Book Title
M: Business Communication 3rd Edition

978-0073403229 Chapter 1 Critical Thinking Questions

April 5, 2019
Critical Thinking Questions
1. “If there’s no definitive solution, then all ways of handling a business communication
problem are equally good.” Using the discussion of business communication problem
solving in this chapter, explain why this statement is false. (LO6)
2. To get a feel for how rapidly information technologies are changing and how significant the
impact is on business, list all the information technologies (devices and applications) that
you’ve learned to use over the last five years. Now reflect on how your communication,
work, and life have changed as a result of these technologies. (LO2)
3. “People need to leave their cultures and values at the door when they come to work and just
do business.” Discuss the possible merits and flaws of this attitude. (LO2)
4. In what ways is imagination important in business? In business communication? (LO2)
5. Times are hard for RoboSolutions, a small local company that creates assembly-line
robotics. Lately, the clients have been few and far between. But today the sales staff got
encouraging news: James Pritchett, president of a nearby tool and die company, has
inquired about the possibility of your company’s designing a series of computer-run robots
for key processes in the plant. There’s a hitch, though: it’s Sara McCann’s turn to try to
snare his business (and the commission) – and Pritchett is known to prefer dealing with
men. Do you, as president, send Sarah anyway, or do you send in one of your male
salespeople to get Pritchett’s business, giving Sarah a shot at the next potential client? How
would you solve this communication – and ethics – problem? (LO2)
The important thing here is that students show they’ve thought about the problem—and the likely
consequences of each possible solution. Perhaps the optimum solution would be to speak with
6. “Never mix business with personal matters—it just leads to damaged relationships, poor
business decisions, or both.” In what ways might this be a fair statement? In what ways is it
unwise advice? (LO3)
7. Describe the formal communication network in an organization, division, or department
with which you are familiar (preferably a simple one). Discuss why you think the
communication network has taken this form and how successfully it seems to meet the
business’s needs. (LO4)
8. List several types of companies that would require many kinds of communication. Then make
a list of types of companies requiring few kinds. What explains the difference between these
two groups' amount and types of communication? (LO5)
9. Read the Communication Ma)ers box on page 13 to see what management scholar Gareth
Morgan has to say about types of workplace cultures. Then think of an organization you know
well and decide what its dominant cultural metaphor is. Is it one of Morgan’s? Or is it a family?
A team? A community? A prison? A mixture of several kinds? Once you se)le on your
metaphor, be prepared to explain how this organization’s culture affects, and is affected by, its
communication practices. (LO5)
Each example should be evaluated by its merits.
10. As noted in this chapter, companies develop specific forms of communication, or genres, that
enable them to get their work done. In a place where you have worked or in another
organization you have been a member of, what were the main forms of communication with
the employees or members? To what extent were these uniquely adapted to the needs of the
organization? (LO5)
Each answer should be evaluated on its merits.
11. Think of a recent transaction you had with a businessperson or a staff person at your school.
Describe the contexts of your communication, from the larger context (business-economic,
sociocultural, and historical) down to the personal contexts (to the extent that you know
them). How did these help determine the outcome of your communication? (LO7)
12. Using this chapters discussion of communication, explain how people reading or hearing the
same message can disagree on its meaning. (LO7, LO8)