Social Exchange Theory - Communication Theories - Essay Example

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Social exchange theory Social exchange has been defined as “voluntary actions of individuals that are motivated by the returns they are expected to bring and typically do in fact bring from others” (Blau, 1964 cited by Lee, Mohamad & Ramayah, 2010). This communication theory of social exchange is based on the rewards and costs which help quantify the values of the outcome (Thibault & Kelly, 2001)…
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Download file to see previous pages This implies that actions are taken with full knowledge that it would be recognized and reciprocated. Based on the social exchange theory our organization decided to outsource a small part of the work to an external service provider. Ours is in the hospitality sector and we selected a small service provider expecting that we would receive personalized service. This was also the reason that we did not approach one of the recognized firms. However, the communication was not effective. While we wanted to save costs we ended up paying much more as we did not receive the promised services. We had to discontinue with this agent. The evaluation of the service provider is important before signing any contract. In the future we would seek details of the businesses handled and the types of service offered. We did not receive the benefits expected; social exchange was unjust. In the hospitality sector, service excellence counts. The organization recognizes that to deliver excellent service the internal customers have to be focused upon. It is a reciprocal arrangement – the organization focuses on meeting the needs of the employees and the employees deliver service excellence which in turn benefits the organization. To meet this organizational objective, the organization valued their internal customers and provided motivation through different means. The organization was successful in achieving their objective because the employees felt needed and recognized. This served to motivate them and they could deliver their best to the external customers. The employees and the organization, both gained in the process. This example explains the costs and rewards in the relationship, which is the essence of the social exchange theory. On another occasion I needed a day off to attend my ailing brother but was denied the day off. A colleague of mind stood by my side and requested the supervisor to grant me leave. He would extend his working hours and complete my part of the scheduled task. In exchange he asked for something which relieved me of the obligation while benefitting both of us. He wanted a particular item from the downtown area where I lived and which would cost him the entire day to get it. He would have to take leave instead. Hence, if I could do him this favor, it would save him a day off and the journey downtown which was very far from his place of residence. This example of social exchange involves voluntary actions of individuals motivated by the returns expected. I readily agreed because there was no question of indebtedness or owing to each other involved. Thus in the social exchange two parties are involved and work towards mutual trust, benefit and enhancing relationships. This also forms the basis of how social structures are created. Relational Dialectics Theory Relational dialectics suggests that people in relationships constantly feel the push-and-pull of conflicting desires. These conflicting desires include autonomy and connection, openness and protectiveness, and novelty and predictability. Through effective communication they attempt to reconcile these conflicting desires but they continue to have the need for both the opposing pairs. These conflicts, tensions or dialectics cause relationships to be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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