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Management Communication
STUDY GUIDEGRIFFITH UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES
 
 

 
Griffith University 2013/3 No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photo-copying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission. These materials may only be distributed to students enrolled in this course. Published by Digitisation and Distribution, INS, Griffith University CRICOS Provider: 00233E
 
 

 
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CONTENTS
Unit Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
Unit Aim ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
How to use this Study Guide …………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
MODULE 1 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Week One: Management and Communication ………………………………………………………………………. 3
1.1 Introduction: Managers in Organisations ………………………………………………………………… 4
1.2 Who is an Effective Manager? ……………………………………………………………………………… 7
1.3 Strategic Management Communication …………………………………………………………………. 8
1.4 Strategic Conversations ………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
1.5 Leadership, Management and Communication: A Symbiotic Relationship ………………… 10
1.6 Applying Key Communication Themes ………………………………………………………………… 10 1.6.1 Cultural Ethos ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
1.6.2 Adaptive Management Behaviours …………………………………………………………… 12
1.6.3 Cultural Leadership ……………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Week Two: Management Ethics and Social Responsibility ………………………………………………….. 15
2.1 Your Own Ethics ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
2.2 Making Your Ethics Clear …………………………………………………………………………………… 18
2.3 Ethical Decisions ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
2.4 Behavioural Traits …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 22
2.5 Social Responsibility …………………………………………………………………………………………. 22
2.6 Applying Key Themes to Communication …………………………………………………………….. 23
MODULE 2 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25
Week Three: Evolution of Management Thinking ………………………………………………………………… 25
3.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 26
3.2 The Evolution of Management Thinking ……………………………………………………………….. 27
3.3 The Classical Perspective ………………………………………………………………………………….. 29
3.4 Humanist Perspective ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 31
3.5 Learning Organisations ……………………………………………………………………………………… 32
3.6 Sustainable Development ………………………………………………………………………………….. 35
3.7 Applying Key Themes to Communication …………………………………………………………….. 36
 

 
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Week Four: Communication Networks ……………………………………………………………………………….. 38
4.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 39
4.2 Workplace Relationships ……………………………………………………………………………………. 40
4.3 Defining Relational Situations …………………………………………………………………………….. 41
4.4 Communication Competencies …………………………………………………………………………… 44
4.5 Different Types of Workplace Relationship …………………………………………………………… 45 4.5.1 Superior/Subordinate Relationships …………………………………………………………. 45
4.5.2 Peer Relationships ………………………………………………………………………………… 46
4.5.3 Problematic Relationships ………………………………………………………………………. 47
4.6 Applying Key Themes To Communication ……………………………………………………………. 49
MODULE 3 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 51
Week Five: More Communication Networks ……………………………………………………………………….. 51
5.1 Communication Networks ………………………………………………………………………………….. 52
5.2 Network Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 53
5.3 Key Concepts In Network Analysis ……………………………………………………………………… 54
5.4 Communities of Practice ……………………………………………………………………………………. 55
5.5 Inter-Organisational Relationships and Networks ………………………………………………….. 57
5.6 Network Organisations ………………………………………………………………………………………. 58
5.7 Applying Some Key Communication Themes ……………………………………………………….. 59
MODULE 4 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 63
Week Six: Managing Communication and Diversity ……………………………………………………………. 63
6.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 64
6.2 Valuing Diversity ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 66
6.3 Ethnocentrism and Monoculture ………………………………………………………………………….. 68
6.4 Ethnorelativism and Pluralism …………………………………………………………………………….. 69
6.5 The Changing Workplace …………………………………………………………………………………… 69
6.6 Minority Groups in the Workplace ……………………………………………………………………….. 71
6.7 Communication Challenges ……………………………………………………………………………….. 72
6.8 Applying Some Key Communication Themes ……………………………………………………….. 72
Week Seven: More Managing Communication and Diversity ………………………………………………. 74
7.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 75
7.2 The Glass Ceiling ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 75
7.3 Cultural Ethos …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 78 7.3.1 Recruitment Initiatives ……………………………………………………………………………. 78
7.3.2 Career Advancement ……………………………………………………………………………… 79
 

