Business Communication Relating Redundancies Check Your Email Research Proposal

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Business Communication Relating Redundancies

Check your email for salary news." The initial "business" message on May 30, 2003 to approximately 2500 employees of the Accident Group (TAG) advising them: "Check your email for salary news." beeped onto the workers' company mobile phones. The second message related the words introducing this study to the workers: "Urgent...." (Goodway and Padgham, 2003) Later, staff of the Accident Group received a third message from insolvency practitioners at accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers, administrator of Amulet Group, the Luxembourg-controlled parent of TAG. This message advised these workers to phone the head office.

This final business communication from the Accident Group read: "Any staff who have not received an official briefing over the future of the company should ring 0161-605-5966." (Goodway and Padgham, 2003) This particular, poignant prime paradigm served as the first example of business communication relating mass redundancies by text message. The practice of utilizing alternative media to communicate bad news to employees, albeit is not unique. (Goodway and Padgham, 2003) Staff at Corus, a steelmaker, heard the news they had been made redundant on their radios. In Fort Worth, Texas, prior to the Labor Day holiday in 2006, Texas-based electronics retailer RadioShack Corp. utilized e-mail to fire 400 of its employees. Their message in workers' electronic in-boxes, relating to an earlier layoff announcement, stated: "The workforce reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately, your position is one that has been eliminated."

RadioShack reported it felt the use of e-mail messages to deliver their bad news would soften its impact and consequently allow terminated workers to experience a semblance of privacy for the receipt of the news, as well as for gathering their personal belongings and clearing the premises. ("You've got mail," 2006) the Accident Group's texted, business communications on May 30, 2003, informing the majority of its staff they lost their jobs, albeit numerous business communication experts contend, constitutes a legendary act of crassness. In light of contemporary business communication practices, this business communication study, based on the Accident Group case, explores a number of business communication components and considerations. To effectively develop business communication skills and competencies, as well as adapt and effectively communicate in current and future communication environments, Du-Babcock (2006) contends, stress student development and training to empower students to:

interact in a multilingual and multicultural environment in which individuals possess various levels of language proficiency and use different professional genres, adjust to the varying linguistic and cultural competencies of their communication partners, and use communication technologies effectively to provide real-time information and message exchange with counterparts in remote locations and in virtual organizations. (Du-Babcock, 2006)

The Accident Insurance Group specialized in pursuing compensation claims for accident victims of accidents and, in turn, when successful, collected a percentage of the compensation award.

Due to the company success rates' demise in securing compensation for personal injury claims, along with a key financial backer's withdrawal from the company, the Accident Group, discontinued trading during May 2003.

Consequently, approximately 2,500 employees lost their jobs.

Rumours regarding the Accident Insurance Group's uncertain future started circulating amongst staff after some of them received text messages advising them to examine their bank accounts as the company was experiencing problems paying salaries. Later text messages advised these individuals the company had not paid their salaries. Ensuing stories related the fact the company notified staff of dismissal via text message. Mark Langford, the Chairman of the Accident Insurance Group claimed he did not make the decision to inform workers of their redundancy via text message. Langford blamed PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the Accident Insurance Group's administrators.

This Business Case Contends

This business communication study, based on the Accident Group case, explores numerous business communication components and considerations, along with the company's culminating text messages. This study effort proves significant, this researcher contends, as it not only presents an historical account of negative business communications, but relates information that could serve to enhance contemporary considerations on this vital subject. During the next section of this study, the literature relates as Hodgson and Bond (2007) note the Accident Group's text messages proclaimed: "Full details to follow later...."

PART II:

LITERATURE REVIEW

Communication in whatever environment virtual or otherwise is still communication."

Uber Grosse (Charles, 2004)

Section 1: Article Summaries

In Whatever Environment, Communication

Technology, per se, does not constitute the greatest challenge in virtual communication, Christine Uber Grosse, cited by Charles (2004) purports. "Communication," no matter the environment, whether virtual or in other arenas, as the quote introducing this section contends, constitutes communication. Virtuality, however, does not change communication, business or other types, Grosse contends.

