Complete-5-Employee-Relations-Classmate-Discussion-Responses-help

CLASSMATE POST 1:

Communication creates and changes an organization’s culture and climate. 

  Setting or changing the culture and climate in an organization is possibly one of the most difficult tasks for a senior leadership team.  I have been in the Army for close to 10 years now and I have witnessed a few changes in culture and climate as I have changed units but the Army as a whole has changed as well.  But the most interesting change I have witnessed is the change we are going through now as a unit and the communication from our Commander and Senior Leaders is driving the change.  For the past two years we have been training in a high intensity fighting, force-on-force type of environment but we are now preparing to deploy to a peacekeeping operation.  Through the communication and actions of our Command team and Senior Leaders we are changing the culture of our unit and how we conduct business. 

  Shockley-Zalabak (2012) defines organizational culture as “the unique sense of the place that organizations generate through ways of doing and ways of communicating about the organization” (pg. 49).  Shockley-Zalabak (2012) further refines this by stating organizational culture is a reflection of commonly used practices and a shared reality in the organization (pg. 49).  A study conducted by Martins and Terblanche (2003) found that communication is a dimension that supports organizational culture (Uzkurt, Kumar, Kimzan, & Eminoglu, 2013, pg.98).  The messages that Senior Leaders convey and how they convey them establish the conditions for an organization’s culture.  The intended culture can only be established and maintained if junior leaders and subordinates echo the messages from the Senior Leaders. 

  Mouton, Just, and Gabrielsen (2012) demonstrate how rhetoric communication shapes an organization’s culture because the majority of a leaders’ time is spent communicating items such as strategy and organizational structure (pg. 319).  This form of rhetoric communication from leaders in an organization will set the culture inside of an organization.  It is important to note that a positive organizational culture must also be communicated outside of the organization to establish a constructive reputation with the public.  A positive reputation from outside the organization will then also reinforce the internal organizational culture. 

  Dextras-Gauthier, Marchand, and Haines (2012) state that working conditions inside of an organization are shaped by that organization’s culture (pg. 86).  Employees will have an emotionally driven reaction of the actions and climate of an organization (COM665, 2013, Slide 8).  Communication from lower level employees is critical to reinforcing or promote change inside to an organization’s culture which influences their working conditions.  If there is no flow of communication from the bottom to the top of an organization, then its Senior Leaders will not be able to evaluate the effectiveness or uselessness of its culture on their organization.

Word Count: 462

COM665. (2013, August 26). Discussion 2: Organizational Communication, Climate, and Culture [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://chipcast.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=8054bb9a-378a-4da5-b596-1ee7f0526667

Dextras-Gauthier, J., Marchand, A., & Haines, V. (2012). Organizational Culture, Work Organization Conditions, and Mental Health: A Proposed Integration.  International Journal of Stress Management, 19(2), 81-104. doi:10.1037/a0028164

Mouton, N., Just, S. N., & Gabrielsen, J. (2012). Creating Organizational Cultures: Re-conceptualizing the Relations Between Rhetorical Strategies and Material Practices. Journal of Organizational Change Management25(2), 315-331. doi:10.1108/09534811211213973.

Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2012). Fundamentals of Organizational Communication (pp. 1-65). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Uzkurt, C., Kumar, R., Kimzan, H. S., & Eminoglu, G. (2013). Role of innovation in the relationship between organizational culture and firm performance. European Journal of Innovation Management, 16(1), 92-117. doi:http://dx.doi.org.cmich.idm.oclc.org/10.1108/14601061311292878

CLASSMATE POST 2:

Organizational structure helps determine the use of communication

The first thing that jumped out at me during the lecture was the interaction between the Drill Sergeant and Recruit. Only in those specific environments would somebody expect to receive that kind of interaction. There are several components of organizational communication, but perhaps, the organization’s overall structure has the biggest influence on how people communicate. The hierarchical structure is most common in governments and companies, and will be the basis for my argument.

Gauthier states that “stability, formalism, and control are three defining characteristics of the hierarchical culture” (Gauthier, 2012). All three characteristics shape the basis for operations and set the tone for the communication. In the military, formalism is embedded within the organization, often prompting employees to conduct verbal and nonverbal courtesies when engaging in conversation. For example, when approaching a higher ranking female officer, it is common practice to render a salute and address the superior as “Ma’am”. Failure to follow this protocol can create an immediate perception of disrespect and illicit an unwanted response.

The governing regulations and codes of conduct outline military procedures, even the rules for communication. These regulations are revised and updated as deemed necessary through feedback from the traditional perspectives and interpretive perspectives. The traditional perspective can be used to acknowledge existing regulations and adjust the formal doctrine. Although the traditional perspective is synonymous with functionality (Daley), the interpretive perspective might best serve to help organizational members create shared reality at the functional level.