 
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7.3.3 Diversity Training …………………………………………………………………………………… 80
7.4 Indentifying Strategies for Awareness ………………………………………………………………….. 81
7.5 Multicultural Teams …………………………………………………………………………………………… 82
7.6 Applying Some Key Communication Themes ……………………………………………………….. 82
MODULE 5 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 85
Week Eight: Managing Change Related Communication …………………………………………………….. 85
8.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 86
8.2 What Is Organisational Change? ………………………………………………………………………… 86
8.3 Products and Technology …………………………………………………………………………………… 87 8.3.1 Exploration ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 88
8.3.2 Cooperation ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 89
8.3.3 Ideas and Communication Champions ……………………………………………………… 90
8.4 Changing People and Culture …………………………………………………………………………….. 90 8.4.1 Approaches to Implementing Change ………………………………………………………. 91
8.5 Applying Key Themes to Communication …………………………………………………………….. 92
Week Nine: More on Managing Change Related Communication ………………………………………… 95
9.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 96
9.2 The Need For Change ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 96 9.2.1 SWOT Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………….. 97
9.3 Resistance to Change ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 97 9.3.1 Force-Field Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………. 98
9.4 Change Implementation Tactics ………………………………………………………………………….. 98
9.5 Creating Environments for Change Communication …………………………………………….. 100
9.6 Glossary ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 101
9.7 Applying Key Themes to Communication …………………………………………………………… 102
MODULE 6 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 105
Week Ten: The Integration of Strategic Planning and Communication ………………………………. 105
10.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 106
10.2 Goals, Plans and Performance of Communication ………………………………………………. 106
10.3 The Right Messages ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 108
10.4 Criteria for Effective Goals ……………………………………………………………………………….. 110
10.5 Applying Key Themes to Communication …………………………………………………………… 111
 

 
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Week Eleven: Communicating in Difficult Times and Crisis Situations ………………………………. 113
11.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 114
11.2 Planning in Turbulent Times ……………………………………………………………………………… 115 11.2.1 Contingency Plans ……………………………………………………………………………….. 115
11.2.2 Scenario Building …………………………………………………………………………………. 116
11.3 Shaping a Crisis Plan ………………………………………………………………………………………. 117 11.3.1 Prevention ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 117
11.3.2 Preparation …………………………………………………………………………………………. 117
11.3.3 Containment ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 118
11.4 Applying Key Themes to Crisis Communication ………………………………………………….. 119
MODULE 7 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 121
Week Twelve: Understanding Public Relations …………………………………………………………………. 121
12.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 122
12.2 Identifying and Defining Publics ………………………………………………………………………… 122 12.2.1 Internal Publics ……………………………………………………………………………………. 123
12.2.2 External Publics …………………………………………………………………………………… 123
12.3 Prioritising Publics …………………………………………………………………………………………… 124
12.4 Perceptions and Public Opinion ………………………………………………………………………… 125
12.5 Perceptions of the Organisation ………………………………………………………………………… 126 12.5.1 Internal Publics ……………………………………………………………………………………. 126
12.5.2 External Publics …………………………………………………………………………………… 126
12.6 Women and Minorities ……………………………………………………………………………………… 127
12.7 Points to Remember ………………………………………………………………………………………… 127
12.8 Applying Key Themes to Communication …………………………………………………………… 128
Week Thirteen: Where Have We Been? …………………………………………………………………………….. 129
 
 

 
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UNIT INTRODUCTION
UNIT AIM
Whether you work as a junior or middle manager or as the Chief Executive Officer, to operate efficiently you need well developed management communication skills. COM21 Management Communication is a second level unit in the Business Communication major that is part of the Griffith University Bachelor of Communication degree introduced in 2012.
This unit will provide a detailed understanding of the principles of management communication and develop the capacity to communicate effectively as a professional. There is a strong emphasis on practical communication skills which will be framed within an unfolding theoretical discourse.
The unit emphasises key elements of communication processes that are vital to working effectively and ethically in a global society. It will familiarise students with emerging communication issues and strategies, and the challenges and opportunities these bring to any management task.
This Study Guide is broken into seven modules:
Managers in organisations
Evolution of management thinking
Communication networks
Communication and diversity
Managing change related communication
The convergence of planning and management in the face of crisis
Understanding external communication.
On completion of this unit, students should have developed an understanding of the following core skills, policies and theories:
The role of communication in a managers job
The Learning Organisation
Communication networks and analysis
Communities of practice and network organisations
Valuing diversity
Managing change related communication
Implementing change communication and strategies for innovation
Managing and communicating in crisis
Managing team conflict
Understanding external communications
Managing perceptions and public opinion internally and externally.
After successfully completing this course students will have developed a solid knowledge of the principles of effective management communication and their application in the following key areas:
 

