Cultivation Theory. This theory postulates that individuals often agree with what they see and hear from their television sets. These views are “presented on the television sets and often accepted by the individuals as the true presentations of reality” (Gerbner, 2002). Therefore, individuals take the views to be the representations of their individual hopes, understandings as well as fears (Gerbner, 2002).
This theory ascertains that the media influence has direct impact on the way news reports and other issues concerning the mind of the public are presented,. The theory analyses ‘what’ and ‘how’ people ought to think (Mc Combs & Shaw, 2008). As per this theory, the media plays a very important role in editing the content of the information that goes to the general public. Therefore, the media act as the regulator of the quality and content of the information that is meant to be aired for public viewing. This would mean that the news are framed and contextualized in a way that is appealing to the audience (Mc Combs & Shaw, 2008).
Development of a Theoretical Framework
In this analysis, the developed theoretical framework focuses on a conflict event/situation that requires the application of negotiating strategy in the communication process in order to reach some amicable solutions. This theoretical framework has incorporated the use of both the cultivation theory and the agenda-setting theory in evaluating the negotiation in a communication event strategies employed in a conflicting communication process.
Negotiation in a communication event is a way of reaching a compromise between two groups of people, or a conflict resolution strategy (Griffin, 2011). In essence, if two parties have competing interests, they cannot have a shared or common ground, meaning that their relations would continue deteriorating. Moreover, the two groups would not benefit from mutual dependence, and the only way to reverse the status quo is through engaging them in negotiation in a communication event. For successful negotiation in a communication event, the antagonistic sides must not be assertive, but should be ready to compromise some of their interests (Griffin, 2011).
Under the cultivation and agenda-setting theoretical frameworks, negotiation in a communication event can proceed between the two opposing camps, or under the mediation of a third party. In case of mediation, the mediator must be non-partisan so that he/she can strike a compromise. In negotiation in a communication event, there are strategies to follow so that the intended objective is realized (Shapiro, 2006).
Application of the Theoretical Framework to a Negotiation and Communication Event Strategy
According to Campbell and Melvin, employee negotiation in a communication event starts with the formulation of strong policies, which spell out the relationship between the employers and the workers (Campbell & Melvin 2006). That is a view that the authors shared with Griffin, when the latter indicated that “in the process of policy-making, policy experts underscore the significance of mainstreaming negotiation in a communication events and involving all the stakeholders” (Griffin, 2011). In reality, they have realized the power of negotiation in a communication event and the need to formulate acceptable policies of an entity. This step is very important because the terms of employment are negotiated and written down prior to employment. Theoretically, employee negotiation in a communication event is central in making sure that there is peaceful coexistence in an organization (Griffin, 2011). The scholars also assert that the policy should spell out the modality of conflict resolution when one party is upset.
Once such policies are in place, negotiation in a communication event becomes very easy, sometimes not even necessary if the two parties obey the rules of their relationship (Shapiro, 2006). They also acknowledge the need for flexibility, thus being able to change the policies to suit the current and acceptable working condition without waiting for a conflict regarding the policies to occur (Campbell & Melvin, 2006). Amending the policies to suit the employees is similar to negotiating for them prior to an imminent conflict.
Being one of the best tools for peace building, negotiation in a communication event plays a key role in policy formulation in the organization (Shapiro, 2006). Notably, Hall, Melvin and Mc Combs and Shaw had the same opinion after they claimed that for amicable conflict resolution the antagonistic parties should be accorded the right and adequate chance to express their opinion and possible ways of ending the conflict. Therefore, the authors share the opinion that the employee negotiation in a communication event should be prioritized in the entire process of policy making. Indeed, issues touching on employee welfare and satisfaction should be adequately negotiated and agreed upon to avoid unnecessary conflict (Griffin, 2011). The authors also concede to the opinion that when negotiation in a communication event is exhausted, the resultant policies become sustainable, but flexible enough to give room for future adjustment (Shapiro, 2006).
