Core Communication Concepts

Core Communication Concepts(QUT readings)

Week 3


Secondary Source: Lewicki, Barry and Saunders (2010)

Verbal Communication

Verbal Communication

Communication which is coded through words of a languageSymbols: Words are symbols so meaning is conveyed symbolically Thought: Thought is the image in your mindReferent: Referent is the actual object (concrete or abstract)Words don’t mean, people do




Triangle of Meaning


Language structure affects what speakers focus on (Japanese)Structure of Language: Syntax and grammarSentence order can differ across cultures (Japanese)Some languages are tonal (Chinese)Plurals formation differ in various languages (Indonesian) Semantics: Study of meaning of wordsGeneral semanticistsDenotative meaning and connotative meaningAbstraction or categorisationDevices that aid us in avoiding the dangers in abstractionDatingIndexingIs should be used with cautionMental quotation marks

Structure of Language

Tonal language (Chinese)ma (Mother, horse, interrogative particle…)Compound words (German)Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeits-übertragungsverordnungRindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgaben-übertragungsgesetz


Pragmatics: Examining language as it is used in actual, everyday interactionsCoordinated management of meaning (CMM)Constitutive rulesRegulative rulesLanguage and Culture: Language affects how we perceive the world (our view of world)Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: Language affects a culture’s behaviour and habits of thinkingLinguistic determinationLinguistic relativity


Respond to each statement regarding the degree to which you agree or disagree with the statement:Strongly Disagree (1), Disagree (2), Neither Agree nor Disagree (3), Agree (4), Strongly Agree (5)I communicate in an indirect fashionI can talk about personal information with most peopleI am able to recognise subtle and indirect messages easilyI often try to persuade others when I communicate with themI qualify my language (e.g., use “may be,” “perhaps”) when I communicateI avoid ritualistic forms of communication when I talk with othersI focus on what others are not saying more than what they are sayingI openly disagree with others when I communicateI expect others to infer my opinion when we communicateI am not ambiguous when I communicate with others

Verbal Communication Styles

Direct vs. Indirect StyleDirect Style: Almost all the information is in the explicit coded messageLow context culturesIndirect Style: Message is highly dependent on the contextHigh context culturesElaborate vs. Succinct StyleElaborate Style: Use of rich, expressive language (Arabs)Succinct Style: Use of understatement, silences, and pauses (Japanese)Exacting Style: Neither more nor less information than required (US)

Verbal Communication Styles

Personal vs. Contextual StylePersonal Style: Linguistic devices are used to emphasise the “I” (US)Contextual Style: Linguistic devices are used to emphasise the “role” identity (Chinese, Koreans)Instrumental vs. Affective StyleInstrumental Style: Sender oriented, goal oriented, and relies heavily on the digital code to accomplish goals (US)Affective Style: Receiver oriented, process oriented, and relies heavily on the analogic code to negotiate relational definition and approval (Arab, Asian, Latin American)

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication

All communication except which is coded through wordsAncillary to verbal communication (US) or to convey the major message (Japan)Reveals our attitudes, personalities, emotions, and relationships with others (Prejudice)Helps us understand other cultures

Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

__________ percent of the meaning is carried through nonverbal communication channelsA. 35B. 65C. 85D. 93(Birdwhistell, 1970; Mehrabian, 1982)

Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

If the verbal message does not match with the nonverbal communication, people tend to believe the __________ message.A. VerbalB. Nonverbal(Dwyer, 2003)

Functions of Nonverbal Communication

Repeat the verbal communicationContradict the verbal communicationSubstitute for the verbal communicationComplement verbal cuesAccent the verbal messageRegulate the verbal communication (Knapp & Hall, 1997)

Nonverbal Communication Codes

KinesicsChronemicsProxemicsHapticsArtifactsPhysical CharacteristicsParalanguage

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication using the body, specifically in terms of gestures, hands movements, eye gazing, facial expressions and postures, is an example of: cross-cultural literacyinformation literacyverbal literacykinesicsvisual literacy(Crossman, Bordia, & Mills, 2011)


Study of body languageIncludes gestures, head movement, facial expressions, eye contact, and postureRestrained (Many Asian cultures) Moderately expressive (Americans) Use freely (Latin, Arab and Mediterranean) Conflicts and misunderstanding can arise when nonverbal communication is misinterpreted (e.g., smile, head nod, ok sign, showing bottom of your feet, looking in the eye)Amplification and De-amplification of emotions (emotional management)Effect of culture (Russians, South Koreans, Japanese, US) Effect of gender

From Alan Pease (1981). Body Language: How To Read Others Thoughts by Their Gestures

Hand gestures

Okay (US)Money (Japan, Korea)Zero (France)Offensive (Brazil, Russia)

Positive connotation / approval (in many English speaking countries)Offensive (Middle East)

Nonverbal Communication

Which of the following is used in the conversations as a signal to someone else to speak? A. Interpersonal relations and communications B. Proxemics C. Extreme Makeover D. Haptics E. Eye Contact (Crossman, Bordia, & Mills, 2011)


A term used to describe the study of how individuals conceptualise time issuesMonochronic and polychronic culturesPast, present and future perspectivesObjective, subjective and intersubjective approaches


Use of spaceTerritorial vs. communal spaceUse personal space for varying purposesIndividualistic and collectivistic cultures Implications at the workplace (Netherlands, Germany, Japan, China)Response to violation of personal spaceActive and aggressive stancePassive and withdrawal stance


Source: Tuleja (2009)

Individualism and Collectivism

Source: Tuleja (2009)


Touching behaviourUsed to indicate urgency and significanceTouch is affected by cultureLow contact cultures-Far Eastern CulturesModerate contact cultures-North American CulturesHigh contact cultures-Arab and Mediterranean CulturesContext is importantSame-sex vs. opposite-sex touch behaviour (Japan, US)Individualistic and collectivistic


Things that adorn our bodies and environments and express or communicate something about ourselvesPerfume, clothing, jewellery, tattoos, phones, book, cars and desksNature of the job and industryIndication of authority/status (China)

Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman & CEO, Facebook

David Turner, Chairman, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Physical Characteristics

Physical characteristics such as attractiveness and body preferenceA powerful form of nonverbal communication embedded in organisational practicesVery important in selection decisionsNonlinear impact of physical attractivenessPrejudice based on physical characteristics can lead to discrimination and racism

Nonverbal Communication

In various cultures or settings, what is more important than an applicant’s grade point average or employment criteria?A. Interpersonal relations and communications B. Personal attitude C. Extreme Makeover D. Power and dominance E. Personal attractiveness (Crossman, Bordia, & Mills, 2011)


How something is saidIncludes vocal qualifiers (volume, pitch, rhythm, tone), vocal segregates (“uh,” “um,” “shh”) and vocal characteristics (sobbing, laughing, whispering)Indicates boredom or sadness/fear, anger or joyGender differencesWomen are reputedly more intuitive about subtle cues Cultural differences existVolume/loud (Arabs, Thai, Japanese)High-pitched voice (French)Speak fast (Arabs, Jews, Italians)

Nonverbal Communication

Sexual harassment can sometimes result when one or both parties misread nonverbal communication cues.TRUE FALSE(Crossman, Bordia, & Mills, 2011)

Marking Criteria – Assignment 1

This Week’s Tutorial

Case Study – A Tale of Two CountriesLecture: Intercultural Communication and Online Communication Tutorial: Case Study – What’s a Good Fit? Negotiation Teams Formation

Week 4