The Evolution of Internal Communication Assignment

The Evolution of Internal Communication Assignment Words: 3518

However, the role of immunization has evolved from a formal, top down communication that allowed routine tasks to be completed efficiently, into an informal, horizontal network that allows for complexity and innovation. This paper aims to explore the evolution of Internal Communication; from Tailoring (1911) up until the Human Resources Approach (sass’s). In order to evaluate this thesis, a research survey was carried out to gauge employee perceptions, and find out which communication methods are best suited for conveying different types of messages.

From the data that was retrieved, the researcher was able to create a “Communication Tip Sheet”. This tip sheet could provide managers with a shortcut that provides the best medium of communication for conveying any kind of information that ranges from positive and formal to negative and informal. 1 Introduction Importance of the Study In the business world, and especially the technology sector; change appears to be the only constant. However, the need for effective communication practices is important for organizations who want to remain competitive.

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Gray and Robertson (2005) define effective communication as “how well we all successfully connect with and engage others every day, taking them on our arsenal journey of ideas” (2005, p. 2). However, to retain this competitive advantage, all employees of the firms – especially management – must understand the importance of having well-established rules for communicating. Joan Magenta (2003), a Harvard publicist and author of the book What Management Is quotes: “today, we all live in a world that is of management’s making” (p. 23), she reasoned that every aspect of life – from groceries in the store, to launching a rocket into space – is a result Of management. To lend support to this truism, McGregor (1960) outlined that a ajar function of management’s job is to “organize the elements of productive enterprise … People… In the interest of economic ends” but more importantly, he argued that with respect to employees management should guide employees by “directing their efforts, motivating them, controlling their actions and modify their behavior to fit the needs of the organization” (p. 166).

However, in order to achieve these objectives management must know how to communicate. By some accounts, communication between leadership and employees appears anemic. Gray and Robertson (2005) have found In heir research that many employees in organizations are not happy with the communication from senior executives. An audit that was performed showed that only 23 percent of employees believed that executives communicated well. This is a critical point because, as (Gender & Judge, 2005) demonstrates commitment and trust in leadership is essential for efficient internal communication.

Further, employees who are highly educated will require more insight about their job importance and value in the company in order to become motivated. As a result, “a highly motivated employee is more likely to reduce their abilities in an efficient manner” (p. 329-333. ). To sum up the importance of this study, we quote F. W. Taylor (1914), who argued that the “best management is a true science, resting upon clearly defined laws, rules, and principles, as a foundation” (p. 2).

Indeed, many managers abide by these principles today, however, critics of F. W. Taylor pointed out that his observations did not include the need for ‘communication’. Clearly, this was an oversight of significant proportion; yet during this time (1 911-1939) using observed empirical data as a management technique seemed adequate enough to run an organization. However in today’s modern world, management without communication would be unsustainable – even in the case of sole proprietorships.

As such, management theory and effective communication seem fused at the hip. Statement of purpose Firstly, the main purpose of the study is to explore very briefly how communication within organizations has evolved from a rigid Classical Approach in the beginning of the 20th century up until the more flexible Human Resources Approach around the sass’s. We will identify how these different approaches have shaped the internal workings of organizations room ideas of a machine into the concept of a living system.

As Morgan (1986) writes: The problems of mechanistic visions of organizations have led many organizational theorists away from mechanical science and toward biology as a source of ideas for thinking about organization. In the process, organization theory has become a kind of biology in which the distinctions and relations among molecules, cells, complex organisms, species, and ecology are paralleled in those be;en individuals, groups, and organizations (up. 40-41).

Secondly, our quantitative research survey will aim to decipher whether some internal communication methods such as (digital or analog) are more suitable for distributing different types of messages. Larry Weber (2009), who has spent most of his professional career building global communications companies, suggests that the communications world is dramatically moving in a digital direction and those who understand this transformation will communicate much more effectively than those who do not.

Lastly, our goal is to analyze the data and process it in order to create a “communication tip sheet’ that managers of the organization can utilize as a kick reference guide that will help them choose appropriate communication channels. In order to create the ‘Communication Tip Sheet, we will use statistical formulas from De Vass (2002) to show how variables within messages such as; (formality, informality, positivist and negativity) affects the medium of communication in a modern work environment. Organization of Remaining Sections The remainder of this paper is broken down into sections (2-5).

