Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication

Shannon and Weaver model is the most popular model of communication and is widely accepted all over the world.

Let us first go through the following example to understand the model better.

Peter is working as Vice president - Marketing with a reputed multinational firm. He is currently heading Mike who in turn is taking care of a small team. Peter wanted Mike to prepare an exhaustive report on marketing strategies which can be employed to achieve the goals of the organization. He also wanted a detailed study on the competitor’s activity by end of the day. While he was speaking, the company peon interrupted to take the lunch order. Finally when Mike got the complete information, he in turn delegated the responsibility to his team members. He tried his level best to convey what Peter actually expected his team to prepare. At the end of the day, the team did prepare the report and submitted to Peter but there were few errors which they rectified later on.

Let us now understand the example in a more detailed away.

Who is Peter ?

Peter is actually the person who thought of preparing the detailed report for better output of the organization. He is actually the one from whom the thought came. It was Peter’s brain who came up with this idea of preparing marketing strategies for the organization. Thus Peter is actually the source of information.

Had Peter kept the idea in his mind only without sharing it with his team the organization would have never been benefited out of it. It is very important for the individual to share his ideas as well as information with others to make the best possible use of the information. Do you think, Mike and his team would have come to know about Peter’s idea if he had stored it in his brain only? Obviously NO. Peter had to convert his thoughts into words and bring out the information through his mouth. Here mouth is actually working as a transmitter which helps in transmitting the information, message from the brain to the mouth after carefully putting the thought into words. Peter spoke about some reports which he wanted from his team, the words or Peter’s voice is actually the signal being sent to Mike about what he is expected to do. Without signal or without content how will Mike know what he is supposed to do? Go through the example once again. The conversation was interrupted by the peon who came for the lunch order. In the same way signals get interrupted by various noises and distractions while traveling from the sender and finally reaching to the recipient. Horns at crowded streets, hustle bustle of the market place, babies wailing, people screaming are all various types of noises which get coupled with the signal or in other words the information. Finally Mike could gather all the information from Peter after ignoring what the peon spoke and downloaded it to his team who were supposed to prepare the report.

Shannon and weaver model simply proposes that a message actually originates from the person who gets the thought or has the information. The sender is also called the Source of information or the Information Source. The information then gets transmitted from the brain to the mouth and comes out as a signal which then reaches the recipient after joining hands with several noises and other disturbances. The recipient then further passes on the message to its final destination or other minds of other individuals.

Information Source (Thought / message)
Transmitter (Brain to mouth) [Along with noise and distractions-external barriers]
Signal
Recipient (Receives the signal)
Final Destination (Finally gets the message)

Let us go through the above example once again. The team did prepare the report but there were some errors which got rectified later. This is the loophole of Shannon Weaver model. The message while reaching the final destination might get distorted sometimes as different people interpret messages in a different way. For Mike marketing strategy could be branding strategy but for the team marketing strategies could be simple sales techniques to increase the output. Thus even a simple message can get a different meaning after finally reaching its destination.






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