Analyzing a New Communication Structure for an Organization … Research Paper
Pages: 8 (2552 words) | Style: APA | Sources: 5
Traditionally, managers have devoted most of their workdays to communication in some or other form, such as meetings, letters, direct one-on-one discussions, memos, and reports. However, for an increasing number of employees in the present era, communication is a crucial component of their job, particularly with production workers outnumbered by service workers, and with emphasis of both manufacturing and research processes on enhanced teamwork and collaboration among diverse functional groups' workers (Kathryn, 2002). Furthermore, the profound growth witnessed in the area of communication technologies helped transform organizational as well as work structure. This is why communication technologies and practices have gained prominence in every organization, in general, and in the knowledge-intensive sector/organizations (like scientific institutions and the public science management sector), in particular (Kathryn, 2002).
Organizational communication analysis/study is no new subject; however, it is only recently that the field has acquired some measure of recognition among academics (Kathryn, 2002). Organizational communication's history, spanning one century, is interesting. Beginning with plain and straightforward how-to guidebooks on the area of business speaking, the field has evolved into a full-fledged branch of learning today. This unique discipline possesses its own distinctive trends, research methodologies, and history (Jason & Narissra, 2012). Essentially, it has evolved as a response to business concerns and needs. Early communication courses were usually located within universities' speech departments; however, nowadays, a majority of business schools includes this discipline as an important component of study. Organizational communication as a discipline recognizes that the element of communication within corporations goes well beyond providing managers with interpersonal communication training in order to make them effective speakers and hone their skills. Furthermore, it also recognizes that not only businesses, but all kinds of organizations, have their own share of communication challenges and needs (Kathryn, 2002).
Owing to the fact that the existing communication structure in the organization is inefficient, there is a necessity for bringing about significant improvements to it. The key areas where improvement is required include interpersonal organizational communication, conflict resolution, and active listening. Additionally, this project will concentrate on effective leadership within the firm and the significance of a strong culture in the organization.
What Is an Organization?
According to Stephen P. Robbins (2001), an organization is defined as an intentionally-coordinated social entity, comprising of a minimum of two individuals, which operates relatively continuously for achieving a common objective or collection of objectives (p. 4). Humanity unites and forms organizations for achieving what cannot be achieved individually. This process of organizing takes place through communication. A study of organizational communication usually focuses chiefly on corporations, the service sector, for-profit firms, and the manufacturing sector. But non-profit institutions, small businesses, charitable or social institutions (e.g. local humane societies and churches), schools, and government agencies are also included under organizations (Laura, Lance & Scott, n.d).
What Is Organizational Communication?
The area of organizational communication aids us with
1) Accomplishment of tasks pertaining to specific responsibilities and roles of sales, production, and services;
2) Acclimatization to changes by means of organizational (or collective) and individual adaptation and creativity;
3) Task completion via maintenance of procedures, regulations, or policy supporting continuous routine operations;
4) Cultivation of relationships in which human messages get conveyed to people within an organization-their morale, attitudes, fulfillment, and satisfaction (Goldhaber, 1990, p. 20); and
5) Coordination, planning, and control of organizational operations via management (Katz & Kahn, 1966; Redding, 1972; Thayer, 1968).
In short, organizational communication refers to how an organization represents, presents, and constitutes its organizational culture and climate, i.e., the attitudes, goals and values characterizing it and the people in it (Laura, Lance & Scott, n.d)
The Background Information
Communication has a major role to play within our company (Olga, 2012). As our workforce is diverse, in terms of ethnicity, religion, culture, and educational qualifications, communication between employees may prove to be rather difficult and sometimes unproductive; this tends to decrease productivity, causes personnel to be dissatisfied, and incites conflicts. Thus, the time is ripe for improving communication within our organization through the implementation of a novel communication structure. According to Trenholm (2011, p 202), when communication within an institution succeeds, it will likely grow into an efficient and effective company whose employees are committed and satisfied. However, if it fails, the organization as well as employees will suffer. While a majority of our company's personnel display satisfactory communication skills in their interpersonal dealings with fellow employees and company management, everybody will undoubtedly profit from a better communication structure in the organization, as outlined in the sections that follow (Olga, 2012).
