Social Penetration Theory
Social Penetration Theory is based upon the basic ideas of Altman and Taylor that as time progresses interpersonal relationships will grow penetrating deeper into more personal and private matters. This process happens in stages including orientation, exploratory affective, affective, stable, and depenetration.
Ben- I found myself in the orientation stage for only a few weeks at Brownstone Marketing. It was only a matter of a few weeks before my Supervisor and I began to clash well together, causing us to have personal conversations and feel comfortable working with each other. I felt that we could understand where one another had problems and where we might need help. We worked well together in a way where Jason consistently had things to learn from me, as I had things to learn from him. During the stage of orientation, he would explain a lot of things that I actually already had a full understanding of, but since I was in that beginning/unfamiliar stage, I simply let him speak. Becoming more envolved with each other, we had to worry less about impressing each other and more about how we could become better at what we do. Jason works with a company called IndySystems (which builds different types of rigs for new cameras) and they would design rigs that would make shooting in the field much easier, I would be the one to test out the product since I had more experience with the cameras that those rigs worked on. I would then give them a report on what worked with the product and what didn't work, this all mattered on how comfortable we were with each other, for me to express my proper opinion.
My experience at Green Iowa AmeriCorps has not gotten much past the orientation stage. For example, as Site Supervisor I report to our Program Director, Ashley, as well as Kamyar who oversees much of what Green Iowa is involved in. Other relationships I will be developing will be with our members who begin in October. Since I have no contact with them as of yet, I will give a bit of insight regarding my developing relationship with Ashley and others within the Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE), where our office is located.
As described by Altman and Taylor, the orientation stage includes testing the waters, so to speak, and engaging in simple small-talk. Ashley and I have definitely established this stage via e-mail and a few person-to-person contacts. Since our schedules are a bit off for right now, we rely on communication via e-mail, texting, and phone calls so it has been hard to break through to the exploratory affective stage at this point. My classroom knowledge has helped in this type of conversations, since non-verbal communication plays a huge role including tone while on the phone, and additional analyzing of text to interpret the messages being sent and received correctly.
In addition to a relationship with Ashley, I have engaged with many reoccurring contact with a few other staff members located within the CEEE. These too I can see developing right before my eyes, but have not gotten much past the orientation stage. I think this is so due to the steadily increasing workload I have and not a lot of time to complete it.
I look forward to progressing through the process of social penetration theory and am curious to see how Ashley and I's interpersonal relationship will develop throughout my year at Green Iowa.
When I first started at Allen Hospital I was a bit intimidated just because everyone in the office knew what they were doing and had their own tasks. After being there for a couple weeks I got to know the system and get familar with things. The head lady had asked me for my cell phone number so she could call me if she needed extra help on different taska. I ended up spending an entire day with here at Mt. Mercy University at a job fair. On this trip we both talked about our personal life and got to know each other better.
Throughout the time that I have worked with the Iowa Student PIRG's has been a spread out time to get to know mainly the supervisor only. This is because we are all spread out among the nation the only time we interact or have conversations is on the telephone once a week. The supervisor and I keep in touch more frequently throughout the week with updates and questions. Therefore the personal relationships did not build up with me as it has for others.
My time interning at PFG Best has gradually moved past the orientation stage and has now started to move into the exploratory affective stage throughout some of my day-to-day contacts at the office. When I first started it was all orientation and communication was done mostly through email and over the phone. The event that really started to change all of that was when my supervisor, Sara, called me into her office for our first one-on-one meeting.
The most well-known example of Altman and Taylors Social Penetration Theory is the onion metaphor. The meeting between Sara and I allowed us to peel of the “public self layer” and begin to enter the “personality layer.” I have also reached the “personality layer” with another employee, Molly, who was the first person I worked on projects and other material with. Through our work together Molly and I reached the “personality layer” fairly quickly, but have not moved past that layer.
My increasing workload might be why I haven’t had time to really move out of the orientation stage with any other of the employees I see on a day to day basis. Once I gain control of the workload and fully adapt into it I am sure that more “public layers” will be peeled off between other co-workers and myself. I am looking forward to moving into further stages of the Social Penetration Theory with my co-workers throughout the rest of my internship.
Another aspect of Social Penetration Theory involves the costs and rewards of each relationship. Altman and Taylor suggest that each relationship comes with both costs and rewards and if a relationship's costs outweigh its rewards, it would be in a person's best interest to get out of that relationship. Altman and Taylor also use three concepts of relationship costs and rewards which include Rewards Minus Costs, Comparison Level and Comparison Level of Alternatives.
One example I will use is an example of the Comparison Level concept. Altman and Taylor describe the Comparison Level as the level at which a relationship is satisfying to a person based on their past relationship experiences. When a person enters into relationships, they find things about that relationship that make them happy and use these things as a level of comparison against other relationships.
In my office at Spread The Care, there are six interns, only one of which I work with on a regular basis. This intern, Nicole, and I have not yet moved past the Orientation Stage in our relationship, but because she has been at the internship longer than I have, she knows a lot more than I do. She has become my working buddy and whenever I have questions, she is able to answer them or work through them with me. This relationship is one that is above my Comparison Level. That is, because she has offered to help me with certain things, my relationship with her is satisfying to me and falls above my Comparison Level.
In addition, if my relationship with Nicole were to ever fall below my comparison level, I would begin to use the Comparison Level of Alternatives concept to evaluate our relationship. Altman and Taylor describe this concept as as being determined by "the worst outcome a person will accept and still stay in a relationship". If my working relationship with Nicole becomes less than ideal, I would begin to evaluate it based on my perceptions of what my alternatives are, and I may choose to leave that relationship and look for a new one.
When dealing with being a new uncertain situation my bosses and I talked quite a bit. It seemed as though we were both feeling each other out in a sense. My internship is with Around the Corner productions were the individuals who I am working for do much of the same work that I am doing. This makes us have to have a lot of face time together. I feel as though this increased our need to disclose and get the uncertainty over with as fast as possible.
I feel as though axiom 3 best describes my situation. We were most definitely telling each other information that would set both of us at ease. The first thing we discussed is our general backgrounds. Then as we became more comfortable the talks moved into more personal topics. Then after awhile the discussions moved from personal to just more general conversation. We felt as though we had the necessary information about one another that was needed to get a good read on the other’s character.
The sixth axiom also discusses another aspect of my boss and I’s first interactions. Being from the same major we inherently had quite a bit in common. We shared a common bond it made us pass over the uncertainty phase much quicker. From a quick conversation we learned that we would both get a long as we had much to talk about in our shared field.
My first few weeks as an intern in the University of Northern Iowa football office has focused on getting to know one another and understanding the role of each person and what is expected of them. The social penetration theory easily explains how I have begun to form relationships with the coaches and volunteers.
Being the only intern in the office this semester, I mostly interact with adults who have worked together for quite some time so they already know a lot about each other. I was worried about coming into an environment where there had never been an intern and the difficulties of developing and maintaining a relationship with my superiors. This theory has helped me realize that over time, relationships will develop naturally.
The first stage, orientation, is made up of small talk in which each person follows the standards of social desirability and norms of appropriateness. In the football office, I am currently at this stage with most of the coaching staff. We discuss simple things such as how our day is because we are testing the waters and attempting to learn more about each other. This gives us the opportunity to develop an understanding of each others attitudes and communication styles to further our relationships.
In this stage, both parties may tend to hold back their true opinions in order to gauge how the other person feels about different subjects until they know more about each other. For example, one of the coaches curses quite often and tried to stop saying it because I was around. He was not sure if I was comfortable with that kind of language so, until he knew my stance on the topic, he tried to avoid it.
I would say I am in the second stage, exploratory affective, with my supervisor, as well as a couple of the volunteers. In this stage, a person's personality comes out more because they are becoming more comfortable with each other. I work closely with my supervisor and these volunteers so it is only natural that my relationship with them would develop faster than with the others. We have moved past the stage of small talk, and now are able to discuss things such as private things related to football operations. We have gained and continue to earn each others trust and learn more about each other. In this stage we have also learned each others personality better and are able to joke and interact on a level more like friendship than acquaintances.
This theory is all about building trust and how it requires a person to take risks in order to learn about someone else. It is meant to be a slow process and the relationship can develop poorly if the practice is rushed. This basic means of understanding others is very helpful in new environments where you are not familiar with anyone. This theory has helped me understand the progression of my relationships both in my internship and my social life.
There are three other interns at the Park Place Event Centre. I have met all of them before the internship began. Not only did I know all of them, but they all knew each other. This means the orientation stage lasted a few minutes, before we were all asking how our summers went. We now would be in the exploratory stage. I am not going into detail, but very personal information has been shared by the other interns.
We did not know all of the people that work full time at the Park Place Event Centre. Since the interns are open to each other, the full time worker, who is with us most of the time, has opened up to us also. This lead us to go right into the exploratory stage with her also.
My internship and relationships at Allen Hospital are have started to gradually move from the orientation stage to the exploratory affective stage. During many of our day to day activities in our office we gradually have started to reach this. The first couple of weeks of my internship communication between myself and other people in the office was minimal and sometimes even passed on over email or person to person.
