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How Communication Can Help Or Hinder Management Essay

1.1 Physical distractions: This type of organizational barriers is some kind of external environment which influence communication. It may be interruptions while communicating, noises around the workplace or machines, equipment’s breakdowns, comfort or needs, etc. Minimizing the distraction will make the communication more convenient therefore, the performance also gains efficiency.

1.2 Information overload: Organizational performance will be more effective when there is a suitable match between the information processing requirements and the information processing capacity (Turshman and Nadle (1978). If an organization cannot meet this balance, it may lead to the consequences of information overload or information under-load. It will directly affect the organizational communication as well as organizational performance. The reason is when a person has to face with too many information in daily, that means he/she is under overload information, and the level of stress and confusion will increase and breakdowns may occurred.

1.3 Time pressure: When time pressure increases, there are more resources need to focus and more activities need to be done, then people pay less attention to irrelevance activities. It can improve performance because people work more concentrate and avoid wasting time, but on the other hand, it also may reduce performance because they are too narrows into the focus, and lost awareness of each others as time pressure, this can lead to missing important information or social activities.

1.4 Technical and group language: Language is the very important mean which deliver the message in communication. Technical and in-group language sometimes will influence the understanding in communication. For examples, differences in perception, incorrect filtering, language problems or different level of knowledge (Martin H., 2005)… all these can lead to misunderstanding or less effective communication. Solution is trying to avoid slang, minimize highly professional vocabularies, explain detailed in simple word if necessary.

1.5 Status differences: Large status differences in an organization can be the problem with communication. The vision literature was used to minimize this barrier. Further, celebrations, ceremonies, and commenmorative events were used to express important values and beliefs, to encourage interactions in the minimization of status differences.

1.6 Task and organization structure requirements: Task and organization structure requirements are thought to contribute to problems with communication. The task people perform will affect talks between organization’s members, the urgency and speed of messages, and what information people need to share. Consequently, filtering (intentionally or unintentionally leaving out parts of a message), distortion (to serve individual goals), and refusal to communicate (either because of oversight or deliberately not sharing information) can be found.

1.7 Absence of formal communication channels: Lacking of formal communication channels will lead to a difficulty in getting information between people within organization (between employee and manager, between subunits, and between customer and supplier). Communication channels play the very important role; they are used to transmit information about performance, goals and goal achievement, procedures and practices, and to foster coordination and problem solving across the organizational boundaries.

References 1

Kelly, D. (2000). Using vision to improve organizational communication. Leadership & Organization Development Journal. 21/2 91-101.

Martin H. (2005), Overcoming Communication Barriers Between People. Retrieved on 1 March 2010, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Overcoming-Communication-Barriers-Between-People&id=119628

Charles A. O. (1980), Individuals and information overload in organizations: Is more necessarily better? vol. 23, No. 4, 684. Retrieved on 1 March 2010, from http://www.jstor.org/pss/255556

Question 2

Mission statements help managers to focus on the goals of the organization. Explore the purpose of organizational mission statements and their relationship to performance.

2.1 What is a mission statement and why is it important to managers?

A mission statement describes the firm's fundamental, unique purpose. It shows how a firm is unique in its scope of operations and its product or service offerings. In other words, a mission statement proclaims corporate purpose; it embodies a company's soul (Whitbred, R. & Gumm, J.). Once completed, mission statements become the foundation on which other intended actions are built. Only after a mission statement has been developed can objectives and appropriate strategies be formed properly in all segments of a company.

2.2 The purpose of organizational mission statements

Ireland and Hitt indicate three basic reasons organizations implement mission statements. First, developing a mission statement is viewed as one of the critical initial steps in the strategic planning process. From the strategic perspective, a formal statement of mission defines the fundamental, unique purpose that sets a business apart from other firms of its type and identifies the scope of the business’s operations in product and market terms. It is an enduring statement of purpose that reveals an organization’s product or service, markets, customers, and philosophy. Mission statement alone enables a business to set objectives, to develop strategies, to concentrate its resources and also alone enables a business to be managed for performance.

Second, a mission statement may be used as an instrument to reach external audiences. It is often a very public document serving to define or niche a firm in the marketplace. A formal mission statement is very important in presenting the firm to the public. It plays a critical role in forming a corporate identity, and is often placed in annual reports to facilitate firm’s objective.

Third, mission statements are viewed as a way to coordinate activities and decision making by motivating employees to behave consistently with the directives in the statement. Managers often state that mission statements provide a focused guide for decision-making and help employees work towards common organizational objectives. Research on organizational alliances shows that partners who having a shared mission is critical for successful coordination.

2.3 The relationship to performance

A study conducted by Alavi and Karami examines small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) managers’ attempts to establish a relationship between mission statements and firm performance. They formed 3 hypotheses and used analytical techniques to identify the relative magnitudes of the relationships between the existence of a mission statement, human resource involvement in mission statement development, content of the mission statement and firm performance. After all, the result showed that the existence of mission statement in the studied firms were associated with firms’ performance. It has also been found that organizational performance is significantly associated with the degree of non-managerial employees’ involvement in the process of mission statement development.