 
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Communicating as an effective manager
Understanding the relationships between leadership, management and communication
Understanding personal and organisational realities of management ethics
Understanding evolutionary trends in management thinking
Recognising glass ceilings as a metaphor for minority issues and discrimination
Recognising ethnocentrism and ethnorelativism and their impact on workplaces
Converging planning and communication in response to difficult times.
Developing strategies for effective management communication
Understanding meanings for Publics and public opinion.
HOW TO USE THIS STUDY GUIDE
The study guide is broken into weekly sections and the information regarding the set reading(s) for each week is detailed at the beginning of each week. The textbook, readings and study guide are designed to work together to provide a broader view of the topics being discussed. You will notice we have included some recommended rather than required readings. These are for students who are particularly interested in the topic being discussed and provide additional relevant material useful for assessment tasks.
In COM21 Management Communication the textbook is Management, Fourth Asia Pacific edition written by Danny Samson and Richard L Daft. It is available through Unibooks.
We have also provided a range of Independent Learning Tasks (ILTs) for each week. These tasks are designed to encourage you to take a deeper approach to your study and help you to explore the key concepts and tangent issues. These tasks are also designed to work as an online tutorial that will build your skills and understanding in preparation for completion of your major assessment items. The ILTs are a compulsory part of your study and form part of your overall assessment.
We believe these ILTs are important in enhancing your learning experience and in providing an opportunity for you to work with your peers, we have allocated marks for their completion. As you work through each task, share your ideas with your peers on the Discussion Board. Dont just post your thoughts, read through the comments made by other students and respond to their ideas. This will help you to see other perspectives on the topic being discussed and may alert you to ideas you had not considered. The aim is for you to debate and unpack concepts with your peers. Your tutor will oversee these discussions but will not be actively involved. They will provide general weekly feedback on this work. They will provide marks and specific, private feedback on the 2 of the 12 week interactions nominated by you.
In addition to your learning tasks you are required to produce a 2000 word essay (Assessment 2, due Monday Week 7) and a 2000 word report (Assessment 3, due Monday Week 14). More information on Assessments 2 and 3 are also included in the Unit Outline.
 

 
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MODULE 1
WEEK ONE: MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION
By the end of this week, students will be familiar with some of the basic elements of management communication. These include:
Overview of the responsibilities of managers
Definition of management communication
Understanding the elements that create effective management communication
Understanding the role of communication as the managers constant daily activity
Understanding how leadership, management and communication share a symbiotic relationship.
REQUIRED READING
Samson, D & Daft, R L, 2015, 2012, Management, 5th or 4th Asia Pacific Edition, Cengage Learning, Australia. Chapter 1, Chapter 17.
Dwyer, J, 2011, Communication in Business: Strategies and Skills, 4th Edition, Pearson Education, Australia. pp.249 254.
RECOMMENDED READING
OHair, D, Dixon, L, & Friedrich, G, 2005, Leadership and Management Skills, Strategic Communication in Business and the Professions, 5th Edition, Houghton Mifflin, Boston. pp. 148 176.
 
INDEPENDENT LEARNING TASK 1*
The Samson & Daft textbook presents a New Manager Self-test on page 3 (2015; 2012).
1. Complete the questionnaire and score yourself.
2. Write a short piece (100200 words) about what you have learned from the Questionnaire about your own management skills.
 
Post your response on the Discussion Board and comment on the work of your peers in the ILT1 thread under the link Post your response to ILT1 here.
 
 

 
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* A NOTE ABOUT INDEPENDENT LEARNING TASKS
The Independent Learning Tasks (ILTs) are peer-learning activities and while your tutor will give weekly feedback, it will be general in its nature and not specific to individual students.
The idea of these tasks is to give you an opportunity to practice some elements of analysis or delve more deeply into some aspect of theory that will help you develop a deeper understanding of the Unit content. It may also help you respond to your assignment tasks. The more you get involved with your peers the better your collective and ind
ividual understanding is likely to be.
Part of your mark will be based on your own responses and your responses to other students. These Independent Learning Tasks represent an important part of Assessment 1. To access all the information on Assessment 1, go to your Unit Outline.
 
