Business Communication: Group Communications

Introduction

Interpersonal and group communication is one of the most important aspects in the modern organization which influences their performance and profitability. Groups are an essential part of any organization. Critics explain that for successful performance, employees must cooperate to achieve the overall objectives of the project. In many organizations, work statements are closely connected with plans, which can be defined as a statement of intent and must be owned by the people who own the project. Even on a single project, the planner’s role is to interpret the ideas held in the heads of the project group and put them down on paper. It is not the planner’s role to decide and tell people what they should be doing. This shows the quality policy at the top of the pyramid as there is probably only one policy and this singular policy might be contained within a quality manual. Board or senior management prepare a statement describing the company’s commitment to quality and the principles that the board wishes to be followed. Each phase starts with a set of information and ends with a set of deliverables. At the end of each phase is a ‘gateway’ through which the project can only proceed with the relevant approvals. The group selected for analysis is a real group working for a modern organization. The main responsibilities of the group are to control the quality of products and introduce improvements and low-cost solutions to current products.

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Groupwork

Members of my group agree to accept the authority of the project manager for the duration of the project. It is interest­ing to note that more ‘senior’ persons than the project manager are also in the group. Conventional vertical authority relationships are now changed and day-to-day working problems may have to be agreed upon or negotiated (Conger, 2002). Another important part of group work is work breakdown. The breakdown is not chronological and does not involve itself in worrying about what has to be done, it merely breaks down the objective of the project into some sensible and convenient groups. In my workplace, each department manager finds a hierarchy translated into a part of the organizational breakdown structure. Sitting above the functional manager the hierarchy will extend upwards towards the board of directors. Somewhere alongside this part of the hierarchy will be the project-management group in a hierarchy of its own. To ensure effective work, program managers should control project managers who themselves might have phase managers, planners, and other project-related engineers. Frequently the members of these two hierarchies swap places as they temporarily switch from a functional role to a project role. In other organizations, the two management trees are fixed and as permanent as each other. It is possible to carry earned value computations at any level. The author states (Cunningham and Hyman,1995).

In my group, strategic plans can be stated in financial terms, e.g. capital and revenue expenditure budgets, or in non-financial terms, e.g. units of production. Plans reduced to specific figures show where money is going or where physical input and output have taken place. With this knowledge, a group leader can delegate authority more easily to make plans effective, within the budget limits. The budgets are also used as checks on the actual results of a business (Teale, 2003). My organization pays close attention to moral problems and ethical principles of communication. Many of my colleagues are working in teams so, their contributions and professional skills involved in changing an organization’s structures are approved (Smith, 1982).

Group Performance

As the research suggests, group structure analysis begins with the definition and delimitation of a market–product-wise or area-wise, usually both. In its most elementary use, it examines chiefly the number and size distribution of both sellers and buyers, the conditions of entry into the market, actual or potential, in relation to the basic demand and production characteristics of the products (Burke and Cannon-Bowers, 2000). The analysis of the actual and potential communication conditions of entry leads to a detailed examination of the technology and nature of the organization, including channels (vertical structures) of group work. The analysis of the demand factors or setting includes not only the amount of demand but its growth and expansibility and the cross-elasticity of demand among competitors. Highlighted always is the character and importance of innovation and differentiation. It must be assumed, too, in the dynamics of market competition that these action parameters will be under constant adjustment in the moves and responses, aggressive and defensive, of the market competitors (Gratto and Erickson, 2007; LaFasto and Larsen, 2001). Consequently, the proper interpretation of communication requires both cross-sectional, structural portrayals and trend studies (Gordon 1994).

Group Communication

Managers face the critical responsibility of choosing the right goal to ensure that what people are striving for is the ethical choice. Furthermore, because of the propensity of people to do what they are told (and their natural inclination to accept goals as legitimate because they come from an authority figure or from the organization itself), it is crucial that managers do not ask people to employ unethical means to accomplish an otherwise noble goal. Both the means and the ends are valid subjects for ethical questioning (LaFasto and Larsen, 2001).

