Schramm’s Model of Communication

After learning the Shannon weaver model, let’s find out about Schramm’s model of communication which has its roots from the Shannon weaver model itself.

Wilber Schramm proposed the model of communication in 1954.

Information is of no use unless and until it is carefully put into words and conveyed to others.

Encoding plays a very important role because it initiates the process of communication by converting the thought into content.

When the information reaches the recipient his prime responsibility is to understand what the speaker intends to convey. Unless and until the second party is able to understand or decode the information what the sender wants to communicate, the message is actually of no use.

Thus encoding and decoding are two most important factors of an effective communication without which information can never flow between two individuals. Schramm’s model also revolves around the above principle.

According to the Schramm’s model, coding and decoding are the two essential processes of an effective communication.

He also emphasizes that the communication is incomplete unless and until the sender receives a feedback from the recipient.

Imagine a person sharing his thoughts with his friend and his friend not responding to him. Is the communication complete? NO.Schramm believed that communication is actually a two way process between the first party and the second party.

Let us understand more with the help of an example

Jennifer to Sam -“Will you accompany me for a movie ?”

Sam kept mum and did not respond and hence the communication between Sam and Jennifer was not complete. If Sam was not interested for the movie, he could have responded or given the feedback to Jennifer about his unwillingness.

According to Schramm’s model, whenever the information reaches the recipient, it becomes his responsibility to give the feedback and let him know if he has downloaded the message in exactly the same manner the speaker wanted. If he is not clear with anything or has any doubts, it must be cleared with the speaker.

Thus when the speaker conveys any message to the listener, the listener, decodes the message and once again passes the message to the speaker after understanding it and completing the full circle.

M↓ ↑M

M - Stands for message

Schramm believed that an individual’s knowledge, experience and cultural background also play an important role in communication. Individuals from diverse cultures, religion or background tend to interpret the message in different ways.

Billy to Servant - “Please bring something hot for me to drink as I am suffering from sore throat.”

The servant brought him a glass of lukewarm water but Billy actually wanted a cup of hot chocolate coffee. Hence different interpretation by the servant. He was not on the common grounds with Billy and failed to understand his master’s information.

It was neither Billy’s nor the servant’s fault but actually the differences in both their backgrounds which was to blame.

Go through another example

John to Teddy -“I get late for my office, please buy me a clock

Teddy went to a local market and gifted a clock to John and John was never late to office after that. He could have also misinterpreted the message, then how come he could understand his friend’s desire?

A Clock is always a clock whether Teddy has to bring it or any other individual has to bring it.

A clock can never be confused with a wrist watch or for that matter something else. There are some messages which are more or less same for everyone. They are called as messages with a Denotative meaning which are almost the same for all individuals and in such cases chances of misinterpretation and misunderstanding gets nullified.

Please once again refer to the above situation of John and Teddy and slightly modify the situation. When John wanted a clock, Teddy brought two clocks for him as he was two concerned for John and didn’t want him to get late.

In this case John actually wanted a single clock but Teddy brought his emotional quotient and personal affection in between. Such meanings are called Connotative meaning which are affected by emotional factors. A message can also get distorted due to wrong body movements, gestures, facial expressions and many other factors.

To conclude according to this model of communication when a sender passes on the information to the receiver, the receiver must interpret it in the desired form the sender wants and give him the feedback or respond accordingly.

Any communication where the sender does not get the feedback, the communication is not complete and thus ineffective.

❮❮   Previous Next   ❯❯

Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)

The article is Written and Reviewed by Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to and the content page url.