Altman and Taylor describe the exploratory affective stage as where we start to reveal ourselves, and express personal attitudes. We may create casual friendships at this stage as well. For example, there are three other women in my office that I work very closely with on a daily basis. We often exchange conversations that go beyond work related things and talk about our everyday lives, such as family.
I am now seeing personalities come out more, including my own and we are all becoming more comfortable with we each other. We now talk about more than just wok and get more involved in our conversations. I work very closely with those three women and my relationship has developed faster with them than with some of the other people at the hospital. We are continually learning more about each other as well as beginning to trust each other more, which is a very important aspect of Social Penetration Theory.
The onion model that Altman and Taylor refer to explains that we gradually peel back layers about ourselves to others, leading us to deeper levels of penetration and interaction. These small conversations that we have with each other in the office along with classroom knowledge and previous experiences, have allow me to peel off my “public self” layer to my “ personality” layer which helps to learn more about the other people in the office and vise versa. Social Penetration Theory is prevalent in more than just our time in our internships, but in our everyday lives and experiences as well. We are constantly creating relationships no matter how involved they may be.
When I began my internship at 4 Seasons Heating and Cooling I was very comfortable with the owner/person that I was going to be working with. The owner of the company is somebody that I had known for a few years now so entering the internship we had already passed the Orientation stage and were sitting pretty comfortably in the Exploratory stage. I was very happy getting the internship at 4 Seasons because it is a relatively small company that was looking for help in all aspects of communication. I am able to work hand and hand with the owner of the company doing advertising, marketing and public relations. Due to the fact that we had known each other prior to the internship which allowed me to enter the job at the Exploratory stage, I was able to quickly gain the trust of my boss which has allowed me to do more creating on my own with little direction. This is something that I really like.
After working there for the last month we have gradually built a closer relationship and I would say we have definitely entered the Affective stage of the Social Penetration Theory. We have had numerous talks about his friends, my friends and personal relationships. Since we have grown much closer as friends, Lawrence (my boss) has grown much more apt to telling me if he likes or does not like something. I think it is just easier for him to let me know what he thinks because he knows I will not take it personally. I believe that this has allowed us to develop a much better business relationship as well. The fact that he is open to me about his thoughts and I am able to tell him why I decided on something has allowed us to create more well rounded media pieces.
Janas and Parker had the idea that one can begin the Social Penetration Theory with the idea of “taking stock.” This theory suggests that the interpersonal economy in which we live allows us to take stock of the relational value of those we meet. It is looking to answer the question of what can you do for me? This is definitely how my relationship with the owner of 4 Seasons Heating and Cooling began. I was looking for a place to fulfill my internship for school and he was looking to take the next step in expanding his company while building and maintaining his clientele through multiple sources. Although our personal relationship has grown immensely, this has not taken away from the idea of “taking stock.” I think that this is very important for any work relationship because if you get off of the main point of why you are there in the first place, a lot less work will get done. My main goal for 4 Seasons Heating and Cooling is to “touch” the largest number of people I can in the surrounding area and have them look favorably on the company.
I am an intern at Spread the Care, a non-profit organization. I am an intern along with 6 others, and often do not work with all of them on a regular basis due to the fact that we all have different schedules. Therefore, I have not moved past the Orientation Stage with many of the individuals. Some have been there longer than the rest of us so it is very helpful to gain some understanding and insight to how the organization succeeded in the past and to be able to ask a peer for their opinion and can trust it since they know what they are doing. The orientation stage is what I am currently in with most of the other interns because we have not gotten past the "small-talk" stage of our relationship yet.
When we meet new people we go through a process of learning more about them so we can feel comfortable in our relationship. The orientation stage is the first stage we go through of first getting to know somebody. I went through this with everyone at Cedar Valley United Way. I am still in this stage with several of the employees at the office as I do not interact with many of them on a day to day basis. When I do talk to them it is about a question I may have and maybe some small talk. I have moved passed this stage with two others here, my supervisor and the other intern. I know a lot about their lives as we have all done some self disclosure. There are still some things that we do not disclose to each other, mainly because we are in the workplace and have to keep it professional. All of my relationships here are above my comparison level. A comparison level is a certain level of expectancy a person has for a relationship to keep them satisfied in it. I have had bad and good bosses and co-workers I did and did not like, so I compare everyone to what I expect a good boss and co-worker to be. Even if there was somebody that did not fit my comparison there is not much I could do unless it was bad enough that I wanted to quit. In the workplace a person cannot just working with another. There may be ways to lower the amount of interactions but for the most part it is something one has to deal with. Luckily I do not have that problem at United Way. Rewards and costs are also another factor in social penetration theory. Rewards in my workplace relationships are having someone to talk to and feeling comfortable asking questions. So far there have not been any costs in the relationships as they have not extended to outside of the workplace.
I am an intern for a media production company; In Centerville Iowa. I am one of two media interns at the company and therefore haven't really moved past the "orientation" stage in terms of social penetration. On the occasions when the other intern and I do work on a project together we mainly discuss items pertaining to the client, creation process, or the actual production itself. Over the past few weeks there have been minor attempts on both parties to begin the social penetration process, however it has always been in small doses and more of what I would define as comparative communication. For example, "Where are you attending college." "I am currently going to the University of Iowa. How about you?" "I am a senior at the University of Northern Iowa." - This sort of communication.
This form of slow evolving communication regarding personal information is what is considered the "orientation" stage in the social penetration theory. As I have been taught in many of my communication courses here at the University of Northern Iowa, the social penetration theory can be be visually depicted best as an onion. Just as there are numerous layers within an onion; so too are there with human communication. Just like an onion there are differing depths to our understanding and divulging of personal information. With regards to my internship, I have found that like other jobs I have had, giving up to much information about myself up front would create an awkward feeling of information overload, or the unwanted feeling for others to need to reciprocate my sharing of personal information. As more time passes with my internship, I'm sure that the communication will move past the "orientation" stage and further into the social penetration model/layers.
Social penetration theory is the idea that as we spend more and more time with people that we gain more understanding of them and move pass superficial day to day conversations. To look as this model we must think of the onion model, this is often used because of its multiple layers. On the outside is the public self or how we interact with others on a regular basis. The next layer holds beliefs and general relationship information. The inner core holds values, self-concept, and deep emotions. This idea of social penetration is important because I will be spending an entire semester working with my fellow workers and my bosses. When I initially y started I was at the top layer with my co-workers and my bosses. Conversation was limited to technical information about what we were doing or superficial conversation to pass the time. However, after several events I started getting into the next layer and started uncovering beliefs and relationship information. This made conversations less superficial and it made working with my other co-workers and my bosses much easier because I feel like I knew them. I feel like as the semester goes I will reach into the inner core and learn about the values and self-concepts. I feel that this knowledge will help us rely on each other when we work sporting events.
Depenetration happens when the relationship starts to break down and the costs outweigh the benefits. There is a withdrawal of disclosure and the relationship starts to break down. I experienced this last week at the Woman's Club. A noticable distance had formed between myself and the ladies of the committee I meet with once per week. My pending departure from their organization led all of us to disclose less than we were previously. My time with them has come to an end and the costs of keeping me on as an employee would be impossible for them and the costs of my staying on in a volunteer format when I need to get a paying position are too much. The costs now outweigh the benefits of continuing our association in the same format. There has been less disclosue and therefore depenetration.
Uncertainty Reduction Theory
Uncertainty Reduction Theory is based on the idea of Charles Burger that discusses when people meet, their primary concern is to reduce uncertainty about each other and their relationship. As using verbal and nonverbal communication, self-disclosure, and similarities increase, uncertainty decreases—and vice versa. As well as using information seeking and reciprocity.
This theory reminds me of a specific job I had to do for Brownstone Marketing. We were hired to go and film a Bret Michaels concert for a Snapple commercial. The objective was to capture live footage of Bret and glorify him as well as possible. I went to the job alone since my boss was to be out of town that evening. At first, I had to go and represent my company, make sure everything would go smoothly, and execute the job well. I had to speak with the client that hired us and I knew he was friends of Jason's. This didn't ease my feelings on the job at all, I was even more worked up knowing that he would expect Jason to send his best people over for this very important and crucial job. My first concern when I met the client was that I wanted to reduce any feelings he may have immediately with me as a young intern so I did what I knew best, I talked about my job and exactly what I was prepared to do. Any time he tried to give me ideas, I stayed one step ahead of him and finished his sentences. This showed him that I knew what I was doing and that directing me during his busy night, was going to be the last thing he'd have to worry about. Right away, this changed his initial thoughts of me and allowed him to focus on anything else he'd have to do because he knew that I would take care of everything he'd ask. We had similarities in what he wanted done and how I was going to do it, and I agreed with his ideas and executed those perfectly.
This theory correlates with my many of my experiences at Allen Hospital. We are all fraught with uncertainties when we start any new job in a new and unfamiliar field. For example, this internship with Allen Hospital is my first professional job in the field of Public Relations. I always want to make a great first impression, especially with my supervisor and other employees in the office. As soon as we met and began to use verbal communication about what I would be doing for them throughout the semester and answering question they had asked about my self. They assured me that I would do just fine in the position and that if I ever needed anything or had any questions to not be afraid to ask. This made me feel more at easy and was able to open up more and feel more comfortable with the other employees.