1.1 INTRODUCTION: MANAGERS IN ORGANISATIONS
In business, Managers are responsible for effectively managing, informing, mentoring, motivating, coaching, instructing, supporting and reporting on all activities conducted by the organisation. All of these tasks are driven by communication.
Making a difference as a manager today and tomorrow requires integrating tried and true management skills with innovative approaches that emphasise the human touch, enhance flexibility and engage employees hearts and minds as well as their bodies (Samson & Daft 2009, p. 4).
Much has changed in the workplace over fifty years. Earlier concepts of traditional, hierarchical mechanistic management structures, predominately using a top down communication style, are now balanced by more organic structures. Organic structures tend to have a flatter management structure and communications are often vertical, horizontal and lateral, allowing for a more creative response to innovation across the organisation.
In reality, many contemporary organisations are a hybrid of mechanistic and organic management structures and styles, modelled to fit the needs of the organisation and as a reflection of their work culture. Nonetheless, the enduring notion that management is the process of planning and coordinating work activities and tasks to be completed efficiently and effectively with and through other people remains the constant principle.
 
 

 
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DISCUSSION POINT. Mechanistic organisational structures are pyramid shaped, with decision making and power concentrated at the top. They have rigid communication lines with authority based on position. Organic organisational structures have a flattened horizontal shape. Decision making is at all levels. Communication flows are based on current needs. Authority is based on expertise. They are fluid, dynamic and ever-changing.
Think about your own workplace experiences and reflect on which of those organisations were more mechanistic or more organic in their structure. What did that feel like? How are they different?
 
*A NOTE ABOUT DISCUSSION POINTS.
Throughout this study guide you will find these discussion points. They are there for you to follow through as a personal and reflective moment about the issue at hand. Sometimes they will direct you to specific short reading or to a YouTube clip.
They are presented as an extra thinking exercise which will help you gain further insights into the principles and concepts being discussed throughout the semester.
 
A managers responsibilities are many and varied, but include:
Being the corporate face, representative or point of contact for an organisation or a work team within an organisation
Monitoring information and its flow
Networking both internally and externally
Entering into transactions and negotiations with workers, leaders and other managers within the organisation to effectively coordinate activities
Planning and scheduling work activities
Allocating physical and human resources to different work teams and activities
Directing and monitoring the work of team members
Monitoring and informing human resources management activities
Adapting to changing situations and unexpected events that may directly affect work flow or the workplace
Engaging with innovation within the workplace on product and management levels
Remaining current within your professional or functional expertise.
Management can be defined as having four main roles. These are:
Assessing and monitoring. The first task of a manager is to ensure that the current activities of the organisation are functional and under control. Systems need to be developed and monitored to ensure the organisation is meeting its current targets and vision. Failure to do so can stifle any other future vision, goals and aspirations of the organisation. Business runs on cash flow and day to day production and management detail must be strictly adhered to. Monitoring operations is an ongoing process.
 

 
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Planning. An organisation needs managers who can set out its future goals and develop detailed strategies about how the organisation may achieve growth. In these days of globalisation and turbulent finance, this planning has become both regular and crucial to securing the organisations future.
We are surrounded by stories of organisations that failed to make the right moves resulting in their markets and clients moving away, either locally or offshore. In the age of information, we see tastes and trends moving rapidly. Many times these changing trends and tastes are predictable. Today, managers need to be more than content experts. Not only do they need to be able to motivate, innovate, communicate and build solid workplace relationships with their colleagues in order to succeed, they need to be across their internal and external communication in order to be able to adapt quickly to changing business environments.
Organising. The current management buzz is transactional management. This term describes how the vision of the organisation transforms into processes, systems and work activities that are going to be effective within the organisations available resources. This responsibility rests with the Board, often developed in tandem with a small leadership team from within the organisation. Their role is to fulfil the big picture, deliver vision and mission statements, aims and objectives. Organising involves the assignment of tasks, the grouping of tasks into departments, and the allocation of resources to departments (Samson & Daft 2015, 2012, p. 13). Managers work with the leadership team and the wider organisation to transform that vision in reality through negotiation and transactional processes, systems and work activities to implement this vision.
These transactions, by necessity, may lead to the development of a new structural design for the organisation or even the engagement of innovative management models resulting in the integration of new work teams, either structured or self-managed.
The term transactional management implies and requires the constant engagement of communication skills and models: messages sent and received, identification of noise and interference, feedback techniques, emotional intelligence, active listening, an understanding of non-verbal communication, together with an understanding of the organisational culture. The many wider cultural backgrounds of employees also need to be consistently and sensitively engaged. People from other cultures often work to a non- mainstream set of social and workplace values.
Leading. In any event, these innovations, new systems and processes are then fed back up into the leadership team and discussed, changed, tested and ultimately verified. The role of the manager then becomes the implementation of change, potentially establishing or rebuilding teams towards the development of functional new systems and processes.
In modern organisations, change is the only certainty. Organisations run the risk of being left behind in todays global market and business environment which is morphing itself faster than at any time in human history.
Managing for change and communicating these changes is the challenge for modern managers.
 

