Presentation on theme: "Dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat Institute of Administrative Studies University of Wrocław Communication in organizations."— Presentation transcript:
dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat Institute of Administrative Studies University of Wrocław Communication in organizations
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Organizations are information-processing systems*. The business of the managers is communication**. * The very establishment of an organizational structure is a sign that com- munications are supposed to follow a particular path. Power, leadership, and decision-making rely upon the communication process, either explicitly or im- plicitly, since they would be meaningless in the absence of information. ** Managers spend an overwhelming proportion of their time in communi- cation.
Communication in organizations Gareth Morgan in one of his metaphors sees the organization as a brain. This image captures the idea that organizations: receive and filter information process information in the light of what they have already learn- ed interpret information change information act on information have memory lapses
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Communication is most important in organizations that: must deal with uncertainty are complex have a technology that does not permit easy routinization The more an organization is people and idea oriented, the more important the communication becomes.
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat According to C.I. Barnard: channels of communication should be definitely known objective authority requires a definite formal channel of communication to every member of an organization the line of communication must be as direct or short as possible the complete formal line of communication should normally be used the persons serving as communication centers should be competent the line of communication should not be interrupted while the organization is functioning every communication should be authenticated Chester I. Barnard (1886-1961) Chester I. Barnard: In an exhaustive theory of organization, communica- tion would occupy a central place, because the structure, extensiveness, and scope of the organizations are almost entirely determined by communication techniques.
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Richard H. Hall Pamela S. Tolbert Communications in organizations should provide accurate infor- mation with the appropriate emotional overtones* to all mem- bers who need the communication content. This assumes that neither too much nor too little information is in the system and that it is clear from the outset who can utilize what is available. * overtones – n. things that are suggested but not shown or stated clearly: Her words were polite, but there were overtones of anger in her voice.
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat firstname.lastname@example.org The best way of communicating with my humble self
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Jerzy Supernat +48 71 375 2090 (in duty hours)
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Communication in Henry Mintzberg’s Model of Ma- nagerial Roles In short, the business of the managers is commu- nication. (…) As monitor, the manager perpetually scans his environment for information (...) In his disseminator role, the manager passes some of his privileged information directly to his subordi- nates (...) In his spokesman role, the manager sends some of his information to people outside his unit (...).
Communication in organizations Communication as a relational phenomenon The communication process is by definition a relational one: one party is the sender and the other the receiver at a particular time. The relational aspect of communication obviously affects the process. The social relations occurring in the communication process involve the sender and the receiver and their reciprocal effects on each other as they are communicating. Intimidation, status differences, different perceptual models, sexual attraction, and so on have the potential to disrupt the sender-receiver relationship.
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Since communication involves something being sent to a receiver, what the receiver does with or to the communicated message is perhaps the most vital part of the whole system. Therefore, the perceptual process becomes a key element in our understanding of communication in organizations: the phenomenon of stereotyping halo effect projection perceptual defense the imposition of negative or positive characteristics on the members of the communication system the use of only one or a few indicators to generalize about a total situation a person’s assuming that the other members of communication system have the same characteristics as the person’s own altering inconsistent information to put it in line with the conceptual framework already developed
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Vertical communication (downward and upward) in an organization
Communication in organizations Downward communication According to Daniel Katz (1903-1998) and Robert L. Kahn (born 1918) there are five elements of downward communication: job instructions (direct orders, job descriptions, etc.) the rationale for a task and its relationships to the rest of the organization information regarding procedures and practices within the organization feedback to individuals regarding their performance attempts to indoctrinate subordinates into accepting and believing in the organization’s goals Robert L. Kahn Daniel Katz
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat about themselves, their performance, and their problems about others and their problems about organizational practices and policies about what needs to be done and how it can be done Upward communication* Contrary to the law of gravity, communication in organizations must also go up. According to Daniel Katz and Robert L. Kahn communication up the line can be reduced to what people say: * The most obvious problem in upward communication is hierarchy: people are unlikely to pass information up if it will be harmful to themselves or their peers. And whereas communications downward become more and more detailed and specific, those going up the hierarchy must become condensed and summarized.
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Whistleblowing A widely accepted definition of whistleblowing by British lawyer Gordon Johnson Borrie (born 1931) is as follows: „(...) the disclosure by an employee (or professional) of confidential information which relates to some danger, fraud or other illegal or unethical conduct connected with the workplace, be it of the employer or of fellow employees”.
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Horizontal communication in an organization Communications in organizations go in more directions than up and down. Horizontal or lateral communication is a regular and important facet of organizational life.
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Communication problems* Omission. Omission involves the deletion of aspects of mes- sages**. It may be intentionally or unintentionally. Distortion. Distortion refers to altered meanings of messa- ges as they pass through the organization. Overload. Overload leads to omission and contributes to distortion. * Messages are transformed or altered as they pass through the communication system. The fact that they are transformed means that the ultimate recipient of the message receives something different from what was originally sent, thus destroying the intent of the communication process. ** Omission can occur simply as a removal of details, with the heart of the message still transmitted. This is the ideal, of course, but is not usually achieved, since part of the content of the message is usually omitted also.
Communication in organizations dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Aaron Bernard Wildavsky (1930-1993): Organizations exist to suppress data. Some data are screened in but most are screened out. The very structure of organiza- tions – the units, the levels, the hierarchy – is designed to reduce the data to manageable and manipulatable proportions. (...) at each level there is not only com- pression of data but absorption of uncertainty. It is not the things in themselves but data – reduction summaries Information as an organizational problem that are passed up until, at the end, executives are left with mere chains of inferences. Whichever way they go, error is endemic: If they seek original sources, they are easily overwhelmed; if they rely on what they get, they are easily misled.
Communication in organizations Possible solutions of communication problems redundancy meetings* matrix-like systems project groups / task forces putting things in writing advanced communication technologies * Although meetings can be quite valu- able, it is obvious that time spent in meetings is time not spent on other activities.
Concluding Remarks dr hab. Jerzy Supernat The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, „I was wrong”. The two words „information” and „communication” are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through. Sydney J. Harris, 1917-1986