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The Efficiency In Communication Information Technology Essay

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Skudai is a non-profit organization established in Skudai, Johor. It is upgraded to become universities in 1975 [1] . UTM is an organization that provides higher education for students in Malaysia. This organization is under Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). Recently, UTM’s ranking fall from 48 points to 41 points [2] .

The points are given according to evaluation of QS WUR (World University Ranking). The quality benchmark in academia is quality publication. Academic publication consist of 3 categories which are publication as results of research through publicized article, article publication in the main conferences and book publication pertaining to research characteristics for international scientific community [3] .

Based on the categories outlined above, news published in Skudai News For UTM on 29th January of 2010 suggested that UTM is lacking in academic publication sector which also indicate there are communication problems occurring in the organization.

In this commentary, I will analyse what is the communication barrier UTM is facing and how UTM overcome the problems.

Methodology

I will base my commentary on the following three supporting document.

The Higher Education Strategic Plan (PSPTN) from ‘The Elevation of Higher Education’ by PROF. DATO’ IR. DR. ZAINI BIN UJANG.

Seventh Strategic Thrust from ‘The Elevation of Higher Education’ by PROF. DATO’ IR. DR. ZAINI BIN UJANG.

Interview with UTM Senior Assistant Registrar En Mohd Fauzi Bin Abdul Rahman

Online news from News For UTM concerning the decline of UTM ranking ‘http://www.utm.my/news/news/218-utm-top-in-malaysia-in-institutional-repositories.html’

Accessed on 30th May 2010

In this commentary, business theories are going to be used for analysis. Specifically, communication theory and communication barrier are going to be used in the analysis. After identifying UTM’s problem and what have UTM done to overcome the situation, I will make a conclusion and clarify limitation and any question unanswered.

Findings and Analysis

The idea of communication refers to the transfer of information from one party to another party [4] . In UTM context, UTM should have internal and external communication. UTM internal communication is communication within UTM’s organization. Internal communication would involve communication among academic staffs, officers and students and the upper management officers. While external communication is communication of UTM with other organization or people outside UTM for example Celcom and Maxis.

According to the news posted in News for UTM, UTM’s points drop from 48 points to 41 points [5] . Therefore, I decided to interview a Senior Assistant Registrar of UTM to verify the news. In the interview, he admits that the news was true. He also tells me the cause of the situation. He said, the problem rises because of there are some problem in communication that occurs in the organization [6] .

Based on my interpretation of the supporting documents; the individuals involved in the current issue only limited to the people inside UTM’s organization. Therefore, this would suggest that any communication problem that occurs is an internal communication problem. To strengthen the statement, I would like to include the quote from interview with UTM’s Senior Assistant Registrar “…lecturers to deposit their latest research regularly. However, their unfamiliarity to ICT makes them reluctant to do so.” [7] Lecturers and researchers meant above is lecturers and researchers that do their investigation and studies under UTM. This statement clearly indicate who are the ones involved in causing the problems.

In detail, the problem is found out to be that “there are people in the organization that have poor attitudes towards ICT and seems to be lacking of skill in ICT. For example there are researchers and professor who did not deposit their findings and research material. Other than that, there are also staffs that are not very efficient in communicating using English as communication medium.” [8] 

Using communication barriers as the basic theory to analyse, it is clear that UTM is having two main barriers. The first one is there are people that have poor attitude towards the use of ICT in communication. The second one is there are staffs that do not master English language sufficiently.

These two barriers would results in poor communication. As a result, QS WUR will give lower points as UTM demonstrate the poor publication as results of research by having communication such as poor attitude towards the use of ICT and insufficiency in communicating using English language. Hence with lower points UTM will be positioned lower in the World University Rank.

Other than that, if the problem persists without any measures taken to counter the problem, UTM public image will be tarnished. When it happen; it is not possible for UTM to have good impression in front of the public as it fails to uphold its position as a effective higher education institute. In consequence of the implication, Malaysia’s higher education system will be seen as a system with a poor management and not reliable in giving education to the society.

To overcome the problems, UTM introduce UTM Strategic Plan 2010. The strategic plan is well aligned National Strategic Plan (PSPTN) [9] . PSPTN was launched by our previous Prime minister in 2007 [10] . PSPTN have seven main thrust. From the seven thrust, PSPTN put a great emphasis on the seventh thrust which is strengthening the MOHE’s delivery system. MOHE’s delivery system would include communication as one of the delivery aspect [11] .

