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|English to Malay translations [Non-PRO]|
Psychology / counseling
Region (source): English (United States)
|English term or phrase: FORMAL AND INFORMAL COMMUNICATION NETWORKS|
|FORMAL AND INFORMAL COMMUNICATION NETWORKS|
Communication networks may also be categorized as formal or informal. Communicating with the president of your university probably requires that you go through specified channels. You probably cannot just dial the president’s number and reach him or her directly. At the very least, you will have to talk first with the administrative staff, who will probably follow particular guidelines to decide whether and how to relay your message. Most organizations have such hierarchical (layered) formal communication networks and channels. For instance, it might be standard practice for the executive director to convey a policy change via memo to the supervisors, who convey it via phone call to the shift leads, who share it with the line staff at a weekly meeting.
Not all groups have formal communications networks, but all groups have informal communication networks. Early in the life of the group, an informal communication structure tends to form based on participation rates, with one or a few members sending and receiving a majority of communications (Davies, 1996). This structure tends to mirror status and attraction patterns in the group (Forsyth, 1999; Shaw, 1964). In other words, higher-status members tend to be more central in the communication structure, sending and receiving more messages, and the patterns of communication in the group usually reflect members’ liking for one another in that members who like one another communicate more frequently.
GRAPEVINES AND GOSSIP
Informal communication networks often arise to make up for shortcomings in the formal network. Such is the case with grapevines-the name for the channels through which gossip, rumors, and other unofficial information travels through the group. Grapevines are often a source of information for those who are left out of the formal communication loop because of their lower status. The clerical staff at my university has a well-functioning grapevine. I am often amazed by what clerical staffpeople know from the staff grapevine. Sometimes they have information well before it makes its way through the formal communication channels. My neighborhoods, in a new housing tract built by a developer, also has a grapevine. The male neighbors have bonded through sharing of information passed along the grapevine. They talk over the fence in their backyards, at the community mail box, and when taking out the trash. They talk about who has what problem with their house, how the developer is dealing with resident complaints and various strategies used to get the developer to act. Information is passed from one person to another until all group members are updated.
Gossip and rumors also travel through the group via the grapevine. Gossip can be defined as news about the affairs of another or as any hearsay of a personal nature, be it positive or negative, spoken or in print (Rosnow & Fine, 1976). Although gossip and rumor are often treated as the same, they can be distinguished in that the basis of rumor is always unsubstantiated, whereas gossip may or may not be based on a known fact (Rosnow & Fine, 1976). Gossip and rumor are frequently considered forms of female communication, and males are rarely said to gossip. However, recent research indicatesthat although we may be less likely to label what males do as gossip, they in fact gossip about as much as females (Harrington & Bielby, 1995; Johnson, 1994; Nevo & Nevo, 1993). For instance, the men in my neighborhood talk about the personal qualities of the developer’s employees and why particular employees have left. They also share information about the people they have seen looking at the houses for sale and what they know about who is moving in. I have never heard what they do call gossip, but I think that if women engaged in the same conversations, their communication would almost certainly be labeled gossip.
Gossip has the potential to both create and destroy social bonds in the group. To be trusted with gossip builds member bonds because it “indicates who is trustworthy and who is not” (Merry, 1984, p. 291). We can feel closer to another member who trusts us enough to share secret information. However, we all know that gossip and rumor can be damaging to a group and to individual members. For instance, mistakenly treating a rumor as fact can lead the group to make a poor decision. Gossiping about other group members may cause damage to their reputations and to member relationships if there is the perception that confidences were violated or that the gossiper’s intention was to harm. This can contribute to conflict and to member dropout.
Despite these problems, gossip is common, and many find it hard to resist. This is because it serves a number of different functions. For instance, we often seek information about others via gossip for purpose of social comparison (for instance, employees may gossip about salaries), and hearing others’ woes can make us feel better about our own situation (Festinger, 1954; Suls, 1977). There is also a certain thrill obtained from gossip because of its forbidden nature. Producers of gossip gain power and status from being able to “manage the news,” while consumers of gossip receive personal pleasure from being “privileged insiders” (Rosnow & Fine, 1976, p. 88). Embedded in gossip we often find information about group norms and values. In other words, hearing some members’ gossip about the behaviour of other members, we learn what is acceptable and unacceptable in the group.
Sharing gossip and secrets about other group members can even enhance the stability of relationships by discharging tension and enlisting the listener’s help in dealing with the other person (McGoldrick, 1998). Gossip may also provide information about other group members that is relevant to group functioning but preserves member dignity. For instance, you may know that one member is dealing with his partner’s cancer diagnosis. When other members gossip about his declining performance, you share your insider information and the complaining members understand and “cut him slack”. Gossip may also fulfill social needs, bringing members together for social interaction and giving diverse members something in common to talk about. In my experience, groups often use gossip to alleviate boredom. In sum, gossip is not all bad. Sometimes we need to talk about other group members, and doing so can contribute to group cohesion, create stonger group identification, and clarify group boundaries (Gluckman, 1963; Nevo & Nevo, 1993).
11 hrs confidence: 1 day9 hrs confidence:
|formal and informal communication networks |
rangkaian perhubungan formal dan informal
formal and informal = "formal dan informal". communication = "perhubungan".
Local time: 10:35
Works in field
Native speaker of: Malay
PRO pts in category: 4
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