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In a company or an organization where workplace communication is ineffective, or is difficult, the outcome will be mostly negative for the individuals and the organization at large. This thesis is an examination of the issues that affect communication by using data from a Braincore Comprehensive secondary school in Australia.
Most importantly, there will be an in-depth analysis of the communication issues that characteristically come out in such workplaces and the discursive tactics that managers use to manage problems in communication as well as explore the theoretical issues which are made evident when trying to find the cases of miscommunication and diagnose their cause. The practical implication the company is also addressed.
The Organisation: most managers and business executives say that the obstacle of their achievement of greater efficiency in their organizations is communication. The high school of choice for this study is located in the coast of Australia and its population consists of 1745 students and a staff of 88 teachers.
About ten positions of these are occupies by part time workers who work by sharing their task. Braincore is a comprehensive secondary school that reflects the diversity of the modern world.
The school was started in 1961 when its first operations kicked off with less than 30 students. Over the years, the high school has grown to become a very prominent school with enviable reputation in terms of academic excellence. Besides academics, the school has excelled well in extracurricular activities as well.
The researcher selected the interviewee based on his own criterion. The researcher wanted a responder who had stayed longer at the school and was well conversant with the traditions of the school for a considerable time. The interviewee was the deputy principal of a high school in Coffs Coast of Australia.
She is a very ambitious lady. She has been very active in the school for quite some time now and she has been an advocate for active development in the school. She is also very good in the classroom and she is a certified secondary school teacher with over 25 years of experience.
She went to college in Aylesbury College, Robinsons College and she recently finished her master’s degree in public management in Carnie Milam University. Besides running the school, she also likes swimming and riding bikes and gardening.
To convince her to take part in the interview, the researcher had to explain to her the need for the study and the benefit that would come after it. This persuasion was strategic and the theory applied to it was the social judgement theory.
The researcher employed face-to-face interview technique just like the way surveys are conducted engaging the interviewee in a short interview of 45 minutes.
The second part of the interview question which was mainly the actual collection of data included the questions about the workplace issues like communication problems and solutions, if she enjoys her work, motivation, teamwork and conflict resolution.
The interview clearly sought to investigate her job satisfaction, communication apprehension, communication strategies, barriers to communication, flow of information in the organization (Tourish & Robson 2006, p. 721) and solutions to the problems in communication. The method used was the one-on-one technique as it is very efficient.
The investigator was keen on intercultural communication issues. The interviewee had indicated that the school has a considerable number of foreign students from about 20 different ethnic backgrounds mainly from Africa and Sudan in particular.
The recent enrolment she said was dominated by Sudanese students and other African refugees. The admission was problematic and the school had to hire a translator. The school has to book the translator for interviews on the telephone or sometimes uses the services of refugee support caseworker to help translate key points.
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The type of communication used included formal and informal face to face discussions where the staff members are is briefed once a week and a full staff meeting at least once a month. Different departments and groups hold independent meetings weekly and others monthly.
For presentations, the responder said that PowerPoint, videoconferencing and audio-visual technologies were employed.
A considerable number of the workers, about 10 positions were part-time workers sharing positions in the school. In that interview, Aland reported that she enjoyed the work she was doing most of the times because of the conditions her employer had set for the position.
She said, that there enough autonomy in the role she was playing which included introducing the programs she deemed beneficial. Concerning the intercultural communication, the respondent said that the organisation gets students from different parts of the world.
The issue of persuading people to freely take part in the organisation was related to the idea of persuading them to work for a common goal in the organisation. The social judgement theory was made evident in the responses the interviewee gave.
She said that the organisational workers enjoy collegial and pleasant work relationships and as a result they tend to work with so much zeal, enthusiasm as a team (Gray & Laidlaw 2004, p. 431).
When an employer is able to deal with the problems of apprehension early enough while it is still emerging, then the employer will be able to retain employees and better their job satisfaction levels.
However, for employers to salvage the situation before it gets even worse, they need to put in place communication mechanism that encourage feedback on the issues affecting employee and how they felt about their work (Jones et al. 2006, p. 731).
The culture of many communities shapes their perception of others and their attitudes and this also directs the way people communicate in that framework. Nonetheless, there is no easy course to attaining better cultural understanding and avoiding conflict or resolving their misunderstanding.
The main rule concerning matching holds true. In order to communicate effectively and sensibly, the managers of the organization should monitor how the employees build perceptions about them.
Language, cultural obstacle and misapprehension always impede efficient communication and develop complications at workplace. Leaders have to be aware of issues like biasness, attitudinal obstacles and stereotyping by supervisors, colleagues and management can impede the ability of the business to respect cultural diversity.
Appreciating that environment and personal barriers affect every organization is the first step to attaining effective communications. Being cognizant of these barriers, the managers can consciously reduce their impact on the organization (Creme & Lea 2003, p. 278). Nonetheless there needs to be actions taken and seen to be taken to overcome the barriers to this.
Environmental barriers are easily removed by ensuring that the receiver listens devotedly to the message being passed (Keyton, 2002). Another strategy is to ensure that there fewer steps of information flow from sender to receiver. This reduces distortion.
In order to remove power and status barriers, the message can be coded to ensure that the message is understandable (Creme & Lea 2003, p. 278).
This can employ the use of symbols and words easy to comprehend and then reinforcing with actions to pass the message to different status or power levels (hierarchy) (Tourish & Robson 2006, p. 724). The sender can use multiple channels to reinforce the message and evade obstacles.
Strategic communication is an intentional process of passing information in a comprehensible and concise manner (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2004). The culturally diverse world requires sensitivity to cultural issues and this is why cultural sensitive communication is crucial (Philip & Finbarr 2002, p. 48).
The communication difficulties are brought about by varying cultural values, viewpoints and language. The management should be sensitive to the intercultural communication and competence of this process.
To improve, the sender can write the message down, repeat it, ask question by use of different wording and phrases or contexts (Dainton & Zelley), ask questions and communicate in a relaxed atmosphere.
Creme, P., & Lea, M. R., 2003, ‘Organizing and Shaping Your Writing’ (chapter 6), In M Witsel (Ed.) 2009, Communication in Organizations, (5th Ed). Sydney: McGraw-Hill Custom Publishing.
Creme, P., & Lea, M. R., 2003, Chap.ter 8, ‘Putting It Together’, In M Witsel (Ed.) 2009, Communication in Organizations. (5th Ed). Sydney: McGraw-Hill Custom Publishing.
Dainton, M., & Zelley, E.D., 2010, Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life: A Practical Introduction. London: Sage.
Gray, G., & Laidlaw. H., 2004, Improving the Measurement of Communication Satisfaction. Management Communication Quarterly, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 425-448.
Hellriegel, D., & Slocum, J. W., 2004, Organizational Behaviour (10th Ed). Mason: South-Western.
Jones, E., et al., 2006. Organizational Communication: Challenges for the New Century. Journal of Communication, Vol. 54, Issue 4, pp. 722-750.
Keyton, J., 2002, Communicating In Groups: Building Relationships for Effective Decision Making (2nd Ed). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Philip, J. K., & Finbarr, D., 2002. Internal Communication during Change Management. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 7 Issue 1, pp. 46 – 53.
Tourish, D., & Robson, P., 2006. Sense making and the Distortion of Critical Upward Communication in Organizations. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 43, Issue 4, pp. 711-730.