Theories can be approached in a variety of ways, depending upon what is being studied. Write a detailed response to the following questions. Your objective here is to gain a hands-on understanding of theory building by applying this week’s concepts
to brainstorming a workplace* communication problem with your classmates that you can investigate for your final project.
1. Think about the communication phenomena that scholars study. Which aspects of communication intrigued you the most in this week’s readings—verbal or nonverbal behaviors? Oral or written messages? Interpersonal, small group, or organizational dynamics? Face-to-face or mediated contexts?
2. Then, reflect on the informal and formal communication channels in your workplace. What types of breakdowns have you experienced or observed in the flow of that communication which affected your work?
3. Finally, to begin learning about how communication competence can help you or your co-workers to effectively and appropriately handle challenging workplace* communication situations, answer the following:
a. Describe your workplace* communication problem with your classmates. What happened? How did it affect you or the workplace?
b. What is the communication phenomenon involved in your workplace problem that you would like to investigate?
c. What is the communication theory goal that you would like to pursue in investigating this phenomenon? Remember,
communication theories seek to describe or understand, explain, predict, or control a communication behavior.
A theory goal can be expressed as simply as one of the following:
My theory goal is to [describe/understand, explain, or
My goal is to persuade co-workers to do or think __________ .
My goal is to change people’s attitudes toward __________.
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