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Nov 29 - Lecture.docx

6 Pages

Communication Studies
Course Code
COMN 4115
Dalton Kehoe

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Organizational Communication Lecture – November 29 , 2013th Information Tecnology in Communication Key Elements of an Organization: A Review  Two or more individuals  Who develop coordination and control relationships Coordination-Control harder as organization gets bigger  Globalization  Overextended operations  Time stresses  Unpredictable changes o Political, business, economic, social Leads to: Organizational Complexity  More managerial layers  Elaboration of procedures and controls o High administrative overhead o Over reliance on communication by paper More Rules and managers NOT the answer  As machine or divisionalized bureaucracies expand into other parts of the world and operate in other countries, they cant help themselves, o They extend their bureaucratic report/decide rules to those areas o Local managers can’t decide much without checking with HQ. Lots of local problems that the people at the HQ don’t know much about and cant deal with, but o Local managers have to wait until HQ decides – and suffer with their poor decisions o The organizational environment has become far more complex – and if the firm stabilizes the local environment what type of structure do they need? Organizational Pathologies  Branch/Headquarters tensions  Depersonalization of management  Fragmented understanding  Inefficient teamwork  Subservience to documents  Middle management dilemmas Computerization was supposed to help  It didn’t – the first systems were centralized at HQ o Controlled by a group of professional operators o Number-driven  Managers could only ask for certain types of reports  People would have to line up to get their requests fulfilled o Simply speeded up and extended central control  WHAT WE NEEDED WAS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY THAT WOULD COUNTER THE PATHOLOGIES o Simplify organizations o Create structure and location-independent organizations o Facilitate collaborative organizations o Make it easier to communicate than not to Dealing with problems of omission and distortion over distance 1. Redundancy – send the message twice – more time and resources 2. Verify – check to see if it’s the “real” message – more time and resources 3. Bypassing – “talk to someone” a. Undermine local authority – use “back channel” communication b. When done interpersonally – managers talking to other managers – these solutions create “political” problems in organizations I.T Approach to problems of omission and distortion A common network of databases, accessible by all. From anywhere and anyplace in the company can deal with this.  Managers and employees can access common databases to solve problems instantly  No one has to ask anybody if the solution is suggested by the data in the system  Everybody can see everybody else’s choices Information Technology  Creates a “legitimate” form of bypassing o Teleconferencing, email, instant messaging, faxes o Audio and video computer conferencing o Group decision-making support systems o Expert systems (d-base) o Internet and the world wide web (pg. 357)  Flattens organizations  Connects high officials with low levels  Makes it easy to recommend upwards  Hierarchy to adhocracy  All this works because of a change in how we format and deliver information Information and Communication Technology  Traditional Management Information systems o Hard information – numbers driven o Hierarchical  Information Technology permits “Soft” info to flow o Document driven o And/or person driven  NETWORK CENTERED  Anyone can send information from anywhere. Informal Organization Network Information Flow  Getting to know lots of different people in an organization gives employees access to information that’s not available through the traditional, vertical flows  Reach out informally can make for better solutions to problems Information and communication Tech (ICT): Beneficial Use  International computer systems – built sales and service data base on emailed questions from field reps: o Easily accessed – time and effort to respond is low o Neutral – no personal risk – few “repliers” know “askers” o Answers archived for future access-build “expert” database  Don’t lose valuable info Information and Communication Tech (ICT): Beneficial Use  Coordination vs. control o Airline reservation system:  Reduces coordination costs  Access to rapidly changing fares, deals, flight choices for travel agents  Airlines make money off their service – sell it to competitors  Now they give “seat re-sellers” access to data
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