Human Communications Process

Write an analysis of a communication situation you have recently experienced within your workplace, using a specified model or theory.

Applying communication models is more straightforward the fewer the number of individuals involved in a communication. Analyzing an interaction you have had yourself is the foundation upon which your understanding and insight into the communication approaches within all sizes of organizations begins.


By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Analyze business communication situations.
    • Describe the communication context of this situation.
  • Competency 2: Analyze the interrelationships of communication within organizational systems.
    • Identify the source and the receiver.
    • Compare the intended and actual effects of the message.
    • Assess whether a shared meaning or shared reality was constructed.
  • Competency 3: Communicate effectively.
    • Describe the message and its function.
    • Explain how the message was encoded and decoded.
    • Explain how a channel or channels are used to transmit a message.
    • Describe the type(s) of noise experienced.
    • Consistently apply appropriate APA style and formatting.

Communication appears to be a rather straightforward topic to many people. Hence, we may never be exposed to any formal communication training before we enter the workforce or an institution of higher education. Does this mean that it really is that simple? You probably agree that this is not the case.

The smallest number of individuals involved in communication is, in fact, one—yourself! The next level of complexity involves two individuals, such as the communication that occurs in a personal relationship. Even though applying communication models is more straightforward with fewer the number of individuals involved, that does not necessarily mean it is easy or simple.


As we add more and more individuals and create business models and organizational structures, communication becomes quite complicated. This course provides insight into the communication approaches within all sizes of organizations and supplies tools for approaching these as effectively as possible, regardless of the number of individuals involved.

Communication Models

Early models of communication often looked at the topic from a standpoint of mechanical output and electronic transmission. Later, more people-oriented models were developed, but most still consist at their core of the basic four elements of communication:

  • Sender.
  • Receiver.
  • Message.
  • Channel.

That is, communication takes place between a sender and a receiver. A message is sent from the sender to a receiver via a channel. A message is sent in an environment that may present barriers to successful transmission. Sometimes, there is noise in the system. Sometimes, feedback is returned to the sender.

Shared Reality

For communication to be considered successful, the message must be received, but additionally, a shared reality must be created. Consider how the concept of shared reality relates to organizations, especially as a way of assessing whether a particular communication event was successful.

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

  • Where do you think your strengths currently lie in regard to communication competencies?
  • What do you feel are your top three needs for development in regard to communication competencies?

Suggested Resources

The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

Library Resources

The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

  • Rayudu, C. S. (2010). Communication. Mumbai, IND: Global Media.
    • This e-book describes David Berlo’s model of communication as well as the Shannon and Weaver information processing model.
  • Hindle, T. (2008). Guide to management ideas and gurus. London, GBR: Profile Books/The Economist.
    • This e-book addresses a broad range of management topics, including key issues addressed in this course. It is a helpful resource to reference throughout the course.


Course Library Guide

A Capella University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the BUS-FP3050 – Fundamentals of Organizational Communication Library Guide to help direct your research.

Bookstore Resources

The resources listed below are relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and are not required. Unless noted otherwise, these materials are available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore. When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific –FP (FlexPath) course designation.

  • Shockley-Zalabak, P. S. (2015). Fundamentals of organizational communication: Knowledge, sensitivity, skills, values (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Complete the following:

  • Choose a communication situation you recently experienced within your workplace or another organization with which you are affiliated.
  • Use the materials provided in the Resources or other resources from the Capella library or the Internet to research David Berlo’s model of communication or the information theory of human communication process as described by Shannon and Weaver to use as starting points to analyze the communication situation you experienced.
  • Summarize your experience and write an analysis of it that includes the following:
    • Identify the source (sender or transmitter) and the receiver (destination) in the situation.
    • Describe the message and what type of message function was it serving.
    • Explain how the message was encoded. For example, what symbols, words, or ideas were used to create the message?
    • Explain how the message was decoded.
    • Explain how a channel or channels were used to transmit the message.
    • Describe the type of noise that was experienced. You may wish to review the materials in the Resources for a description of noise in a communication situation, since noise is more than auditory sounds.
    • Describe the communication context of the situation. Context includes where and when the communication took place as well as important aspects of the situation that impacted the communication, such as the mood or climate of the organization at the time of the communication.
    • Compare the intended effect to the actual effect of the message. That is, what did the sender hope would be understood and what did the receivers actually understand?
    • Assess whether a shared meaning or shared reality was constructed. For example, even if a message is understood, the sender and receiver may not be in agreement. If a shared meaning was not reached, what needed to change?

Additional Requirements

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to APA (6th ed.) style and formatting. Include a properly formatted title page and references page.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.