There are literal definitions of communication within this hierarchical structure as well as role playing. Often times, a member’s role, and how they see themselves in that role, will determine how they communicate. “Role taking occurs as individuals engage in social interaction within the ever-changing organizational context” (Shockley-Zalabak, 2012). For example, if a person is delegated authority over a group, they might step outside the normal realm of courtesies to fulfill a leadership role. Conversely, a subject matter expert might cease to take a leadership role if they are working in a group laterally with higher ranking members.

Although this just scratches the surface, there are many ways an organization’s structure directly influences communication. Sometimes there is an outlined protocol for communication. Granted, it is up to the individual or group to abide by those regulations, but the organization will not bend to an individual as much as the individual must bend to the organization.

Word Count: 396

References:

Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2012). Fundamentals of organizational communication. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson. PP. 1-65

Mouton, N., Just, S.N., & Gabrielsen, J. (2012). Creating organizational cultures: Reconceptualizing the relations between rhetorical strategies and material practices. Journal of Organizational Change Movement, 25(2), 315-331.

Dextras-Gauthier, J., Alain Marchand, A., & Haines, V. (2012). Organizational culture, work organization conditions, and mental health: A proposed integration. International Journal of Stress Management, 19(2), 81-104.

Daley, D. W. (n.d.). Organizational Communication, Climate, and Culture.

Semann, A. (2013). It’s Not What You Say That Matters: It’s What You Do! Retrieved from Semann and Slattery: http://semannslattery.com/its-not-what-you-say-that-matters-its-what-you-do/

CLASSMATE POST 3:

There is creativity with organizational culture.

Firstly, organizational culture consists of multiple layers according to the Mouton article.  The layers of culture are composed of artifacts, values, ideals, and assumptions (Mouton, 2012).  The collection of employees with these varieties is able to contribute to workplace missions, goals, resolutions, and other organizational developments.  As a result of these multiple components creativity is ignited through communications.  While there can be multiple definitions for creativity and communication, for this purpose creativity is “the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality…by the ability to perceive the world in a new way” (Naiman, 2015).  While communication, specifically organizational communication is “the process through which organizations are created and in turn create and shape events” (Daily).  Effective communication is the foundation of creativity that binds the varying cultures of employees to an organized unit to ensure progress. 

One of the defining characteristics of organizational culture by DextrasGauther is innovation because with this as a common cultural value, there is greater employee initiative and experimentation as contributions are offered based on knowledge and experiences in order to achieve objectives (Dextras-Gauthier, 2012).  This article mentions how “innovation is the key value” that expands culture because of the focus on learning (Dextras-Gauthier, 2012).  Organizations are made up of diverse groups that are not only composed of Mouton’s layers but also characterizations of age, gender, race, and more.  While it can certainly be challenging, with these differences organizations are meant to “create opportunities, generate innovation, and contribute to productive change (Shockley-Zalabak, 2012)

It is believed that creativity is a common value that many individuals hope to contribute to the workplace.  With such a commonality, communication develops, therefore enhancing climate which creates a work culture that is satisfactory to staff and the serving population.  Creativity is important at the workplace because “employees want to feel their ideas are valued, their minds are engaged, and their thoughts are respected” (Quirk, 2016).  So the question is, how to manage a group of culture to be an organized team so that each person feels valued, engaged, and respected?  An article by the Huffington Post suggests five approaches.

  1. Encourage individualism and teamwork
  2. Don’t underestimate
  3. Lessons on improvising
  4. Try something new
  5. Diversity your team    (Quirk, 2016)

To summarize, while there are multiple components to enhancing organizational culture, it is creativity that promotes communication to ensure development and resolutions as well as cohesion between staff at all levels. 

Word Count: 408
References:

Daily, William. (2016). Course Notes.

Dextras-Gauthier, J. (2012). Organizational culture, work organization conditions, and mental health. 19 (2), 81-104.

Mouton, N. (2012). Creating organizational cultures. Journal of Organizational Change Movement .

Naiman, L. (2015). Creativity at Work. Retrieved May 11, 2016, from What is Creativity?: http://www.creativityatwork.com/2014/02/17/what-is-creativity/

Quirk, A. (2016, February 1). Huffington Post. Retrieved May 11, 2016, from Fostering a Culture of Creativity in the Workplace: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alison-a-quirk/fostering-a-culture-of-cr_b_7615498.html

Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2012). Fundamentals of Organizational Communication.

CLASSMATE POST 4:

Organizational Communication Creates a Culture. 

Communications vary from organization to organization based on the culture and the environment established by the company.  Dailey (Slide 7) defines that culture as the personalities and tendencies that are adopted by organizations.  Over the past several years I have left a company for another and returned back to the original company.  Both of the organizations are Fortune 50 companies, but have completely different cultures and levels of climates. Climate is the way that the employees evaluate of the culture to determine if there is a positive or negatively climate (Dailey, Slide 8).

