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Although there is no universal definition of change, it has been explained in the terms of guises, transformation, metamorphosis, evolution, regeneration (Hughes 2006). Any alternations in the people, structure, or technology of an organization. It is constant yet it varies in degree and directions. It creates threats and opportunities for organizations. Change in the organisation take place for many reasons. It is sometime done in order to have new ways of doing work or organizing work. Noteworthy changes in the organization occur such as when organization wishes to change its strategy on the whole for success, the organization want to change the nature of its operations. The forces of change come through change in organizational strategy, work force, new equipment, employee attitudes, marketplace, government laws, technology, labour market and economical situations.
Steps involved in change
An organisation's culture can be affected by a number of reasons which has been as under;
- The environment in which the organisation operates.
- The beliefs, values and norms of the employees within the organization, particularly those communicated by top management.
- The organisation's size, history, ownership and technology also results in change within the organisation.
- Other factors includes trade unions, media and lifestyle of the people
This is the first step that involves disturbing the equilibrium state of the prevailing status quo. This can be done by encouraging the individuals that they should adopt new behaviours and discard the old one (Burnes 2004).
According to an article published in the journal by (Burnes 2004), the step or block aims at shifting the behaviours of the individuals as well as the departments where the change is supposed to take place. The 'moving' step aims to develop new behaviours and attitudes of the individuals.
This step called refreezing the change intended becomes permanent. The new way of organization is established according to (Burnes 2004) through new attitudes and behaviours.
While considering the type of changes steps involved in the change is mention below
The start of change process involves translating the need of change into a desire of change. The change may start with the formal announcement or it may be less explicit, but in some point it typically involves a review or project. A manager should diagnosis present state identify preferred future state for a better communication .The reviewing of present state help to identify the future challenges.
Need/reasons for change
In order to survive and prosper in competitive and changing environment, organisations also need to change. This may be brought about many influencing factors which may be internally within the organisation or in external environmental. Internal forces for change arise from internal activities and decisions. If top managers select a goal of rapid company growth, internal actions will have to be made to meet that growth. New department and technologies will be created so organisation will change according to that.
What is Communication?
Communication is the process of transfer of information. Communication means ways of sharing ideas, news, views, methods and techniques. Communication must involve two parties .It is vital part of almost every job. All companies and organisations demand it.
Internal communication system
The communication which takes place within the boundaries of the organisation is known as internal communication. (R Blundel k Ippolito 2007). Effective communication is an essential part of smoothly running business organisation. Communication involves the transmission of information from a source (or a number of sources) to receivers. The information is communicated in the form of a message(The times100 2009 1). For example a customer may request a new part from a supplier, with information on how to use that part in a piece of equipment. The supplier will then communicate with the customer setting out instructions for using the part, as well as sending a delivery note, invoice, and further sales literature. Increasingly these interaction will be carried out by electronic media such as through a sales website, e-mail communications and other means. Communication within the organizations is dynamic, two way(transactional) process can be broken into six phases
- The sender has an idea and want to share it.
- When sender put the idea in the form of message it means sender encodes it so that receiver can understand easily.
- Then sender transmits the message through a proper communication channel(spoken or written) and a medium(telephone, letters, email, report or face to face).
- For communication to occur, the must first get the message. After the transmission of message from the sender receiver gets the message which involves the understanding of message by receiver.
- Then the receiver decodes the message. The decoded message must be stored in the receiver's mind.
- The receiver sends feedback after decoding the message from the sender, the receiver may respond the some way and signal that to sender. This internal communication process can be shown with the help of the diagram
As the above fig shows that the communication process is repeated until both parties finish expressing themselves. Moreover effective internal communication try not to cram too much information into one message.
The effectiveness of communications depends on:
- The clarity of the message.
- The quality of the medium used to transmit the message. The medium is the means of communicating e.g e-mail, telephone, letter, etc.
- Any distracting 'noise' that prevent the message from effectively getting through. For example, if the recipient receives lots of email messages, they may fail to give proper attention to the sender's message.
- The ability of the receiver to decode the message. For example, they may not be able to understand the instructions given.
Supports of communication
It is the spoken, oral, and unwritten way of communicating(Personal growth 2009 1).
Non verbal communication
Transmission of messages by a medium other than speech or writing(Business dictionary 2009 2).There are so many supports that can be taken for effective internal communication which mainly include
This has rapidly become the most common form of written communication within the organization. It is the most easy and quick way of communication within the organization.
A company's website will typically involve a portal or a section dedicated to internal communication with and between employees.
In most of the large organisations including banks like Barclays employees will be able to access a number of company databases to communicate internally.
Meetings is the also the most effective support to communicate effectively within the organizations. It can be formal or informal. In manufacturing companies like toyata teams of employees regurlarly meet to discuss issues like quality.
Phone communications are another important form of oral communication with most large companies having a lowcost internal telephone system.
Internal memo's, Voice mail, instant messaging, Faxing
An internal memo can be send by email to communicate with the employees within the organisation. Staff magazine, reports, notices and posters on staff boards provide other means of internal communication. Voice mails, instant messaging and faxing are also be used as supports for communication
Impact of change on communication
The change plays a vital role on the communication process. Communication calls change and change calls challenges like competition, globalization and technology. During the change process if communication goes wrong it can create huge impact on the organizations future. The impact of change can be positive or negative. Change can be of any type for example organization changing its policies or organization introduces new technology within the organization .There should be a proper communication as a result of any kind of change through a proper channel and support. In times of change, employee communication is vital to successful organizations. Let suppose if an organization want to change their technology then they should communicate and inform their employees so that they understand the change and adopt that change by the help of proper communication. Wrong communication like solider died in afghan calling wrong name, in place of doing right hand side operation doing left hand side can results in serious problems.
