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HR Essay Example: Interpersonal Communication and Miscommunication

4 pages
839 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
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Conversation Summary

Nokia general manager instructed the research and development department to establish approaches of improving Nokia 8 functionality through better and innovative technology that can make the new product more affordable for the consumers to increase demand and sales for the new product. However, due to lack of specificity of the elements of the Nokia 8 that the research and development department was to focus on as well as the roles of different people in the project made it futile for the research development department to implement the plan and realize any results. Further, the general manager did not specify any resources that were to be invested towards the project.

Conversation analysis

Good communication plays a significant role in the success of an organization by promoting efficiency. Miscommunication in an organization communication is a significant source of employee conflict, employee morale, and turnover. However, miscommunication poses a significant threat to the organization because most of the employees and managers are not aware of the miscommunication until it is pointed out or it results in negative impacts to the organization (Jackson & van den Hooff, 2012).

Interpersonal communication

Interpersonal communication refers to the process through which people exchange information, meaning, and feelings through both verbal and nonverbal approaches of face to face communication. Encoding is an important step in interpersonal communication because it is the process through which a message is produced. The message was communicated to the audience through a departmental meeting which was addressed by Nokia general manager. The encoding process of the message was effective because the general manager used simple English and words which is the common and official language of the organization. However, the encoding process did not account for the need of specificity in encoding the message which led to confusion of individual employee's role in the department. On the other hand, the decoding process refers to how the respondent interprets the message. The decoding process of the message above was the major cause of miscommunication in the communication. The message lacked definite purposes for each and also lacked financial support to make the directive by the manager actionable. Despite the personnel in the research and development department understanding the message it further led to confusion because it lacked audience specificity (Jackson & van den Hooff, 2012).

The message was not hindered by any physical noise because the meeting was held in a serene environment. Physiological noise is the changes in the physical characteristics of an individual that can hinder the communication process. Physiological news can vary from the physical distance between the communicators to the physical behavior and portrayal of the speaker. In this case, physiological was not the cause of the miscommunication in Nokia. On the other hand, the psychological news is the notions such as racial stereotypes, assumptions and the reputation of the speaker which can hinder communication. In this case, the assumption was the major cause of miscommunication because the people in the department assumed they understand the message whereas the speaker also assumed that their message was clear. The semantic noise was also a significant cause of miscommunication due to the ambiguous nature of the words used in the message (Johnson et al., 2017). The manager used general words that lacked specific addresses and items like the number of resources to use in the project. Finally, the employees ability to filter lifetime experiences played a significant role in the miscommunication. Lifetime experiences refer to the values, attitudes, and expectations of individuals which accumulate and become knowledge (Frank, 2016). In this case, the employees are used to getting further clarification of project outlines through a memo that the manager failed to provide which led to the project to stall.

Strategies to increase shared meaning and reduce miscommunication

The manager could have increased shared meaning with the employees in the research and development department by maintaining a feedback communication channel through which employees can ask questions and clarification. On the other hand, the manager should have used the framework approach to deliver the messages. A framework approach includes; inspire, educate and reinforce elements. The message should have elements that can inspire the employees and make it more memorable, goal oriented and build optimism and curiosity amongst employees to promote their contribution to a project (Johnson et al., 2017). The message should have and education element, such a message should be able to educate and provide guidance elements for the project execution which was lacking in the Nokia 8 communication. Finally, a good communication strategy should be able to reinforce the best practices and organization objectives which further promotes clarification of the message.



Frank, A. (2016). Language in the Workplace. Interactions and Miscommunication.

Jackson, T. W., & van den Hooff, B. (2012). Understanding the factors that affect information overload and miscommunication within the workplace. Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences, 3(8), 1240-1252.

Johnson, Z. D., LaBelle, S., & Waldeck, J. H. (2017). Interpersonal Communication in Instructional Settings. A Cautious Approach to Reliance on Interpersonal Communication Frameworks: The Importance of Context in Instructional Communication Research. Communication Education, 66(1), 115-117.


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