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BCOM 6 6th Edition Lehman, DuFrene TB_2

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BCOM 6 6th Edition Lehman, DuFrene TB_2

Chapter 7—Delivering Bad-News Messages

TRUE/FALSE

1. In some circumstances, sharing bad news via email rather than face-to-face is justified.

ANS: T PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 109 OBJ: LO: 7-1 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

2. By placing bad news in the first paragraph, receiver support is more likely than when it is presented after giving reasons.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 109 OBJ: LO: 7-1 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

3. Since the main message of a negative-news message is the bad news, more space should be devoted to the refusal than to the explanations for the refusal.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 110 OBJ: LO: 7-1 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

4. In some circumstances, placing a refusal in the first sentence is justified.

ANS: T PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 110 OBJ: LO: 7-1 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

5. “I have received and read your letter of April 12” is an effective neutral way to begin the first paragraph of a bad-news message.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 111 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

6. The best reason to give the receiver for a refusal is “company policy” because it requires no further explanation.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 113 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

7. Usually, a statement of bad news should be followed by a logical explanation.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 113 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

8. Offering a counterproposal may eliminate the need to state the refusal directly.

ANS: T PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 114 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

9. Providing an alternative or counterproposal to a refusal for a request should be avoided since it would only heighten audience frustration over the bad news.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 114 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

10. “We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused you” is a recommended way to close a refusal letter.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 115 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

11. Using passive voice and complex sentences are effective ways to de-emphasize bad news.

ANS: T PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 115 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Rhetorical Considerations KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

12. To minimize disappointment and maintain a positive relationship, the inductive strategy is the best way to organize messages that refuse requests.

ANS: T PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 115 OBJ: LO: 7-3 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

13. Because of the legal implications involved in refusing credit, you should avoid telling applicants the specific reason(s) why you must deny them credit.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 120 OBJ: LO: 7-4 NAT: BUSPROG: Ethics
STA: DISC: Codes KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

14. In a credit refusal message, your main purpose is to tactfully say “no” since the recipient is a poor credit risk and not a potential customer.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 120 OBJ: LO: 7-4 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Purpose KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

15. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives consumers specific rights and protections when they apply for and are denied credit.

ANS: T PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 122 OBJ: LO: 7-4 NAT: BUSPROG: Ethics
STA: DISC: Codes KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

16. Communicating constructive criticism about service received can be thought of as an ethical responsibility.

ANS: T PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 122 OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Ethics
STA: DISC: Codes KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

17. Delivering constructive criticism can be beneficial by alerting management that changes need to be made.

ANS: T PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 122 OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Purpose KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

18. When communicating negative organizational news, it is advisable to tone down the news to minimize its severity.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 123 OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

19. Email is typically the most effective channel for communicating negative organizational news.

ANS: F PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 123 OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Purpose KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

MULTIPLE CHOICE

1. Which of the following is FALSE concerning personal delivery of bad news?
a. Personal delivery of the bad news signals the importance of the news.
b. Personal delivery eliminates any potential escalation of emotion.
c. Personal delivery shows empathy for the recipient.
d. Personal delivery provides the benefits of nonverbal cues.

ANS: B PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 109 OBJ: LO: 7-1 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

2. If bad news appears in the first sentence of a message, the
a. receiver will be prepared for the reasoning that follows.
b. receiver’s urge to counter argue will be minimized.
c. receiver’s reaction is likely to be defensive.
d. receiver will withhold judgment until he or she has finished reading.

ANS: C PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 109 OBJ: LO: 7-1 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

3. What is the correct order for the inductive writing sequence?
a. Buffer, reasons, bad news, counterproposal, and desire to continue the relationship
b. Reasons, neutral idea, bad news, and desire to continue the relationship
c. Bad news, reasons, counterproposal, and desire to continue the relationship
d. Buffer, bad news, reasons, counterproposal, and desire to continue the relationship

ANS: A PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 110 OBJ: LO: 7-1 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

4. Exceptions to the use of inductive approach for bad-news messages include
a. messages addressing a very small, insignificant matter.
b. memos sent within the company.
c. oral presentations.
d. all of the above

ANS: A PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 111 OBJ: LO: 7-1 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

5. An effective opening for a bad-news message
a. notes the date of the message being answered.
b. expresses gratitude for the time the receiver took to write.
c. provides an immediate answer to the receiver’s request.
d. makes a neutral comment related to the main idea.