Focusing on the UTM Strategic Plan 2010, the strategic plan outlined five institutional values that called the ‘5Cs’. “Communicative” is one of the aspects that falls under 5Cs. In Communicative, it is stated that; “Communication is the key that allows people to engage, interact and adapt themselves in organisations and societies. The ability to communicate effectively and coherently is one of the traits of a professional and proficient staff. Thus, all UTM staff should be ready and able to communicate at all levels in contributing ideas, engaging in discourse, deliberating and discussing, making decisions and sharing experiences using various strategies and communication techniques to enhance his professionalism and expertise” [12] .

With the implementation of UTM Strategic Plan 2010, it is believed that the current communication barrier will be overcome efficiently and will be more effective. With improvement of communication in UTM, I would suggest UTM should get higher points for this year’s evaluation by the QS WUR and a much improved ranking too.

Conclusion

My analysis indicated that UTM have done a great implementation in order to overcome the communication problems occurring within UTM organization. However, no plan and strategy is perfect. The UTM Strategic Plan 2010 may not run smoothly and make the appropriate changes if individuals in UTM organization do not give their cooperation in implementing the necessary changes according to plan in order to improve the current UTM condition.

Besides that, strategy alone will not be able to solve the current problem. Everybody from the top management to subordinates have to be dedicated to ensure the success of UTM Strategic Plan 2010. Even the Vice Chancellor of UTM must also take note regarding this issue by conveying the issue and solution properly besides encouraging people to follow the strategic plan.

Another thing UTM should consider is, UTM is a very big organization consisting people of different preference and mind. Therefore, there might be hard to ensure everyone know the strategic plan thoroughly and it is even harder to ensure everyone understand the core objective of the plan. Therefore, UTM should ensure the plan is properly delivered to every individual by doing vigorous publishing of the plan trough all means of communication including mailing, newspaper and even seminars.

All in all, UTM Strategic Plan 2010 will be able to improve the efficiency of communication in the organization especially internal communication which currently facing some communication barriers as UTM Strategic Plan 2010 is a plan with a strong foundation with very strong emphasis of improving communication aspects.

Bibliography

Supporting Documents:

The National Higher Education Strategic Plan (PSPTN) from ‘The Elevation of Higher Education’ by PROF. DATO’ IR. DR. ZAINI BIN UJANG.

Seventh Strategic Thrust from ‘The Elevation of Higher Education’ by PROF. DATO’ IR. DR. ZAINI BIN UJANG.

Interview with UTM Senior Assistant Registrar En Mohd Fauzi Bin Abdul Rahman

Online news from News For UTM concerning the decline of UTM ranking ‘http://www.utm.my/news/news/218-utm-top-in-malaysia-in-institutional-repositories.html’

Accessed on 30th May 2010

Others:

Slideshow from Senior Assistant Registrar Mohd Fauzi Abdul Rahman on Students Development Policy (Dasar Pembangunan Pelajar, DPM) Date of access: 20th March 2010

Bumi Luas Langit Terbentang.Skudai,Johor : UTM Press.

UTM Strategic Plan 2010 and the alignment of it with PSPTN (31/july/2010)

UTM Office of Corporate Affairs

<http://www.utm.my/corporateaffairs/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=75&Itemid=122>

<http://www.utm.my/corporateaffairs/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=74&Itemid=122>

Human Resources, Communication 2.3, Business and Management, Paul Hoang published by IBID Press 2007, Victoria.

Interview question samples (date of acces 23 jun 2010)

<http://www.jobbankusa.com/interview_questions_answers/free_samples_examples> Appendix 1

The National Higher Education Strategic Plan (PSPTN) from ‘The Elevation of Higher Education’ by PROF. DATO’ IR. DR. ZAINI BIN UJANG

Appendix 2

The Elevation of Higher Learning 2009, Zaini Ujang, UTM Press

Appendix 3

Interview with UTM Senior Assistant Registrar

Before I start, I would like to ask whether the news of UTM points drop from 48 points last year to 41 points this year is true or not? Can You explain the cause of the problem?

