Business Communication Case Study Report

A recommended course of action has also been provided, which the introduction of regular meetings with senior managers, further information being provided regarding the companies’ structure and each departments role in the future of the company, and possible investigations into team reorganization and the culture within departments. Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Discussion Points 2 3 4 2. 1 Lack of Downwards Communication 2. 2 Lack of Upwards and Lateral Communication 2. 3 Culture of Isolation Between Departments 5 3. Conclusions 4.

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Recommendations References Introduction 7 8 10 The purpose of this report is to analyze the communication issues facing Earthmen, and where possible, to recommend courses of action that will improve the situation. Earthmen faced a difficult situation since its inception, due to the diverse and disparate elements in its foundation. This has resulted in a number of challenges to be faced; staff anxious about their role in the future of the company, a perceived normalization of departments, breakdowns in communication between departments, culminating in the sabotage of a run of Skies Unlimited magazines.

This report refers exclusively to the situation as detailed by the Emblem report. The issue most prominently highlighted by the Emblem report is the need for further communication between management and lower level employees. Communications between management and employees can be labeled as “downwards communication”. It has been noted that in some situations “top-down communication attempts fail, and that failure is often not grasped by those at the top of the hierarchy’ (Munson, 2008, p 556).

This issue may not have been apparent until recently, but the survey commissioned shows some worrying signs. In particular, the Emblem report shows that 59% of field specialists do not understand their role in the and imaging specialists (35%), the survey also notes that “only 50% of staff show familiarity with the goals of the organization”. Given the distinct origin of the separate departments, it is understandable that there is some ambiguity regarding how each division fits into the company’s vision.

However, for the field specialists and support staff outside head office, this ambiguity has been coupled with colleagues being made redundant or choosing to leave during the formation of Earthmen, and the cut to previous perks for field specialists. These factors have led to a lack of identification with the company and its goals and a sense of alienation that could adversely affect morale. A significant proportion of those surveyed “categorize the report plan as of little relevance to their Jobs”. Clear channels of downwards communication are fundamental in the management of employees.

In stopping the company newsletter, one source of information about other departments and the company as a whole was removed. Another issue is the need for further communication from employees to management. Upward communication channels are defined by (Munson, 2008) as channels that allow the passage of information necessary to run an organization to be collected by those in the upper levels of an organization. Munson describes lateral immunization as “communication that takes place primarily at one level of the organization”.

Earthmen could benefit from increased communication between lower level employees of different departments, and also between lower level employees and management. Upward communication is especially important as feedback is the best way to gain insight into how teams or employees are progressing. “Particularly in situations of strategic renewal and change, formal leaders need to learn about how their effects are proceeding through a process of mutual engagement with employees” (Specter, 2013).

The Emblem report states that 66% of staff outside head office believe decisions which affect their Jobs are made without their being consulted, and also states that “many staff want a chance to “ask questions and hear answers” from top management. ” Upwards communication is not only useful in supplying information that can help management, but is also necessary to avoid a “culture of silence” where an employee may be reluctant to pass on information required by management. A lack of a clear channel to voice dissatisfaction also contributed to an employee sabotaging the company newsletter.

With no avenue to voice dissatisfaction, an employee has acted in a way that could potentially have harmed the company. There are also signs of a lack of lateral communication, as 70% of staff say they have trouble with their Jobs, or miss deadlines because they did not receive information from their own or other sections. Some also felt there is not enough information sharing at a local level. If there is a need for lateral communication, but the organizational structure does not help facilitate this, then such problems may continue.

Interdepartmental communication can sometimes be unreliable. Cross functional teams are “teams that span multiple organizational functions and provide a way of achieving integration. Cross functional teams address the difficulty of highly differentiated functions being pulled together The formation of Earthmen from different departments has led to continued separatism under the new organization. This is especially true of field specialists, who do not generally work in close proximity to other employees, and has been evidenced by animosity towards the satellite imaging department.

Business Communication Case Study Report

The term lateral communication can be used interchangeably, While retaining the wisdom of the previous editions, this new edition provides leading-edge insights into work culture and globalization. In addition to a new chapter on ‘Women In Global Business. F the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The readers represent engineers, technical communicators, scientists, information designers, editors, linguists, translators, managers, business professionals and others from around the globe who winner.

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It is argued that communities communicate and store collective knowledge through terra communication, and that it is an essential ingredient to make hierarchies work, by compensating for errors in hierarchies’ information flows. Lateral communication Is communication between deferent Individuals and, departments, or organisms on the same organizational Lateral/Horizontal Communication The term lateral communication can be used interchangeably as horizontal communication. In his text entitled “Organizational Communication,” Michael J.

Papa defines horizontal communication as “the flow of messages across functional areas at given level of an organization” (Papa and Daniels 55). With this system people at the same level are permitted “to communicate directly without going through several levels of organization” (Papa and Daniels 55). Given this elasticity, members within an organization have an easier time with “problem solving, Information sharing across different work groups, and task coordination between departments or project teams” (Papa and Daniels 56).