ANS: D PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 112 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

6. Which of the following are FALSE when writing bad-news messages?
a. The writer should focus on the good rather than the bad.
b. The writer should present the negative ideas in positive terms when possible.
c. The writer should state what can be done rather than what cannot be done.
d. The writer should state the bad news early and reinforce it throughout the message.

ANS: D PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 113 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

7. Which of the following is NOT a technique for writing a bad-news message?
a. Use positive language to accentuate the positive.
b. Use the deductive writing approach.
c. Sandwich the bad news between the buffer and positive closing.
d. Use passive voice, general terms, and abstract nouns.

ANS: B PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 113 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Purpose KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

8. Greg Komuro often delivers messages to clients in which he must convey negative ideas. Which of the following techniques could Greg use to subordinate bad news?
a. Passive voice and abstract nouns as the subjects of sentences
b. Passive voice and the placement of the negative message in an independent clause
c. Active voice and positive language
d. Active voice and placement of the negative message in the dependent clause

ANS: A PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 114 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Rhetorical Considerations KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

9. Your employer asked you to compose a message to be sent to all job applicants who were not selected for a sales representative position. You should
a. tell the applicant at the beginning that another candidate was chosen.
b. ask the applicant to consider why he or she was not selected.
c. place the “not selected” message in the dependent clause of a complex sentence describing the stiff competition for this job.
d. imply that someone else has been selected for the position, thus avoiding the uncomfortable job of rejecting someone.

ANS: C PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 114 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Purpose KEY: Bloom’s: Application

10. A counterproposal
a. is unnecessary if you have stated your refusal tactfully.
b. weakens your refusal by implying that you are not able to enforce your decision.
c. is an alternative to the action requested that helps preserve your future relationship with the receiver.
d. should precede the refusal.

ANS: C PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 114 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Purpose KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

11. An effective counterproposal
a. can eliminate the need to state the refusal directly.
b. may represent a tangible benefit to the reader.
c. may not always be possible.
d. All of the above.

ANS: D PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 114 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Purpose KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

12. Which of the following is the BEST negative reply to a request for a favor?
a. Thank you for asking me to speak at your meeting, but I will not be able to attend.
b. Because I have a previous engagement in Phoenix, I cannot demonstrate my machine at your conference.
c. Although I have multiple obligations for the date you suggested, I fully support your effort to raise funds for the homeless.
d. I find my schedule is as impossible as ever; I must be doing something wrong with my priorities.

ANS: C PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 114 OBJ: LO: 7-3 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Application

13. Which of the following is NOT recommended within the final sentence of a bad-news message?
a. Tactful restatement of the refusal
b. Sales promotional material
c. Some future aspect of the business relationship
d. An expression of willingness to assist in some other way

ANS: A PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 115 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

14. Which sentence is a good example of a buffer for a bad news message?
a. Your letter dated April 14 has been referred to me for reply.
b. I can understand how you felt when you had to pay $168.
c. Your credit application was reviewed by two loan officers.
d. Your claim has been denied, but let us explain why.

ANS: B PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 115 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Application

15. Which of the following would be the BEST closing sentence in a bad-news message?
a. We understand your disappointment in this decision.
b. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you have any further questions.
c. To see the video that discusses our two newest investment offers, just phone us at 555-1616 to request your copy.
d. We trust you will continue to rely on Carson products in spite of this present difficult situation.

ANS: C PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 115 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Application

16. Which of the following is the BEST suggestion to follow when refusing a request?
a. Use the inductive approach.
b. Provide a vague reason to minimize the receiver’s disappointment.
c. Use the direct approach.
d. Follow the bad news with adequate reasons.