Sections 2 consist of a literature review of relevant information pertaining to this study. In sections 3, the scope and research method of this study is laid out for the deader as well as how the researcher ensured confidentiality and gathered information without bias from participants. The results from this study are explained in sections 4 with a section on each of the major research questions asked in this study. Lastly, the conclusion, limitations and recommendations for Company will be discussed in sections 5. Literature Review Conceptual and Theoretical Frameworks The proceeding literature review helps us begin to understand how internal communication has evolved within organizations. It does this by looking at literature from several scholars based on three foundational pillars as suggested by Miller (2013). Firstly, the classical approaches that conceptualize organizations as machines and emphasize rational communication – Tailoring (1911 Secondly, the human relations and human resources approaches, which, emphasizes communication between employees and management – The Hawthorne Effect (1939).

Thirdly, the human resources approach in which the goal is to encourage the flow of ideas through communication – The Human Resource Approach (1950). Instinctively, the common thread amongst these theories suggests that as the organization has evolved so too did the methods of internal communication. As we will see shortly, this evolution had both practical and social implications. Tailoring – Classical Management Theory Similar to the disciplines of “Marketing “and “Human Resource Management”, “Organizational Communication” as a discipline was born out of an amalgamation of theories.

In the early 20th century theories of how firms should be organized and managed were put forth by three prominent thinkers of the time, namely; Payola (1937) Administration industrially et gnreal, Weber (1922) Economy and Society and Taylor (1 911) Theory Of Scientific Management. These seminal works formed the basis for “Classic Management Theory” as we know it today. To be clear, since organizational communication plays an important role in this paper, it is necessary to note that this discipline is a direct offshoot of classic management theory.

Since the focus of this paper is not based on classic management theory, we will forego Payola’s and Weeper’s works and select Frederick Tailor’s Theory of Scientific Management as the genesis of Classic Management Theory. The reason for this is simple, management scholars like Cole (2004) confirmed that F. W. Taylor Figure 1 . Was a hands-on manager that offered prescriptive approaches to how an organization should function, while simultaneously using his scientific and rational set of principles about leadership to quantify outcomes.

Therefore, we will consult Tailor’s (1 911) seminal work and other relevant literature to get a better insight on the application Of Tailoring in classical organizations. As a scientific manager, Taylor (1 911) repeatedly insisted that communication in organizations should be hierarchical and narrowly based on tasks. Thus, most of his observations were often focused on increasing productivity. For instance, during one of his scientific experiments he instructed a manager on how he should think about workers: “with a man of the mentally sluggish type of Schmidt it is appropriate and not unkind… N fixing his attention on the high wages which he wants and away from what, if it were called to his attention, he probably would consider impossibly hard work” (p. 9). For this reason Trucker (1992) charged that Tailor’s ideas had helped “make American management excessively bureaucratic”, because, the centralizing of power and the machine like focus on tasks would eventually lead to “bureaucratic firms with managers divided from the managed” (p. 206). Because of this bureaucratic overhead, communication in classic organizations would have a distinct pattern.

Miller (201 1) characterized this pattern as “primarily top-down, formal, task-related, and written” (p. 34). In all organizations, (Hartley & Brinkman, 2002) identified that there are three distinct dimensions which are defined as communication flow dimensions, these dimensions are as follows: “downward communication, upward communication and horizontal communication” (p. 2). As a result, Miller (2011) envisioned the environment of classical organizations as “sterile”(p. 31).

Because internal communication was a low rarity ideal in classic organizations; and by contrast a high priority concept in this paper. It is instructive to define its boundaries going forward. Internal communications has been defined in many different ways. For example, Above and Till (2000) define internal communication as “the exchange of information and ideas within an organization” (p. 7), by this definition alone, classic organizations meet the criteria -?? however this basic idea seems very remedial since most if not every firm meets this threshold on some level.

Argentina (2003) however, contends that “internal communication is, in essence, bout creating an atmosphere Of respect for all employees within the organization”(p. 128). This more nuanced approach is harder to quantify but the literature associated with Tailoring suggests that communication was not focused on respecting employees, but rather, empowering managers. Similarly, (Welch, 2011) described internal corporate communication as: “a set of organizational practices designed to promote employee understanding of the goals of the organization and enable them to identify with the values of the organization” (p. 39). By that definition, Tailor’s classic organization loud meet only half of the requirements, since, identifying with the firm’s values was not an objective in classic management theory. Because of this mechanical view of how early organizations should be managed; many critics of Taylor began to seek alternative views on how organizations should function. As we shall witness, these alternate views were quickly adopted into the mainstream as soon as their details were published.