This goes along with Burgers idea of axioms that explain the connection between uncertainty. The 1st Axiom is verbal communication which states that the amount of verbal communication between strangers increases, the level of uncertainty decreases, and, as a result, verbal communication increases.
In addition, burgers other axioms have also already been expressed throughout my time at Allen thus far. Such as nonverbal communication, information seeking between informations from co-workers to myself and informations about myself to co-workers. For example, Mary is a women who just started shortly before I did, because she is new, not many of the people who have been there a while know much about her either, they are constantly asking us different questions about us to get more information, and we have found many similar interests among ourselves. Mary and I can also find similarities between ourselves with both being newcomers at Allen.
I have now been able to experience good verbal communication and other aspects of the other axioms with everyone that I work so closely with. I can talk to any of them with ease and discuss any problems or questions I may have. I look forward to continuing using this process of uncertainty reduction and the other theories at Allen Hospital.
As an intern with Roaring Lion, I began in high uncertainty about what my exact responsibilities were and how I would have a successful internship when my boss and the company are in California. However, after I was hired and began communicating on a regular basis with my boss, my uncertainty gradually reduced to the point where I feel comfortable calling my boss, rather than just emailing. Also, I have discovered similar goals between my boss and myself as the uncertainty in our relationship has diminished.
Just as you were at Roaring Lion, I am an intern at Allen Hospital, I was very confused on what I was really suppose to be doing because I was not really shown what to do. The first day at it they put me with the intern that it was her last day. She did not really care to show me much. After talking with the hiring manager and got used to her feel of work she made me feel like i was doing a great job and any question she was happy to answer and show me what to do. We have great communication back and fourth she will call me and make notes for me for things I need to get done in a day for her. I really am getting know her and build a great relationship!
Going along with this, my internship with Iowa Student PIRGs, has had me communicate weekly over conference calls with at least 6 people at a time. Before going into this internship I had never done a call such as this. These people on the call come from all over the country. What made this harder was the lack of being able to be present with each other with the first meeting. With this theory Burgers explains that the uncertainty reduces with the relationship is very accurate but also goes along with communication on the telephone.
It helped that we all took turns introducing and explaining ourselves, but the overall conversation was difficult to have. Our supervisor was a big help with leading the discussions and explaining the internships but found it difficult to address those discussions with people you are not familiar with or can be non-verbal with.
This experience has shown how important it is to have the non-verbal there in the communication process as well as verbal. Burgers theory can take a whole other level of uncertainty when there is not any non-verbal communication.
I also had a lot of uncertainty going into my new internship at Cedar Valley United Way, as several others did. I began to reduce my uncertainty immediately but engaging in conversations with my co-workers. Myself and the other intern started at the same time and were given some organization tasks at the beginning. These did not require much concentration, and therefore we were able to get past the entry stage and move toward the personal. We shared about our families, friends, and activities. We also have found that we have several similarities which reduces our uncertainty
I am still unsure about relationships with some of the others who work in the office because I am not able to speak with them on a daily basis. We have reached the entry stage, but have not gotten into any of the personal. The exception is the boss that I work directly under. You can not move very far past the personal stage with those who are above you at the workplace because there are certain constraints and boundaries of what information you should share with each other.
I have also had to give some presentations for United Way. When I am standing up in front of a crowd, many people are uncertain of who I am or what I am going to be talking about. I start out by introducing myself and saying what I do. Later on I share more about myself, which reduces their uncertainty about me, and makes me more personable to them. When they understand more of who I am, they become more willing to listen to me and are able to take more from my presentation.
Berger’s Uncertainty Reduction Theory is the best way to describe how I felt amongst my new co-workers at PFG Best when I first started. It was quite obvious that I was trying to reduce my uncertainty about them, and they were trying to reduce their uncertainty about me. Over the past month and a half I can really see Berger’s axioms taking place day-to-day with my co-workers and myself.
My uncertainty started to decrease quite rapidly just by using axiom 1, verbal Communication. I started to just talk to the people I see every day at work and that eventually reduced the uncertainty more and more and lead into axioms 2 and 3, nonverbal warmth and information seeking. I would say that I am now ready to engage in axioms 4and 5, self-disclosure and reciprocity with the co-workers that I have reduced uncertainty with.
There are also co-workers of mine that I still have yet to get past axiom 1 with. PFG Best has several employees, most of them I will never work with, but it seems like they all know each other well enough to not have any uncertainty. I am hoping to reach this point at some time in my interning period, but I know that I will have to be the front-runner in starting verbal communication if I want that to happen.
I have started to enter axioms 4 and 5 with the co-workers I engage in projects with, and I hope things keep moving towards axiom 8 so that uncertainty is at a low.
Interning at Spread the Care, it is somewhat difficult to get past axiom 1 stage. We all work pretty independently so to reduce the uncertainty has become very difficult in our relationships. Some interns know others more because they have been there longer but the individuals who have just started this fall are at more of a disadvantage. There is a lot of non-verbal communication that is used because of the independent working that goes on. Currently we are trying to contact colleges in the Midwest to get them on board with our campaign but getting input from others lead into axioms 2 and 3 reducing the uncertainty in our relationships.
When one meets someone new, there is often very little they know about each other. This uncertainty may cause hesitations in the development of the relationship. In order to decrease the amount of uncertainty and move forward with the relationship, both parties should use communication to reduce the uncertainty between them. In cases where we expect continued interaction or there are strong incentives, the motivation to reduce uncertainty increases.
The two types of uncertainty are behavioral and cognitive. Behavioral refers to that way one behaves around someone they don’t completely understand. When I first began in the football office, some of the coaches were very laid back where as others were more intense and I was uncertain of how to act around them. I was unsure if they expected me to very outgoing and chatty, or serious and totally focused, but throughout my time I have learned that they expect me to be a little of both. With my superiors I am always respectful simply because they are my bosses. This is a behavior that everyone should already know.
Cognitive uncertainty refers to who the person is. To understand more about someone, people usually ask questions. This is a simple way to learn the basics, such as age, family members, favorite things etc. All of the aspects help us better understand who we are communicating with and how to act around them, which is important in developing new relationships.
Axiom 1 states that verbal communication reduced uncertainty and increases the amount of verbal communication between the two parties. This is very true in my internship because they more that I have interacted with my supervisor and the other coaches through verbal communication, uncertainty has decreased and the amount of verbal communication has increased. Axiom 5, similarities between people reduce uncertainty, is also true. The more I communicate with the people I work with, we learn that we have several things in common. This helps us understand each other on a closer level which helps reduce uncertainty.
I was able to find out information about the people I was working with through observation, asking others, and talking to them face-to-face. I often learn the most by observing them as they interact with others or by asking someone else about them.
Overall, uncertainty reduction theory is important in not only a new work environment, but in everyday life. You never know when you will meet someone new and will have to use different strategies to understand them and how they communicate.
As I started my internship at Veridian, I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect being that I was new. Uncertainty is unpleasant and makes us uncomfortable. Due to uncertainty there is motivation to reduce it by communicating. On my first day at my internship I was very shy and didn’t disclose much other than basics such as name, age, and where I go to school which is considered the entry state in the theory. Much of the interaction in this entry phase is controlled by communication rules and norms.
A couple of days in to my internship I became more at ease because I was getting to know people by sharing and disclosing more which is also known as the personal stage. By interacting with with others at my internship, I became more comfortable and the tension and awkwardness normally decreased, making the relationship more intimate between my new co workers. During this phase, the communicators feel less constrained by rules and norms and tend to communicate more freely with each other. I would say this is the stage that most of my interactions with the people at the internship is because I am getting to know who they are and what their personality is like.
I hope by sharing I am able to move towards the third stage which is the exit phase. During this phase, the communicators decide on future interaction plans. This may include discussing or negotiating ways to allow the relationship to grow and continue.
When I first started as an intern with the Cedar Falls Woman’s Club I experienced high levels of Uncertainty. Within Axiom one the verbal communication increased within the Restoration Committee with whom I spend the majority of my time. I work with some of the members of this committee on a semi-regular basis although most of my work is done alone. My interview was actually done during one of their committee meetings. The semi-casual atmosphere and open communication helped with uncertainty as well. They seemed to appreciate my openness, honesty and ease with their questions during that first meeting which I assume eased their uncertainty. During my first couple of weeks there I engaged in much information seeking by asking questions of the employees and club members, observing their interactions with one another and reviewing material left behind by other interns they have had in the past.
Since that first meeting I have met with the restoration committee every week and have sat in on two club board meetings. I have found similarities between myself and several of the other club members, one or two in particular. These similarities have reduced uncertainty even further as we have moved along.
As a first time intern at In Centerville Iowa, I can now say that I have experienced and acknowledged the uncertainty reduction theory first hand, as it was actually occurring. The whole premise of the uncertainty reduction theory makes sense once I learned about it in my communication courses here at UNI. It is only natural that all communicators seek to reduce uncertainty with those they are seeking to communicate with. We want to feel comfortable and have a sense of control over most communication situations- especially situations which we deem important like a job or internship.
