Management Communication: A Case-Analysis Approach (4th Edition)

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9780136079767: Management Communication: A Case-Analysis Approach (4th Edition)

Strategic communication methods that support the development of ethical and effective managers at all levels of business. For professors who know students need effective communication skills to be successful in the business world, this text provides a strategic, yet practical view of managerial communication. In this fourth edition, three dozen case studies are provided to help students see how their new skills would work in a real setting. A new chapter has also been added on Persuasion, examining the science behind influencing decision making in others.
Management Communication in Transition; Communication and Strategy; Communication Ethics; Speaking; Writing; Persuasion; Technology; Listening and Feedback; Nonverbal Communication; Intercultural and International Communication; Conflict Management; Business Meetings; Meeting the Media
Effective communication can make or break an individual career or an entire business. By developing powerful techniques to get their message across, students can learn to turn ideas into action and success.

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From the Inside Flap:

PREFACE

Many years ago, as an Air Force officer assigned to a flight test group in the American Southwest, I had the opportunity to speak with an older (and obviously wiser) man who had been in the flying business for many years. Our conversation focused on what it would take for a young officer to succeed—to become a leader, a recognized influence among talented, trained, and well-educated peers. His words were prophetic: "I can think of no skill more essential to the survival of a young officer," he said, "than effective self-expression." That was it. Not physical courage or well-honed flying skills. Not advanced degrees or specialized training, but "effective self-expression."

In the years since that conversation, I have personally been witness to what young managers call "career moments." Those are moments in time when a carefully crafted proposal, a thorough report, or a deft response to criticism have saved a career. I've seen young men and women offered a job as a result of an especially skillful speech introduction. I've seen others sputter and stall when they couldn't answer a direct question—one that fell well within their area of expertise—during a briefing. I've watched in horror as others simply talked their way into disfavor, trouble, or oblivion.

Communication is, without question, the central skill any manager can possess. It is the link between ideas and action. It is the process that generates profit. It is the emotional glue that binds humans together in relationships, personal and professional. It is, as the poet William Blake put it, "the chariot of genius." To be without the ability to communicate is to be isolated from others in an organization, an industry, or a society. To be skilled at it is to be at the heart of what makes enterprise, private and public, function successfully.

The fundamental premise on which this book is based is simple: communication is a skill which can be learned, taught, and improved. You have the potential to be better at communicating with other people than you now are. It won't be easy, but this book can certainly help. The very fact that you've gotten this far is evidence that you're determined to succeed, and what follows is a systematic yet readable review of those things you'll need to pay closer attention to in order to experience success as a manager.

What This Book Is About. This book will focus on the processes involved in management communication and concentrate on ways in which business students and entry-level managers can become more effective by becoming more knowledgeable and skilled as communicators.

The second premise on which this book is based is also simple: writing, speaking, listening, and other communication behaviors are the end-products of a process that begins with critical thinking. It is this process that managers are called on to employ every day in the workplace to earn a living. The basic task of a manager, day in and day out, is to solve managerial problems. The basic tools at a manager's disposal are mostly rhetorical.

Management Communication supports learning objectives that are strategic in nature, evolving as the workplace changes to meet the demands of a global economy that is changing at a ferocious pace. What you will find in these pages assumes certain basic competencies in communication, but encourages growth and development as you encounter the responsibilities and opportunities of mid-level and higher management, whether in your own business or in large and complex, publicly-traded organizations.

What's Different About This Book. This book is aimed directly at the way most professors of management communication teach, yet in a number of important ways is different from other books in this field.

First, the process is entirely strategic. We begin with the somewhat non-traditional view that all communication processes in successful businesses in this century will be fully integrated. What happens in one part of the business affects all others. What is said to one audience has outcomes which influence others. Without an integrated, strategic perspective, managers in the New Economy will find themselves working at cross-purposes, often to the detriment of their businesses.

Second, the approach offered in Management Communication integrates ethics and the process of ethical decision-making into each aspect of the discipline. Many instructors feel either helpless or slightly uncomfortable teaching ethics in a business classroom. Yet, day after day, business managers find themselves confronted with ethical dilemmas and decisions that have moral consequences for their employees, customers, shareholders, and other important stakeholders.

This text doesn't moralize or preach. Instead, it offers a relatively simple framework for ethical decision-making that students and faculty alike will find easy to grasp. Throughout the book, especially in case studies and role-playing exercises, you will learn to ask questions that focus on the issues that matter most to your classmates and colleagues. The answers won't come easily, but the process of confronting the issues will make you a better manager.

Third, this text includes separate chapters on Listening and Feedback, as well as Communicating Nonverbally, Communicating in Intercultural and International Contexts, and Managing Conflict. These are topics that are often either ignored or shortchanged in other texts. Interpersonal communication skills such as these are clearly central to the relationship-building and personal influence all managers tell us they find indispensable to their careers.

Finally, Management Communication examines the often tenuous but unavoidable relationship that business organizations and their managers have with the news media. A step-by-step approach is presented to help you develop strategies and manage relationships—in both good news and bad news situations. Surviving a close encounter with a reporter while telling your company's story—fairly, accurately, and completely7#151;may mean the difference between a career that advances and one that does not.

The Added Value of a Case Study Approach. You will observe that each chapter of this book contains at least two original, classroom-tested case studies that will challenge you to discuss and apply the principles outlined in the chapter. Some chapters include role-playing exercises. You'll find an appendix entitled "Analyzing a Case Study" that will introduce you to the reasons business students find such value in cases and show you how to get the most from those included in this book. A rich, interesting case study is always an opportunity—to show what you know about business and communication, to learn from your professors and classmates, and to examine the intricate processes at work when humans go into business together. Reading and analyzing a case are always useful, but the more profound insights inevitably come from listening carefully as others discuss and defend their views.

The Rest Is Up to You. What you take from this book and how you use it to become shrewder and more adept at the skills a manager needs most is really up to you. Simply reading the principles, looking through the examples, or talking about the case studies with your friends and classmates won't be enough. You'll need to look for ways to apply what you have learned, to put into practice the precepts articulated by successful executives and discussed at length in this book. The joy of developing and using those skills, however, comes in the relationships you will develop and the success you will experience throughout your business career and beyond. These aren't simply essential skills for learning how to earn a living. They're strategies for learning how to live.

From the Back Cover:

The Second Edition of Management Communication: A Case-Analysis Approach has been updated to include:

  • A completely new chapter devoted to technology.
  • Seven new case studies, including:
    • The Augusta National Golf Club: Membership for Women or Staying the Course?
    • The Soul of Dell: The Value of Corporate Philosophy Statements.
    • Arthur Andersen LLP: An Accounting Firm in Crisis.
    • Vitruvius Sportswear, Inc.: A Question of Online Privacy.
    • Cerner Corporation: A Stinging Office Memo Boomerangs.
    • Hershey Foods, Inc.: It's Time to Kiss and Make Up.
    • Bayer AG: Anthrax and Cipro.
  • New examples, illustrations, and topic discussions in every chapter.
  • Newly revised material to reflect changes in business and society since 9/11.
  • Updated classroom questions and discussion points in every chapter.
  • New writing and speaking assignment in each chapter.
  • Newly revised appendix on "Analyzing a Case Study," and a new appendix on "Writing a Case Study."

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