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last updated 8/19/2016
I. The Social Dialectic
A. Organizations are the product of the transactions of individuals, yet
B. Individuals only become who they are as a result of the social environment (organizations) they are a part of.
C. Thus, individuals both create and are created by organization, continuously
You and Org. Comm.
Employees, in the modern org, must understand the relations between effective communication and the successful operation of the organization (and their personal success within it). Thus, employees must understand how to choose the most appropriate strategies in different situations. ADAPTATION!
i. Strategic Communication is the ability to
ii. analyze the situation - This requires –
(1) a vocabulary which allows recognition of important features of the organization and its activities &
(2) pattern recognition (including the novel patterns) – What events, people and structures connect to each other repeatedly
iii. select appropriate communication strategies
iv. enact those strategies successfully/skillfully
! diagnosis = 2 and 3
! 3 requires a repertoire of strategy & tactics
III. An Overview of Organizational Communication
A. Defining “communication” and “Organizational Communication.”
1. Communication = people, acting mutually, to manage meaning, (emergent meaning), in context
2. Org. Comm. = a different (often more complex) context, multiple levels relationships (especially interesting is power), a different shared organizational “culture.”
3. The Central Premise of the course. " The central dilemma organizations face is
(1) the organization's need for control and coordination of its people is in continual tension with
(2) the individual's need for autonomy (ownership), sociability, esteem (respect, acheivement) and creativity." [ Charles Conrad ] (Individuals also need a sense of structure, stability, predictability in order to know how to go about meeting their own needs.)
4. What do we mean by “strategic?”
a choice, a way of accomplishing work, e.g bureaucracy , laissez
, laissez faire
b. Often multiple strategies exist in a signle organization or office.
c. Strategies have communication implications
d. For individuals within organizations strategies create
(1) guidelines for action/communication
(2) constraints (limits) on their actions
(3) resources for accomplishing action
(a) When choices of action are complex and conflicted, paralysis can occur.
e. Individual choices create and change d1, d2, and d3 above (a dialectic)
Questions for Thursday.
1. What are examples of bureaucratic management you have seen in your work? At Monmouth College. Were the effective in meeting organizational goals? individual goals?
2. Can you identify some specific problems that bureaucratic and scientific management methods cause for the organization? for the individuals? for society?
3. Describe an incident in which an organization you are familiar with seemed to suffer from lack of effective downward communication. What happened and why? How were individuals affected? How was the organization affected?
4. Describe an incident in which an organization you are familiar with seemed to suffer from lack of sufficient upward communication. What happened and why? How were individuals affected? How was the organization affected?