ANS: A PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 115 OBJ: LO: 7-3 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

17. Jawon is a training and development manager who has been asked by a professor to speak to her class about careers in training. However, since he is currently conducting an important staff development program, his schedule is very busy, and he must refuse the request. What would be the BEST way to end his message?
a. Again, I am very flattered by your request.
b. I apologize that I am so busy right now. Maybe next semester I can speak to your class.
c. I’ll call you if I have some time in the next month.
d. My training assistant, David, has extensive experience and would enjoy speaking to your class. Please feel free to call him at 469-8000.

ANS: D PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 117 OBJ: LO: 7-3 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Application

18. Delnisha, a customer service representative for the manufacturer of Marathon brand faucets, receives a large order from a small contractor. Which of the following is the BEST way for Delnisha to begin a message saying the company does not sell directly to end users?
a. This letter informs you that we unfortunately do not sell faucets directly to contractors.
b. I have referred your order to a distributor near you.
c. Thank you very much for your order. Unfortunately, we will not be able to fill it.
d. Our patenting coating process makes Marathon faucets the contractor’s choice.

ANS: D PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 118-119 OBJ: LO: 7-4 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Application

19. Melody is responding negatively to a request for a claim. Which of the following would she NOT do in composing her message to the customer?
a. Begin the message with a neutral, dependent clause, followed by a statement implying the refusal.
b. Include sales promotional and resale material in the last paragraph.
c. Offer an alternative service as a gesture of goodwill.
d. Present the reasoning behind her decision without using emotional wording.

ANS: A PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 120 OBJ: LO: 7-4 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Application

20. You must deny a request for credit to an applicant who does not meet your company’s requirements. Using a sentence such as “You are encouraged to make cash purchases” illustrates a
a. counterproposal.
b. bait and switch technique.
c. confirmation of priorities.
d. consideration of eligibility.

ANS: A PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 114-120 OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Application

21. Messages denying credit are different from other types of bad-news messages in that they
a. are subject to more legal issues.
b. do not need to maintain the goodwill of the recipient.
c. do not have to include reasons for refusal.
d. use the deductive pattern of organization.

ANS: A PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 122 OBJ: LO: 7-4 NAT: BUSPROG: Ethics
STA: DISC: Codes KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

22. To avoid litigation, some credit-granting companies
a. choose not to respond to customer requests for credit.
b. choose to omit from their letters the explanation for credit denial.
c. make the name and address of the credit bureau inaccessible to the consumer.
d. refuse credit by phone rather than in writing.

ANS: B PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 122 OBJ: LO: 7-4 NAT: BUSPROG: Ethics
STA: DISC: Codes KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

23. When writing a message offering constructive criticism, one’s primary consideration should be
a. identifying who made the error.
b. offering input that could benefit many.
c. getting even for the mistake that was made.
d. none of the above.

ANS: B PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 122 OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

24. Your department hired a strategic planning consultant to restructure the workforce. However, you believe that the consultant added no value to the company and simply played back what you wanted to hear. You must write a letter to the president of the consulting company to discuss your dissatisfaction. Which of the following is the BEST approach to your letter?
a. Start with some facts about what the consultant was supposed to do. Enumerate what was done incorrectly. End with a pleasant message expressing your appreciation.
b. Start with a statement about your dissatisfaction with the consultant. Continue with a list of things that the consultant did incorrectly. End with a direct statement about how worthless the consultant was.
c. Start with some good things that the consultant did. Accentuate the positive and avoid as much negative information as possible. End pleasantly, saying that you hope you can do business again in the future.
d. Start with some facts about what the consultant was supposed to do. Mention what the consultant did well, but also be clear about what the consultant did not do well. End with a pleasant message expressing the hope that the information you provided will assist the consulting company.

ANS: D PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 122 OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Patterns KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

25. Although communicating negative organizational news can be challenging, such messages can have a positive effect in
a. showing management’s display of respect for employees.
b. providing an opportunity for management to build unity and trust.
c. allowing employees to pose questions to management.
d. All of the above.

ANS: D PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 122 OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

26. Which of the following is NOT an effective strategy for companies that want to provide strong internal communication?
a. Promote open exchange of honest, candid communication.
b. Use a variety of communication channels to encourage two-way communication.
c. Limit the questions employees may ask management.
d. Keep employees informed of both good and bad news.