The Statement of Need
Organizational communication quality is of utmost importance to our company. Communication is central to effective accomplishment of job tasks by employees, to meet organizational objectives. If existing communication structure is inadequate; organizational member frequently abuse informal communication channels, are hesitant when it comes to providing feedback to managers, and are unable to tackle and settle conflicts with other organizational members (Olga, 2012).
Members of our organization usually abuse the organizational grapevine, by engaging in gossip and spreading unfair rumors about fellow employees, which is both unethical and inappropriate. Kreps (2011) states that unethical communication breaks trust among relational partners, undermines interpersonal relationships, and decreases coordination and cooperation (p. 4.4). To ensure collaboration among organizational participants, informal (grapevine) communication must be limited to acceptable topics; employees must be discouraged from spreading gossip/rumors about fellow employees or company managers (Olga, 2012).
Company performance suffers from lack of sound leadership skills in managers, as well. In my opinion, managers in our company frequently vie with one another for power; this results in employees receiving mixed messages which, in turn, negatively affect work performance, while key organizational tasks remain unaccomplished. In this context, Olga (2012) states that leadership skills training will prove valuable in improving personnel satisfaction and organizational performance (Olga, 2012).
Following a thorough analysis of the existing communication structure within our company, I have recognized some communication elements that will assuredly benefit from a restructured and better communication system; these are (Olga, 2012):
Company management must encourage employee feedback.
Organizational participants at all levels must concentrate on honing or cultivating active listening.
Management's leadership skills must be enhanced.
Employees must learn how interpersonal conflicts are to be dealt with.
Company leaders must improve employees' understanding of company culture.
The Project Description
For enhancing basic interpersonal communication skills in the company, our primary focus needs to be on improving informal as well as formal communication lines among company members. Formal communication in the company has a crucial role to play as it forms the central communication channel, by which management and employees share information pertaining to job tasks. The key rationale for formal communication improvement is to ensure employees provide management with feedback according to Olga (2012), which is a critical component of organizational communication. In Spaho's (2012) view, feedback constitutes the lifeline of effective organizational communication, without which, it will be much less likely for receivers and senders to attain mutual understanding with regard to the message communicated (p. 1374). In light of the fact that our company witnesses frequent misunderstandings among members, encouraging feedback is vital as espoused by Olga (2012).
For effectively implementing a feedback mechanism in the communication system of the company, management must reward employees who offer timely and honest feedback. One way of implementing this would be institution of an organizational reward program. For instance, personnel who offer the most valuable feedback may be given a monetary reward of $5 as bonus (Olga, 2012).
An alternative means of promoting feedback within our company is: establishment of open communication channels between employees and company leaders. For instance, leaders must ensure they take time out to pay attention and reply to employees' messages. For effective establishment and implementation of open communication, leaders must engage in active listening for fully comprehending the message employees are attempting to convey (Olga, 2012).
For improving the informal communication system of our organization (discussed in the previous section), leaders must make it clear to employees that any communication of an unethical nature will not be tolerated. Further, employees must be granted opportunities to anonymously report all instances where unethical communication has occurred to a superior, who must then take disciplinary action (e.g., making the 'gossiper watch' an organizational ethics video). Controlling informal communication is not an easy task, but company leaders must insure quality of the information that flows through our company's grapevine (Olga, 2012).
Members in the company ought to possess superior skills in active listening, for communicating professionally with each other (Olga, 2012). Kreps states in his 2011 work that active listening entails concentrating closely on the nonverbal cues and verbal message of the sender whilst considering the complete extent of the message they intend to convey, in addition to understanding their inadvertent message (p. 4.3). Through active listening, organizational participants can hear others out and pose relevant questions, thus making sure that they understand the information completely (Olga, 2012).
Active listening in our company's… [END OF PREVIEW]
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