Emailing Woes

As most of us are graduating I am sure one of the biggest things on our minds is securing a job. At least for me it has been. I have been in constant correspondence with people from different companies, mainly via email. One of the things I had to do (and have to constantly check) was to make sure that I was in contact with the right person and whether or not they were the only person I needed to inform about my progress in school and post graduation plans or if someone else (maybe their superior? Or an HR representative?) needed to be included in on the email. And then I had to figure out whether or not I should simply send the email to multiple receivers or if I should Cc or even Bcc.

As I was sending yet another email today it sort of reminded me of the situation in the last homework where we had to decide whether or not information from experts was more valuable when announced publicly or given privately. I think that my email situation shows another aspect of the homework problem in that I had to decide whether or not information I got back from the recipients would be more useful to me if they assumed they were the only one I was in contact with or if they knew that a superior or even just another colleague on the same level was Cc’d into the email.

It’s hard to tell whether information would change. I would like to think that it doesn’t even matter who can see emails and other recipients. But I think that it does matter. You just never know the motives people have to do the things that they do.

For example, I could email the Head of the Department and then Cc in the Human Resource rep whether or not a job is available. If the Head sees that the HR rep is included in the email she is more likely to answer truthfully and professionally. Id like to think that that is how everyone would respond all of the time regardless, but there is just always the chance that the Head may have someone else in mind for that job spot and therefore they have a motive to try and deter you.

There are many scenarios one could come up with. My point it that making it ‘public’ who recipients of emails is or making it ‘private’ (Bcc or completely separate emails) may make a difference in the response one receives.  


(post 9)

One thought on “Emailing Woes”

  1. This is an interesting question because while the opinion questions asked about influence after responses were given, this is trying to get at influence before any response. I suppose that the replier would then be in the position to be making assumptions about the opinion of a publicly cc’d person. We’ve seen before that perception can often be just as influential as reality, so I would think that the awareness of a third party’s presence on the email would influence the replier, at least in a small way. The question is how this influence could be broadly understood, which is difficult. The only thing I could think may hold true through most interactions would be that the replier would be more likely to give truthful information if the CC was aware of this truth, or at the very least information given would more likely be in line with what the sender thinks the third party knows.

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