The Astute Communicator: Strategic Choices and Consequences of Goal-Oriented Workplace Communication
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CitationBrodsky, Andrew. 2017. The Astute Communicator: Strategic Choices and Consequences of Goal-Oriented Workplace Communication. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractWhether the topic is persuading, selling, or negotiating, one of the key questions that employees, managers, and scholars have long asked is “What message will best accomplish my goal?” Yet, existing theory on goal-oriented workplace communication often falls short of being applicable to contemporary organizations where the need to constantly innovate is fundamental and communication is becoming more virtual. Across three chapters, I study both decisions and outcomes regarding goal-oriented communication by utilizing experimental simulations, surveys, scenario studies, and experience sampling techniques.
In Chapter 1, I investigate the optimal methods for engaging in voice and develop a theoretical model of voice responsivity. I find that utilizing slight to moderate levels of challenge when engaging in voice maximizes the likelihood that a voicer’s idea will be endorsed and minimizes punishment to the voicer. In Chapter 2, I study the way workers, when engaging in emotional labor, choose to utilize differing communication media and the consequences of those choices. I discover that workers are more likely to opt for less rich communication media (e.g., email) when needing to display inauthentic emotion, but that medium levels of communication media richness (e.g., telephone) are optimal for interactional outcomes. Lastly, in Chapter 3, I examine how the time spent crafting emails alters their outcomes. In doing so, I show that workers often overcraft emails, such that additional time is devoted to engaging in impression management at a cost to both message effectiveness and message-sender well-being. I consistently find that when it comes to goal-oriented work communication, putting in your all (more time, more emotional cues, and more communication intensity) can backfire. In doing so, I develop new theory on workplace communication and provide actionable recommendations for workers approaching critical interactions.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41142033
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