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Grace Farrell

DP 12 What Should a Communicator Do?

Summary:

Twelve chapters, and 36 communication theories later, this is my last ever discussion post. Its actually
kind of sad, this has been my outlet for so many stress-inducing situations that I can tie into a working
theory or communicative perspective. Chapter 12 is all about describing similarities across theories
studied, and how the understanding of these theories can help an individual with their level of
communication competence. The most interesting part I found in this chapter was communication
competence is a better predictor of job satisfaction than is leadership style, (Madlock, 2008). It is
evident that theories are not black and white, and one phrase or message sent across a medium cannot
trigger analysis and the dissection of a certain theory in a universal context. Often, people communicate
with language that aligns with their beliefs, otherwise known as their influences and effects. For
instance, depending how one views relationships, whether plutonic, cross-cultural, economic, political
or romantic, the theories identifying the influence of effect could be, Expectancy Violations Theory
(EVT), Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST), and Diffusions of Innovations (DOI). Table 12.1 has a very
unique way of applying theory to some very important and inevitable parts of life. The one beneficial
influence I have gained since becoming a Communication major, is that it has become a central mean for
exerting power and authority. People typically listen to what I have to say and do so respectively, and I
dont think I would have been as assertive as I am today had I chosen a different major. However, I have
an understanding of authority, and those above me in the hierarchical chain, who gets to say things,
what is said and how it is said. I think this learned characteristic of mine has really helped me in job
interviews and Im hoping I continue to develop this trait.

Application:

Its all coming full circle! This chapter has actually made me realize that I want to change my Theory that
I was going to use in my capstone project. (A little late, but better now than never!) I was going to use
Uncertainty Reduction Theory to describe the role of the Exploratory Student at Bryant University.
However, I am now reminded of Organizational Assimilation Theory. Chapter 9 describes this theory as
communication practices socialize employees (students) into becoming members of an in-group, (pg.
218). Exploratory Students at Bryant are freshman and sophomore students who are Undecided in their
major. While they may have peers who are also Undecided, from my experiences as a MyPath mentor,
these students often feel like outsiders, and hear and see all of the projects that their IB friends are
working on, and it seems like such a tight knit group that they will never fit in to. For my project, I want
to create an online-interactive web-page that allows Exploratory students to search through
communication courses/literary courses and to actually visualize the process of choosing
Communication as a major! I think this would be awesome. In all sincerity Chapter 12 gave me an
epiphany applying theories that will enhance my professional skill!

Question:

The Elaboration Likelihood Model confuses me. Cant people be motivated by factors other than
interest and involvement? What about a deadline? Or procrastination?