The Hawthorne Effect As mentioned previously, the next phase in the progression of internal communication is known as the “Human Relations Approach” or the Hawthorne Effect”, this theory was quickly adopted by many of Tailor’s critics even though it was heavily influenced by the Theory of Scientific Management. According to Wickerwork & Bending (2000): “the swift acceptance of the Hawthorne report was probably due to the fact that it provided an alternative “scientific basis” with which to rally around and applaud for the growing numbers who were critical of Tailor’s mechanistic view of workers as human machines” (p. 65). In 1 924 the managers of the Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company, wanted to know if there was a correlation between illumination and productivity. In order to prove this “Totalistic management hypothesis” a series of tests were carried out. Ultimately, the experiments showed that an increase in lighting did affect productivity; as did a decrease in lighting. Subsequent experiments of contrasting effects also produced increases in productivity. These unexpected results puzzled the researches which led them to stumble upon a novel theory.

The two researchers who compiled the report, Rotisseries and Dickson (1939), noted that the most influential factors behind the continuous increase in output were the Improved personal relations between workers and management. Similarly, Adair (1984) confirmed these findings were also observed by French researchers who stated: “From a methodological point of view, the most interesting finding was what one may call… Increase in production related only to special social position and social treatment”(p. 01 Most notably however, Rotisseries and Dickson recognized that worker output be;en the women in the relay room saw an overall increase Figure 2. They attributed this increase to the repeated interaction with the women by management but also to the tight social bond that the five operators were able to form over the course of the study. During this time, they documented that the women were able to share stories and experiences amongst themselves which led to productivity gains. Farce et al. 1 977), inferred that this type of maintenance-related communication (communication on social topics that maintains human relationships) will cause workers to be more productive. Figure 2 Photograph of relay assembly room. Adapted from “Management and the Worker,” by F. J. Rotisseries, William J. Dickson, 1939, p. 19. Copyright Harvard University Press. Rotisseries & Dickson (1939) made noteworthy statement when they argued that industrial organizations carry out two major functions, the first is mainly economic but the second; and more important role was to “maintaining employee relations, employee good will, co-operation etc. (p. 397). Since then, many researchers including Finch & Alexander (2010) observed these same results after reviewing volumes Of research that show “people derive greater satisfaction from their jobs and perform to a higher standard when they are engaged in their workplace” (p. 1), this type of reasoning one assumes, is why many firms such as Google and Backbone build office complexes with “a labyrinth of play areas; cafes, coffee bars and open kitchens;” with the intention of creating “the happiest, most productive workplace in the world,” (Stewart, 2013).

Because of its breakthrough discoveries, the Rotisseries & Dickson study became the basis of the human relations school of management theory, which soon took over the leading role from the Tailor’s scientific management school (Wickets??m & Bending, 2000). Categorically, the human relations school of thought shifted the paradigm of productivity from a belief that “workers are cogs in a wheel” to a belief that footwork’s are social creatures. ” However, there was yet another movement afoot following the human relations movement.

This was a consideration of how workers can contribute to the workplace through more than just ‘working’ or ‘socializing but through thinking’ and participating in In many aspects of organizational functioning. This approach-??the human resources approach-??is considered the next advancement in how organizations effectively communicate. The Human Resource Approach The human resources approach is the next step up the evolutionary ladder of internal communication. Unlike the Hawthorne Studies, there was no inflection point at which the tides turned towards this theory.

Rather, this approach assimilated itself around the middle of the century, as Miller (201 1) wrote: The human resources approach acknowledges contributions of classical and, especially, human relations approaches to organizing. Human resources theorists recognize that individuals in organizations have feelings that must be considered and also recognize that individual labor is an important ingredient for meeting organizational goals. What human resources theorists add to the mix is an emphasis on the cognitive introductions employees make with their thoughts and ideas (p. 5). Miller (201 1) hypothesized that beginning in the sass’s, there was a growing concern that an increasingly complex business environment and job requirements were exceeding the standards of what the human relations approach could provide. Indeed, other social scientists of the time like Moscow (1943) and McGregor (1960) were beginning to look at how the human psyche could affect motivation, and their results in part supported the theory that human beings require more than just a social relationship with other co-workers in order to be fulfilled.