Yes it is true and I am not proud of it. Talking on the cause of such consequences, I believe in the news Dr. Azlan did encourage researchers and professors to deposit their latest findings and research materials. This is because, there are researchers and professors did not deposit their latest findings and research materials. If observed carefully, this problem is considered as communication problem within UTM itself. Basically, ineffective communication is the reason for the decline that occurs.

Sometimes communication may become ineffective, in UTM why do you think communication become ineffective?

It is believed that some people have a poor attitude towards the use of ICT and they are lacking of skills in ICT. UTM open access policy encourages lecturers to deposit their latest research regularly. However, their unfamiliarity to ICT makes them reluctant to do so. This results in low communication of scientific knowledge with the global world. Other than that, some of our staffs are lacking in language skills. For example, nowadays English are being used widely. Yet, our staff still did not master English well. This makes them poor communicator and hinders effective communication.

How this factor will actually results in UTM organization?

Firstly it will affect the morale of staffs. They are going to loss confidence and sense of direction. Other than that, staff competitiveness will be reduced this is due to the low morale of staffs. These indicate the poor communication in UTM. In the future, UTM rank will be affected by this condition if the problem remained unsolved.

So, how did UTM plan to overcome the situation?

To overcome the situation, UTM have come with a new and revised strategic planning on 2010 based on PSPTN (Pelan Strategik Pengajian Tinggi Negara) that is published in 2007. In PSPTN, it focuses on the seventh thrust which is to strengthen the MOHE’s (Ministry Of Higher Education) delivery system. It emphasis on improvement of delivery that means communication whether internal or external have to be in the best condition.

When the UTM strategic plan is changed, how it gives impact to UTM? Obviously what area?

Since Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Zaini Bin Ujang is appointed to the vice chancellor of UTM in 30 September 2008 there are changes that have been done by him. The main thing he change is UTM strategic planning. One of the new implementation in the strategic planning is the improvement of communication within the system of the university. The obvious physical evidence can be seen from the change is, there will be speech given by him every week. This is to ensure effective communication where all people involved in the organization know what is going on with UTM and the objective UTM is aiming to achieve. This improvement has taken its place very well in UTM. Well, I would say now day’s researchers and lecturers also contribute by enriching the contents and access of UTM Institutional Repository. Hence, increases the access of scientific knowledge that indicates improvement in communication. This is crucial as it is the indicator of a good communication condition.

Based on your answer just now, I understand that the change of strategic plan have given communication aspect in UTM a big impact. As for you sir, do you have any experience where you have to give extra effort to make sure other people to with whom you are working understand your point. How did you face the situation?

Yes I recently face that kind of situation. It is a situation where I have to communicate with people from Indonesia in order to organize a volunteering program in Padang, Indonesia. The name of the program is “Meniti Sinar Kasih”. It is organize between “Universitas Andalas” and “Universiti Teknologi Malaysia” as program organizer while inviting all other University under (Malaysian Ministry Higher Education) “Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi Malaysia” to join the program. The biggest challenge of coordinating the program was to communicate with Indonesian officers in their own language. Being in this situation, I decided to be dynamic and learn their language to ensure he or she understand my point and the most important thing is for he or she to understand the objectives of doing the project in Indonesia.

I took an initiative of going to Indonesia for a one week visit in order I can understand their language well. In the one week visit, I have learned the language well and know the people who is going to be involved during the program is well identified and have been given an overview of the project there.

Thank you for a very interesting experience you have shared with me just now. It really shows how well you are in communication. There is no doubt on it. Now sir, do you think UTM is ambitious? If yes, may you please tell me why?

I would say a definite yes for that question. Yes UTM is ambitious. To justify why, I would love to share with you the vision of UTM. UTM’s vision is (To be recognized as a world-class centre of academic and technology excellence). Looking at the vision, the key word ‘world-class’ shows UTM is very ambitious in facing the era of globalization and UTM is an organization who would work very hard to be a globalized university as other established and recognized university that is widely known by people around the world. This have to start by UTM strengthen its management system and contribute more achievement for the nation before UTM is to be known world wide.

Mr. Mohd Fauzi Bin Abd Rahman

Senior Assistant Registrar

Students Affair Office.

10 June 2010

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