Information Generation and Communication

1) Identify different types of communication with the help of suitable examples.
Communication systems can be distinguished in the following manner:
i) Vocal and Non- vocal Communication: Vocal communication refers to any type of communication where human voice is used; it could be spoken language, shouting or laughing. Non-vocal communication, on the other hand, refers to use of signs, symbols, signals, gestures etc. to communicate something.
ii) Verbal and Non-verbal Communication: Verbal communication refers to the use of words to communicate something; different languages come under the category of verbal communication. Nonverbal communication, on the other hand, refers to those different modes of vocal and non-vocal communication where words are not used. The examples of non-verbal communication are gestures, facial expression, vocalisation etc.
iii) Intrapersonal Communication: Communication within one person such as reading a book.
iv) Interpersonal Communication: Communication between two persons such as writing letters, face-to-face conversation.
v) Group Communication: It could be either a small group ranging from three to about 25 persons or large group where one or several persons communicate to an audience of 25 or more persons. Social gatherings and conferences are examples of group communication.
vi) Public or Mass Communication: Any large scale communication that disseminates through media such as print, broad casting etc. comes under this category. Broadcasting of news through radio and television are examples of public mass communication.

2) Explain the basic elements of a communication process. The basic elements of communication process are:
i) Source: Which generates information.
ii) Encoder: Translates the information or message into words, signals, signs, etc.
iii) Message: It is the meaningful representation of the thought or ideas of the information source.
iv) Channel: The medium trough, which the message is transmitted.
v) Noise: Disturbance that interferes with the message in the transmission process and degrades or distorts the information or message.
vi) Decoder: Translates back the message from words, symbols, etc. into thoughts and ideas of the information source.
vii) Receiver / Destination: The person or equipment, which receives the information. In oral communication the listener is the receiver as destination of information. In the case of electromagnetic communication the equipment e.g., telephone, televisions are the receivers and the person or group of persons for whom the information is meant is the receiver.

3) Discuss briefly the Shannon and Weaver Model of communication. List other prominent models of communication.
Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication is one of the best-known models of communication. In this model (depicted in the figure), a message emanates from an information source. It is converted into signal or series of signals by a transmitter. Enroute, this signal is mixed with or contaminated by 'noise', that is to say, various kinds of unwanted interference coming from noise sources. The received signal is decoded by a receiver, being converted back into the original message, more or  less, which is what the receiver (or destination) receives. This model has been criticised, however, because it is linear. That is to say, it accounts only for the act of sending and receiving. It is a one-way model, based on engineering. In fact, this was the dominant model for a quarter of a century. To convert Shannon and Weaver's Model of Communication into a two way model of communication, we must add feed back channel, complete with transmitter, encoding, noise, decoding and receiver, all to deal with messages returning from the receiver to the sender. It could be said that we are simply working Shannon Weaver model in reverse, but in fact we are working it almost simultaneously in both directions. In this two-way model, the feedback channel can be vitally important to the original receiver as a means of seeking clarification of the original message. Feed back channels, verbal and non-verbal, continually serve this purpose in human communication. New information technology enables us to engage in far more two-way communication than was possible earlier.

Some of the other prominent models of communication are:
i) Lasswell's Model
ii) Gerbner's Model
iii) Schramm Model.

4) What is meant by diffusion? Explain the varieties of diffusion.
Diffusion is an information transfer process of knowledge. It is the spread or activation of the usage of technology within a population of users, usually within a group characterised by some common element of productive activity viz. farming, mining, etc. Thus diffusion is the movement of technical know-how within the group of users such as farmers, doctors, engineers, etc. This is clearly distinguished from the lateral shift i.e. from one group of users to another e.g. from farming to mining.
Mansfield has conceived three varieties of diffusion. They are:
a) Interfirm diffusion: It refers to spread of new process from firm to firm within an industry. It is also known as imitation diffusion.
b) Intrafirm diffusion: It refers to the spread of the process within individual firms.
c) Overall diffusion: it refers to the spread of transfer through out the industry as a whole.
However, in general diffusion means interfirm diffusion which reflects the adoption and usage process between firms within an industry.

