Analysing business communication – a leg up from information theory

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm
This  is part of a response to a question I was asked. 
As it features one of the most useful metaphors/models I know I thought i'd post it.

In 1948, Bell Labs scientist Claude Shannon developed Information Theory, and the world of communications technology has never been the same since. Although his model is a mathematical theory of communication it has practical applications in engineering and has proved a powerful tool or metaphor for understanding the communication process generally.

Using Shannon to analyse a typical business communication
If we are the source we can say our intention for the message originates in our mind. 

Next we encode it into words or text,
then we transmit it (we will assume in this example that we speak out loud but the theory holds for any method of transmission).
During the transmission of the message along the channel, things can interfere with it before It is received (e.g. background noise) : this interference is known as noise. 
The message then has to be interpreted and decoded back into sense impressions as it reaches its destination. 
If a conversation is taking place then the destination becomes the source and the whole thing happens again. 

This powerful metaphor is a great way to understand the process of communication and diagnose and describe communication problems of any kind.

Posted via email from Urban Ascetic


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