- Week 5: An Approach to organizational communication
- Eight guidelines: A way to attack to communication challenges and
come to reasonable decisions.
- Characteristics of effective messages, media and communication structure in corporate
- No success guarantee.
- Corporate communication accepts partial knowledge as a human condition.
- Exercise: Students critique one medium that their companies use to
- What is the mediums best characteristic.
- What is the mediums worst characteristic.
- What would you do to use the medium more effectively?
- NEXT weeks exercise: Inventory sources that your companies use to understand the
business environment and prepare to discuss them.
- Simplicity: The singular focus of messages and media on survival
and success of a company.
- Uses both informational and effective message sending.
- Relates to process design. Gets rid of processes that have no value.
- Uses the least number of messages and media to capture information, formulate and
transmit messages and gain action to maximize wealth.
- Accounts for verbal and nonverbal communication.
- Works for the clear expression of meaning.
- Factors militating against simplicity.
- Data floods.
- Data structure.
- Natural tendency to organizational complexity.
- Time: Ideal timing delivers information at the exact moment needed
to support economic transactions and employees.
- Expanding telecommunications networks have reduced the time needed to transmit messages
and elicit feedback.
- Timely communications takes time to achieve. Systems are difficult to build and require
- In most corporations timing is far from ideal.
- Timing fails when the business environment changes in chaotic ways.
- Time is relative in corporate communication. At some point, the cost of communicating
information in real time outweighs the benefit gained from it.
- Real-time communication does not mean that a message receiver can perform a real-time
- Openness: Information collected anywhere can be communicated
anywhere and in any direction to internal and external audiences who need it to support or
complete economic transactions.
- Not the same as technological openness.
- An open technology firm can be a closed corporate communication firm. The perils of
"need to know."
- An ability to reach outside of need-to-know barriers.
- A relative term based on environment, security, managerial preference and individuals
with which a company communicates.
- Dependent on individuals.
- Definition: Defined corporate communication is purposeful
- Who communicates what messages through which media to message receivers who are
individually identified both inside and outside an organization.
- Linked directly to survival and success.
- Includes both verbal and nonverbal media.
- Starts with customers and works t the inside.
- A continuous process of definition.
- Definition goes wrong when too much time is spent in definition and not enough time in
action. Definition is incremental and occurs over time.
- Definition is tied to economic outcomes.
- Known unknowns and unknown unknowns.
- Transforms policy into system functionality. Human factors.
- The Individual and corporate communication: Corporate
communication does not persuade groups but individuals who accept a definition of self and
of group norms.
- Mass media is a misnomer.
- Individuals segment themselves by self-interest, tastes, needs and desires.
- Mass media describes the distribution of messages but not their reception.
- Individual media: Ways of sending messages that most persuasively appeal to a specific
person and motivate him or her to act in accordance with a sellers or managers
- Managers can appeal to group norms for action but they should never forget that below
norms and abstractions are unique persons who freely accept or reject messages based on
calculations of self interest and who will either act or not.
- Individual communication places personal preference into a mass distribution network.
- There are standard messages and tailored messages.
- Individual communication fails when managers forget they are dealing with discrete
- Flexibility and Corporate communication: Organizations adapt
messages, media and audiences as necessary to achieve results.
- Ability to change course.
- An ability to adapt messages and media without jeopardizing survival or success.
- Allows for serendipity, fortuitous connections and unfortunate outcomes from using
information and media in novel ways.
- Comes from initial system design and continuous improvement.
- Flexibility in communication goes wrong when tasks require precise communication for
long periods, when individuals are inflexible by nature, when customer demands do not
allow for flexibility, where material or events do not allow variance and when a
product/service is jeopardized by seeming inconsistency.
- Meaning and Corporate Communication: Message content and purpose
of a communication.
- Managers waste time and resources to send messages with no meaning or unclear meaning
and no intent.
- Ideally, every message has one meaning, one subtext, and one intent linked to corporate
survival and success. This is never the case.
- Every message has multiple meanings and subtexts. The manger must emphasize the explicit
intent and hammer down subtexts that harm intent.
- A meaningful message is full of meaning.
- Meaningful is a relative term. Sometimes it equals elaborate exercises in message
transmission while at other times, it means using the fewest words.
- Meaningful communication is tied directly to clear, focused and credible messages.
- Specificity is part of meaningful messages. The level of detail is a part of a
managers judgment call.
- Meaning includes clarifying intentions.
- Measurement and communication
- Communication either contributes to, or detracts from, economic transactions and
corporate survival. There is no neutral communication.
- Al communication uses resources and competes for attention. If messages have no value,
they waste time and money and distract individuals from communication tat results in
economic transactions and survival.
- Measurement: evidence about which two or more independent observers can reach agreement.
The ultimate business measurement is a sale or support from key constituencies. The
challenge managers face is to measure how this corporate communication works compared to
- Sunset provisions in corporate communication.
- Three challenges: inertia, management preference and deciding what to measure.
- Measurement before and after sending a message.
- Measurement does not have to be formal, but it grows more inaccurate as the number of
message receivers grows.
- Measurement goes wrong when individuals bring biases to their work of measurement.
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