Diagrammo Management theories explained

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Berlo’s SMCR Model

SMCR model

The SMCR model is a simple representation of the effect of communication. Many communication models can be traced back to this mother of all communication models. The advantage of the model is that is makes clear that message and medium are aligned with the recipient. This model is such a classic that it is assumed to be basic knowledge in any discussion about communication.

The Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver or SMCR model

In 1960 David Berlo expanded that lineair model by Shannon and Weaver and created the Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver (SMCR) model of communication. The SMCR model is relevant to almost any media communication study because of the dynamic and interchangeable roles.

The SMCR model was designed to describe the exchange of information as the message passes from the sender to the channel to the receiver. The model, however, does not do justice to the complexity of the relationship between sender and receiver. In later iterations of the model there is a feedback loop between sender and receiver that explains this complexity.


The sender is the initiator and encoder of the message. The conversation or message relies heavily on the effectiveness of the sender, as well as the receiver, of the information and the ability to remove noise or any barrier that can get in the way of how the message is interpreted.


The message consists of the verbal and nonverbal components of language that is sent by the sender to the receiver. The code of the message may be language, content of a broadcast or a statement released by a public agency. A verbal message is an exchange using words. A nonverbal message is communicated through actions or behaviours instead of words, e.g. by the use of body language.


The medium through which the message travels. If it the mode of coding and decoding the message. In personal communication the five senses seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting are used as channels of communication. On an other level, the channel can be face-to-face, telephone or email in the case of a verbal message or body language in the case of nonverbal message.


The receiver and decoder of the message. This person is at the other end of the communication. They may be actively seeking to receiver the message or be surprised by it. By decoding the message they will create their own meaning.

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