The three stages to the uncertainty reduction theory (entry, personal and exit) also make sense as they can be applied to many everyday communication situations. However I had never tried thinking about this theory's applications until reflecting on a situation. My first day at my internship is best defined by the entry stage of the uncertainty reduction theory. I was extremely nervous about my new work environment, assignments and the expectations of my boss (internship supervisor). While I wanted to remain in the orientation stage of the social penetration theory, I also wanted to help reduce my uncertainty about the cultural norms at the company. Once I began the orientation process and began seeing and getting a feel for the work environment and duties, I entered the personal stage where I began communicating with others and moving further into the social penetration. I also feel like at this stage that the notion of reciprocity started to slightly diminish (at least on my part). I no longer felt pre-obligated to over analyze company rules or cultural norms. I think I am still in the personal stage of the uncertainty reduction theory and by the end of my internship hope to be moving toward the exit stage by having little to no uncertainty regarding the important information and relationships fully established.
Uncertainty theory is true in my case for meeting co-workers as well as "contacts," during news stories. Since by now I feel fairly comfortable around all the employees at Cedar Falls City News, my next big step is making relationships out of the acquaintances that I meet. It's somewhat difficult because everyone else knows the go-to sources for our news, but to me it's an unfamiliar face. In some ways its easier being introduced vs meeting on my own, however the girls that already know them chat up a storm and often about subjects I can't give any input. After being silent for a minute or so waiting for their irrelevant discussion to subside, one of the co-workers sometimes leave me there with them. From that point, I'm an uncertain subject that they don't trust. It's only through both my verbal and nonverbal effort can I establish that.
Like many others, I began my internship with a great deal of uncertainty. It was my goal to reduce that uncertainty and create a sense of comfort as my internship progressed. Now, having spent nearly 3 months at Green Iowa, I have become quite comfortable in the atmosphere that is present. In addition, I have utilized Burger's axioms to increase communication, relationships, and more at the same time as decreasing uncertainty.
Uncertainty reduction theory is the idea that uncertainty is unpleasant so we are motivated to reduce it by communication. The idea is that the more that we talk with someone the more we will find out about that individual, which will reduce our uncertainty and increase happiness. This reduction of uncertainty comes in three stages and they are: entry, personal, and exit. Entry is the beginning stage of when we just meet someone and are trying to find out who they are. The personal stage is when conversation becomes more than superficial topics and beliefs and attitudes are shared. In the final phase of exit future communication is talked about and it may end there or continue on. In my internship for ATP I was not in the entry stage at all. This was the case because I had worked for ATP the year before gaining valuable experience as a camera operator. I had also had one of the owners of ATP as a boss at a previous job, so when I started my internship I was already pass the entry stage and had moved on to the personal stage. I am currently in the personal stage because I currently converse with my coworkers and supervisors on topics that are not simply superficial conversation. Because this is the case I feel that my uncertainty has been reduced and I feel more comfortable doing my job and interacting with my coworkers and supervisors. The final stage of uncertainty reduction theory is the exit stage, and I will be reaching that stage soon because my internship is almost over. At that time I will have to do decide whether I want to continue on with communication or stop it. I think in the case of my internship I will continue communication because of the great experience that I have had doing my internship at ATP. However, I might be forced to stop communication with some of my coworkers as they will be graduating and moving on to their careers.
When I first arrived to the UNI athletics office, I was uncomfortable due to not knowing what my actual responsibilities would be and who I would be working with. To get to know the people around me I would take notice of what teams they liked and slowly introduce my self to them. after a few weeks of working with the people around me, I started to get to know my co workers personally and started to get to know their likes dislikes interests, and what kind of information they may have or their role within the group and who I needed to talk to in case my supervisor wasn't immediately available. Once I got to know my responsibilities within the organization and my role due to talking with other members and constantly performing my duties, I have begun to feel like im apart of the team as opposed to the new guy to the group. I now know the lingo of the group and it allows me to do my job better than before, I know what they are expecting from me and what I can expect from my co workers.
X & Y Approach
The author Douglas McGregor came up with theories on the motivation of employees. These two theories are based on the management being in control of the creation of each company. The two theories are Theory X and Theory Y.
When taking an average person, Theory X describes the lack of motivation a person has towards the company. This theory is greatly related to the work ethics of the millennial generation. This type of person dislikes working, has no ambition to get things done, avoids difficult situations, has trouble taking orders and does not care about the goals or achievements of the company. The main focus is receiving money.
Theory Y is the opposite of Theory X. The generation that resembles this theory mostly is the generation x. These types of people love to work; they get enjoyment out of it. They are always fully committed to their work, overachieve, act responsibly and fulfill the company’s requests.
My boss at Brownstone Marketing is theory Y. He will tell me exactly who he likes to work with, who is hard to work with but he still likes working with them, and who he hates working with, based on their motivation and accomplishments. I would describe myself as Theory Y for many reasons. First, it's very important to be passionate with your work, if you don't love it then you most likely aren't giving it your all, which will result in a terrible product. Second, attacking every angle and staying on point. Sometimes I slip away from this idea, it's easy to get distracted and fall due to distraction while working on a specific project. It's important to have deadlines and reminders so there is no room for error. I think this works best when you have a boss. I've been doing work on my own and being my own boss is often impossible because I let things over take my time and there for I don't get anything done. Third, theory X is someone who doesn't have any direction or is unmotivated. At Brownstone, there isn't really an employee that resembles this. Brownstone has a team with the Y theory intact at all time, this keeps the team working hard and focusing on each and every new project they receive.
When I am bringing in volunteers to help with the campaign, these are two different characteristics that I will want to keep separate. Theory Y is the type of person that would be reliable and supportive in a stressful campaign. The ones who have passion for the cause are the ones that will get the jobs done. Especially when the company is a non-profit organization and you are volunteering; there will be no pay. Therefore the ones who do the work for the joy of bringing happiness to families and peers are the ones who should be on board with the campaign.
As a leader of an organization searching for the volunteers in their campaign can be difficult. After going through the process already of finding volunteers, my campaign can only succeed. Searching for people to participate in stopping hunger for the Student PIRG's group has not been an easy task. Found a lot of people in the Theory X factor because they are not committed to the work. After awhile of searching, my campaign not only has hard working volunteers, it became sponsored. A lot more can come out of people who fall under Theory Y, more opportunities happen.
The X & Y approach is something that I have encountered through my job with Hy-Vee and my internship with the UNI Athletics office. At my internship with the UNI Athletic Office, my supervisors take a theory Y approach with the interns. My supervisors know that the interns are motivated to doing their jobs and responsibilities assigned to them. Because of this, my supervisors give interns opportunities to be a part of the team, and encourage interns to take more responsibilities while seeking ideas from them. Because of the theory Y leadership that is at the UNI Athletics Office, I am always being given different roles and responsibilities that make my internship exciting and make me feel like a valuable part of the team and that I am actually contributing to the promotion of UNI athletics as opposed to feeling like I have no responsibility's and that I'm not a valued member.
Similarly to the internship at the UNI Athletics Office, as Site Supervisor for Green Iowa AmeriCorps, our Program Director encompasses a very dominant theory Y approach. The main reason being, that AmeriCorps members do not receive a salary for their services. Although they do receive a living allowance, it is clear that the members are doing the work very much so based on their passion a commitment to gaining experience not only for themselves, but to bring joy to others as well.
Theory X is something that is not particularly relevant in my situation, due to the previously mentioned reasons. I think this is an incredibly beneficial and rewarding approach to take with members since helping others in need, such as those with disabilities or the elderly, can be a truly remarkable experience as many of our members have discovered.
As McGregor explains, motivation comes within and is typically driven by either money or a desire to improve something. Despite generalizations between generation X and the millennial generation, I think it becomes evident that Green Iowa AmeriCorps members are unique in the sense that motivation stems from their passion and theory Y approach.
I agree, to a certain extent, that generation X is money-seeking and driven by what they can get out of a certain situation. However, I think this generality is turning around relative to internships. The job market is difficult and many companies are hiring more unpaid interns. Since experience will give someone an edge to get a better job, more and more students are taking unpaid internships and doing their absolute best to gain experience, not money. Although the end goal is experience to get a better job and more money, the end goal for the internship itself is experience and hard work. Interns are definitely becoming Theory Y.
When I am making phone calls trying to get colleges to jump on board with our campaign, I look for Theory X individuals instead of Theory Y. Theory X is the type of people you would want working for you, or even with you. It is never fun to be the only one putting in any effort on a project while others are lacking motivation and sit back and watch. If a person seems more Theory Y, I prepare myself for what kind of worker and motivation the individual is goign to have working with our campaign.
In my experience thus far at Spread the Care, I have had a chance to get to know my two supervisors and what kind of managers they are. I have noticed that, between the two of them, they have a Theory X approach to dealing with the interns. Although each intern has a list of tasks to complete on a daily basis, it is not uncommon for one of our supervisors to be in constant supervision of the interns. In my personal experience, my supervisor tends to sit over my shoulder to make sure I am completing all of my tasks to her expectations. Instead of giving me constructive criticisms, she is constantly correcting errors and not giving me a chance to correct them on my own. This gives me the impression that I am not doing my job well enough.