 
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1.2 WHO IS AN EFFECTIVE MANAGER?
The course textbook details the findings of the Karpin Taskforce, commissioned in 1994 by the Australian Government (Samson & Daft 2015, pp. 38-40; 2012, pp. 36-38). The vision statement of the report (Australia 2010) detailed some issues for Australian managers to focus on. These provide a benchmark for Australian managers to strive for and need reiterating in this Study Guide. They are:
By 2010, Australian Enterprises and their managers should be focused on:
Knowledge The ability to learn, change and innovate in the new marketplace, as the accepted
manager selection criteria, rather than gender, ethnicity or even prior experience The learning organisation as a standard philosophy for many Australian
enterprises, and as a major way to cope with change and turbulence Managers creating conditions conducive to learning for both individuals and the
enterprise as a whole, both across individual units and between the enterprise as a whole, both across individual business units and between enterprises and their external environments
Employees being more motivated and skilled Quality acting as a guiding light within all organisations, with a customer-first
mentality being all pervasive. (Commonwealth of Australia Enterprising Nation, 1995)
Each of these aspirations for the management of Australian organisations has, at its core, the practical application of communication skills and models. Indeed, the greatest asset a manager may have in todays business environment is not how well they can build a car, but how well they can drive communication, build relationships, actively listen and apply their emotional intelligence to interpret the best way to transport their organisation safely towards its vision and goals.
An enormous part of a modern managers role is the management of communication.
These aspirations guide the journey of this Unit. The aim is to guide you through a number of learning Modules that should assist you as an individual to be a more effective manager and communicator.
Mintzberg states that quiet managers dont empower their people empowerment is taken for granted. He identifies the quiet words of managing as:
Inspiring by creating the conditions that foster openness and release energy
Caring by not slicing away problems, but by preventing and fixing problems and knowing how and when to intervene and mediate
Infusing by challenging things slowly, steadily and profoundly, rather than thrusting change upon followers dramatically and in superficial episodes
Initiating by finding out what is going on in the organisation, connecting with those at the base and all levels, rather than parachuting directions from the top levels. (Mintzberg 1999, pp. 224-230).
 
 

 
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REALITY CHECK. Students should read the Sharpstyle Salons Case for Critical Analysis in Samson & Daft (2015, p. 44). This case gives a good insight into the complexity of management and communication issues you will encounter in the workplace.
 
A NOTE ON REALITY CHECKS. These Reality Checks are designed to lead students back to real world connections to value add to this weeks topic. Sometimes this will be a case study or it may be YouTube links or other media.
These Reality Checks are not part of any assessment, however we hope you gain some further insights through participating in them.
 
1.3 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION
Communication is everywhere. It is everything we say, see, hear, feel, touch and feedback to others. Strong messages can also be delivered through silence, posture, facial expression, language, interference, misinterpretation and sometimes, mischief. We spend most of our lives engaged in all sorts of communication in an effort to understand our lives, both personally and in our work relationships.
What makes management communication paramount is that managers must have a clear purpose and strategy around how and what they intend to communicate. They must be active and adaptive in order to make the message clear and concise. No matter whether the message is as simple as a health and safety briefing or as complex as a discussion around vision for a multi-national organisation, the basic premise is the same your message must influence colleagues to act in ways that achieve the vision, values and goals of the organisation. Your job as a manager/communicator is to keep everyone on message. The aim of this course is to impart theory, skills and tools that will help keep you on message.
1.4 STRATEGIC CONVERSATIONS
It can be argued that once you are effectively engaged in management communication, every conversation is a strategic conversation. If you are on message as a manager, it often follows that your team workers are also on message.
Its not that you have to be robotic in your responses. Indeed it is the opposite. You need to be actively listening, using open and inclusive communication lines, engaging with others and integrating feedback and innovative ideas into the organisational structure and culture.
Strategic conversations constitute the managed implementation or modification of vertical, horizontal and lateral communication mechanisms with integrity and acknowledgement of the value of everyones voice. It is critical for managers to ensure that these communication lines are open and supportive within the corporate culture of an organisation.
 