In today’s turbulent societal and business environment, organizations face challenges and search for opportunities in their environments. Very few organizations are immune from influences of such things as the possibility of another fuel crisis, the federal budget deficit, international trade imbalances, the value of the dollar about foreign currency, or the precarious geopolitical situation. Organizations that ignore these environmental realities, impact on their operations and strategies are suffering from a form of corporate myopia. Organizations that actively scan their environments, anticipate emergent problems, and take advantage of opportunities that may arise over time. These are the organizations that will survive and prosper in the information age of the future. To survive, organizational members must be taught to appreciate and alter their mental models of the future so that surprises are prepared for before their impact on the organization. One of the key functions of the HRM unit is to serve as a scanning unit that watches the environment for patterns of change that affect the organization. The HRM unit is in contact with many sources of current information about the future and the marketplace (Gordon, 1994). This responsibility falls to the HRM unit because it works with the human dimension of organizational functioning. One creative way to accomplish the problem definition task is to use HR techniques to develop clear and explicit scenarios of the future as well as strategies your organization can apply to the hypothetical, but the potential future environment. Further, you can share this expertise with other managers and planners, so that the total organization expands and articulates its visions of the future in preparation for that future. As the age of the population goes up, as the number of entering workers goes down, and as the technological sophistication of work increases, organizations will face the critical problem of finding, attracting, and maintaining competent workforces (Gratto and Erickson, 2007).

Group Dynamics

It is important to distinguish between intent and manner of implementation because only actions influence organizational performance and succession planning. The intent does not influence actions, training and participation, changes, and efficiency of employees being a speculative assumption. Their sole common attribute is their knowledge and professional skills to make sure the goal is clearly defined and high-performance expectations are set. How aims and expectations are established is a matter of style, but setting them is a matter of performance and positive results (Gordon, 1994). All business enterprises and especially the giants should be expected first to test and demonstrate their legitimacy in terms of effective, intelligent participation in the competitive market system. A grasp of the nature and functioning of the enormously complex interrelations of the market system is the most appropriate base for business management to view the incomprehensibly more complex relations and values of the total social system. It is entirely feasible for businesses, no matter how small or how large, to analyze systematically its nexus or the numerous multiple linkages with the market system and subsystems (Salas et al, 1997).

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Effective communication is a critical tool for increasing employees’ awareness of the value of their contribution to the organization’s success and for creating a dialogue with their managers that can enhance the contributions that employees can make. Indeed, change and organizational transformation are unlikely to occur without new values being introduced into the performance management system. Declarations by senior management are insufficient to drive the new behaviors needed for cultural change; rather, these behaviors must be embedded in the performance fabric and woven into daily efforts and priorities. Thus, if an organization’s goal is to increase worker participation, it must not overlook its computer applications. They can facilitate or inhibit information sharing and interaction within an organization, and thereby facilitate or inhibit the maintenance and growth of worker participation in the organization as well.

References

Conger, S. 2002. Fostering a career development culture: reflections on the roles of managers, employees and supervisors. Career Development International 7 (6), pp. 371 – 375.

Cunningham, I., Hyman, J. 1995. Transforming the HRM vision into reality: The role of line managers and supervisors in implementing change. Employee Relations..17 (8), pp. 5-20.

Gordon J, 1994. The group troubles that won’t go away, Training, 31:8, 25-34.

Gratton L and Erickson T J, 2007. 8 ways to build collaborative groups, Harvard Business Review, Nov, pp. 101-109.

LaFasto, F., Larsen, C. 2001. When Groups Work Best. Sage Publications.

Salas E. Burke C.S., Cannon-Bowers, J.A. 2000. Groupwork: emerging principles. International Journal of Management Reviews 2 (2), 339-356.

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Smith, J.1982. Managers and supervisors: A problem of relationships. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 10 (4), pp. 51 – 52.

Teale, M. 2003. Management Decision Making. Financial Times Prentice Hall, London, UK.

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