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Effective communication is an important and integral part of any group functioning. Managers need to communicate effectively in order for them to perform the basic functions of the management process. All aspects of management require the communication between the subordinates. Teams have to communicate effusively in order for them to be successful in the attainment of the set goal(s) (Blundel & Blundel, 2004). Therefore, communication determines the performance of the management. It determines the success or failure of all the teams.
Communication's role is vital in planning for the management, planning demands proper communication of what the organization's goals, objectives and strategies are and what are the requirements for the organization in order for it to reach the targets (Middleton, 2002). Planning stage entails the communication of expected goals and the roles of each member of the organization in the process of reaching the goals (Blundel & Blundel, 2004). Communication on the planning can be flowing in either of the directions.
The managers can offer their insight on what the group is expected to attain. On the other hand, the subordinates can communicate what they perceive as the main deterrent to the attainment of the goals. They may even state that their goals are too optimistic such that their attainment is impossible (McShane & Von, 2000). Essentially, the organizational communication entails the presentation of all the important information to the management and the repayment of the same to the functional teams in the functional units who implement the plans.
Since the performance of the management is linked directly to that of the teams. The failure of the teams means that the managers have not performed in what they are supposed to be doing. Therefore, there must have been a communication breakdown due to one reason or the other. The function of organizing also demands that there is effective communication of the individual tasks and those of the team members in order to ensure that everyone knows the scope of his or her actions. The team leaders also have to communicate with their subordinates in order for them to attain the goals of the team. Control, as a management function, is not possible unless there is adequate and succinct communication; written or otherwise (Hiriyappa, 2009).
Managers have to devote a significant part of their working time to the communication. It can also be argued that communication is an integral part of any management function or even the main aspect of management. The fact that the management devotes a significant part of its time communicating emphasizes the need for communication. Communication can be face to face, electronic, telephone or written. The ability of the management to communicate effectively with the customers, juniors, superiors and other stakeholders has a large bearing on the organizational performance.
Organizational communication affects the motivation. In the event that a team has the right information on what it is supposed to do and the exact performance metric that will be used to gauge them, it is most likely going to work with the goal in mind. The communication on how to undertake certain tasks is also important in that it increases the clarity of purpose. Feedback on the good performance and the potential improvement areas are essential to the development of the organization since the communication on the performance increases the motivation to do better. Communication on the improvement areas also motivates the teams to do better and improve their organizational performance.
Effective organizational communication determines the development of the right decision-making mechanism. The decision-making process entails the reliance on the information received throughout the communication process adopted by the organization. Effective communication process leads to the development of accurate information on which the management bases their communication. Information at the disposal of the organization is the main determinant of the course of actions that the organization can follow. If the organizational communication is accurate, the information on which to act is accurate and varied.
The completeness of the information determines the number of options that the organization has. In the event, that the information is incomplete, the organization could be limited to the unfavorable choices (McShane & Von, 2000). The evaluation and selection of the alternatives demand that the organization refines its communication process to capture all the data and communicate it to the decision makers so as to empower them in their decision-making process.
Communication shapes the dynamics and attitudes of the individuals. Most of the individuals develop their attitudes towards a certain member or a certain process due to the poor information or the misplaced perceptions that they hold. However, with the right communication the individuals can understand the reality and shift their prejudiced perceptions.
The well-informed individuals have a better attitude compared to the fewer informed individuals. For instance, in the change management, the attitudes towards organizational change are often misplaced. The attitudes are also inaccurate and highly subjective. However, with precise and concise communication, the resistance to the change is easily handled. The organization can use the internal communication channels as tools for shaping the attitudes of the employees towards certain aspects such as change or policies.
Communication determines the formation of the cliques. Formal and informal communication channels have a significant role in the development of the cliques. Informal communication is particularly vital in the development of the norms of the group. Norms could be communicated directly or indirectly. The communication can also be verbal and nonverbal such that the way of behaving sends a message towards the person on the acceptable group behavior. If a person does not affect the communication cues used by the group, he or she is most likely going to be a pariah in the setting. Therefore, the simple determination of whether a person belongs to a certain clique within an organization is dependent on the communication channels and how well one understands what is expected of him or her.
