Schramm Model of Communication – Definition, Limitations and Examples

Published by: Hitesh Bhasin

& Last updated:

Schramm model of communication is a two-way communication that suggests when information reaches the recipient, it is up to him to figure out what the speaker is trying to say. The transmission is useless unless and until the second party can comprehend or decode the information that the sender wishes to transmit.

In a Schramm model of communication, encoding and decoding are two of the most crucial aspects of good communication, without which data cannot move between two people. Encoding and decoding are the two basic steps of efficient communication, according to Schramm’s concept.

What is the Schramm Model of Communication?

Definition: Schramm model of communication is defined as a cyclical model of communication in which a message or information and its feedback or acknowledgment pass in between a sender and receiver. The Schramm model was influenced by the theories of another theorist Osgood, and that is why it is also called as Osgood and Schramm Model of Communication or Encode-Decode Model of Communication.

Schramm’s Communication Model was first suggested in 1954, and it was based on the Shannon-Weaver model. Charles Osgood first proposed it. He first argued that communication is a circular model rather than a linear paradigm. W.Schramm, who noted it in his work, later altered this model.

Understanding Schramm’s Model of Communication

This model uses a traditional way to explain communication flow. It implies that communication is a two-way street, with the message moving back and forth between sender and recipient. It is based on the idea that both the sender and the receiver should comprehend the message.

Wilbur Schramm stresses that communication isn’t complete until the sender receives input from the recipient. When the information was conveyed to the recipient, the previous communication paradigm ended; they followed a one-way communication channel. On the other hand, this paradigm is based on a bidirectional communication flow in which the sender and receiver switch roles. Schramm was a staunch believer in the two-way nature of communication.

Elements of Schramm Model of Communication

In this communication model, different elements play a crucial role in optimizing the process and effects of communication. When a message reaches the receiver, it is up to him or her to figure out what the speaker is saying.

Marketing Course

The two primary stages of efficient communication through which a sender proceeds further are encoding and decoding. Let us have a look at all the associated elements here and now-

1. Source or Sender

The individual who sends the message is known as the sender. Because he or she composes and sends the message to the receiver, the sender is referred to as the message’s source.

The message must be clear, readable, and intelligible to the recipient, and the sender is responsible for all of this.

The sender must make sure that the information or message he is giving to the receiver is pertinent, critical, and exact.

2. Encoder

The encoder is the one that encodes a message and converts the message into codes for transmission.

To express our ideas to the message receiver, we must think about the correct words to say and the order in which we should transmit our messages.

3. Decoder

The decoder decodes the message. A decoder receives the encoded message given by the encoder and turns it into a language that the recipient can comprehend.

Strategy Course

When we get a message, we must use our reading, listening, and other abilities to decode the message to make sense to us.

4. Interpreter

The interpreter interprets the message. It is the one tasked with deciphering and interpreting the message. The interpreter is the one tasked with deciphering and interpreting the message.

The message is received once it has been solved. The receiver and the interpreter are the same people. Someone may take the message in a completely different way than another.

Alternatively, they may not comprehend it similarly to the encoder, resulting in a misinterpretation of the text.

5. Receiver

The receiver is also known as the message decoder. The receiver is the recipient of the sender’s messages.

There are several elements to consider while decoding a message to guarantee that the recipient understands it.

6. Message

The sender’s data and the information received by the recipient are referred to as the message.

Branding Course

The fundamental component of the communication is the message, which might be text, audio, video, or a mix of all three.

Depending on the giver and receiver, it can either be verbal or nonverbal.

7. Feedback

The process of the receiver recognizing the received communication is known as feedback. Through feedback, a receives confirms that the message has been received.

When the receiver begins transmitting information depending on the input, he has received from the sender, this information is sent back to the sender as feedback.

So, in the process of communication when the source of the message receives an acknowledgment from the recipient then the process is understood as feedback.

8. Medium

The channel via which the message is delivered is referred to as the medium or media.

A sender and a receiver channel their effective communication by using the best-suited communication medium.

Leadership Course

9. Semantic Noise

Interruptions in the communication process are referred to as semantic noise. The noise detracts from the message, causing it to fail and the communication process to fail.

Because of noise, the intended meaning with which the sender transmits the messages may or may not be comprehended by the recipient. Noise dilutes the message and may also result in a modification of the message’s meaning.

Interference and disruptions induced by the process are referred to as noise. Semantic Noise occurs when the intended meaning of communication conveyed by the sender differs from the meaning understood by the recipient.

All in all, the Schramm model of communication is a cyclical communication model that encompasses all basic communication principles.

Benefits of the Osgood Schramm Model

Benefits of the Osgood Schramm Model

This is the first communication model that isn’t a linear one. This model believes communication to be a bidirectional process rather than a unilateral one, making it a circular model.

Schramm’s model of communication allows both the sender and the receiver to create and transmit the message to the other person, allowing them to take on the role of the other. The communication model includes the idea of noise, which aids in understanding the issues that may arise during the sender’s decoding of the message.

Because this type of communication includes a feedback mechanism, it is simpler for the sender to determine whether the message was received, understood, and comprehended by the receiver. The sender can also see if the recipient comprehends the message the same way that the sender intended.

Communication Course

It is a dynamic model that depicts how a situation might vary over time. This model assumes that communication is inherently circular in which feedback is one of the key elements that make this model highly result-driven.

Limitations of Schramm Communication

It is incapable of dealing with complex communication processes or a communication model with several layers.

It takes into account the fact that there is a sender and a recipient. In actuality, there might be several senders or recipients, and communication could be a multistep process that our model ignores.

Examples of Schramm’s Model of Communication

With the aid of an example, let us gain a better understanding of the Osgood Schramm model-

“Will you join me for a movie?” ABC asks XYZ sam.

Because XYZ remained silent and did not answer, the communication between ABC and XYZ was incomplete. If XYZ had been uninterested in the film, he might have reacted or informed ABC of his disinterest.

According to Schramm’s model, when the information reaches the recipient, the receiver must provide feedback and let him know if XYZ has strictly received the message that the speaker intended. If he is unclear about anything or has any doubts, he should consult the speaker.

Sales Course
  1. Sender
  2. M↓ ↑M (M stands for the message here)
  3. Receiver

Let us have a look at another example when two friends Bill and Moody were interacting with each other. In the process, Bill says- “I’m always late for work, so please gift me a clock.”

Moody went to a nearby store and bought Bill a clock, and Bill was never late for work after that. He may have misconstrued the message, but how could he grasp his friend’s wish if that was the case?

They are known as communications with a Denotative meaning, which are almost the same for all persons, eliminating the possibility of misinterpretation and misunderstanding.

Bill just wanted one clock in this scenario, but Moody stepped in with his emotional quotient and personal devotion. Connotative meanings are those whose meanings are influenced by emotional variables. Body language, gestures, facial emotions, and various other things may all misrepresent a message.

To summarise, when a sender sends information to a receiver, the receiver must interpret it correctly for the sender and provide feedback or reply properly. Any communication in which the sender does not get feedback is incomplete and hence unsuccessful.


The communication model proposed by Schramm is more practical than those offered by Aristotle, Berlo, Shannon, and Weaver.

Its key highlight is its ability to conglomerate both ancient and new components, such as semantic noise and feedback. It offers a broader range of uses in comparison to the older communication models.

Wordpress Course

What are your thoughts about the effectiveness of the Schramm Model of Communication? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.

Digiaide Courses
Photo of author

Article by:

Hitesh Bhasin

Hitesh Bhasin is the CEO of Digiaide and his vision is to make business knowledge accessible to everyone.