Case Study of One

The size of a case study, in a similar sense, does not change the fact that the study effort constitutes a case study. Regarding the size of this business case study relating to the Accident Group Hamel (Hamel et al., 1993; cited by Tellis, 1997) and Yin (1984, 1989a, 1989b, 1993, 1994; cited by Tellis, 1997) argued that the sample's relative size, no matter if one, two, 10, or 100 cases, "does not transform a multiple case into a macroscopic study. The goal of the study should establish the parameters, and then...applied to all research....a single case could be considered acceptable, provided it met the established objective." The following list, which evolved from the work of Stake (1995; cited by Tellis, 1997), and Yin (1994; cited by Tellis, 1997), identifies six sources of evidence in case studies:

Archival records

Interviews

Direct observation

Participant-observation

Physical artifacts

Yin (1994; cited by Tellis, 1997) purport that the following four principles enhance the production of a high quality analysis:

Show that the analysis relied on all the relevant evidence.

Include all major rival interpretations in the analysis.

Address the most significant aspect of the case study..

Use the researcher's prior, expert knowledge to further the analysis. (Yin 1994; cited by Tellis, 1997)

The biggest challenge a communicator, Grosse, cited by Charles (2004) consists of getting his/her audience strategy right. Even in a virtual environment, a communicator begins with his/her audience. Even though a communicator chooses his/her channel choice, an effective communicator analyses his/her audience analysis and takes these individuals into account.

Whether virtual or not, creating suitable audience strategies in intercultural teams proves particularly challenging. "Suitable strategies become the lifeline, the saving force that either makes or breaks an intercultural team. And all of that has to do with the interface between technology and human beings." (Charles, 2004) Currently, as global companies increasingly depend on virtual teams to construct short- and long-term projects, businesses need to be prepared to manage communication in intercultural teams. Along with securing responses from 90 graduate business students regarding their experiences of working on an intercultural team project, Grosse interviewed four global executives to enhance gain insights into best practices in virtual teamwork. From the responses she obtained, Grosse; cited by Charles (2004) reports the following seven main strategies for successful communication within virtual intercultural teams in her article, "Managing Communication Within Virtual Intercultural Teams:

build trust and understanding build relationships with teammates via technology understand the advantages and the limitations of technology know the strengths and the limitations of communication channels show intercultural sensitivity understand how diversity strengthens a team show respect for other languages and culture. (Grosse; cited by Charles, 2004)

Building "trust and understanding," and building "relationships with teammates via technology," the first two of the seven strategies Grosse; cited by Charles (2004) relates, deal with human relationships, trust, and understanding. Three deal with diversity, intercultural sensitivity, and other languages; only two out of seven deal directly with technology. Korn (2001, p. 96) relates the following top 10 lines from promoters of fraudulent investments, a number of which, this researcher contends, appear to aptly reflect some of the philosophy the Accident Group's purported:

We don't make money unless you make money." know you get offers everyday from people who tell you they're going to make you rich. I can make it easy for you to make your decision based on actual facts."

This opportunity is the best chance to make extra money for guys who work for a living... guys like you and me."

I've been in the business for 20 years, and I can tell you this: I know no other program that's legal, that's so easy to afford, and so easy to work that can bring in this kind of big money from such a small investment." know this can work for you. I personally guarantee your success, right down to the last penny."

Give me 1% of your trust I'll earn the other 99% when you see the return."

Of course, there's a risk. There's a risk in everything."

Sure, we could finance this venture ourselves. But we're trying to build a power base for the future with folks like you."

We're talking about a cash cow here. But it's going fast. I need your check tomorrow at the latest. " can't be lying. There are laws against that." (Source: Federal Trade Commission; cited by Korn (2001, p. 96)

Hollingshead,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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