 
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Many organisations have charts that lay out formalised communication lines. These lines must be managed in the same way as the production line is managed with efficiency and economy. Many times work culture or (sometimes work overload) means that the formalised communication lines have become dysfunctional. This may be because they are no longer appropriate to the daily life of the business or they have become overpowered by personality, or perhaps they were never a true reflection of how communication worked within the organisation. Unfortunately, this failure is not uncommon within organisations, especially older ones.
Dysfunctional communication lines need to be addressed quickly. All processes need to be in balance or manafers will risk leadership, management and communication issues that can cripple innovation or perhaps even cripple day to day operation of an organisation. Each strategic conversation, at its core, should aim to break down any barriers to effective communication.
Your strategic conversations should be inclusive of the more informal, shadow networks that happen in every workplace without any formal structure or charter. They are the chat and rumour circles and they are powerful. Many of the most creative and innovative ideas in an organisation are discussed in lunch rooms, coffee shops, smoking enclaves or at the pub. Part of your communication brief would be to set up appropriate systems within your organisation to harvest this information. Some managers see these shadow networks as suspicious and, indeed, they can become a complaints club, but experience has shown that inclusion and respect work just as well in the shadow networks as they do in formal ones. People do change if they know that their voices are being heard.
Simmons contends that about 80 per cent of grapevine communications are on business related topics rather than personal, vicious gossip. Moreover, from 70 to 90 per cent of the details passed through a grapevine are accurate (Samson & Daft 2015, p. 708; 2012, p. 645). This would suggest that the grapevine is a powerful and accurate force and must always be considered within your strategies.
Another important element to consider is the use of strategic conversations to identify your knowledge workers within the organisation. Knowledge workers are the natural allies of a communicator and manager. Often, they are the embodiment of the workplace culture. They are most likely to be the ten per cent who pass on accurate information and they are usually respected and listened to by their work colleagues.
Knowledge is not impersonal like money. Knowledge does not reside in a book, a database, or a software program; these contain only information. Knowledge is embodied in a person; applied by a person, taught and passed on by a person. (Drucker 2003, p. 287)
Once you start engaging in strategic conversations with a clearly defined purpose, you will soon know the state of communication within the organisation. An application of the communications models and tools covered in COM 12 Business Communications will help you identify what is going on (or not). People will communicate their position to you because communication takes up most of your work time.
 
 

 
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1.5 LEADERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION: A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP
Although Leadership, Communication and Management Communication have different definitions, they must work symbiotically to achieve the outcomes of the vision and goals of the business.
Leadership Communication is fed by the leaderships character and the organisations values. It sets the emotional climate of an organisation and is an expression of its work culture. Leadership communication involves itself with setting the vision and mission by letting people know where the organisation is headed and what it stands for. It drives innovation by making people comfortable with doing things differently. It defines a pathway to success for people to follow. It places people within the mission, culture and values of the organisation.
Management Communication has been defined as purpose-directed, in that it directs everyones attention towards the vision, values and desired goals of the team or organisation and influences to act in a way to achieve those goals. (Samson & Daft 2012, p. 628)
Management Communication involves the implementation of the vision of an organisation as expressed through its mission statement and strategy plan by the practical application of negotiating and transacting communication skills. It involves relationship and network building as instruments to benefit the organisation, workers and other stakeholders.
Leadership Communication and Management Communication by definition must inform each other to be effective. If the vision is unachievable or the transactions to achieve it are unworkable, the organisation is headed for turbulent times. Clear, consistent communication is the best way to ensure the success of an organisation.
It sounds simple enough but many managers find it daunting. Dealing with embedded work cultures, difficult leadership and management styles, the politics of power, a lack of established networks, poor morale, poor or out-dated policies and work practice and the inevitable fear of change all go to make management communication the biggest challenge facing managers today in our global marketplace in our turbulent times.
1.6 APPLYING KEY COMMUNICATION THEMES
At the end of each week, we will regularly return to the key management and communication themes in order to discuss them in the context of the weeks topic. This week we are setting up the base-line information about these key communication themes.
1.6.1 CULTURAL ETHOS
Every organisation, whether a business enterprise or a Not for Profit (NFP), establishes a corporate identity or more simply, a public face, in order to position itself within the relevant sector of its chosen field of operation. This public face is built from the first basic decisions which become the foundational building blocks of the organisation. These include, but are not limited to, the selection of a business name, the product or services the organisation will provide, the extent of its operation (local, national or transnational), the number and type of staff required, its suppliers and target market.
 