Informal communication is a vital tool that all managers have to understand. It determines the success of the organization in that it can be used to spread unfounded rumors about the company and other important members such that the perceptions of the cliques about a certain individual or policy will be assumed. The capitalization on the informal channels in the organization can be used to direct the change. “… if a few people know what is really going on, gossip becomes the means of spreading information to everyone else…”( Robbins & Judge, 2014). Use of the informal groups and the identification of the group leaders and the most pervasive grapevine affect the effective communication of the change. It affects the adoption of the change and the successful transition. Therefore, the organization has to ensure that it has the right policy on communication. The policy has to be all inclusive of the formal and the informal communication channels (McShane & Von, 2000). Effective capitalization on the channels affects the success or failure of the group according to the group dynamics.
An effective organizational communication system demands that there is managerial proficiency in the delivery and receiving of messages. The management ought to realize the existent barriers to communication (Blundel & Blundel, 2004). It has to address the issues in a more effective manner. It has to ensure that it addresses the issues leading to the development of the barriers. The management has the duty of taking the most effective steps towards the preventions of the barriers and the avoidance of the existent barriers. Therefore, the management and leaders of any group, formal or otherwise, has to ensure that the communications systems are effective and aligned with the overall goals of the organization (Middleton, 2002).
There are six components of organizational communication. The first component is the communication context. All communication activities take place in the organizational contexts. The context affects the effectiveness of communication (Blundel & Blundel, 2004). It can be physical, cultural and social. The context is the predicate of any communication process. The second component is the sender or the encoder. This is the person or entity responsible for the sending of the message. The sender encodes the information in symbols or words in order to relay it and elicit the required reaction. The third component is the message. This is the main idea that the person is communication to the recipient.
The fourth component is the medium. It is the means of transmitting the message from the encoder to the recipient (Blundel & Blundel, 2004). The recipient or decoder is the person or entity to whom the message is intended. Final component is feedback. It makes up the main and most notable component of any communication process in that it allows the sender to evaluate the efficacy of the message. It helps the sender in understanding if the recipient of the message understood what was intended. Feedback could be formal or otherwise. It can also be verbal or non-verbal.
Communication themes can be formal or informal. They can also be verbal and nonverbal. In all the organizations, there is a need for the communication (Middleton, 2002). The form of communication selected depends on various factors such as the relationship between the recipient and the encoder, the formality of the situation and the need for immediate feedback. They can also be combined if the desired output requires the combination. Organizational communication can assume both the formal and informal communication. The communication approach adopted depends on the groups using it. In the informal groups in the organization, the informal and verbal communication is preferred (Hiriyappa, 2009). In the formal groups, the formal and written communication modes are preferred.
Organizational communication affects the development of the right working relationship. The organizations that have the right communication channels are most likely to develop the required relationships between the teams and departments and affect the eventual output. Communication makes work easier for all the people (Middleton, 2002). The management ought to ensure that it communicates its goals and targets in the most succinct manner to facilitate the performance of the individuals (Hiriyappa, 2009). In performance management, organizations have to ensure that they cascade the objectives of the organization and replicate them in the teams.
The definition of the performance objectives of the individual teams or business units demands that the members of the team conduct the most succinct, concise and precise communication. Clarification of the expectations of the organization from the individual has to be based on the discussions between the management and the employees. The discussion determines the effectiveness and the consequential efficacy of the expectations (Robbins & Judge, 2014). Therefore, organizational communication determines the efficacy of the work units in the organization.
Most of the organizations focus on the four core competitive competencies and the improvement in order for them to develop their plans to meet the expectations of the market and configure themselves to the competition (Robbins & Judge, 2014). Configuration of the organizational systems and practices demands the inclusion of the employees involved in the actual value creation. The communication of the operational approach that the organization is to use determines the understanding and the adoption of the same. The communication of the organizational priorities helps the workers in adopting their efforts to the goals. It also affects the successful implementation of the same priorities to the organization performance.
Informal communication has the same weight as the formal communication. Informal communication is focused on the provision of the information needs to the informal group settings. All organizations have the informal groups and connections that augment the formal gropes. The formal groups are organized according to the needs of the organization (Schermerhorn, Osborn, & Hunt, 2000). The rules of conduct are openly communicated, and the leadership structure is understood by all the members. “ A leadership presence that reinforces the organization’s purpose and facilitates communication is especially valuable.” Robbins & Judge, 2014) The informal communication focuses on the relay of information that cannot or is normally not relayed on the formal communication channels. Use of the formal communication only is ineffective since the informal communication channels often affect the eventual development of the formal agenda (Blundel & Blundel, 2004). Formal communication and informal communication in the organizational context are interlinked since the members of the formal structures are the very ones that make up the informal groups (Robbins & Judge, 2014).