Our supervisors also don't like to involve the interns in any decision making processes. During meetings, the supervisors will often sit on a conference room with closed doors while the rest of the interns sit in the office completing our tasks. This gives some of the interns the idea that our supervisors think we are incompetent and cannot complete the work correctly on our own. It also tends to make the interns roll through the motions of the day-to-day monotony, rather than going above and beyond to complete our tasks. Although are no coercion or implicit threats from my supervisor, she tends to use the hard approach to Theory X, which ultimately makes me unmotivated to complete my tasks.
I have learned that there will always be a Theory X manager in every job and this has helped me to find internal motivation to complete my job, rather than receiving external motivation from coworkers or supervisors.
One of the interns at the Park Place Event Centre has looked and brought dresses online during work. She has also searched for different types of beer she can drink later that night. She would be more of an Theory X worker, because she tries to avoid work at all possible costs. I am more of an Theory Y worker and I have a feeling that we are going to clash by end of the internship.
Through my experience of working for Around the Corner Productions I have gotten to know my bosses well. They are very respectful and treat their interns well. As a result, they are often Theory Y managers. They trust us and know that we can accomplish the tasks that they assign to us. I feel as though this creates a very comfortable work environment for everyone involved. That being said, there are times when they must treat us as if they are Theory X managers. This is not to be condescending, but they must make sure that we are doing adequate work so that they do not look bad.
The group of interns that are currently working for Around the Corner Productions I feel are Theory Y workers. We all work well as a group and do everything we can do help each other out. As the semester has gone on, they have given us more freedom and no longer correct us on every thing we do. In the past, it seems as though they used to have many theory x workers. My bosses have told me stories about interns in the past who worked for them who had to be constantly supervised. The group of interns now allows them to be more flexible and act as Theory Y workers.
At my internship at Allen Hospital, the head lady I work for is a definate Theory Y. She is dedicated to Allen. She had called me the other day and left me a message that said she was in the office from 7am to 6 pm. She is a hard worked and wants whats best for the company. She is the hiring manager for Allen, she tries to find the best fit for people so they enjoy their job so they can be just as dediccated as she is. It seems like she is always working and making the best of her day and staying positive.
Overall, I feel as though my bosses are creating the most positive work environment possible. They are supervising to a good degree without making me feel inadequate. The other interns have expressed similar feelings. There is a sense of trust between the workers and the supervisors. This has made my time more enjoyable and I respect them for treating me so positively and I believe my work has been better as a result.
The X and Y Approach Theory are often used by managers without even knowing that they are using it. So far at my internship at PFGBEST it seems as if the Y approach is what managers think of how their employees look at their work. In Theory Y managers will assume that their employees are self-motivated and can show self-control. This seems like it could be dangerous at times, but it works very well in my department at PFGBEST.
I started my internship kind of nervous about doing some of the work that was assigned to me because I had never had any professional experience before. My supervisor not treating me with the X approach, which is when a manager will assume that their employees are lazy and try to avoid work, really helped me gain confidence and professionalism. When I knew she thought in her head that I was a self-motivated worker, it pushed me to believe it as well.
My work has improved and I have started to become more involved with other projects. I am enjoying working with different social media campaigns and I hope to keep myself self-motivated to accomplish my goals.
I am currently in my second internship, but I think Theory X & Y were illustrated really well in my first internship at ME&V. My managers were definitely Theory Y. They were task-oriented and wanted us students to get the most value out of our experience with the company. I kept busy and felt as though some of the Theory X employees missed out.
I was very lucky to get an internship at 4 Seasons Heating and Cooling for a number of reasons but the biggest one is that my boss is completely Theory Y. When I got the position I was given a list of things that he would like to accomplish at my time there. The list was very specific in what he wanted done but it said nothing about how to do it. He did not give me any guidelines for how to do my job, he just wanted to accomplish some things. This was awesome for me because I was able to learn a lot by having these freedoms.
My position is definitely a Theory Y worker but I am the only one at the company that is that way. The reason for that is because I am the only one at the company that is doing my job. The boss was not all to familiar with what a public relations/ marketing person does or how they do it so he was not able to tell me what to do really. Everyone else he has a very tight grip on. Although he does not sit over their shoulder and tell them what to do he keeps a very close eye on their work. If he does not like what has been done or what is being done he makes immediate changes to their work or their processes.
Agenda Setting deals with media and their influences on public opinion. The first level looks at the issues/objects covered by the media and the salience directed to those. The second level looks more into the characteristics of those issues and their import to the public. It is believed that the mass media has the ability to tell the public what to think about though not necessarily how to think of it.
The more the issue/objective is placed in the media the more the public will take in the information. If it is seen in numerous ways in numerous locations, than the public's eye will pay attention to it more. Therefore, the public learns from the media about the issues.
At Brownstone, they are constantly setting an image to the public… Or at least to their cliental. They want to potray the image of being a hard working, very diverse in media company so that clients can feel satisfied with their work, before they even cut the check. Mass Media is able to set these standards through marketing, you want the best, most clean product you can buy- so when clients go out looking to spend, they go for that exact product. What Brownstone does is intercepts those clients who are interested by having the image of a clean/cut business with a great workflow. I understand with certain businesses like McDonalds or Walmart, having the proper location will better help your business but just simply keeping the image through marketing (bilboards, stickets, flyers, business cards, websites, etc.) will help market your company to the public with a certain style and concept that lets them know, "Hey, I'm a legit company- Come see what we do."
In my position at Spread the Care, we have not branched out enough to be having an impact on individuals through the media. The hopes to expand and have more colleges on board by the following year would be ideal, and then the role of media would be crucial. There is however a website that individuals can visit to gain a better understanding of what the organization really is and where they can log their good deeds. This website has not been very effective in my opinion.
In my position within the Cedar Falls Woman's Club I communicate their news to the media. I put out a media alert and a press release for our groundbreaking ceremony and the goals of the project they are undergoing. The Cedar Falls Woman's Club wants to undergo a large restoration that will cost a great deal of money but they are funded through membership dues and donations. No one will donate or join the club if they do not know that it exists. According to the agenda setting theory more people will pay attention to and acknowledge the Cedar Falls Woman's Club and their needs if they are publicized within the mass media.
My work is to help the Woman's Club raise those funds and so I work to have them publicized and promote them in a positive way. The public does not have to see them in a positive way but they are more likely to if the mass media publishes it that way.
The Agenda Setting Theory also explains how the media does not reflect reality but more shape it. As I am working on the media release for my campaign with the Iowa Student PIRGs, I can see how this comes together. The information is getting out to the public but I am the one putting it out there and what is said. How people take the information and go with it is how the whole campaign shapes together into the success it will.
This concept is something that employees and directors take into consideration on a day to day basis at Cedar Falls city station; the news station I'm interning at. So in this case it's not so much about how the company is affected by it, but how we affect our audience with it. For the most part, having an internal position like so can yield more power and influence on the public. It's something that needs to be used carefully. That's why objectivity, and clear, concise facts that allow audience members to formulate their own judgements are our biggest interest. Positioning the most important content in a relevent, meaninful order is also a big part of this.
At my position at 4 Seasons Heating and Cooling an agenda was set at the begininng of the internship. The goal of my job during the internship is to create awarness throughout the local communities about the business. I have done a couple things for them that were implemented immediately. I created a new company logo that is more appealing to the customer. I have also done a direct mailer to five hundred local community members. The mailer used had multiple purposes. The first was to get our name to five hundred families that although may have heard of us, have not contacted our company. The second reason for the mailer was to inform local consumers about the funace safety and carbon monoxide. The final reason for the mailer was to get us in the door working for some of these people. By accomplishing the first two goals the third one should fall into place. Hopefully the new logo and the mailer will create the company awareness that we are looking for.
A major aspect that I have learned through my internship with the Student PIRG's is that grabbing the attention of the media is what will make or break your campaign all together. Therefore, the attraction of your posters, news releases, etc. need to be creative enough to draw in the public eye. As spoken above when they created a new company logo is a great example of this aspect. Keeping things modern and up to date will lead the public in your direction. Recently, I have sent out flyers and posted to catch the students eye and the response already has been beneficial. Lots of color and eye attracting fonts were used. If the advertising here makes the campaign look like a fun and exciting time, than that is what the public will view it as.
While at In Centerville Iowa, I have had a chance to recently think about the notion of agenda setting. We are producing some coverage of local political hopefuls and have had to think about how we are framing and disseminating certain content. We are essentially telling the public to think about the upcoming elections and the importance of the political race for the community. The agenda setting theory states that the powerful elite and the media have the ability to and actually do set the important cultural and community agendas. Some recent examples which show evidence of agenda setting include the search for "weapons of mass destruction". Those with political and military power set the notion for searching for the alleged weapons, and the media's coverage of the story created somewhat of a rally cry (for many Americans). The way the story and information was framed and repeated helped to set one of the most important United States agendas for the past decade. At my internship we try to not set agendas, but rather to just provide information and entertainment to the community and local businesses.However there can always be unforeseen or unintended interpretations of certain media which will either lead to the establishment of agendas, or the impression of such. I am learning the best way to protect yourself from this as a media producer is to not get to personal to the content and to remain informative and factual (not biased).