 
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The style of management and the nature of relationships across internal and external stakeholders will often emerge from the constant processes of negotiation and exchange that characterised or governed the organisations early struggles to become a viable business or reputable service.
According to the economist John Kay, there are several main sources of distinctive capabilities that help us understand the positioning and operations of a company: its architecture, reputation, innovation and the ability to exploit strategic assets (Kay 1993, p. 65). This architecture is based on its operational structure, its internal culture and the special knowledges that have been built through past and present activities, its personnel, products and business practice.
This structural identity is also expressed in a series of networks of internal and external relationships, between companies, government and social institutions, and also between individual players (staff, clients, collaborators) that create long-term value (Galligan 2007, pp. 34-5).
Across every level of an organisations structure, complex communication initiatives and negotiations are required and an organisation cannot succeed, will not build a recognised niche for itself or its products and/or services, if effective communication strategies are not employed. This is such a basic truism that it is too often neglected in Management and Business theory.
Since it is essential for an organisation to manage its operations and this requires relaying and responding to information of various orders of complexity, it is expected that staff know the best way of doing this. This can be a dangerous assumption.
However, the first step in understanding management communication processes is in understanding how the organization speaks or communicates about itself. This dialectic of the organization, which might at first glance seem straight forward, can combine quite complex elements of business, professional, aesthetic and economic objectives.
The language an organisation adopts to speak its position becomes embedded in its history and its own organisational culture. A legal firm such as Clewitt, Whithall and Associates aims to present a professional, prestigious service to its public, whereas a litigation law firm such as Trilby Misso or Shine Lawyers positions itself to assist a more financially challenged clientele. Bob Jane TMart, with the smiling, capable but approachable face of the proprietor sends a message of reliability and reassurance. The choice of a name, symbol, logo or colour can immediately communicate a powerful message which is reinforced or adapted as the history of that organization unfolds.
These languages can become a powerful mechanism to build a reputation, legitimacy and professional credibility for the organization and for its products. It will also impact the internal dialogue and daily routines affecting the behaviour and conversations between management and staff, between peers and colleagues. It helps to build the cultural ethos of an organization which, over time, can become a major strategic asset of the company (Kay 1993, p. 65; Galligan 2007, p. 35).
An expressive organisation takes advantage of its corporate language to engage its stakeholders, and here we will focus on the internal network, in an ongoing conversation. Mobilising the specific histories and stories of people and events, challenges and triumphs is an incredibly creative way of engaging staff as players in the unfolding organisational operations. It can inspire and motivate, establish or redefine boundaries, instil pride and workplace security.
The Mission Statement, Annual Report or company newsletter provides an opportunity for an organisation to express its story, its vision, goals and aspirations. The choice of language in these
 

 
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statements or narratives needs to be carefully selected because key words and phrases can form a long term dialogue among staff and across its multiple publics. It is a major building block of an organisational culture which infuses its behaviour, relationships and dialogue (stories, symbols, languages), policies and procedures.
1.6.2 ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT BEHAVIOURS
Managers who display real care about their customers and employees and have a strong commitment to the value of people and fair and equitable processes within their internal and external work environments are considered to be adaptive managers. It seems obvious that they will find it easier to transact, negotiate and communicate more effectively because they respect others viewpoints and trust their expertise. This is particularly true in turbulent times and in response to unexpected events when managers often have to ask employees to take on the extra load.
Managers who are insular and who misuse power, politics and the system to distance themselves from their clients and employees are termed maladaptive managers. They are often risk-averse and care mainly about themselves and their immediate clique. Innovative ideas and change are not their friends.
We may refer in the Unit to adaptive or maladaptive behaviours if referring to an individual manager, or as an adaptive or maladaptive culture if referring to an entire organisation.
1.6.3 CULTURAL LEADERSHIP
Managers transact all their outcomes entirely within the internal culture of their organisation. Often successful navigation of work culture by managers is their unique advantage over their competitors and is often measurable in cheaper prices, better service, quicker turnaround times and returning customers.
These days managers not only have to be content experts, they need to negotiate with their internal networks to make multiple transactions within the organisation. These transactions should not only fit into its very distinctive and certainly ingrained work culture, but also meet the needs of the external client base.
In its widest definition, culture is a set of key values, beliefs, understandings and norms common to a group of people within an environment. Work Culture is all of that applied to an organisation.
Culture can be seen on a visible level dress, symbols, slogans, ceremonies. It can be as apparent as the office layout. It is a mistake though, for a manager to be complacent with a shell be right, thats how its always worked here attitude, because culture is usually embedded within any workplace through shared values, underlying assumptions and often, deeply felt beliefs.
The workplace culture sets the emotional temperature of an organisation. We have all had experiences of workplaces that are angry and maladaptive, as well as places where respect and inclusion make it a pleasure to go to work. This is culture at work.
 