Shockley-Zalabak (2012) discusses the importance of organizations to have competent communicators at all organizational level.  Decision making communication travels from the top of the organization down through all of the levels. Mouton et al (2012) claims that the founders or the organization will have the most important impact to the culture of a business.  The idea begins in the head of the founder but must be communicated and executed throughout the levels of the organization.  One of the organizations accepts the, “the group culture favors employee participation, cooperation, mutual trust, team spirit, and learning. Founded on trust in human potential, cohesiveness, and synergy, the key value of the group culture is social support” (Dextras-Gauthier, 2012).  The other organization subscribes to “the rational culture values decision rules, performance indicators, individual and collective accountabilities, and reinforcement contingencies. It seeks to maximize production, and its key values relate to achieving organizational goals and objectives” (Dextras-Gauthier, 2012).

The different communication approaches by the organizations have created opposite realities of the culture.  In one organization the communication is limited to pertinent information only.  The information is sent only during the common work day (9a-5p), there is a priority and importance that allows the receiver the ability to digest, understand and deliver in a proper time frame.  The employees within this organization are more engagement, more satisfied with their responsibilities and are committed to the company.  There is an understanding that the employees time is valuable and respected by the organization.  In the other company, communication is delivered 24 hours a day via multiple avenues; text, phone, e-mail.  Majority of the communication comes as a “911” requiring immediate attention.  This type of communication style has damaged the moral of employees.  It expresses that the employees are at the mercy of the communication and above all it must be reacted and followed up on.  The communication has a big impact on whether an organization has a positive or a negative culture. 

Word Count: 422

References:

Dailey, W., PhD. (n.d.). Organizational Communication, Climate and Culture [PowerPoint slides].  Retrieved May 9, 2016, from Lecture Video Online https://chipcast.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=8054bb9a-378a-4da5-b596-1ee7f0526667

Dextras-Gauthier, J., Marchhand, A., & Haines, V., III. (2012). Organizational Culture, Work Organization Conditions, and Mental Health: A Proposed Integration. International Journal of Stress Managment, 19(2), 81-104. doi:10.1037/a0028164 

Mouton, N., Just, S. N., & Gabrielsen, J. (2012). Creating organizational cultures. Journal of OrgChange Mgmt Journal of Organizational Change Management, 25(2), 315-331. doi:10.1108/09534811211213973

Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2012). Fundamentals of organizational communication. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson. PP. 1-65

CLASSMATE POST 5:

Reality can be manipulated by description.

The interpretive approach how the process of communication reveals the creation of shared meaning in the organization becomes the focus of examination.  This is also called the meaning center approach.  The goal is to describe and explain the meaning and reality creating process.  “By communicating, members generate, test, and adapt the shared reality” (Dailey, 2013).

That shared reality can be “manipulated by re-describing things” (Mouton, et al., 2012).  Mouton, Just, and Gabrielsen go on to make the point that “anything can be made to look good or bad if re-described” (2012).  How something is communicated impacts how it is interpreted.  “There is no single description of any action, and alternative descriptions will yield alternative inferences, evaluations, and actions” (Mouton, et al., 2012).  This is an important concept to understand in any leadership role and is one that is referenced often in management.  As a supervisor, my manager would always remind me to try to turn a negative into a positive when critiquing my staff.  Thus, I’d be encoding the message, or choosing content and symbols to portray (positive) meaning (Shockley-Zalabak, 2012).

This is influenced by communicative competency, composed of knowledge, sensitivity and values.  Communication competency involves our willingness and ability so that our meanings are understood and we understand the meanings of others (Shockley-Zalabak, 2012).  In other words, what you’re conveying is “described” in the manner it is meant.

This is a reflection of the interpretive perspective.  In the interpretive approach to organizational communication, how the process of communication reveals the creation of shared meaning in the organization becomes the focus of examination (Dailey, 2013).  The goal of this approach is to describe and explain the meaning and reality creating process.  Which leads to the question discussed by Mouton, Just, and Gabrielsen, how do founders of organizations create culture? (2012).  According to Schein, “an organization’s culture begins in the head of its founder” (Mouton, et al., 2012).  Can organizations really force a culture?  In a functionalist (traditional) view, culture is viewed as a measurable organizational characteristic that relates to individual consciousness (Dextras-Gauthier, et al., 2012).  This approach focuses on the how the end goal can be achieved. 

The traditional perspective is seen as serving the goals of the organization.  In the interpretive perspective, the goal is to describe and explain the meaning and reality creating process (Dailey, 2013).  That created reality can be manipulated by description in the way it is communicated.

Word Count: 408

COM665. (2013). Organizational Communication, Climate and Culture.  Retrieved from http://chipcast.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer/Default.aspx?id=8054bb9a-378a-4da5-b596-1ee7f0526667

Dextras-Gauthier, J., Marchand, A., & Haines,Victor, I.,II. (2012). Organizational Culture, Work Organization Conditions, and Mental Health: A Proposed Integration. International Journal of Stress Management, 19(2), 81-104.

Mouton, N., Just, S.N., & Gabrielsen, J. (2012). Creating organizational cultures: Reconceptualizing the relations between rhetorical strategies and material practices. Journal of Organizational Change Movement, 25(2), 315-331.

Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2012). Fundamentals of Organizational Communication. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson. PP. 1-65

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