While working at the Park Place Event Center, Barmuda closed Sky Event Center and Black Piano Bar. The media reported the news as if people were out of jobs and brides lost their event center. When in fact, Barmuda worked closely with the Bride to transfer their weddings to the Park Place Event Centre. They did not raise the prices, the closed Ferrari's if an event was already planned. They also sent invite to the brides guest with the new reception hall even if the wedding was not at a Barmuda business. The media set the agenda for the public and were uninformed of Barumda's corrective actions.
At the UNI Athletics Office, One of the things we do is promote and disseminate information to the Public, When the NCAA announced that UNI would play at home in the quarter finals of the FCS playoffs, we had to promote the game to the public and to our students as a big event for the whole school, not just another game, and that we needed their help and needed them at the game in a week where student typically are still at home because of thanksgiving break. We were able to get 15,000 plus people to the game through promotion on the athletic website and local ads telling readers that they could get their tickets to the game at local Hy-Vee stores. Because of the power of large crowds at the dome, the Panthers beat Wofford and moved onto the next round of the playoffs.
Symbolic Convergence Theory
This theory is basic to the extent that it involves dealing with people’s values, beliefs, motivations, and feelings toward their actions in different experiences.
When dealing with the SCT (Symbolic Convergence Theory), there are five stages that someone goes through. These stages deal with the visions that someone has throughout the process.
The first stage deals with creation, this all deals with the beginning of the experiences that someone goes through. My experience through Iowa Student PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) had me start off in this stage right away. There was no time wasted where I have to start recruiting volunteers to join me in my campaign that is being held in November. From here I set up a small meeting to get this group of people together to start the process.
The second stage deals now with consciousness-raising. This is where the brainstorming for the events or campaigns begins to take place within the group that is together. We did a lot of this and then went further by figuring out the pros and cons of each idea. Also in this stage is where all members go out and start recruiting more such as in the classrooms.
The third stage than deals with consciousness-sustaining. This is what my campaign is at now because it deals with the original members are completely focused and committed but there are more members coming in to learn more about the campaign.
Moving to the fourth stage, vision-declining, starts to deal with situations in the campaign or event that begin to change or go wrong. This is almost like a bump in the road, something that each group with have to be ready for. This is also looked at as the event. By being ready for anything to happen such as rain at an outdoor event is an example of something that could happen and needs to be prepared for. My campaign will be held outside, but there is already a back-up plan in a near building that is ready for that situation.
Now that my campaign has happened, there was the bump in the road that had to be dealt with. Mine was not being able to promote in buildings without being a UNI department or sponsored by one. This made the whole plan change and a new campaign had to be revised.
The final fifth stage, vision implosion, is where the feelings and emotions from the event going on will come out. It is what everything a group has been working towards and the reactions that come from them about everything that happens.
There are five stages that build up the core of Symbolic Convergence Theory, and creation is the first stage. My internship at PFG Best had me doing this step right off the bat. One of my top tasks right away was to create advertisements and wall posts for Facebook pages. I have been creating these wall posts and advertisement ever since.
The next stage is conscience-raising. This theory takes place in my department almost every day. I have 2 to 3 people that I work with every day on the creation of advertisements with certain themes. We discuss themes and different directions in where we want the advertisements created to go. We are all conscience of what we want the advertisements to look like, and that helps in the process of creating them.
Conscience-sustaining is a major part of the campaigns that I am involved with at PFG Best. New people have been hired since I have been brought on board and I could see that it was very important that they understood the direction that was needed for the social media campaigns that I am involved with.
The vision-declining stage is something that I haven’t seen at PFG Best yet. If something is changed it has been mutually decided and everyone understands the adjustment. None of the adjustments that I have been a part of or witnessed have caused any major differences in the public’s opinion.
The final stage of the Social Convergence Theory is vision implosion. I have seen both sides of this stage in my time at PFG Best. Some of the changes that have been made take immediate effect and some of them take time to take effect.
At the Park Place Event Centre, the interns had to be creative in creating the floor plan. The vendor become argumentative if you change their booth from the year before, but the fashion show stage created problems due to lack of seating. We had to come up with a new layout that pleased everyone. We decided to switch the booths in front stage with the dance floor that was in between the two sets of booths. This created more space to place chairs before the fashion show started. The new arrangement caused a little problem in the beginning, because vendors could not see the entrance and felt the were hidden behind a curtain. However, the day after the same booths that complained gave great reviews on their location, because they had great traffic. this was because they had no booth competition across from them on the aisle. All in all, we received no complaints after the show ended, so our creativity paid off in the end.
My most recent accomplishments at Cedar Falls Channel 15 has been what I've found myself loving the most; making commercials. As you can believe, the process in itself is completely visionary. Starting with the creation of the idea, where I injected my ideas for a topic. Both the client, my manager, and other workers of the business were involved in this process. Then comes consciousness rasising- a step that others had been through traditionally in making commercials, but I was new to and therefor not very accustomed to some of the standards. Technically, there were settings and exports that needed to be adjusted for the commercial to be broadcast properly. More relative to the actual conscience raising would be the client and seasoned workers approving of my contributions and feeding off of it to make ideas they typically come up with even better. The third step of consciousness-sustaining is said to last up to a decades, but the example I provided isn't looking at the overall organization. Instead, for these purposes, I am examining a specific task handled within the organization. After raising consciousness about my ideas, sustaining happens when there is further approval through future commercials or current script revisions. Vision declining comes into play after revisions are made either in the company, protocol of commercial making process, or when another intern comes in with different visons in mind for commercials, or sees no need to work on them at all. External factors could contribute to the final step of vision implosion. Tax cuts, budget cuts, or new management are dramatic enough to wipe out how day to day business operates, and communicating with clients about making PSAs and commercials would no longer be a working part.
The Hypodermic Needle Theory tells us how media effects people by targeting them to think a certain way. The theory implies that mass media has has a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audience.
The theory suggests that the mass media could influence a very large group of people directly and uniformly "injecting" or "shooting" them with appropriate message designed to trigger a desired response.
The most common and effective medium that Veridian Credit Union utilizes is the news. Whether its television, radio or newspaper. Veridian is aware that most people are spending their time using media and usually becoming knowledgeable about products or events going on from it. In short, the primary things that media does is shape audience perception.
Student PIRG's organization utilizes the media the same as Veridian Credit Union. Media is the most effective way for the public to learn about different events. The news factor is what a lot of the public focuses on and that is what any organization takes into account. To get my campaign out to the campus, the school paper, displays around campus, and the UNI tv are all the key factors that I am taking into consideration. It is a strong system that this theory teaches us.
As for the theory, whatever kind of news or press release that Veridian shows on TV, radio or the newspaper it will be "injected" on peoples minds and have an influence on them. Veridian understands the power of this theory, because it places influence on people and understand the power the news and media has on them.
For example, the event that I am currently planning for my internship with Veridian is the Thanksgiving Dinner. The dinner provides a free hot meal for anyone wishing to attend. Veridian has already started advertising and doing press releases for the event. I believe the message that Veridian would like to emphasize and "inject" to others is that they place a high priority on the community and how giving back and providing to the community is an importance to their company.
At my internship at Allen Hospital we are not really directly affected by the media. They do not use any of the social media outlets to there full capacity, and I think that i something that could and should be changed. They do however use TV, radio and other outlets to notify the public of different events that happen in the hospital. But they use their website for almost everything they do and need at the hospital. That is where people can go and apply for jobs, do their benefits and other important information.
But in this case I don't think that Allen goes along with the theory which suggests that the mass media could influence a very large group of people directly and uniformly "injecting" or "shooting" a message. As stated before, I think they they should be more connected to the media more as it would help people better understand the organization and new things that happen there.
The Hypodermic Needle Theory is based on the concept that mass media has a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audience. It suggests that the media can influence a large group of people by "injecting" them with the appropriate message in order to receive the desired response. This can be used in both positive or negative ways for an organization.
First, I would like to discuss the importance of developing and maintaining good, strong relationships with media at local and national levels. When an organization takes the time to develop a relationship with the media, reporters are more likely to write positive stories about it. As a university football team, it is important for everyone associated with the team to understand how to interact with members of the media because they never know when they will encounter a journalist.
With any sports team, the media plays an important role in the amount of people attending games, rankings in polls, recruitment, etc. If people see positive things about the team or the sport in the newspaper or on television, they will be more willing to attend that particular team's or sport's events.
In relation to my internship in the football office, there are weekly press releases sent to papers and released on the main website to inform the public of stats from the recent game and information about the upcoming one. Because these are released by the athletic department, they are sure to have a positive spin on them to ensure the message that is injected into the mind of the audience makes them want to come out to the games or watch them on television.
Throughout my internship I have written several letters that are sent out to recruits. These letters are used to provide the recruit with information about the football program to encourage them to come to UNI. To compile these letters, I search for UNI football in the news, skim those articles, as well as look at stats the team has recorded and mesh the two into brief update of how the team is doing. These are sent out weekly with information about the recent games and changes in the polls or awards that coaches or players have received. In this case, I am using the letters as a way of injecting the audience with the message to come to UNI.