Abraham Measles Theory of Human Motivation, which was published (1943) became one of the leading documents in support of the Human Resource Approach. Additionally, this ground breaking research provided evidence that supported The Hawthorne Effect as well, since it stated that ‘socializing improves productivity because of the human need for relationships’. However, Moscow (1943) made it clear that the need for self-actualization outweighed all other desires, but it could only be achieved if the environment allowed employees to contribute their ideas and creative abilities to the labor process Figure 3.

This is in fact, the major difference between the Human Relations Approach and the Human Resource Approach. Additionally, Munchkins (2006) gave support to the human resource approach as well when he outlined that “After a need is satisfied, it no longer dominates behavior, and another need rises to take its place” (p. 384). In this case, the need for social interaction has been satisfied by the human relations theory, thusly, the need to contribute one’s thoughts and ideas is the primary need that should be fulfilled.

The reason why Moslems theory is important to our discussion of internal communication is because e arranged all needs (physiological and cognitive) into a hierarchy of pre- potency, each of which has to be met before moving onto the next phase. Kisses, McGregor (1960) proposed that knowing how to motivate an employee during each phase provides management with tools to decipher what higher order needs were satisfied at work. Moscow (1943) listed the five goals which he considered to be the basic needs that all human beings must satisfy in order to achieve self-actualization. These are briefly: 1 . Physiological (breathing, food) 2.

Safety (shelter, protection) 3. Relationships (friendships, collegiality) . Self-esteem (achievement, respect of others) 5. Self-actualization (creativity, problem solving) After analyzing Measles work, McGregor became quite confident that “under proper conditions, unimagined resources of creative human energy could be available within the organizational setting’ (p. 166). Once the social needs were met, McGregor demonstrated that the egoistic needs should be satisfied, particularly: “those needs that relate to one’s self-esteem – needs for self-confidence, for independence, for achievement, for competence, for knowledge” (p. 68). Therefore, opportunities at work need to extend just ended social satisfaction; it should allow for higher level needs to be met, if these needs are not fulfilled workers would essentially be at a disadvantage, and unfortunately “their behavior will reflect this deprivation” in the work environment (McGregor 1960, p. 169). To a greater extent, firms who want their employees to contribute at peak performance should provide all available opportunities for them to achieve this goal.

In short, for a human resources approach to be truly empowering it requires more than basic changes in communication patterns – it requires management to understand hat the most productive worker will need to reach self-actualization by contributing their thoughts and ideas and receive recognition for their efforts. Indeed, a recent study by Butts et al. (2009), confirmed that involvement will not lead to changes in performance unless employees believe they can make a difference. Accordingly, employers should make a meaningful attempt to make all employees attain self-actualization since it has a direct impact on the bottom line.

Summary of the Literature To sum up, Pain (2002) explained that in the early part of this century we witnessed F. W. Taylor attempt to use scientific management to quantify every unit of output, thus, communication flows in a predominantly downward direction, as directives flow from management to workers. Cliff (1970) proclaimed this quantitative approach to management was counterproductive since there are often types of productivity which are “impractical or non-economic to measure” (p. 1 0-1 1).

However, this focus on output shifted as managers stumbled across evidence that proved that communication and human contact should be an integral part of the work place. However, during the second stage of internal communication Table 1 monstrance that the human relations approach does not eliminate vertical information flow but instead adds an emphasis on horizontal communication (Miller, 2011 This recognition that workers need social interactions came out of experiments that took place at the Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago.

As Mayo (1977) describes, the experiments showed that worker productivity improves with increased interactions. Although many other social research theories suggest the Hawthorne effect is nothing but a placebo, “human relations theorists believe interaction that flows horizontally mongo employees is just as important as downward communication in the accomplishment of organizational goals” (Miller 201 1, p. 52). Lastly, the human resource approach came about during the 1 ass’s and extended into the sass’s when it was noticed that the Hawthorne effect was not enough to fully engage workers.

The main reason for this disengagement was due to the increasing complexity of industrial era tasks. Additionally, Miller (2011) declared that the goal of firms shifted toward encouraging the flow of ideas from all locations throughout the organization. Leon Musk, CEO of Tests Motors said it best with his own words when he stated: “Companies are finally waking up to the fact that entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial thinkers can make them more efficient, benefit their bottom line, and create innovation out of nowhere” (Resurvey, 2014).

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