The management of the information and communication networks in the both settings determines the effectiveness of the organization (Hiriyappa, 2009). The effective integration of the informal communication in the organization's communication agenda provides the organization with the alternative way of communication. An issue that has the possibility of attracting high resistance can be disseminated to the informal groups first for the discussion. From the observed reactions and opinions of the members of the informal groups, the organization can develop the needed approach to the matter. Informal groups are reliable in the relaying of information (Robbins & Judge, 2014). The organization has the option of capitalizing on these aspects of the informal groups in the development of the agenda (Robbins & Judge, 2014). Effective management of both the formal and informal communication affects the understanding of the organizational goals and needs. It also determines the reaction to the progress and the calls from more impetus in the attainment of the strategy.
Important organizational processes such as strategic planning require the effective communication channels to be in place. Communication via the channels leads to the understanding and full participation of the employees in the process. Communication process requires the development of the right feedback mechanisms that are instrumental in the development of the agenda of the organization.
Communication feedback loops are important in the development of the assessment of performance. Employees always relish the idea of continued feedback on their performance. Tactical approach to the feedback can affect the morale of the employees leading to the attainment of the team synergy. “… a team’s performance is not merely a summation of the individual members’ abilities. However, these abilities set limits on what members can do and how effectively they will perform on a team.” (Robbins & Judge, 2014) It can also resulted in the development of more intrinsic efforts to communicate in the most effective manner.
Any feedback that the communication process produces is important. Therefore, the feedback design and communication ought to incorporate the reaction of the employees. Employees can react to the communications in a negative or positive manner. The communication of the feedback in the inappropriate manner can lead to the poor morale of the employees (Hiriyappa, 2009). Therefore, feedback reliance requires balancing of the expectations of the employees and the actual. It also calls for the effective development of the required feedback loops.
All organizations require that the teams and all functional units have the optimal integration. In order for any of the team to have an integration, there is a need for the development of the cohesiveness. Team cohesiveness results from the adept communication. Communication within groups can assume both formal and informal channels (Hiriyappa, 2009).
Communication determines the norms and forming in the group. In the event, that the group does not have the required communication, there is a high likelihood that the business will fail. There is also a chance of the formation of the factions and breakaway units that pull in different directions (Blundel & Blundel, 2004).
Communication also determines the development of the synergy in the group. A group that has the best communications network in place has a high chance of developing the required group effectiveness (Robbins & Judge, 2014). The communication means are the principal issues that any of the groups has to handle. Effectiveness of the communication channels affects the development of the teamwork and synergy.
Synergy is needed in every group. Groups are essentially compositions of different people that are supposed to work in the same manner and attain a common goal. A team does not qualify to be referred to as a team unless there is a commonality of purpose. The communication of the direction of the team is the main determinant of the team’s understanding of that is the main goal of its existence. Communication also determines the commitment and modifications of the purpose to suit the constraining factors. Communication can also be a constraint to the attainment of the goals.
Communication of the constraints to the performance and the gradual improvement on the constraints determines the effectiveness of the organization and the functional units. The process of identifying the constraints requires the understanding of the purpose and the communication of the idea of constraints. Constraints related to the communication process ought to be the first ones removed from the system in order to improve the overall system’s performance.
Blundel, R., & Blundel, R. (2004). Effective organizational communication: Perspectives, Principles, and practices. Harlow, England: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Hiriyappa, B. (2009). Organizational behavior. New Delhi: New Age International.
McShane, S. L., & Von, G. M. (2000). Organizational behavior. Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.
Middleton, J. (2002). Organizational behavior. Oxford, U.K: Capstone Pub.
Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2014). Organizational behavior. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Schermerhorn, J. R., Osborn, R., & Hunt, J. G. (2000). Organizational behavior. New York: Wiley.
