Discuss the different organizational needs fulfilled by communication Discuss the different modes of interpersonal communication Describe the different types of communication channels

Learning Objectives Upon completion of this chapter, students should be able to do the following: Define the communication process Discuss the different organizational needs fulfilled by communication Discuss the different modes of interpersonal communication Describe the different types of communication channels Explain formal and informal methods of organizational communication Explain individual and organizational barriers to effective communication Discuss how to promote good communication One of the most famous publicized cases reflecting the importance of communication was NASA’s attempt at a Mars landing. In that instance, the landing module crashed because of miscommunication. One scientist was making calculations using the metric system, while another one was using the English system (yards versus meters), and this information never was communicated properly. Similarly, it is still believed that the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States could have been avoided through proper and speedy communication of pertinent information among the different agencies of law enforcement. Weedon (2003) notes, “Of the lessons learned from the tragic events of that day, one of the most important is the need to effectively communicate and exchange data in a timely fashion” (p. 18). He goes on to say, The inability of state and local law enforcement, criminal justice and related agencies to communicate and share information on a timely basis is epidemic across the nation. The lack of interoperability among police agencies, fire departments, emergency medical services and the numerous other public safety agencies is a chronic problem. In addition, the effects of the inability to communicate and share vital data among criminal justice agencies are not just felt during national emergencies but rather, on a day-to-day basis. (p. 18) Emphasizing the importance of good and speedy communication, the chief of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department notes, “Communication is perhaps the most essential element of effective law enforcement in the war on terror” (Bayless, 2004, p. 47). This was demonstrated most recently in solving the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing case that left three dead and hundreds injured. The incident took place at 2:50 p.m. on Monday, April 15, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in which more than 23,000 participated, with many times more people cheering them along the 26.2 mile route (CNN news). The task of identifying the suspects was difficult, given the number of people at the sight and with absolutely no lead. After going through thousands of hours of video footage and photographs collected from the CCTV and public, and interrogating several people, by Thursday 5 p.m. (ET) the FBI released pictures of two male suspects being sought in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings. And within 24 hours of releasing the photographs, law enforcement agencies had one suspect shot dead and the other was apprehended. All this happened through good and speedy communication among the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Massachusetts State Police, residents, and many other local organizations of Massachusetts. In the day-to-day duties performed by law enforcement agencies, miscommunication or ineffective communication can result in grave situations with serious outcomes. Think of the importance of effective communication in a 911 emergency call between the caller and the receiver, and with the various officers responding to attend to the emergency. At each exchange of information between different entities, there is a possibility for service failure because of communication error. Unfortunately, when communication goes bad in criminal justice, the effects are devastating for the system and the public alike. Therefore, to enhance public and officer safety, information systems must be used that facilitate real-time communications among law enforcement, judicial, correctional, and related agencies. There is also a need to continue developing information-sharing standards within the justice community to enable easy dissemination of information via global websites (Weedon, 2003). In simple words, communication is one of the most important management tools within criminal justice agencies, which, when conducted effectively, promotes high service quality. It has a major impact on the performance of individuals, groups, and various agencies that collectively maintain law and order in a society. The importance of communication can be gauged from the fact that managers and administrators spend at least 80% of their workday in communication with others (Daft & Marcic, 2004, p. 480; Mintzberg, 1973). The various forms of communication that managers may be involved in during their day-to-day activities include meetings, telephone calls, the Internet, and talking informally while walking around. The other 20% of the time is typically spent in doing desk work, most of which may involve communication in the form of writing. In this chapter, communication of all kinds by both an individual and an organization is examined. At the individual level, the interest is in understanding the interpersonal aspects of communication, including communication channels, persuasion, and listening skills that influence a manager’s or an administrator’s1 ability to communicate effectively. At the organization level, this chapter will examine different forms of communication, namely, one-way, two-way, nonverbal, upward, downward, and horizontal communication. Career Highlight Box Paralegals and Legal Assistants Nature of the Work Paralegals and legal assistants do a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents. Paralegals and legal assistants typically do the following: Investigate the facts of a case Conduct research on relevant laws, regulations, and legal articles Organize and present the information Keep information related to cases or transactions in computer databases Write reports to help lawyers prepare for trials Draft correspondence and other documents, such as contracts and mortgages Get affidavits and other formal statements that may be used as evidence in court Help lawyers during trials Paralegals and legal assistants help lawyers prepare for hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. However, their specific duties may vary depending on the size of the firm or organization. In smaller firms, paralegals duties tend to vary more. In addition to reviewing and organizing information, paralegals may prepare written reports that help lawyers determine how to handle their cases. If lawyers decide to file lawsuits on behalf of clients, paralegals may help prepare the legal arguments and draft documents to be filed with the court. In larger organizations, paralegals work mostly on a particular phase of a case, rather than handling a case from beginning to end. For example, a litigation paralegal might only review legal material for internal use, maintain reference files, conduct research for lawyers, and collect and organize evidence for hearings. Litigation paralegals often do not attend trials, but might prepare trial documents or draft settlement agreements. Law firms increasingly use technology and computer software for managing documents and preparing for trials. Paralegals use computer software to draft and index documents and prepare presentations. In addition, paralegals must be familiar with electronic database management and be up to date on the latest software used for electronic discovery. Electronic discovery refers to all electronic materials that are related to a trial, such as emails, data, documents, accounting databases, and websites. Paralegals can assume more responsibilities by specializing in areas such as litigation, personal injury, corporate law, criminal law, employee benefits, intellectual property, bankruptcy, immigration, family law, and real estate. In addition, experienced paralegals may assume supervisory responsibilities, such as overseeing team projects or delegating work to other paralegals. Paralegal tasks may differ depending on the type of department or the size of the law firm they work for. The following are examples of types of paralegals: Corporate paralegals often help lawyers prepare employee contracts, shareholder agreements, stock-option plans, and companies’ annual financial reports. Corporate paralegals may monitor and review government regulations to ensure that the corporation is aware of new legal requirements. Litigation paralegals maintain documents received from clients, conduct research for lawyers, and retrieve and organize evidence for use at depositions and trials. Work environment. Paralegals and legal assistants work in law offices and law libraries. Occasionally, they travel to gather information and do other tasks. Paralegals who work for law firms, corporations, and government agencies usually work full time. Although most paralegals work year-round, some are temporarily employed during busy times of the year. Paralegals who work for law firms may work very long hours and

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