ANS: C PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy
REF: p. 123 OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Purpose KEY: Bloom’s: Comprehension

27. Which of the following is FALSE concerning the communication of negative news within an organization?
a. Employee morale, like customer goodwill, is fragile and easily damaged.
b. Sensitive handling of bad news related to the organization can help build unity and trust.
c. Delivering bad news as soon as possible minimizes damage resulting from rumors and shows respect for employees.
d. The most effective approach is to use one strong communication method for communicating with employees.

ANS: D PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 125 OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Application

28. A company plans to downsize over the next year. Which of the following would be the BEST way to prepare employees for this negative announcement?
a. Send an email to employees the first day that employees are scheduled for layoff.
b. Send a letter to laid off employees at their home address instructing them not to report for work to avoid emotional confrontations.
c. Use the company’s internal communications (newsletters and intranet) to make employees aware of the downsizing before it happens.
d. Call a staff meeting at the end of the day on the Friday before layoffs begin to make the negative announcement.

ANS: C PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate
REF: p. 125 OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Application

SHORT ANSWER

1.
List and explain three stylistic aspects of writing a bad-news statement.

ANS:
• Emphasize the positive and de-emphasize the negative. Use the inductive approach for bad news messages; subordinate the negative aspect of the message and emphasize the positive aspect.
• Use positive language to accentuate the positive and de-emphasize the negative. Carefully select words that do not offend or blame to make the tone of the message more positive.
• Imply the refusal when the receiver can understand the message without a definite statement of the bad news. Rather than stating a blunt refusal, use words that imply the refusal as long as the message of the refusal remains clear to the recipient.

PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Easy REF: p. 114
OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Rhetorical Considerations KEY: Bloom’s: Knowledge

2. Explain how a counterproposal may be used to preserve a positive relationship when denying a request or when delivering bad news.

ANS:
By proposing an alternative to the action requested, the communicator denies the request while ensuring that the relationship will not suffer as a result. The counterproposal is an expression of goodwill, a willingness to help the receiver. In a letter denying credit, for instance, a counterproposal can let the customer know that you still value his or her business and that, as soon as credit history is established or improved, the customer may reapply for credit.

PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Challenging REF: p. 114
OBJ: LO: 7-2 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication STA: DISC: Audience
KEY: Bloom’s: Synthesis

3. Discuss the implications behind the statement that “the customer is always right” in light of the fact that a company must at times deny a customer’s request.

ANS:
The “customer is always right” philosophy has been readily accepted since a company wants to satisfy its customers and clients. Companies are in business because of consumers and clients continuing to buy their products and services. But a company would not be in business long if it continued to honor claims in which the customer is clearly wrong. The customer has a right to make a claim, but it is the company representative who has to decide the basis of the claim and to make a fair decision.

Additionally, a company has to share negative organizational news from time to time, but keeping employees informed about the company performance is another way to assure the workers that the company is doing the right thing in preparing them first for any major change in its operations or staff reduction. Doing this shows sensitivity and care for the employees and provides an opportunity to build employee trust and loyalty.

PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Challenging REF: p. 115-116
OBJ: LO: 7-3 | LO: 7-4 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication
STA: DISC: Audience KEY: Bloom’s: Analysis

4. You recently hired a catering service for an important awards ceremony for the members of your organization. Some of the menu choices were poorly prepared and the service was slow. You were dissatisfied with the service and would like to send a message to the owner of the catering business. How would this owner benefit from your constructive criticism? What tone should the message have?

ANS:
The owner of the catering business can benefit from your constructive criticism and correct the problems to avoid losing future business. The owner can try to determine the reason for the poor food quality and make changes to the menu and preparation of food. Problems with the actual service can be improved with additional training or hiring new, better qualified employees. Rather than loose future business, the owner can benefit from your comments and improve the quality and reputation of the catering company.

PTS: 1 DIF: Difficulty: Moderate REF: p. 122
OBJ: LO: 7-5 NAT: BUSPROG: Communication STA: DISC: Audience
KEY: Bloom’s: Application

 

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