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Significance of Communication in Organization Culture Changes (Research Paper Sample)




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Organizations are composite by nature, incorporating different functional units modeled for common productivity. In such contexts, proper communication is necessary to mesh the constituent units. Moreover, the organizational structure is determinative in the definition of these crucial communication channels. Arguments have been that decision-making at any segment of an organization is most likely to have a ripple effect on overall functionality, which highlights the need for constructive deliberations. The negotiations are not necessarily active, as in the case of a hierarchical organizational culture where the corporate levels are clearly defined. In this case, the decisions are normally made at the top of the hierarchy as the control is top-down. The discussions in this context are not in the literal sense of the word, but rather imply timely communication and the openness to feedback from the lower corporate levels. It would be undesirable for certain segments of the organization to be left in uncertainty as this would be detrimental to overall productivity. Other alternative organization cultures may be less rigid as they allow for more interactive consultations. The fact is that proper communication promotes the development of sustainable systems. All the units in an organization have to attain some level of coherency for productivity. Thus, the concrete significance of communication has motivated the development of several theories on which effective communication may be anchored.
Necessity of Change
Simoes and Esposito state that organizational changes have become so prevalent that they may be as well regarded as patterns. This observation is readily perceptible because organizations exist primarily for productivity. As a result, it is normal for structures and operations to be revamped when they cease to support the goals, vision, and missions on which an organization is anchored. The trend of change is not an irrational compulsion but rather an endeavor for the betterment of the organization. Such a claim is not an assertion that every organizational change must necessarily translate to improved functionality and productivity. Deliberations are precisely encouraged to the end that the best course of action is arrived at. Changes are born more out of necessity than a mood because stability is also a determinative factor in the success of an organization. Further evidence state that systems naturally become more convenient and manageable the longer they are sustained. Furthermore, cultures form around the systems to continuously assimilate new objects and processes to maintain the status quo.
Similarly, organizations have cultures that have formed around aspects such as corporate structure and the nature of business. The cultures define the values and perspectives of the organization. True to the prediction, Meyerson and Martin assert that organizational cultures are resistant to change. Noting that culture change is intimately connected to the other aspects of organizational change such as strategy, structure, and leadership is important because organizational culture is essentially defined by these features. Thus, organizational culture may also be precisely defined as an abstraction by patterns of behavior, meaning, and values. In figurative language, the culture is the personality of an organization and by such is central in the operations of the other aspects of the organization.
Cameron and Quin postulate that a company cannot re-engineer without a change in its organizational culture. As a result, some firms have registered insignificant organizational performance improvements despite consolidated efforts at reengineering. The authors observe that while new equipment and strategies were incorporated, old managerial styles, ways of thinking, values, and paradigm approaches to problem-solving were retained. As result, all vigor and efforts were spent in vain. This perceptive analysis further highlights the significance of organizational culture. An empirical study conducted on over a hundred organizations revealed that organizational effectiveness increased when their cultures were explicitly targeted for change. In contrast, the implementations of TQM and downsizing programs independent of culture change were ineffective. Cameron and Quinn argue that organizations soon quickly return to the status quo when the fundamental factors such as values, definitions, orientations, and goals are left unchanged, rendering alterations in procedure and strategies transient.
Psychological Contract
The importance of communication and the necessity of change converge in the conceptualization of the psychological contract. The most impacted units of an organization by the discussed changes are the human resources. Unlike, equipment that may be programmed, the personnel in an organization are only involved in the anticipated changes through proper communication. Hence, communication is core to organizational changes as alluded to before. Simoes and Esposito identify the roles of communication in organizational change as reducing uncertainty, building readiness, and inspiring commitment. Communication creates a conducive climate on which beneficial changes can be effectively implemented. This need has inspired the development of the somewhat objective approach to the management of communication in an organizational change. The idea is for the personnel in an organization to feel involved and their welfare considered rather than being exploited. The term psychological contract sounds like the formalization of a concept that is otherwise intuitively informal. There are emotional considerations as well as guards of professionalism to prevent degeneration into sentimentality.
A psychological contract may be precisely defined as the perceptions of the parties in an organization channeled in the form of promises and obligations that pertain to the relationship. Thus, the definition itself implies communication. In the context of organizational culture change, the new meanings and values have to be communicated to the personnel in the organization so that they are privy to what is expected of them, and to the management so that it is bound to its promises. Moreover, there is the aspect of expectations that has to be addressed. Even under the most interactive deliberations, not all wishes and whims may be accommodated when decisions are made regarding organizational change. Moreover, some of the issues may have much emotional appeal even though they are not feasible. Proper communication should aid in resolving such contentions. Communication in the context of psychological contracts may be conceived not only as of the content of the contract but also in the process of its administration. Thus, a properly composed psychology contract may fall short of achieving its full expression if improperly communicated. This analysis restates the role and essence of a psychological contract as a communication device.
The Problem
As predicted, the execution of a necessary change in an organization without proper communication and involvement may cause frictions in the organization. Thus, it is important to note that the emerging of conflicts out of organizational change does not necessarily discount on the merit of the change. Although decisions in an organization are often taken in its best interest, such decisions may not always be convenient in all quarters. For instance, the need to reduce recurrent expenditure may necessitate the dismissing of some of the staff, an event that will often generate much animosity if not handled prudently. Much of the success of an organization has to do with the motivation and morale of its personnel. Hence, it is always prudent to involve the staff as extensively as possible in decisions that drastically impact their welfare. In some instances, empathetic communication may even give the illusion of involvement especially when tough unpleasant decisions have to be made. It is an open fact that some decisions just do not allow enough room for active deliberations because they are just plain unpleasant. The above exposition assists to create a context for the problem in the organization so that it may then be analyzed with minimal bias.
Although the merger of the departments may be purposeful and advantageous for the organization, improper communication and lack of meaningful involvement are detrimental to the staff. As a result, all the merits of proper communication highlighted by Simoes and Esposito are lost. First, significant uncertainty has been created among the personnel. Without an elaborative communique, the staff is only left to speculate on the possible consequence of the imminent merger. From research, the personnel may discern that some positions will be discarded especially those that are corresponding between the departments. The effect is anxiety among the staff on which of the pairs will be retained to serve in the resultant department. On the other hand, the probability that both staff members would be retained because the new department would be big enough to allow for joint positions also exists. Thus, uncertainty unreasonably conflicts with the staff. Moreover, no readily perceivable rational gain on the part of the management for the concealment exists.
The second aspect is that the move fails to build readiness among the personnel. Every sincere member of staff understands that an organization may sometimes be compelled to take drastic measures to address unforeseen circumstances. In such scenarios, employees may often suffer collateral damage. The solution to this predicament is not to stay tightlipped on the matter (Penley & Hawkins, 1985). Trends demons...

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