I feel that mass media can either help or hurt an organization based on the messages they are sending out to the audience. Developing and maintaining a strong relationship with journalists will most likely result in more positive messages being sent out than negative ones. I also feel that the media is particularly important to a sports team because it is important to consistently bring in large crowds and new recruits for the future seasons.
At United Way we use media to promote giving to United Way and the great things it does. Advertisements are used on the radio to reach a large number of people. In the ad there is also an accomplished swimmer who is speaking and telling why she gives. This is helpful because it is a credible person speaking to others in the community. There is also news coverage of big events that United Way does to raise support in the community such as the Rally for the Valley event. United Way also uses social media with their Facebook page that talks about events and ways people can get involved through the community. There are also several billboards around the area that feature local people from local businesses who give to United Way. This shows the community that others around them and who are similar to them also give to United Way. Overall the more the community sees and hears about United Way and what they do the more familiar they will become with it and the more comfortable they will be with giving to United Way.
Organizational culture is a set of shared beliefs and values, traditions, networks, and shared language that are present within an organization. Organizational culture is present is some form at every single organization, it is a concept that we cannot escape from, so we might as well learn to understand how to understand it’s principles so we can fit in and work more efficiently.
One key idea that is useful in trying to understand organizational culture is Schein’s Model of organization culture. His model is often referred to the onion model, because it is comprised of a circle with three layers. The first layer is the outer layer and it is referred to as the artifacts layer. This layer is comprised of physical components that relay the cultural meaning of the company. An example would be if the company requires uniforms. At my internship we have a dress code that requires us to wear either a UNI shirt or and plane colored shit. We are not allowed to wear clothing from any other universities. This shows that the dress code is that not that strict, but we still want to represent our college is a positive way, which means not representing other universities. The second level of the circle is member’s values or the shared beliefs that they have such as loyalty. In my internship we have shared values that it should be a fun experience, but it should still be done in a professional way. When we are shooting video for a sporting event it is meant to be a fun and exciting experience, but we still expect each other to the best job possible. The final layer, which is the deepest layer, is member’s assumptions. These assumptions are often not seen and are usually not talked about by the members. These assumptions are usually the driving force behind the values that people hold. At my internship each person’s assumptions are what drive the collective value that we want to have a good time, but we want to do our best job while we do it. I think if we take the time to look at each of these layers it will be beneficial in helping us acclimate to organizational culture.
While taking part in my internship at Spread the Care, I have learned that working for a non-profit organization provides an organizational culture that is very much different from other organizations. Often times, employees of non-profit organizations work a lot harder and have more passion for their work because these organizations are funded by the government rather than by sales or profits. A part of the organizational culture at STC is the idea of volunteerism. Because I am required to work at least 10 hours a week for my internship credit, my supervisors have asked that for every eight hours of work I complete in the office, I need to use two of my weekly hours to volunteer at different places throughout the community. This not only helps us give people awareness of Spread the Care, it also helps us become more dedicated to our jobs and connect to different people in the community.
Similarly to the previous examples, working at Green Iowa AmeriCorps, I can relate to the first layer of the Schein Model since we have a laid back atmosphere as well. For example, we are required to wear either an AmeriCorps shirt or our button when providing service to others. This shows that we support our organization, but are not strict about it.
Also, just like Spread the Care is a non-profit organization, so is AmeriCorps. We have many passionate and dedicated individuals who share similar viewpoints and outlooks on their services that are being provided. This exemplifies the second layer of the Schein Model and proves that dedication and loyalty are essential within any company or organization.
Lastly, assumptions are covered in the third and final layer of Schein's Model. At AmeriCorps we have a very open atmosphere and communicate well. This helps ease tension and especially now, as we initiate two additional new members, the process of assuming roles is sort of re-starting again.
My internship is the first kind of work I have done that is relevant to my major. As a whole, the Electronic Media department is fairly laid back so I figured the internship would be as well. For the most part, I was right. My bosses were very easy to approach and to get along with. All of my coworkers were very similar as they liked to have fun but we still got our work done. In order to get the most out of my internship, my bosses did push me but not to the point where I was uncomfortable. Had it not been for them pushing me I am not sure that I would have gotten as much out of my internship. Around the Corner Productions as a whole is a very friendly and hard working group.
While working, we are required to wear University of Northern Iowa shirts while we work. This is not really enforced to a great extent but it is what we are supposed to wear. The main reason for our dress code is that we are working events for school based athletic events.
When Around the Corner Productions is working an event everyone works as a team. One camera's film work is turned into highlights by another coworker. What one camera misses the other camera will get. If anyone fails to do their job then the whole group will fail. That is why the second layer of the Schein's model is crucial to our job. If we don't trust one another then our final product will suffer. As a group, we depend on each other and thus build trust with one another.
The last layer of the Schein model is relevant to my internship but at the same time it is not. We do have roles that we assume as the internship goes on. However, what we do for each event changes. We are fluid in what are responsibilities are for each event. In a way, that is our role to always be able to adapt and do whatever is needed for that particular day.
*Social Exchange Theory*
The Social Exchange Theory explains/describes the interaction between people people and their expectations of what they hope and plan to get from it. Whether individuals are hoping to decrease/avoid punishments or increase rewards, they act in ways to increase the odds in their favor. I see many examples of this while working for the Southwestern Company; and though this thoery often portrays the "everyone is in it for himself," I find that this does not necessarily mean each indivdual is out to better himself at the cost of others.
The internship program through Southwestern is meant to develop students in many aspects of their lives. It emphasizes financial accomplishment as well as money management; improved communication skills; independence; valuable work experience; development of a long-term vision for their future; and more. As a result of these goals, the company not only helps students to develop these skills through their work as an intern, but also through additional seminars and training sessions. However, just as the old saying goes, "you can bring a horse to water but you can't make him drink," the company can provide the interns with all of the tools necessary to achieve their goals etc, but if the students choose not to use the tools, the company cannot do much more to help them.
This is where a great portion of the Social Exchange Theory comes into play. Student interns are strongly encouraged to seek out the advice of more experienced members within the company for answers and advice. Interns seek out those elder individuals whom would benefit them the most. For instance, I currently have sought our those who have recently completed their first year as a Corporate Recruiter because this is the position I will obtain after my graduation in December. In this situation, I try to obtain as much from the situation as necessary for my personal success. In other recent situations, I have consulted with my soon-to-be business partners about who we must consult with so that together we can maximize our efforts.
What impresses me most about the Southwestern Company, though, is that regardless of the fact that it strongly promotos obtaining beneficial information such as this from other members, it also promotos an atomosphere of strong mentorship. Those helping others do so out of the desire to make these individuals better. For instance, many First Year interns have sought my advice on selling process and transference of emotion; and though I will gain no personal benefit from assisting them, I do so because of the company culture to help others succeed and develop. My background with communication has helped me while working with these students as well as those I seek out because of my heightened attention to body language and voice inflection. This has helped me to emphasize my points as well as better determine what students are truly in need of. It has also helped me to teach First Year interns about their communication when with customers and team members.
The Social Exchange Theory accounts for the give and take aspects of all relationships including career/professional relationships. When we engage in relationships with others we naturally have some generalizations or expectations regarding certain aspects of that relationship. It is natural for one to consider "what am I getting out of the relationship and what am I bringing to the table". This comprehension and processing state defines the whole notion of social exchange. My internship at In Centerville Iowa has been a series of social exchange since it began. On the basic level there is the overall notion of the organization/internship relationship. As an intern, what I expect to gain from the internship is a culmination between the educational knowledge I have gained throughout my courses at the University of Northern Iowa, and the hands on practice of the skill sets needed to actually thrive in the industry upon completion of my degree. Thus far my expectations have been met as I have gained valuable hands on experience in the electronic production industry under the supervision and guidance of the organization. By taking me on as a media intern, the organization is willingly giving or sharing their knowledge and resources for the purpose of my education.
From another perspective, one can say that the intern is giving up their time and skills (basic) for the benefit of the organization (especially if the internship is an unpaid internship). The more I research the Social Exchange Theory, the more emphasis I see on the concept of perception. Like in many other aspects of communication; perception is critical. When establishing or evaluating relationships we then use the Social Exchange methods, along with our perceived notions to create a comparison level of our give to take ratio. We can then judge a relationship solely on the ratio we establish- "this internship is worth it, because I am bettering myself and the likelihood for a successful future." "I am getting more than I am giving." Typically in our society it is this ratio outcome (the ideology that one is getting more beneficially than they are taking) which produces the interpretation of a "good" relationship.
Another important topic that I have learned in class that is related to my internship is socialization of new employees or in my case new interns. Socialization is process where new employees become assimilated into the culture of the company. There are four stages of socialization they are: anticipatory, organizational, metamorphosis, and finally organizational exit.
Anticipatory socialization happens before you even get the position, it is the thoughts and ideas you have about the organization before you even get hired there. For my internship I had anticipatory socialization when my supervisor came around talked about the internship, it gave me an idea of what it was about and what it was like before I had even done the job.
