Problem of Communication in the Film 'The Social Network'

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Through the film ‘The Social Network’, many organizational behavioral problems can be identified, such as leadership problems, lack of communication among top management, and some unethical behaviors (hacking, stealing ideas, betrayal, and disloyalty). For this essay, I decided to choose the problem of communication as the main problem because it was one of the vital factors in running a successful business as well as in a relationship.

In ‘The Social Network’, even though ‘TheFacebook’ (early name) received hit from the users but the internal surroundings in the company itself are in conflicts. Two main characters, Mark and Eduardo are best friends and also partnerships in TheFacebook are having communication problems in management that lead to distrust. The friendship between Mark and Eduardo itself also lack in communications because both of them have different personalities. Mark tends to be more be more passive and straightforward, while Eduardo uses more emotions and being truthful.

According to ‘Organizational Behavior’ (8th edition, Chapter 11), communication have 5 main functions within a group or organizations that includes management, feedback, emotional sharing, persuasion and information exchange. The first function is communication acts to manage member behavior in several ways. One of them is authority hierarchies and formal guidelines. In this film, Mark appointed himself as a founder of ‘TheFacebook’ while his best friend Eduardo as co-founder and CFO (Chief Financial Officer) that responsible for managing company’s finances and he also provides modal for built ‘TheFacebook’. They agreed to share 70% for Mark while 30% for Eduardo.

Secondly, communication creates feedback by clarifying to employees what they must do, how well they are doing it, and how they can improve their performance. When the twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss with Divya ask Mark to help them built a site called Harvard Connection, Mark accepted it. They contacted each other through email and Mark updated to them about the progresses of building the site which the Winklevoss twins and Divya believes that Mark was working on their new site but it was not.

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Next, a communication contributes for the emotional sharing of feelings and fulfillment of social needs. It is a fundamental mechanism which members show their satisfaction and frustration. Eduardo tended to show his emotions more than Mark which is he is hard to be known whether he was happy or sad. Eduardo found a cease-and-desist letter from the twins that said Mark stole their idea and find it to be intellectual property theft. He was worried that they would resort to legal action over their business and was a little angry that Mark hadn't told him about it. Eduardo told him to share with him if there’s something wrong and he would help. Another example is Eduardo find out that he has been betrayed because his shares was diluted down from 34% to 0.03% and thinks it was all because of he froze their company’s bank account and other things that he has done before like got admitted into Phoenix Club and people identified him as a co-founder of Facebook. He was very frustrated and decided to file a lawsuit towards Mark.

Fourth is persuasion which a bit like emotional sharing. It can be whether good and bad or brings benefit and harm to the organization depends on the situation. For example, a leader is trying to persuade a workgroup to believe in the organization’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) or persuade the workgroup to break the law to meet an organizational goal. In this film, we identify both good and bad persuasion that implemented by the characters. For the good persuasion, Eduardo who can deal with people well, he and Mark went for meeting with potential advertisers for their company as he said the purpose of business is to gain profit even though Mark was not interested with it. Meanwhile for the bad one is Mark and Sean Parker went to Case Equity for business meeting but they want to take revenge on them. Mark on purpose came late for the meeting and wears pajamas that shows bad attitude and can lead to harm the organization.

Lastly, this is the information exchange which to help in decision making. Communication provides the information to individuals and groups need to make decisions by transferring the data needed to identify and evaluate choices. In this film, we can see the difference between The Winklevoss with Divya which is they always meet, discuss and solve the problem together to make decision about their business and also shows their good team working. While in Mark and Eduardo case, Mark often make his own decisions without discuss with Eduardo and when Sean start working in Facebook, Eduardo were ignored by them. They always discussed by themselves and left Eduardo out.

In conclusion, as can be seen from this essay, the problem of communication is one of the most important in running a successful business, as confirmed by the film ‘The Social Network’.

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Problem of Communication in the Film ‘The Social Network’. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from
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