KCTS Television and Management Communication

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Company overview

Every company or organization has its unique politics and social life. The management chooses the way it will run the internal community of the company and establishes a certain relationship with the employees. The company of my choice is KCTS Television. I have worked there from June 2012 to November 2012. The specific department of my employment was one in charge of Community Outreach. Some of the things that I had to deal with were related to the community and the interaction, more specifically the facilitation and coordination between our company and the community events. The job also included putting information on the website, as well as newsletters. As we had several partners in the community, KCTS had many workshops for kids and families that had to be coordinated between our company and partnering organizations. I was also involved with the inventory of PBS outreach materials and the proofreading of materials for the department. The internal structure of KCTS is very friendly and employee-oriented.

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Qualities of staff/personnel

Everyone is welcome to share ideas and voice opinions. The employer is very positive towards suggestions and employees’ relation to the job. Our job includes close communication with the clients, so it has to be at its best and our management supports us by giving advice and pointers. The employees are encouraged to develop their personal growth.

Negative experience

The only unpleasant incident was when an employee used some personal information in her letter and the management reinforced the policy that personal information sharing is unacceptable. Even though our managers welcome “family” type relationships, this was unwelcome but there is a possibility of more details being unknown. Otherwise, our company is very positive and understanding.

Weber’s sociology

Max Weber, a social scientist, studied the intricate nature of interaction between the society and economy. His broader reasoning was that in every society there are many forms of power. These could be seen in the governments and the corporate world. The qualities of these leaders are similar and the line can be drawn between the social make-up of the organization and the bigger society or community (Bruun, 2012). One of Weber’s types of authority is based on charisma. This relates more to the emotion and nature of a person. Traditional and rational-legal types of authority are more structured and require regulations of the legal side of the corporation. Charismatic emerges at the time of crisis, traditional is the expectance of obedience from others and rational-legal bases itself on rationality and guided decision making (Mumby, 2012). Using Weber’s theories of authority, several can relate to KCTS Television. The management is friendly and rational, as well as respectful towards co-workers, which is easy to see. Charisma is very much needed in times of crisis because work must be done quickly and efficiently without unneeded stress. Our managers have a good skill set when dealing with critical situations because the television industry is very sensitive to the community and economy of the country and sometimes the nation or even world. The ability to find a strict yet respectful manner when using one’s position of authority is sometimes hard to do but KCTS does not have a problem with over-authoritative managers or harsh demands of obedience. According to an article on Max Weber by Helge Peukert titled “Precursor of Economic Sociology and Heterodox Economics?”, a rational leader must have “three motivational forces (values, affection, tradition)” (Peukert, 2004). Weber acknowledges that every person cannot act according to rationality and best choice of action, as sometimes it is hard to see or determine. As the market and economy are not constantly stable, one has to understand the fluctuations, what they depend on and the structure or system of competitiveness (Wittel, 2012). The television business is extremely competitive since there is a lot of money involved and the number of stations is very numerous. KCTS manages to compete well because the managers understand their market and know the audience or community. With a “people-oriented” philosophy, rationality and respectful communication in dealing with children and families, the station has been able to achieve success. Weber quantifies a good manager as being well organized and calculative. There is always uncertainty in the world and a good leader must be able to predict and adjust to the slight and possibly unnoticeable changes in the environment (Turner, 1994). KCTS is very much dependant on people’s views, emotions and understanding of what is needed at a certain moment in time, thus the close community relations programs.

Another equally important concept is organizational communication. Any company depends on the interaction between people who are managers and organizers and those who are out in the field. The relationship between the supervisor and employee can have very many degrees of respect, trust, and authority. An important part of the concept is the fact that interaction and social life within the organization extend into the society and community. The framework between people at their workplace sets the atmosphere and views of the community. The people, who are satisfied with their jobs, will be happier in their homes and spread a positive attitude towards the company. The closeness of people in KCTS that makes workers one happy family is rewarding for the community. The support and encouragement to advance and pursue their interests create a healthy environment and people bring that home with them. In an article titled “Organizational Communication: The Pioneers”, Paul Pietry recommends “horizontal communication”. The hierarchy of the company’s management, supervisors, shift managers, and employees takes time and much effort in communication. Often, a direct explanation from the top manager becomes more effective, if they come out “into the field”, gather a group of employees, and explain in a friendly and respectful manner what their vision is. When information gets passed on from one “organizer” to another, some things get lost in the process and the outline becomes more general and less specific, and personal (Pietri, 1974). The advantage of KCTS is the positive atmosphere where everyone has a common goal and is not afraid of the superiors. Sometimes the employees are unable to speak to their supervisors. The harsh authoritative style of the managers makes the work environment stressful and productivity lowers. A depressed worker is less motivated and in turn, affects the whole company. The employer will create a negative reputation among employees based on disrespect and forceful obedience and the organizational structure will greatly suffer (Parsons & Urbanski, 2012). Even in a problematic situation, there is a positive way to resolve the issue. The manager could start from afar by sending an email notice. It could be general and relate to a common problem of the company. Then a meeting with a more specific theme could be set up. And only after these steps, personal advice to several employees could be given. This “trickle-down” effect will ready the employees and get them used to the fact that there is a setback (Werder & Holtzhausen, 2011). Each manager has their style and individual differences, which is exactly what makes the business world so “multifaceted.”

References

Bruun, H. (2012). Max Weber: Collected methodological writings. New York, United States: Routledge.

Mumby, D. (2012). Organizational communication: A critical approach. Thousand Oaks, United States: SAGE Publications.

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Parsons, M., & Urbanski, S. (2012). Recognizing dysfunctional communications a means of improving organizational practices. Online Journal of Communication & Media Technologies, 2(4), 155-175.

Peukert, H. (2004). Max Weber: Precursor of economic sociology and heterodox economics?. American Journal of Economics And Sociology, 63(5), 987-1020.

Pietri, P. H. (1974). Organizational communication: The pioneers. Journal of Business Communication, 11(4), 3-6.

Turner, S. (1994). Max Weber: The lawyer as social thinker. New York, United States: Routledge.

Werder, K., & Holtzhausen, D. (2011). Organizational structures and their relationship with communication management practices: A Public Relations Perspective from the United States. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 5(2), 118-142.

Wittel, A. (2012). Digital Marx: Toward a political economy of distributed media. Triplec (Cognition, Communication, Co-Operation): Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society, 10(2), 313-333.

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