Communication spectrum:A network of negotiation [Archives:2007/1102/Education]

November 12 2007

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
The nature and scope of communication in the modern world of Information Technology cannot be overemphasized. It has assumed a great significance in the wake of communication explosion in recent years. As Fisher and Harms (1983) rightly predicted: “The world seems to be on the brink of a communications explosion which may be as far reaching in its effects on human society as the transition from agriculture to industry.:

In this context it is important to understand the term 'communication' which means different things to different people.

Communication is the process of transmitting feelings, attitudes, facts, beliefs and ideas between living beings.


Communication is any means by which thought is transferred from one person to another.

)Chapell & Reading

Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions by two or more persons.

)Newman &Summer

Communication is the process for attracting the attention of another person for the purpose of replicating memories.

)Cartier & Harwood

Communication is a process which involves the transmission and accurate replication of ideas ensured by feedback for the purpose of eliciting actions which will accomplish organizational goals.

)William Scott

Communication is the process by which information is transmitted between individuals and/or organizations so that an understanding response results.

)Peter Little

Communication is a continuing and thinking process dealing with the transmission and interchange with understanding, of ideas, facts and courses of action.

)George Terry

Communication is the broad field of human interchanges of facts and not the technologies of telephone, telegraph, radio and the like.


Communication is the sum of all the things a person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of another. It is a bridge of meaning. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding.

)Louis Allen

Communication is a composite of information given and received, of a learning experience in which certain attitudes, knowledge and skills change, carrying with them alternations of behavior; of a listening effort by all involved; of a systematic fresh examination of issues by the communicator himself, and of a sensitive interaction of points of view leading to a higher level of shared understanding and common intention.

)Orway Tead

The nature of communication

As Michael Canale in his essay “From Communicative competence to communicative language pedagogy' suggests communication is understood to have the following characteristics:

a. it is a form of social interaction, and is therefore normally acquired and used in social interaction.

b. it involves a high degree of unpredictability and creativity in form and messages

c. it takes place in discourse and socio-cultural contexts which provide constraints on appropriate language use and also clues as to correct interpretation of utterances

d. it is carried out under limiting psychological and other conditions such as memory constraints, fatigue and distractions

e. it always has a purpose (for example, to establish social relations, to persuade, or to promise)

f. it involves authentic, as opposed to textbook, – contrived language,; and

g. it is judged as successful or not on the basis of actual outcomes.

Communication involves the exchange and negotiation of information between at least two individuals through the use of verbal and non-verbal symbols, oral and written / visual modes, and production and comprehension processes.

Studies of interpersonal communication are primarily addressed to the task of understanding the processes of interaction between two or more individuals, that is, what goes on inside and between the participants; and such studies emphasize the relationship emerging among communicators.

An interpersonal encounter is characterized by the sharing of interests, opinions, and feelings among the participants, and the nature of the interaction depends upon the willingness

– to lend an ear to one another (that is, participants' attraction for one another)

– to accept the other on his or her own terms (through curiosity about the unexpected)

– to put forth one's own efforts to explicate the message

– to disclose one's self (through sharing)

So, interaction is the hallmark of communication. To be successful contributors to any act of communication, the participants have to be motivated and involved as well as be able to arouse the counterpart's interest by a fair degree of interpersonal negotiation.