Process in Company A
is “a process of sending and receiving messages with attached meanings” (Organizational
Behavior 190). Effective
communication occurs “when the intended meaning equals the perceived meaning
[while efficient communication occurs] at minimum cost in terms of resources
expended” (Organizational Behavior 192).
While not always effective or efficient, communication is a necessary and
integral part of Company A. This
report will discuss successful and unsuccessful approaches used for
communication within the organization, while evaluating the effectiveness and
efficiency of each.
all business sectors, we now see large organizations beginning to form smaller
groups to gain the…communication found in small companies” (Thompson et
al. 39). While Company A is no
longer a small company, it has retained some of the qualities of smaller
companies with regard to communication. Individuals
at all levels interact with each other daily and do not hesitate to bypass the
normal “chain of command” as needed. While
this is definitely an efficient means of communication, it is not always
effective because other individuals within the “chain” may not receive
information needed to complete their tasks.
An example of this would be when a project accountant goes directly to
the vice-president regarding a billing question. While the vice-president may be the one who will ultimately
make the decision, the project manager and the controller may also need to be
involved in the decision in order to effectively communicate with the owners and
the other hand, not following the standard procedures for check requests has, at
times, proven both efficient and effective.
For example, an employee recently needed a check to pay for services
rendered by a local company. Standard
procedure would require the individual to create a check request, have it
approved by the department head, who then forwards it to the controller.
The controller would then determine if it were a “petty cash” check
or a standard check, and then take it to the appropriate person to write the
check. Because the employee needed
the check quickly and knew that checks under a certain amount were generally
handled through the “petty cash” checking account, the employee took the
check request directly to the person who issues those checks. This not only saved time proving to be efficient, it was also
effective because the employee was able to get the check in a timely manner.
example of efficient communication within Company A is seen in the use of e-mail
to disperse information not only within the company, but to outside persons as
well. In the article, “Do you communicate?” Jim Urban states,
“Communicating is about knowing your audience…” (4).
Urban further relays, “You have to know when to say nothing, but you
also must know when it’s time to talk” (4).
Because Company A has been utilizing e-mail for quite some time it has
become apparent that it is not the most effective form of communication for all
situations. While e-mail is both
efficient and effective for notifying office personnel that the accounting
calendar is available, it has proven to be ineffective when notifying employees
of the annual safety meeting or any other situation requiring an e-mail of more
than one or two sentences. Apparently,
too much information in the e-mail leads to distraction on the part of the
reader and the full message of the e-mail is lost. An example would be when an e-mail is sent detailing the
date, time and place of a meeting, with a request for an R.S.V.P.
Quite often, the reader focuses only on the date, time and place, failing
to notify the sender of whether or not the recipient will be attending.
long e-mails to employees have often been shown to be ineffective, the same does
not always hold true for communicating with sub-contractors via e-mail.
Quite often the information contained in e-mails to sub-contractors
relays specific information that is needed to complete a particular job and the
sub-contractor is more willing to read all of the information.
By knowing that the sub-contractor has a vested interest in reading the
full details, the person sending the information will be more detailed in the
observation of Company A shows that departments or groups within the
organization often strive to have meetings to discuss issues related to the
department or group and to the company. While
this process may be effective in covering all the pertinent information, it is
sometimes inefficient as it takes the employee away from their work.
It has also been noted that feedback is not always present in these
meetings, especially among new employees who may lack the familiarity or
self-confidence needed to ask questions and get clarification.
The lack of feedback, which could result in clarification of the issues
covered, may prove the meetings to be ineffective.
This is supported by Schermerhorn et al when they state,
“research indicates that two-way communication is more accurate and effective
than is one-way communication, even though it is also more costly and time
consuming” (Organizational Behavior 196).
there is more to communicating than just speaking or writing some words, those
doing the communicating must be aware of how their message is being perceived.
In addition, those receiving the message must be actively listening,
which is defined as “the ability to help the source of the message say what he
or she really means” (Organizational
Behavior 194). In a recent
meeting of office support staff and accounting personnel designed to discuss
issues and problems related to the switchboard and reception, individuals were
given the opportunity to give feedback regarding a proposed schedule and any
other issues related to switchboard duties.
Although part of the meeting was intended to convey the needs of the
receptionist to the rest of the support staff, concerns of the support staff
were also to have been addressed. While
the receptionist’s needs were effectively communicated, recent discussions
with other support staff have shown that the needs of the rest of the support
staff were not effectively communicated to the receptionist.
This may be in part because personnel were not willing to speak openly in
front of the group or because the receptionist was not actively listening.
Also, by having all support personnel present at one meeting, the
efficiency of the meeting comes into question.
seen, there are many forms of communication within Company A, including
meetings, e-mail messages, and face-to-face conversations.
While each form has proven to be effective in certain situations, they
are not always. In addition, the
efficiency of the form may come into question.
The key for managers is to focus on which situation warrants what kind of
communication and to be certain that they are actively listening when someone
else is attempting to communicate with them. E-mail may be efficient, but does it effectively communicate
the message? Meetings may be
effective, but can be inefficient. In
either situation, is the receiver actively listening?
As Jim Urban states, “In today’s frenetic and highly competitive work
environment, there is increasingly less time for poor communication” (4).
Leigh, Eileen Aranda, and Stephen P. Robbins.
Tools for Teams. Boston:
of Phoenix, ed. Organizational
Behavior. 7th ed.
University of Phoenix custom edition e-text.
New York: John Wiley &
Sons, Inc., 2002. MGT331
– Organizational Behavior. Resource.
University of Phoenix. 7
April 2003 <https://mycampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp>
Jim. “Do you communicate?”
Executive Report 14.6 (1996): 4.
EBSCOhost. University of
Phoenix Online Collection. 19 April 2003. Keywords:
Effective Efficient Communication Business.