Furthermore, negotiation in a communication event is mostly used in communication between the organization’s management and its employees (Griffin, 2011). Here, the employees get the opportunity to express their views regarding the matters causing stalemate. In this manner, even the complex issues could be amicably resolved. Negotiation in a communication event also bridges the gap that exists between the employer and employee, since the parties are brought together and given the chance to air their perception and propose an alternative solution to the problem (Campbell &Melvin, 2006). Therefore, finding an agreeable solution becomes very easy, without either of the antagonistic parties having to argue that it has been unfair (Shapiro, 2006).
Additionally, scholars such as Hall, Mc Combs and Shaw and Pielke shared the opinion that during employee negotiation in a communication event, the management can determine the gap between them and the workers. Since a wider gap is dangerous for the survival of the organization, the management would find a better way of amending the differences, thus being able to promote unity in the organization (Griffin, 2011). This is a clear indication that employee negotiation in a communication event promotes unity and eases the process of policy-making.
Under the cultivation and agenda-setting theoretical strategy, negotiation in communication events should be designed to achieve specific objectives, which the antagonistic parties would like to harmonize (Shapiro, 2006). The process is aimed at listening to the proposals of each group however complex they may be, and attempting to strike a compromise that comforts the parties. Notably, the common ground would mean that each party might drop some of its ambitions, if such aspirations could infringe on the other party’s operations and welfare (Campbell & Melvin, 2006). In addition, the negotiation in a communication event may attempt to alter ineffective policies so that the employees would know that their efforts are appreciated in the organization.
Though the process of negotiation in a communication event is gradual and hard, the concerned parties should not lose their focus. This means that the ultimate objective of reaching a compromise about the agreement content must be given priority during negotiation in a communication event (Shapiro, 2006). Griffin claimed that through employee negotiation in a communication event, the objective could be achieved through the spirit of liberalism (Griffin, 2011). This means that the two parties negotiating better terms should not stick to conservative ideals. Notably, resisting change in agitating for better conditions would make the employees demands irrelevant to the organization, and the reverse would also occur when the employers stick to the outdated terms (Griffin, 2011). Indeed, such hard-line positions from either of the parties might make the negotiation in a communication event hit a deadlock, hence a waste of time and resources.
As negotiation in a communication event proceeds, there should be inter-member concession. This is essential because once the representatives reach common ground that they would want to present during negotiation in a communication event, it “becomes significantly easy to reach a compromise” (Campbell &Melvin, 2006). The common bargaining position would also make the members desist from unfruitful lobbying from other interested parties (Campbell & Melvin, 2006). The authors also agree that unnecessary lobbying during negotiation in a communication event could make the process extend for an unprecedented period of time, sometimes making it futile.
There is also a shared view that the negotiation in a communication event should be done in a skillful manner to eliminate bias (Pielke et al., 2007). Apparently, those in the negotiating team should have some level of expertise and understanding of the issues being brought to the bargaining desk. Therefore, skillful negotiation in a communication event is central to achieving a reasonable compromise that would appeal to the negotiating groups (Campbell & Melvin, 2006). In this regard, negotiation in a communication event should proceed in several core phases. It starts with agenda setting, after which the process proceeds to policy analysis, then formulation, which is followed by implementation and finally evaluation of the progress (Pielke et al., 2007). Indeed, this is the only way to get the desired results. When this process is followed appropriately, the negotiating team becomes capable of achieving the objectives. According to Pielke and other scholars, this forms the policy cycle; and if maintained, it becomes the best way for employee negotiation in a communication event (Pielke et al., 2007).
Moreover, since negotiation in a communication event presents a very complex range of issues, the process of negotiation in a communication event should proceed systematically with one view exhausted prior to the other. This is necessary to avoid the potential diverse mix and impacts of influential groups. In this scenario, if the diverse opinions are not integrated, the employee negotiation in a communication event might stall at this stage (Campbell & Melvin, 2006).