References 2

Whitbred, R. & Gumm, J. Assessing the Relationship between the Formal Mission Statement and Organizational Members? Interpretations of Mission. Retrieved March 3, 2010, from http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/1/2/9/9/pages112991/p112991-1.php

Alavi, M. T. & Karami, A. (2009). Managers of Small and Medium Enterprises: Mission Statement and Enhanced Organizational Performance. Journal of Management Development, 28 (6), 556-562. Retrieved March 3, 2010, from http://0-www.emeraldinsight.com.library.ecu.edu.au/Insight/ViewContentServlet?contentType=Article&Filename=Published/EmeraldFullTextArticle/Articles/0260280609.html

Ireland, R. D. & Hitt, M. A. Mission statements: importance, challenge, and recommendations for development. Retrieved March 3, 2010, from http://kx7gx4pm8t.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Mission+Statements%3A+Importance%2C+Challenge%2C+and+Recommendations+for+Development&rft.jtitle=Business+Horizons&rft.au=Ireland%2C+R.+Duane&rft.au=Hitt%2C+Michael+A&rft.date=1992-05-01&rft.issn=0007-6813&rft.volume=35&rft.issue=3&rft.spage=34&rft.externalDBID=BHO&rft.externalDocID=199152

Question 3

Decision making is an important part of a manager’s job. Describe some of the processes managers adopt in making decisions.

A decision can be bad or good, depends on how it was made, and it can lead to a success or a failure. To making a decision, a manager should go through these following steps to get the final decision.

3.1 Define the Problem – Once you realize what the problems are, you will clearly understand what actions/solutions should be made. Otherwise, if the problems are not stated correctly or clearly then the solutions/ decisions may be wrong and it can lead to an unexpected consequence. During this step, manager may go through problem solving process by analyzing the problems in detailed to see where they come from, why they happened and find the causes, predict diagnosis to know what kind of category or issue the problems may belong, then identifying what type of treatments and applying to the problems. After that, we need to look at the responses to see whether the problems are solved (McNamara C., 2002).

3.2 Identify Alternatives – This continues the previous step, refers to how to solve identified problems in problem solving process. Sometimes, alternatives can be simple as yes or no, do or don’t do. Furthermore, alternatives also can be some solutions and actions regards to problems and available for the manager to analyze, evaluate and select. This step involves information search process including 6 stages (Kuhlthau, C.C., HeinstrÖm, J. & Todd, R.J., 2008):

Initiation: During this process, manager firstly needs to know what the information should be about

Selection: decide where to get information

Exploration: starts gathering information related to topic, personal experience/ knowledge can be generated.

Formulation: evaluate gathered information

Collection: then collect the useful information to support the focus

Presentation: finally summarize and report it.

3.3 Evaluate the Alternatives – Alternatives will be evaluated to see which one is the best choice for the manager to solve the problem or to gain their goals/objectives most effectively and most efficient. It is done based on some ranks given to evaluate these alternatives. Manager may think about or consider brainstorm as well as compare the pros and cons of each option.

3.4 Forecast the imperfect future: By predicting the unexpected problem which may happen in the near future, manager can make early decisions to minimize the problems. While problem solving process exists to find solutions to problems, robust decision making (RDM) approach is used in preventing before they happen. RDM develops analytical alternative strategies, and then rely on the information and knowledge to choose which alternative strategies are most effective in the most plausible scenarios. (Lempert, Robert J.,Popper, Steven W.,Bankes, & Steven C., 2010).

3.5 Make A Decision – After evaluation, some of your high ranked alternatives will be chosen. It’s necessary to look back and examine the goals/objectives to see whether these chosen alternatives can satisfy the requirements. Then ask yourself whether you are confident with your decision, whether you will regret and change your mind. After that, you will know clearly which decision should be made.

6. Implement Your Decision – Finally, a decision must be implemented to become valuable and be verified whether the problem has been solved.

References 3

McNamara, C. (2002). Basic Guidelines to Problem Solving and Decision Making. Retrieved on 1 March 2010, from http://managementhelp.org/prsn_prd/prb_bsc.htm

Kuhlthau, C.C., HeinstrÖm, J. & Todd, R.J. (2008). The 'information search process' revisited: is the model still useful? 13(4) paper 355. Retrieved on 1 March 2010, from http://informationr.net/ir/13-4/paper355.html

Lempert, Robert J.,Popper, Steven W.,Bankes, & Steven C. (2010). Robust decision making: coping with uncertainty: predicting the future and then acting on our predictions leaves us vulnerable to surprises. So we need decisions that will work in a variety of potential situations – the Futurist. Retrieved on 1 March 2010, from http://www.allbusiness.com/technology/software-services-applications/13622227-1.html

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