps

o   Clouds