Mc Combs and Shaw believed that in cases where such difficulties are experienced, the team is recommended to employ negotiation in communication event strategies (Mc Combs & Shaw, 2008). For example, some of the best negotiations in the communication event strategies, during moments of difficulty include brainstorming, perspective taking, considering interests, and managing the possible loopholes. In particular, this would deter the negotiating teams from taking stern positions, since this might derail the efforts made during deliberation (Campbell & Melvin, 2006).
Campbell and Melvin also assert that integrative negotiation in a communication event can also be an important strategy during crisis resolution. Indeed, Everett also justified this argument by claiming that the strategy helps in discovering the existing inefficiencies about the interaction pattern through adopting empirical observation (Everett, 2003). Secondly, it outlines most of the analytical underpinnings, which either of the negotiating teams might consider instinctive actions (Everett, 2003). Apparently, this move could improve the intervention mechanisms, which the negotiating groups chose to adopt (Shapiro, 2006). Finally, the strategy could provide the best tool that can be used to preempt and resolve even the greatest and recurring conflict that threatens the relationship between the employee and their employers (Everett, 2003).
Effective negotiation in a communication event depends on the ability of the negotiators and mediators to pool the interests of the parties to the area of interest, preferably to all of them (Shapiro, 2006). According to Everett, bringing the two sides together creates a better environment for reaching a consensus about the contentious issue (Everett, 2003). For example, they can share information, define the option to take and uncover the interest. In fact, McCombs and Shaw observed that when there is good will during negotiation in a communication event, each group might be forced to drop some of its ambitious interests and share with the other party to strike the deal (McCombs & Shaw, 2008).
During employee negotiation in a communication event, the available options are debated depending on their importance (Griffin, 2011). Using such a merit has been recognized as one way of saving time, because once the important aspects have been agreed upon, the other issues could as well be dropped or scheduled for further negotiation in communication events (Griffin, 2011). In this perspective, Hall asserted that when the two parties are convinced that the vital areas and their concerns have been settled, they can choose to terminate the negotiation in a communication event and resume normal operations (Griffin, 2011). In this case the chances of having several competing solutions are minimized for the sake of peace normalcy in the organization.
This means that by addressing the major concerns, which are critical to the dilemma, the negotiators and mediator can organize their options and schedule them for debate (Eveett, 2003). Perhaps, this is what they call the winning formula in conflict resolution because of its consideration of the main issues about the crisis (Mc Combs & Shaw, 2008). To this end, one notes that the success of negotiation in a communication event depends on the tactics and strategies employed.
Conclusion and Weakness of the Theoretical Framework
To sum up, the theoretical framework developed from both the cultivation theory and the agenda-setting theory has various weaknesses that are evidenced from the negotiation and communication event analysis. The cultivation theory has various weaknesses, such as failing to incorporate societal views in any form of communication. However, individuals are not just affected by what they see and hear from their television sets, but also by other issues as well, such as their backgrounds. Besides, it fails to analyze that the television communications also impact on the light viewers. On the other hand, the heavy viewers often have some impacts on the wider society. In addition, the audience under this communication theoretical framework often plays a passive role, since they are not engaged in the active parts of the conversation. Their main role is to play the active part of listening and embracing the communicated and portrayed views from the television medium. Moreover, the theoretical framework that has been developed and analyzed in this paper incorporates the agenda-setting theory, which has been widely criticized for its weaknesses. The agenda-setting theory has been criticized for the fact that media users are often not ideal because they might tend not to pay attention to the details of the discussion. On the other hand, the effect of communication would be weakened, especially for those people who have already made up their minds regarding a topic, agenda or issues that are being communicated. Besides, this theory is weak in the sense that it portrays the media as being capable of creating problems, but this is not the case. This is so because the media is only capable of altering the content of the information that is intended to create some level of awareness among the audience. Conflicting dialogues and communication problems often emanate from the society, and it is the responsibility of the investigative journalism and media to present the findings on the issues pertaining to negotiating and communicating events to the audience.