|Dan O’ Hair, Gustav W. Friedrich, Lynda Dee Dixon, (2008)
Strategic Communication in Business and the Professions
Pearson Education, New Delhi
Pages: 479 Price: Rs. 350/-
Among the several books published in the area of Business Communication, ‘Strategic Communication’ can be placed into the category of the books which can be recommended to the Indian MBA students. The book takes a practical approach, has a simple but impressive language and has enough material for studying and practicing. As the name suggests, it covers the strategic communication into the real world applications of business. This feature is very well supported by the examples from the corporate world given in each chapter. One of the appreciable features of this book is that it does not talk of ‘how to improve your knowledge of computer’, rather assumes that the reader already has the basic knowledge of the recent technologies and simply talks of the ways to put them more efficiently. The call of the hour is to exercise business communication effectively by using the advanced technology and this book will prove to be very effective in this respect.
Authors have divided the book into five major units and each unit is comprehensive as well as self explanatory. The first unit of the book, ‘Introduction to communication in organization’ it is not mere the generalized sort of introduction, it has discussions on various reasons for communication failure and also on model for strategic communication. The points are explained by keeping in mind the ‘real world situations’ and how they can be applied to such situations. A peep into the second unit reveals the ‘Basic Communication Skills’ and focuses on the ever-important listening skills, leadership skills as well as non verbal skills. The whole of the unit takes examples from the corporate world and these examples are strategically aligned with the relevant points. For example, ‘Proxemics’ is explained and an example on ‘Court upheld dress code regulations’, is given. The third unit deals with ‘Interpersonal Communication Strategies’, with topics like Work Relationships, Principles of Interviewing etc. Authors have made an attempt to discuss the views from an ‘interviewee’s’ perspective.
The fourth unit on ‘Group Communication Strategies’ is very compact and is just right in almost all aspects. This unit is elaborative on special group formats, writing & setting agenda for a meeting, developing critical thinking skills, along with the interpretations, evaluations and reflective thinking. The fifth unit comprises ‘Public Presentation Strategies’ that talks of those skills which a manager has to exhibit most of the time through various presentations. Authors go on discussing the identification of the general purpose and the specific purpose as well as furnishing tips on the persuasive presentations and on how to tackle the audience.
Each chapter of every unit begins with ‘Strategic Scenario’ which gives an insight to the chapter and raises a few pertinent questions related to the topics. This enables the reader to get an overview of the content that follows. The book has certain unique features like the dialogue boxes and critical thinking for all the chapters. The dialogue boxes express the ‘Strategic Skills’ (the practicality involved from classroom to an actual business setting), ‘Ethical Issues’ (enables the students to think critically about the ethical issues in business communication), ‘Technology Tools’ (implications of the technology) and ‘Practicing Business Communication’ (practicing communication in extensive range of business). The chapters’ wind-up with ‘Strategic scenario wrap-up’ which sums up the chapters in form of statements or questions.
The book answers the question ‘why do I have to get trained?’ a question frequently asked by the students of Business Communication. The only missing factors in the book are the case-studies. A collection of cases from the corporate scenario can really stimulate the learning process. Teachers, facilitators and students looking for a wide-ranging reference book on Business Communication will find this book very useful and purposive.
Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi