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Organizational Theory and Behavior - Accurate Essays

Organizational Theory and Behavior

Organizational Theory and Behavior

            Communication is the art of sending and receiving messages. For communication to be effective there needs to be a medium in which the communicating parties exchange words, gestures, symbols and signs to pass the intended message. This medium is known as the language. When a communication or a message is distorted, it is due to lack of the mutual understanding between the two parties. This miscommunication is caused by factors known as language barriers. One major barrier is known as ambiguity. Ambiguity is commonly thought of as a communication barrier because the person sending the message and the recipient of the message might be talking about the same thing but interpreting it differently.

For instance, an accountant at ABC limited asks a staff member, “Would you like to verify your account number before the money is sent?” Here, the accountant is courteously asking the staff member to countercheck his account details to avoid his salary being sent to the wrong account. However, the statement has ambiguity since to the staff member it sounds like it has a different meaning. The staff member might interpret the message to mean that he is being asked if he wants to do it. Therefore, the message is not passed correctly (Wood, 2008).

Ambiguity can also be used as a form of deliberate communication in organizations in order to avoid certain drastic effects. For instance, a computer company director might use the words “unrecorded behaviors” while talking to the consumers to refer to errors that occur in his company’s software programs. Another example of ambiguity is where a director of a company might use the words “integration” when addressing his staff about an oncoming merger between his company and another one. In both cases above, the use of ambiguity is for the sole purpose of trying not to stir unwanted emotion by the recipients of the messages (May & Mumby, 2005).

Though it is a barrier to effective communication, ambiguous language might be necessary in cases as the ones above. However, for communication process to be effective messages should be passed directly to their recipients without any sort of distortion or ambiguity (Jablin, & Putnam, 2001).




















Jablin, F. M. & Putnam, L. (2001). The new handbook of organizational communication: advances in theory, research, and methods. Irvin, CA: SAGE.

May, S., & Mumby, D. K. (2005). Engaging organizational communication theory & research: multiple perspectives. Irvin, CA: SAGE.

Wood, J. T. (2008). Communication in Our Lives. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.




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