Organizational socialization is when you have been hired by the company and you are trying to learn the ins and outs of the organizational culture in an effort to fit in with the other employees. This stage is where you learn the reality of the organizational culture it might be what you thought before you got the job. This happened at my internship at one of the first events that I worked at. I found out that the culture was one that really stressed being professional, but still having a good time and enjoying UNI athletics.
What had been found in my internship, which is like said previously, is I was expecting it to be professional and found out to be very layed back. This is because all meetings were held through conference calls. Also, the conversations on the calls are all very laid back where many jokes are said and just catching up with each others personal lives. The culture they pursue with the PIRG's organization is as if it was a club and we all get to know each other and learn about the aspects of proper training.
Metamorphosis socialization happens when you learn the ins and outs of the organizational culture and you begin to fit in with the workers around you. This happen for me after about a half dozen events, I began to fit in with my fellow workers and supervisors. I felt like I was a part of the group as appose to someone who was new.
The final step is organizational exit socialization; this step is when the individual leaves the company. They can leave for any number of reasons from retirement to seeking a new job. This stage of socialization hasn’t happened yet at my internship, but it will eventually happen when my internship is over and I move on to look for another position.
It's funny how culture of an organization can differ from the people involved in it, and how it shapes people to conform to a different way. The people at Cedar Falls City news are actually all people I've known or knew of before picking up my internship, and thought their personalities are the same, how they act in a professional settings has adjusted. It's a proper adjustment, but one that I wasn't accustomed to. What was especially weird is I had worked with one of the girls before on campus and she hadn't really taken things seriously, but here was a role reversal. Instead of me keeping up with her on what to do, I was getting instructions from her. Protocol is important.
There's also there culture within the organization that's centered around a mesh-mix of the employees, which in this case is light hearted and fun. On jeep rides over to the football games that we record, it's joke telling and Mcdonald's runs to get monopoly pieces in hopes that everyones put together will hopefully lead to a grand prize. Wishfully thinking, but you get the idea. Since I actually did know the gang, there wasn't the six week period of adjusting. It was probably more like one week, yet that's still more than I anticipated prior to walking in the door for the first time.
Organizational Socialization has an effect on every job or internship anyone goes through. I experienced this through the Student PIRG's when we had our first conference calls. I was informed that these calls all consisted of the interns sharing their updates each week and being trained to learn how to do everything. Once the call happened, it all finally made sense. The whole internship finally made sense once it was all explained. It just took that first step to get adjusted into the flow of the internship.
At my internship at Allen Memorial Hospital I have gone through most of the socialization stages, anticipation and encounter. Currently I would say that I have entered into the metamorphosis stage. In this stage you start to feel accepted into the organization as a full participating member. Also in this stage you start to participate actively, and understand the role you have at your workplace, more or less you "identify" with the organization.
I feel now that I am no longer considered or looked at as the newcomer in my department. I have created strong bonds with the people that I work closely with and we share deeper information than a work based conversation. People every outside my department that work in the hospital now know me by name and vise versa. I know what is expected of me, and I now have a daily routine set in place that I follow. There is no longer a need to ask questions for directions for an assignment or task they give me. I think that I am also more accepted as an intern, because others have seen my abilities and they know they can give me a task and know it will be done well and efficiently.
The last stage in Organizational Socialization that I have yet to experience is the exit stage, I have not yet gotten to this point, but I will at the end of the semester and my internship there will be over. But before that I look forward to continuing in the metamorphosis stage, learning and growing in the organization.
Organizational Socialization can be both a positive and a negative thing, depending on the person/internship. In my internship at Spread the Care, Organizational Socialization has been a positive thing, but it has also been very different from what I imagined it would be. In the anticipatory stage of my internship, I was researching different places to work and came across an email regarding a non-profit organization. Because I would like to work in non-profit after graduation, I did a bit of research and applied for the internship, although I still didn't have a good idea of what the organization was.
The Organizational Socialization stage began for me during my interview. Jennifer, my current supervisor, presented me with some information about Spread the Care and what they were trying to accomplish as a start-up business. My first few days of the internship were not at all how I had imagined them, because the work was different from what I had imagined. A part of this stage for me was also trying to fit in with the interns who had been there throughout the summer.
The Metamorphosis stage began about a month into the internship for me. It wasn't until the beginning of October that I felt the most comfortable with the work I was doing and the people I was working with. I began to see how my work fits in to the organization as a whole and started to feel more valued as an intern.
I have not yet completed the exit stage, but from experience at other internships, it can be a bittersweet experience. With the struggles I have had throughout this internship, I am curious to see if the exit stage of this internship will be sweeter or more bitter.
Organizational Socialization is the process of “learning the ropes." During my first week, an understanding of the organizations culture is formed. At my Internship at Veridian, they believe that early socialization contributes to the success of new employees. The right preparation provides enough information about a company's workplace culture to help the new hire adapt mentally.
The orientation also focuses heavily on roles, job expectations, and understanding the company’s values. It is through the employee orientation program that I became aware of what my expected behavior and organizational role was. I believe organizational socialization has significant effects on internship satisfaction because if it is done effectively it will help satisfy employee needs and improves employee retention rate. It communicates to employees what is expected. This was extremely beneficial for me because I knew what my expectations were and it helped me perform the tasks effectively.
Organizational Socialization was a little different than usual for my internship with Roaring Lion Energy Drink. In my previous internship, I went through the stages of Organizational Socialization in a seemingly normal way in an office setting in Cedar Falls. However, my current internship is based in California, which leads to none of the Socialization happening in person. The lack of face-to-face contact led to a lot of the socialization being done by myself rather than others. I still went through the stages and am currently in the metamorphosis stage, but it is definitely harder when the organization itself is across the country.
When it comes to socialization into my role as intern in the football office, it did not occur as traditionally as others might assume. The anticipatory stage consisted of researching and asking around about several different internships. This is an example of where networking is important in searching for a job. I was able to find an internship based on my connects with others. This stage did not take very long because I knew they type of internship I was interested in and was able to find something quickly.
When I first met with my supervisor, Matt Harken, we discussed the tasks I would be helping with and what would be expected of me. After that, I was thrown in with everyone. Everyone in the office immediately began treating me as though I had been there for a while, which was a bit overwhelming, but fun as well. The organization has a "family" feel to it because everyone is so comfortable with each other and is willing to tell you what you need to do, how to do it and, most importantly, when it needs to be done. Although this was overwhelming at first, I'm glad this is how I started because it forced me to learn quickly what they expected of me and perform to their standards.
Because socialization into the organization occurred so rapidly for me, I reached the metamorphosis stage earlier than most do. I began to feel comfortable with my coworkers and the work I was doing in middle/late September. I feel that because my supervisor and the rest of my coworkers were quick to treat me as if I were one of them, I was able to adapt faster and become one of them.
I have yet to experience the exit stage, but I feel it will not be as difficult as it seems. Although I will be sad to leave, I know that I have made connections with several people that will continue throughout the years. As I continue through the metamorphosis stage, I will continue to build these relationships and learn more about public relations in sports.
Organizational socialization leads through four stages as the other interns have posted here before me. During my own anticipatory stage I researched the organizations I applied for and interviewed with. I looked further into the organizations that I obtained interviews with and during those interviews tried to get a glimpse of the culture of the organization.
After being hired on as an intern with the Cedar Falls Woman’s Club I moved into the encounter stage where I learned more about the organization by sitting in on board meetings and taking part in committee meetings. I was given some tasks to perform and told that my own creativity and innovation would create the majority of my tasks there.
The Metamorphosis Socialization stage is where I am at in Allen Hospital. The head lady I work for comes to me and asks me what I think about things, for example she put together an Allen care package for a job fair and said she wanted my input and how I feel about different things she does. I really feel like I am a part of their work "team" and just not the new person. Another lady will always make the comment to me saying "welcome to HR" and that really makes me know they like me there and appreciate the things I do.
Moving into the setting in or metamorphosis stage I learned to update the website for the company as well as complete other tasks for them. I am currently working on planning two events. I have not yet entered the final stage (exit stage) but will as the semester closes. I know that I will be slightly sad to leave to Woman’s Club. I have learned a lot about working within an organization, my own skills and limitations and have come to enjoy the company of the club members. I have considered prolonging my association with them after graduation.
Hypodermic needle theory
In my internship with the UNI Athletic Communications office, I am exposed to and use the Hypodermic needle theory to create and send information about UNI Athletics to our local audience, the people of the cedar valley.
When a player or a team does something noteworthy that may not get attention elsewhere, it’s my job as a writer of feature and post game stories to bring items of interest to light. My example of the use of the Hypodermic Needle Theory is with The UNI volleyball team and Bre Payton. Over the weekend, Bre Payton became the only active D-1 volleyball player in the nation with 4,000 kills, 700 digs and 400 assists. Other than some of Bre Payton’s teammates and a few of my co workers in the athletic communications office, no one knew of Bre Payton’s achievements.
When we announced on our website and twitter pages that Payton had reached the milestone and that UNI had the nations active career leader in Kills, assists and digs, the volley ball team received more interest In the team and we got our existing fans and some fans curious in UNI volleyball to pay more attention to the team and Bre Payton.