 

 
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Culture generally works through a set of mechanisms. These are:
Symbols. Objects, acts or events that convey a specific meaning to others. This can be as simple as Employee of the Month or a Bloopers Trophy. It must be real and it must be genuine and meaningful.
Stories. Celebrating every victory no matter how small is a good way of incorporating a narrative into the workplace. Storytelling is a great way of enshrining values and beliefs and testing underlying assumptions. Team or staff meetings and newsletters are good places to honour these stories.
Heroes. People who are well known and respected within an organisation and who are considered to display the set of attributes and attitudes that reflect the corporate culture of an organisation are its heroes. Often the hero is the founder, inventor or salesman, someone who has made a breakthrough in tough times sometimes even the tea lady can be a hero.
Slogans. This applies to a set of words and phrases that express shared workplace values. This can be as glib as Woolworths the Fresh Food People, or it can be as focused as Marketing the Overachievers to signify shared values with the rest of the organisation. In every case, they are most effective when they are true.
Ceremonies. A significant event that reinforces shared values and acknowledges the key participation of employees. It might be an awards presentation at the Christmas Party or it may be a ten year service pin. A celebration should be made so that respect and acknowledgement are the messages sent.
Good managers use all of these opportunities as ways of communicating value, respect, inclusion and acknowledgement.
Managers may be described as effective cultural leaders when they are using a full set of words, symbols, stories, slogans, heroes and ceremonies within their communication with others. In reality, anyone who defines and communicates the core values of an organisation is a cultural leader. The role of the manager is to keep the focus on this shared vision as part of everyones everyday activity.
MORE THOUGHTS
Communication, in all its forms, is the human face of an organisation. It is its thoughts, words, symbols, signs, body language, tone and message. As managers, innovation and change starts internally with our own thoughts and feelings, then those of our work colleagues and on to the outside world.
It is all about what people see, hear and feel in, and about, their workplace. It is how they interpret and understand your messages that will inform their opinions and actions. Your success as a manager will be in direct relation to your ability to use communication tools to make your message understood and accepted first time, every time.
Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them. (Paul Hawken, Natural Capitalism)
 

 
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
Drucker, P F, 2003, The Essential Drucker, Harper Business, New York.
Commonwealth of Australia, 1995, Enterprising Nation: Report of the Industry Task Force on Leadership and Management Skills, http://www.aim.com.au/research/EN_ReportonSkills.pdf
Galligan, Anne, 2007, Structure and Strategies: The Publishing Industry in Australia, Making Books: Contemporary Australian Publishing, St Lucia Brisbane, UQP.
Kay, John, 1993, Foundations of Corporate Success, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Hawken, Paul, Lovins, Amory B & Lovins, L Hunter, 1999, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Little, Brown & Company, United States.
Mintzberg, H, 1999, Managing quietly, Leader to Leader, Vol 12, pp. 224-230.
Robbins, S P, Judge, T A, Millett, B & Walters-Marsh, T, 2008, Organisational Behaviour, 5th Edition, Pearson Education, Australia.
 
 

 
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WEEK TWO: MANAGEMENT ETHICS AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
By the end of this week, students will be familiar with issues concerning ethics and social responsibility. This will include:
Issues concerning your personal ethics
Setting ethical standards
Frameworks for the consideration of ethical decision making
Issues concerning social responsibilities
Review of ethics and social responsibility within an organisations cultural context.
REQUIRED READING
Samson, D & Daft, R. L, 2015, 2012, Management, 5th or 4th Asia Pacific Edition, Cengage Learning, Australia. Chapter 5.
RECOMMENDED READING
Trevino, L K & Nelson, K A, 2011, Managing Business Ethics: Straight Talk About How To Do It Right, 5th Edition, Chapter 5, John Wiley & Sons, USA. pp. 292319.
 
INDEPENDENT LEARNING TASK 2
One key factor in this weeks study is an analysis of an individuals specific personality and behaviour traits and how this may influence their communication skills in the workplace. Within the Study Guide, you will discover that these traits are divided into three levels. The third level is called post-conventional and these individuals are described as following their own set of principles of justice and rights. They are aware that people hold different values and they seek creative solutions to ethical dilemmas. They demonstrate a balanced concern for individuals and for the common good.
Think back through your work or life experiences and name an individual who fits this set of traits and write a short piece (100 200 words) on why you have chosen them.
 
Post your response to the Discussion Board and comment on the work of your peers under the thread heading Post responses to ILT2 here.
 
 
 

 
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