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sender-oriented communication

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See also expressive function; compare interaction-oriented communication.

1. Communication in which the primary focus is on the purposes of the sender and which tends to ignore receiver factors (compare receiver-oriented communication). This is a common feature of bureaucratic and managerial downward communication that alienates many of their audiences. It is typically associated with asymmetrical relationships in which the sender is dominant and the receiver is subordinate and dependent. Such communication is within the framework set by the sender; the receiver must adjust to it.

2. An inherent feature of transmission models of communication, in which the primary focus is on the sender's instrumental intentions and how effectively these can be achieved—rather than on communication as a dialogue or interaction.

3. Often used pejoratively in contexts where communication skills trainers are trying to persuade senders to be more receiver-oriented. As an evangelist put it, ‘You can't just say what you want to say, in the way that you want to say it. You have to figure out how to express your message in terms that your audience will understand and relate to’.

4. The dominant communicative style favoured in individualistic cultures.

Subjects: Media studies

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