Handle of communication at each level
Communication among the employees of the organization is a essential for effective function. Organizational decisions are usually made at top and flow down to the people who carry them out. From top to bottom each person should understand, apply and pass it. For each and every level of organizational change top managers, middle managers and first line managers should co-ordinate whole work efficiently and effectively with the other employees. Top management should act as planner, leader, communicator and organizer. The lower level employees can help top level management by giving accurate, timely reports on problems, emerging trends, opportunities for improvement and performance. The formal communication network within the organization is shown below
Obstacle or Barrier in the context of change
No matter how good the communication system in an organisation is, unfortunately barriers or obstacles can and do often occur. This may be caused by a number of factors which can usually be summarised as being due to physical barriers, system design faults or additional barriers.
Different languages, vocabulary, accent represents regional barriers. Words having similar pronunciation but multiple meanings. The use of difficult words poorly explained or misunderstood messages can result as a communication obstacle(E z articles 2009 1).
Age, education, gender, social status, economic position, cultural background, religion, political belief, ethics, values, assumptions, aspirations, rules or regulations, standards, priorities can separate one person from another and create a communication obstacle.
It may be a result of an individual's perceptual and personal discomfort. Even when two persons have experienced the same event their mental perception may/may not be identical which acts as a barrier. Style, selective perception, halo effect, poor attention and close mindedness, insufficient filtration are the Individual or Psychological barrier.
It includes Poor Organization's culture, climate, regulations, status, relationship, complexity, inadequate facilities, opportunities of growth and improvement. whereas, the nature of the internal and external environment like large working areas physically separated from others, poor lightening, staff shortage, outdated equipments and background noise are Physical Organizational Barrier.
Barriers from Employers includes lack of Trust in employees, lack of Knowledge of non-verbal clues like facial expression, body language, gestures, postures, eye contact; different experiences, shortage of time for employees, no consideration for employee needs, wish to capture authority. While Barriers from Employees includes Lack of Motivation, lack of co-operation, trust, fear of penalty and poor relationship with the employer (Know 2009 2).
If the length of the communication is long, or the medium selected is inappropriate, the communication might break up; it can also be a result of the inter-personal conflicts between 1-http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Barriers-to-Effective-Communication&id=121001 2-http://www.knowthis.com/principles-of-marketing-tutorials/promotion-decisions/obstacles-to-effective-communication/ the sender and receiver; lack of interest to communicate; information sharing or access problems which can hamper the channel and affect the clarity, accuracy and effectiveness of communication.
Dealing with an international team
When we communicate with the people of our own culture we can communicate effectively. But if we are working in an international organization we have to communicate with the employees from different background and nationalities so there will be lots of challegenes that can be met while communicating with the international team which are mentioned below
Culture strongly affects communication and a big challenge while dealing with the international team. For example when we want to communicate we encode message using the assumption of our own culture while the receiver will decodes the message using assumptions of his/her own culture so meaning may be misunderstood. The greater the difference in culture greater is the chance of misunderstanding. The other type of cultural differences are
From culture to culture people convey contextual meaning differently. In high context culture people such as south Korea Taiwan rely on more on the non verbal actions and environmental setting to convey their message. In low context culture people like united states and Germany rely more on verbal communication. Contextual differences affect the way cultures approach situations such as decisions making, problem solving and negotiating.
Legal and ethical differences
Legal and ethical behaviour is also influenced by cultural context. For example, people from the low context culture value the written word, they consider written agreements and tend to adhere to laws strictly. But the high context people less emphasis on the written words.
In any culture rule's may be formal or informal. Formal rules are specifically taught do's and don'ts of how to behave in a common social situations. Informal rules deals with how males and females are supposed to behave. In some countries like india, Pakistan and Bangladesh women are not taken seriously as business people. But in the western countries women treated equally in business places. Culture also tell how people show respect and signify rank. For example in united states people respect top managers as 'Mr Bush' or 'Mr Andrew' but in countries like china show respect by using official title like 'President' or 'Managers'.
Non verbal differences
Non verbal difference is also another type of cultural challenge while dealing with the international team. People in Canada and united state usually take five feet gap during business conversation as compared to the people in countries like Arab, Germany and Japan feel uncomfortable while keeping this distance.
Managers act like a pillars for any organization. As mention above that the change in any organization can create threats and opportunities for the organization. Managers should plan a proper strategy of communication in the context of change. The strategy should include;
- Considering the likely effects of change and and planning for it well in advance.
- Adapting a flexible, democratic management style even though this may be within a formal organisational structure, in order to create a climate where change is easier to achieve.
- Motivate employees by understanding nature and perception.
- Tell their employees reasons and the benefits of change after the change process.
- Recognization of cultural variation in communication style.
- Manage disputes at each level.
- Manage problems of each employee like stress, depression, relationship, personal issues and differences.
- Identify clearer gaols and targets so That every one's knows what is to achieve and time scale involved.
- Training and retraining and new work.
- Monitor and review progress to regularly access progress towards goals and identify and overcome any difficulties.
- Manager should act like a communicator, planner, leader, motivator and controller.
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