Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life : A Practical Introduction

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-04-07
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc
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The first communication theory text to provide practical information for career-oriented students

“My students’ feedback has been so positive, without me asking what they think of the text, that I believe I’d be crazy not to use the new Second Edition.” -Erin C. B. Bentley, West Virginia Wesleyan College

“I like how I can adapt this book to my teaching style and the needs of my students. Unlike many theory books, this one does not intimidate undergrad students!” -Ronald Fetzer, Miami University of Ohio

Featuring eleven new case studies, updated examples, and the latest research, this Second Edition of Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life introduces communication theory in a way that helps students understand its importance to careers in communication and business. Concise, practical, and reader-friendly, this book offers succinct coverage of most major theories, including theories of intrapersonal communication, interpersonal interaction, intercultural encounters, persuasion, leadership, group communication, organizational behavior, and mass communication. Real-world case studies for in-class use illustrate the application of theory in a variety of professional settings and can easily be expanded into writing assignments.

New and Proven Features

Provides eleven new case studies and updated examples throughout that involve students in applying theory to real-life situations

Includes the latest research on the efficacy of each theory

Focuses on a particular theory in each chapter, followed by a real-life case study that illustrates the theory's practicality in communication or business settings

Uses charts and models to highlight the central concepts of each theory presented

Includes a unique synthesis chapter that identifies common themes among theories and clarifies these themes within the framework of communication competence

Instructor Resources

Revised and expanded password-protected Instructor Resources are available at and include sample syllabi, a test bank, PowerPoint slides, additional case studies, and in-class activities/topics for discussion, as well as additional cases from the First Edition.

Intended Audience

This book is ideal for use as a core text for upper-level courses in Communication Theory, as found in departments of Communication Studies, Public Relations, Advertising, Journalism, and Mass Communication. It is also appropriate as a supplementary text for courses in Business, Education, and Psychology.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Communication Theory
What Is Communication?
What Is Theory?
Evaluating Theory
Chapter Summary
Evaluating Groupthink
Theory Development
The Theory-Research Link
What Is Research?
Research Methods in Communication
Social Science and the Humanities
The Development and Change of Theories
Chapter Summary
The Development of Attribution Theory
Explaining Theories of Cognition and Intrapersonal Communication
The Cognitive Process
Message Design Logics
Communication Accomodation Theory
Uncertainty Reduction Theory
Expectancy Violations Theory
Chapter Summary
Caught in Between
Explaining Theories of Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal Communication Defined
Politeness Theory
Social Exchange Theory
Dialectical Perspective
Communication Privacy Management Theory
Chapter Summary
With a Friend Like This . . .
Explaining Theories of Group Communication
Group Communication Defined
Systems Perspective
Interaction Process Analysis/SYMLOG
Symbolic Convergence Theory
Functional Group Decision-Making Theory
Chapter Summary
Dr. Devil and the Doomsday Assignment
Explaining Theories of Organizational Communication
Organizational Communication Defined
Organizational Culture
Organizational Assimilation Theory
Organizational Indentification and Control
Organizing Theory
Chapter Summary
Losing Hope
Explaining Theories of Persuasion
Persuasion Defined
Social Judgment Theory
Elaboration Likelihood Model
Theory of Planned Behavior
The Theory of Reasoned Action
Inoculation Theory
Chapter Summary
The Database Dilemma
Explaining Theories of Leadership
Leadership Defined
Likert's Four Systems
Transformational Leadership
Contingency Model
Leader-Member Exchange
Chapter Summary
eXtreme Confusion at ECX
Explaining Theories of Mediated Communication
Mass Communication Versus Mediated Communication
Media Richness Theory
Uses and Gratifications Theory
Agenda-Setting Theory
Cultivation Theory
Chapter Summary
Casino Controversy
Explaining Theories of Culture
Culture Defined
Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions
Gender and Communication: A Two-Culture Perspective
Generations and Communication: Workplace Implications
Face Negotiation Theory
So What Should a Communicator Do?
Return to Communication Competence
Conclusions About Communication
Conclusions About Influences/Effects
Chapter Summary
Arguments at Amazing Adventures
About the Author
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant May 29, 2011
This textbook is the first communication theory text to provide practical information for career-oriented students. More of this sort of practical information and clarity needs to be made accessible to more people, and this textbook is the best example I have seen to actively facilitate this. It is also appropriate as a supplementary text for courses in Business, Education, and Psychology. Recommended.
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Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life : A Practical Introduction: 4 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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