An interesting theory on interpersonal communication was developed by Leon Festinger, and refers to cognitive dissonance. Regarding this theory, cognitive dissonance is represented by an aversive drive that determines individuals to avoid opposing points-of-view, to seek reassurance when making a difficult decision, and to modify their individual beliefs in order to match public behavior in certain conditions (Festinger, 1957). In other words, the theory refers to the differences between behavior and belief.
In Feistinger's opinion, the size of the cognitive dissonance depends on the importance of the issue, and on the size of the discrepancy. Feistinger has developed a series of hypotheses that are intended to study how dissonance between attitudes and actions can be reduced. These hypotheses refer to selective exposure preventing dissonance, post decision dissonance creating a need for reassurance, minimal justification for action inducing attitude modifications.
In his work, Feistinger discusses several studies and classic experiments in the field. However, there are several limitations to this theory. This is because Feistinger did not develop a strategy intended to measure the dissonance level. Other specialists in the field consider that attitude modifications can be easier explained by self-perception than by cognitive dissonance.
Communication between different cultures and country is an aspect frequently addressed by specialists. The communication accommodation theory developed by Howard Giles states that people in intercultural environments are likely to adapt the style and content of their speech in accordance with that of other individuals that they want to impress or to determine their approval. This theory also states that in order to build strong group identification, people tend to interact with individuals outside the group based on facts that accentuate the differences between them (Giles, 2011).
In order to sustain his theory, Giles uses convergence and divergence strategies. Giles also addresses the different motivations that influence these communication strategies. Same as in the case of other theories, the communication accommodation theory has its limitations. For example, the theory is characterized by reduced clarity in comparison with its scope. In addition to this, the theory determines certain misunderstandings.
Interpersonal communication and messages are important topics addressed by communication specialists. Pearce and Cronen have developed the coordinated management of meaning theory that states that individuals involved in a conversational process build their own social realities and are influenced by the realities they build. Basically, this theory intends to prove that individuals reach a suitable coherence level by common interpretation and by adapting their stories included in the conversation (Pearce & Cronen, 2005).
In their opinion, coordinated management of meaning is extremely useful in encouraging and supporting efficient communication. Their work is oriented rather towards practice, in comparison with the work of other communications specialists that limit their work to theoretical aspects. Therefore, the authors develop a series of terms that are used in developing their theory. For example, they refer to cosmopolitan communication, which represents individuals' disagreement with others, while coordinating within a conversation.
Regarding the application of communication in the business activity, Stanley Deetz has developed an interesting theory that states that the fact that communication is considered to be the transmission of information, determines the development of managerialism and corporate colonization. The critical theory of communication in organizations is intended to build somewhat of a balance between corporate and human interests.
However, it is important to analyze this theory from Deetz's point-of-view. In his opinion, corporations are political and economic organizations and must be studied in accordance with these factors. Also, Deetz is interested in demonstrating that communication theory can be used in order to identify distorted decision making processes within companies. In addition to this, the theory states that productivity and democracy at the workplace can be significantly improved through communication reforms (Deetz, 1995).
Deetz explains his interest in the subject by the fact that multinational corporations represent the dominant factors in the society of most countries. In his work, Deetz criticizes communication theories according to which communication only represents the transmission of information. Deetz considers that this theory helps develop the power of corporations.
Another theory on business communication has been developed by Geertz and Pacanowsky. They propose a cultural approach to business communication. In their opinion, organizations do not have a culture, they are a culture. From this point-of-view, organizations and their cultures are viewed as systems of common meanings. Although the scientists focus their study on third world cultures, it has been proven that their approach can be successfully applied to organizations (Geertz & Pacanowsky, 1988).
However, numerous corporate consults have criticized this theory when applied to organizations. This is because the theory does not evaluate the aspects it addresses. In addition to this, they consider that the theory is not able to properly interpret certain situations.
Group and public communication and its influence on decision making have been addressed by numerous specialists in their work. Hirokawa and Gouran have developed a theoretical model based on the functional perspective on group decision making. According to this theory, groups make good decisions in certain conditions met by its members (Hirokawa & Gouran, 1993). These functions are represented by problem analysis, goal setting, alternatives identification, and evaluation of consequences.
It has been observed that group communication usually has a negative influence on developing these functional tasks. However, according to this theory, counteractive communication can determine individuals to use rational inquiry in their decision making process. The theory identifies several types of communication: promotive, disruptive, and counteractive. Promotive communication is represented by the interaction that requires the attention to the decision making functions. Disruptive communication is represented by the interaction that is determined by the group's ability in achieving the task functions. Counteractive communication is represented by the interaction that refocuses the group in case.
Although business communication is derived from general communication theories, there are certain differences between these issues attributed to their area of applicability. Therefore, the components of the business communication model are represented by idea, sender, message, encoding, medium and channel, receiver, decoding, and feedback (Kushal & Ahuja, 2011). The differences mentioned above rely on the functions of business communication. The internal functions of business communication refer to information to management, information to employees, and improvement in morale. The external functions of business communication are represented by developing relationships with suppliers, sales of products and services, report to shareholders, report to government, and improving the company's image.
Business communication theories address various aspects that are analyzed on local or on global level. Although business communication seems to be influenced by economic factors, there are several theories that address this aspect from a socio-cultural approach (Casmir, 1994). Other important factors that have been observed to influence business communication are represented by business information sources (Daniells, 1993). There are numerous aspects that the literature in the field addresses and that must be taken into consideration when studying business communication.
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