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Week 5 - Assignment #1

Octavial Robinson Principal of Organizational Behavioral July 31, 2011


Discuss how the basic interpersonal communication model that is presented in Figure

8.1 can be applied to the impersonal nature of an online forum. Interpersonal communication means transmitting a message from one person to another. Interpersonal communication is found in different roles and areas of our lives. How we communicate in most cases makes up what other people think and observe of us. Poor communication often is the main problem in a troubled relationship, both professional and personal. To better understand communication a person must acknowledge many different aspects, including speech, body language, and context. Context, time, place, or occasion when communicating, plays a very large role in transmitting a message. Without the right information, a message could be misinterpreted as the opposite as it was intended. . A sender or the person originating the message exists in an online forum as does a receiver, the person receiving the message. There is a two-way communication as there is interaction between a sender and receiver, although a delay in responding could alter the intent of the message received. In an online forum, it is difficult to know if the perceptual screens, the quality, accuracy, and clarity of the messages are received in the way intended. The online forum is impersonal, the transmission of thoughts is void of the important nonverbal elements of communication, and the intent could often be distorted based on the individual traits, experiences, and cultural differences of the communicators. Feedback usually occurs in an online forum, although it is not always and immediate response. Reflective listening, the skill of carefully listening to another person and repeating back to the speaker the message you heard correctly any inaccuracies or misunderstandings is often a lost art in the online forums. (Nelson/Quick, 2010) 2. How does defensive communication enter into this case?

Defensive communication is defined in the text book, as communication that can be aggressive, attacking, and angry, or passive and withdrawing. John Mackey used defensive communication in the online forum. How? His defenders said his comments were anonymous, boastful, provocative, and impulsive. When people receive defensive communications they usually themselves retaliate with their own defensive forms of communication. Defensive communication is usually a vicious, senseless and more often than not, leads to injured feelings and pain. John Mackey should have realized the negative impact his comments would have on his customers his company and anyone associated with Wild Oats Market, Inc. Thats probably why he used a fake name, so that he wouldnt be found out. This was an intentional abusive, deceptive, defensive tactile communication. (Nelson/Quick, 2010) 3. How is the Internet transforming the way people communicate?

The internet has transformed communication. One change of the internet is the face to face communication. Internet has changed the importance and quality of communicating face to face. People can communicate via email, social networking websites and the now, video conferencing. Communication is increasing in frequency but it is decreasing in quality since no is hardly communicating anymore with good old-fashioned face to face talking. The internet challenges the ability to create or maintain a trust relationship. The internet reaches farther in distance, in a shorter timeframe, and to a much larger audience than personal conversations and non-electronic communication modes can accomplish. The access of the advanced electronic technologies surprisingly, has relatively little impact on work culture, but they do influence effective, successful communication and affect behavior. (Nelson/Quick, 2010)

Another effect of the internet on communication is the creation of virtual identities. Just like John Mackeys case with Whole Foods using the fake name, Rahodeb, instead of his real name. He was able to do this because he wasnt face to face with someone where he could have been able to use his real name, honestly. Its easier to deceive someone when youre not directly in front of them on the internet; the internet makes that possible. 4. Discuss the ethical problems that are revealed by examining John Mackey's online

postings in relation to the communications provision of the Whole Foods Declaration of Interdependence? Whole Foods Declaration of Interdependence states, our ability to instill a clear sense of interdependence among our various stakeholdersis contingent upon our efforts to communicate more often, more openly, and more compassionately. Better communication equals better understanding and more trust. First, mistake was when he posted an online forum with a false identity. He hid his true identity which halted open communication from the CEO of the company to the masses. He portrayed wrong perceptions of OATs thus creating an ethical dilemma. Second mistake, he openly slandered OATs which is a contradiction to compassionate communication as promised by the company. His actions caused people to mistrust him and his company instead of trust in him which is opposite of their Declaration of Independence.