The use of lateral or horizontal communication In the workplace “can also enhance morale and afford a means for resolving conflicts Koehler et al. , 1981) (Papa and Daniels According to research done by John E. Spinal, Mary Minion, and M. Susan Rowels, “lateral communication involves not only the movement of information from the upper levels to the lower levels of the organizational hierarchy but also is defined primarily as the quality of information sharing among peers at similar levels (McClellan and Wilmington, 1990).

Specifically, lateral communication occurs among coworkers, during staff meetings and informational presentations, throughout shift changes, and among employees regardless of peer types. In short, lateral communication’s purpose Is to keep organizational personnel Informed of all current practices, polices, and procedures” (Spaceman and Minion “Communicating effectively laterally involves the exchange of information between information flows vertically or from top to bottom, in reality, information moves laterally.

In other words, as information directives are communicated from an upper to a lower position on the hierarchy, peers at each hierarchical level should quickly interpret and communicate these directives between and among peers at similar aerographical levels. Thus, it is critical for an organization to understand its structure and culture, which are the two major determinants of the quality of lateral communication” (Spillway and Minion 101). [4] Quality of Lateral Communication: Structure and Culture Structure 1 .

Mechanistic Structure “A mechanistic or hierarchical organizational structure emphasizes specialization in position. Examples include healthcare and governmental organizations where information is communicated based on chain of command. This organizational structure type is not conducive to lateral immunization and, in fact, discourages it. Since direction and coordination is achieved through upper hierarchical levels, peer information sharing is limited.

Overall, a mechanistic structure promotes vertical communication or top down communication with strict alignment and unity of command within the organization” ( Spillway and Minion 101). [4] 2. Organic Organizational Structure “An organic organizational structure is built upon an entrepreneurial concept. Here, the decisions made are decentralized and coordinated by mutual adjustment rather than command and control. Examples include a small business or a manufacturing facility where communication is promoted at all levels of the organization.

This organizational structure allows for greater autonomy, promotes individual initiative, and allows employees to be involved in the decision-making process thus enabling employee decision-making to contribute to or detract from organizational goals. In short, an organic organizational structure can encourage and facilitate lateral communication” (Spillway and Minion Organizational Culture/Climate “Organizational culture refers to the organization’s shared visions, values, beliefs, locals, and practices (Guilford, 1998).

Deals and Kennedy (1982) have connected culture with effective communication. Strong cultures and effective communication result in employees who are more productive because they know exactly what is expected of them in organizational settings. Guilford (1998) has implied that the more employees perceive a positive or strong organizational culture, the more productive they will be. Poole (1985) has contended that an organization’s quality of communication is summed-up in its culture.

In many cases, a strong positive organizational culture or climate can encourage employees to communicate effectively laterally when sharing achievements and disappointments. Thus, as Comer (1991) has asserted, managers should actively encourage employees to allows for a spirit of collaboration and teamwork by empowering employees at every level of the organizational hierarchy to work effectively together (see, for example, Tamari, 2000)” (Spillway and Minion 102). [4] Problems with Horizontal Communication Although this system of communication can be effective, problems can often ensue within organizations.

According to Papa’s book “Organizational Communication,” “horizontal communication problems occur because of territoriality, rivalry, specialization, and simple lack of motivation. ” In addition to these problems and in general, “organizations that traditionally have functioned under rigid authority structures with fixed lines of communication may find that the values and expectations that members have acquired under such systems inhibit attempts at horizontal communication. ” (Papa and Daniels 56). Other problems with this form of communication can happen between multinational corporations.

Horizontal communication between subsidiaries of the same multinational corporation (NC) is a problem faced by staff as the demands for communicating across borders are pushed downwards in the organizational hierarchy. ” (Mir]alias and Marksman- Pattern Territoriality Territoriality often occurs when members of an organization “control task-related activity within a defined and fixed Jurisdictional area” and as a result “regard others’ involvement in that area as territorial encroachment. ” “Departments value their turf and strive to protect it.

This problem may be compounded through interdepartmental rivalries that arise from win/lose competition for rewards and resources” (Papa and Daniels 56). [3] Rivalry Rivalry within organizations occurs for example when the different levels of an organization fail “to cooperate with one another”(Papa and Daniels 56). For example, Papa gives an example of “corporate executives in a national department store chain” who “encountered territorial rivalry when they discovered that local stores within each of the company’s major sales districts refused to cooperate with one another on sales promotions”(Papa and Daniels 56).

Stores within the same sales region literally were in competition with one another as well as with other department store chains” (Papa and Daniels 57). [3] Rivalries such as the example stated in this paragraph inhibit the effectiveness of horizontal communication. Specialization Specialization is a problem that often happens when organizations do not have can occur with procedures or vocabulary used by different departments. For example when “different specialties use the same terms in different ways,” this can create confusion and miscommunication.

When this occurs organizations have trouble functioning properly and do not run smoothly (Papa and Daniels 57). [3] Lack of Motivation “Horizontal communication often fails simply because organization members are unwilling to expend the additional effort that it requires. ” “Horizontal communication may require contact with people in units that are well removed from our own. The channels and rules of interaction may be unclear. We do not really know these people. The need to communicate with them makes us uneasy or takes too much time, so we avoid or ignore it”(Papa and Daniels 57)