Any human problem solving activity can often be analyzed both at the level of content as well as process. The content consultancy often refers to the actual task that has to be performed or the problem that has to be solved while process often refers to the way in which the problem is attacked, worked on, defined and ultimately solved. The content is what a typical secretary can often record during a meeting, this includes the agenda, the ideas that were presented and the different solutions that were offered and reached as well as the different agendas that were settled on. In contrast, if one was to observe the process this same meeting one look at the communication patterns, who spoke to whom, who spoke often. Therefore, these are the fundamental differences that exist between content marketing and process marketing (Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010). The content marketing helps to understand, develop as well as execute smart content marketing strategies. The content marketing focuses on the combination of independent as well as pragmatic thinking across a widely array of several different marketing expertise. The content marketing helps to operationalize the human personnel, people and technology. The process consultancy on the other hand helps in the understanding of the psycho social dynamics of working with several various client systems such as whole organizations, individuals and groups. However, given the complex nature of intervention, the consultancy often involves the using of several different processes using a variety of methods, tools, and several change theories into a facilitative intervention that helps in the benefiting the client system (Kepner-Tregoe, 1977).
Content consulting can be used to solve several issues such as organizational change, conflict and resistance. Content consulting introduces systems such as benchmarking that can be used by the organization to ensure organizational change and ensure that indeed the company moves towards a project area. It is also of the essence to note that indeed content consulting ensures that there is an increase in the understanding of why there is a need for change in the organization and the members of the organization can be able to inculcate the beliefs about the current system and why there is the need for another (Block, 2011). For example, a company like Wal-Mart can be able to benchmark on Coca Cola in terms of distribution and this will be extremely important in also picking up the management of change that occurred in Coca Cola.
The Process consultancy on the other hand helps in the facilitation of several different issues that involve the process in a meeting as compared to the persons doing the actual tasks themselves. The process consultancy often helps in the identification of a problem and going ahead and solving it. The process consultant helps the group to work through several different steps that are required in breaking a certain impasse. It is of the essence to note that the process consultant role is not to solve the problem but rather to help the group solve their own problem (Block, 2011). For example, a company might be having a problem with it supply management and the process consultant might be called in order to help the persons understand the schematics of the decision and how they can be able to solve it. In regards to conflict management, the process consultant might need to guide the group in order to help avoid the conflicts and lead the group towards conflict management as compared to conflict resolution.
Block, P. (2011). Flawless consulting: A guide to getting your expertise used. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.
Burtonshaw-Gunn, S. A. (2010). Essential tools for management consulting: Tools, models and approaches for clients and consultants. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.
Kepner-Tregoe, Inc. (1977). Process consulting. Princeton, N.J: Kepner Tregoe.
The situation of the event at Enron
According to undercover reporters Elkind and McLean, the dirtiest scandal among the many was Enron’s involvement with highly reputable Wall Street companies in enabling Enron’s scam and being collaborators to it. Firms that were included are Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan. The scam was done through prepays which were loans Enron secured as cash flows in operation. Enron booked new prepays to make payments to the existing ones and to support rapidly the growing investments in the new venture.
One of the affiliated party transactions formed by Andrew Fastow, LJM2, employed a scheme where it was to take an asset from Enron’s, mostly an asset with poor performance, at the end of quarter and sell it back to Enron at a profit at the end of the quarter and the earnings was already secured.
Enron’s ethical obligation in their communications to the public
According to Enron: What Caused the Ethical Collapse?, Enron’s code of ethics was founded on respect, communication, excellence and integrity. The value of communication was described as “We have an obligation to communicate. Here we take the time to talk with one another and to listen. We believe that information is meant to move, and that information moves people."
Approaches Enron should take to communicate to the public to gain credibility
One of the most approaches Enron should put into consideration to communicate to the public so as to gain credibility include corporate codes. Since these corporate codes are neither charades but practical approaches in a day to day handling of situations. As usual when cultures are meaningful, they are likely to implore the employees into doing the right things. This translates into individuals getting encouraged to air their grievances and know that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken. Such systems enable the management to handle matters and address them with a holistic approach hence ensuring a strong and healthy ethics. Ethics, as well as integrity, are the pillar of sustainable and long-term success. Without the ethics, then no strategy put forward can work as shown by Enron, an enterprise is likely to fail irrespective of having the smartest management team (Bowen, 2007).
Bowen, S. (2007, October 30). Ethics and Public Relations. Retrieved from Institute for Public Relations: http://www.instituteforpr.org/ethics-and-public-relations/
Enron: What Caused the Ethical Collapse? (n.d.). Retrieved from webcache: http://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/downloads/0324589735_170401.doc.
Silverstein, K. (2013, May 14). Enron, Ethics And Today's Corporate Values. Retrieved from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2013/05/14/enron-ethics-and-t...
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