Essays on Communication Problem in a Firm between the Manager and the Workers Case Study

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The paper "Communication Problem in a Firm between the Manager and the Workers" is a good example of a management case study. The decision by Aussie Retail to cut cost by 22 percent elicited varying reactions among the employees. On one hand, the evening shift seemed to think they would probably all be laid off. On the other hand, the day shift had concluded that they were going to have to take significant pay cuts or may be replaced by less expensive workers. This was due to the production manager’ s decision to use a memo as the medium of communicating the decision to cut the cost to his workers.

The message contained in the memo was both ambiguous and equivocal leading to different interpretation by the employees. The best choice of media would have been the richest medium due to the ambiguity and equivocality of the message. Memos are only applicable in cases where simple routine messages are being sent. For complex messages, rich media that use vocal and non-verbal cues and allow immediate feedback are required. One of the barriers that hindered communication between Thomas Raine and his employees was the inappropriate choice of media and message ambiguity.

Lack of trust and differing status also hindered communication. Due to their low-status, employees were overly careful when sending or sharing information to the manager. Similarly, lack of trust prevented employees from conveying their worries, depression and anger. In order to improve the process of communication, the production manager should implement and make use of face-to-face and electronic message to enhance interaction between him and the employees. Introduction Thomas, the production manager failed to consider the influential variables that are inherent in any communication process.

A manager’ s decision to choose a particular medium to utilize in organizational communication is influenced by different variables. These variables include the ambiguousness or equivocality of information being sent, the milieu of the messaging context and the probable figurative cues that could be transmitted by the means beyond the factual message the administrator may bear in mind. Generally, the major contingency for ascertaining which media is suitable is reliant on the degree of equivocality in the information and the context itself.

According to Loperfido (1993, p. 1), equivocality is the occurrence of conflicting and numerous interpretations concerning an organization’ s condition and is normally high when a situation or message is confusing to the parties involved. The production manager, Thomas Raine, wrote a memo to convey a message that was both equivocal and ambiguous leading to conflicting and many interpretations with the entire evening shift thinking that they would probably all be laid off. The day shift employees, on the other hand, had concluded that they were going to have to take significant pay cuts or may be replaced by less expensive workers.

With unambiguous or unequivocal information, a compromise concerning meaning has been agreed by the different parties involved (Shockley-Zalabak 2008, p. 23). Such a message whose understanding is not vague can be conveyed through any media without creating confusion or misunderstanding. Choice of Media The Announcement Thomas chose the wrong type of media to convey the Aussie Retail intentions to cut cost by 22 percent. Memos are applicable in cases where simple routine messages are being sent. For complex messages, rich media that use vocal and non-verbal cues and allow immediate feedback is required (Alexander, Penley and Jernigan 1991, p. 157).

In this case, the incorrect medium was selected to deliver the message and this distorted the information thus blocking the intended message. This entire problem could have been prevented or avoided by selecting the most suitable medium by harmonizing the choice with the characteristic of the intended message and of the individuals who will access it. Although electronic mail could have been better in such a situation, face-to-face or physical communication could have been the most appropriate medium due to its personal nature and its ability to offer immediate feedback.

It conveys information from both non-verbal and verbal cues and it transmits the feeling behind the message.

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