5) Discuss the economic theory of diffusion. 
According to Economic Theory of diffusion there can be major differences between firms within the same industry of how profitable the adoption of any innovation will be. This will depend on the nature of innovations, information about it, and attitude of the firms taking risk. Apart from the size of the firms may also contribute to the interfirm differences. This argument has been formalised into a model called ‘Industrial Engel Curve’ which relates probability of a firm having adapted to the new innovations to the firm's size. Data collected to Industrial Engel Curve indicate positive relationship between the speeds of adoption of innovations to the firm's size. Many other correlations could be brought in such as nature of innovation vis-à-vis industrial growth, cyclical factors and growth factors, the role of firm size, industry concentration, etc.

6) Briefly discuss some of the important models of diffusion.
There are considerable number of intra and interorganisational diffusion surveys focussing on the adoption and usage process of innovations. The time taken for the spread of diffusion of innovation is influenced by the institutional level characteristics. At the international level the characteristics of countries and organisations therein affect the adoption of innovation. The researchers of innovation diffusion have compared the diffusion process with epidemics, economic theory, stock adjustment
and vintage and devised four models of analogy. Of these, the Epidemic Model and the Economic Theory Model are considered somewhat important. Let us try to know what these models are. Epidemic Model: This model is known as the ‘learning model’. It is more popular in the sociological and marketing literatures, but has also been used by economists. A common feature of this model is the analogy drawn from the spread of diseases. Consequently, a theoretical tool often used is one of the mathematical theories of epidemics. As reference to these theories is also often made by economists working in this area, an exposition of the simplest model of epidemics will provide useful introduction to the study of this model. The basic hypothesis of a simple epidemic model is represented by the following equation: mt+1 - mt  = ß (n - mt ) mt / n Where m is the number individuals in a fixed population of n having contacted the disease, between elapse time epoch's t and t + 1. This is proportionate to the product of the number of uninfected, both at time t. The value of ß (epidemic indicator) will depend on a number of factors such as the infectiousness of the disease, and the frequency of social interaction.
The second important model is that of
Economic Theory Model: As a result of the nascent nature of process innovations and of the imperfect information, there may be major differences between firms in the expectations of how profitable the adoption of any innovation will be. This, coupled with the likelihood that firms differ in their attitude to risk general and new innovations in particular, leads to the conclusion that different firms react differently to the same innovation. Specially, the time lag before adopting the innovations will probably differ significantly between firms within the same industry. For economic reasons, it was suggested that an important contributor to interfirm differences would be the difference in their size (i.e. the size of the firm). This logic has been formalised into a model called “Industrial Engel Curve” which relates probability of a firm having adopted the new innovation to the firm's size. When the Industrial Engel Curve was fitted with data collection, results were encouraging. The sample innovations, on which the data was based, indicated positive relationships between the speed of adoption of innovation and the firm's size. Many other correlations could be brought in, such as nature of innovation vis-à- vis industrial growth, cyclical factors and growth factors, the role of the
firm's size and industry concentration, etc.

KEYWORDS
Compunication : Convergence of communication and computer technology.
Diffusion : It is a transfer process in which there is movement of technical know-how within
a group of users.
Epidemic Model of Diffusion : Diffusion process examined on the analogy drawn from the spread of diseases.
Facsimile Transmission : Transmission of an image over communication line in the form of electric
signals in such a way that the image is reproduced at the destination using special equipment and paper.
Industrial Engel Curve : Relates to probability of a firm having adopted the new innovation to the firms' size.
Interfirm Diffusion : Spread of new process from firm to firm within an industry.
Intrafirm Diffusion : Spread of new process within a firm.
Multiplexing : It is a system of device which takes a number of data communication channels
and combines the signals into one common channel transmission.
Optical Fibres : A thin glass or plastic fibre used to carry data in the form of light waves.
Teletext : A generic term for information services provided by television companies in which
data is super imposed on the television signal in such a way that a suitably adapted television can display the data as full screens of alphanumeric and block graphic characters.
Videotext : A generic term for system whereby computer based information is made available on an adapted television monitor.

Source: IGNOU Study Material