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COM 597, Fall 2011 – Reading Guide Questions for October 12

For Ford Ch. 5:

1. What is a selling orientation?  What specific behaviors distinguish it from a customer orientation?  Which are you?  Why?

2. What is stimulus-response theory?  Look at the first two examples Ford gives – similarity v. dissimilarity, product v. personal.  Why would these get the results they do?  Given Farley & Swinth's results, why would some in the sales industry consider to favor manipulative tactics?

3. What are false fronts?  What links do you see between the research Ford discusses in the section on impression management (pp. 62-65) and our discussion of emotion management earlier in the semester?  To what extent is that research competent, in the sense we discussed that term at the very beginning of the semester?  What, if anything, is the dark side of such tactics?

4. How would you evaluate the competence of the tactics discussed as"pseudorelationships" on pp. 65-66?  As a customer/client, what clues tell you whether a given use of such tactics is more or less genuine?  As a service provider, how do you feel about such tactics?

For Ford Ch. 6:

1. The studies Ford cites under "gender-based discrimination" are now all 15 or more years old.  Which findings do you expect would be the same today and which do you expect would be different?

2. Would the "appearance-based" research she reports find the same results today? How might you use our notion of multiple goals of communication from the beginning of the semester to explain these results?

3. What from your communication studies in other classes would account for the results she reports under "similarity-based" discrimination?

4. Does what she reports as "reactive" discrimination ring true for you in your role as a customer/client?  In your role as a service provider?  How would the notions of competence and multiple goals account for these results?

For both Chapters 5 and 6:

1. What did I miss in this reading that we should talk about?  Please don't say "nothin'!"


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