The Human Communication Process: A Common Model Underlying Management, Leadership, and Conflict Resolution
The Rhetorical Process Model serves as a heuristic for examining human behavior in organizations. All human interaction involves communication, whether verbal or non-verbal; consequently, a communication-based model can provide insights into the basic behavioral processes involved in group interaction. The Rhetorical Process Model accounts for both the objective and subjective aspects of communication, differentiating the human process from electronic processes of communication. Variations of the Rhetorical Process Model parallel the underlying processes of Management and Leadership, where individuals attempt to influence others in achieving common goals. Transforming the Rhetorical Process Model into mirror images creates the Transactional Process Model, which visualizes the dynamics of resolving disagreements. The Model clarifies the level of difficulty in reaching agreement: more easily at the tactical level, more difficult at the strategic, and often impossible at the integral level. The transactional process of conflict resolution applies equally between individuals, within organizations, and in international negotiations.
Keywords: Communication, Conflict Resolution, Leadership, Management, Models, Rhetorical Process, Transactional Process
Dr. Charles Beck
Associate Professor, College of Business, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs