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ORGANISATIONAL COMMUNICATION PROJECT REPORT

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Case Study 1

6.1 Do we have a communication problem here?

“I don’t want to hear your excuses. Just get those plains in the air,” Jim Tuchman was screaming at his gate manager. As head of American Airlines’ operations at the Mexico City Airport, Tuchman has been consistently frustrated by the attitude displayed by his native employees. Transferred from Dallas to Mexico City only three months ago, Tuchman was having difficult adjusting to the Mexican style of work. “Am I critical of these people? You bet I am! They don’t listen when I talk. They think things are just fine and fight every change that I suggest. And they have no appreciation for the importance of keeping on schedule.”

 

If Tuchman is critical of his Mexico City staff, it’s mutual. They universally dislike him. Here’s a few anonymous comments made about their boss: “he thinks if he yells and screams, that things will improve. We don’t see it that way.” “I’ve been working here for four years. Before he came here, this was a good place to work. Not anymore. I’m constantly in fear of being chewed out. I feel stress all the time, even at home. My husband has started commenting on it a lot.”

 

Tuchman was brought in specifically to tighten up the Mexico City operation. High on his list of goals is improving American’s on-time record in Mexico City, increasing productivity, and improving customer service. When Tuchman was asked if he thought he had any problems with his staff, he replied, “yep. We just can’t seem to communicate.”

 

Questions:

  1. 1.     Does Jim Tuchman have a communication problem? Explain.
  2. 2.     What suggestions, if any, would you make to Jim to help him improve his managerial effectiveness?

 

Answer 1.

 

 Yes, Jim Tuchman has a communication problem. It is obvious from the fact that his employees are unhappy and dissatisfied with him. They have shown their dissatisfaction, through their comments like not a good place to work anymore, stress, Jim only screams and yells, fear of being chewed, etc.

 

Moreover, Jim Tuchman was transferred to Mexico City to improve customer service and increase productivity, but he himself agrees to the fact that he and his employees are not able to communicate properly. His employees dislike him and therefore they have parted such comments. They feel Tuchman is being insensitive to their needs, etc. on the other hand, Tuchman is also critical of them but because they are not communicating properly. Both the parties, i.e. Tuchman and his staff are not doing well with each other. He thinks his employees don’t listen to him and are not ready to change as he suggests. On the other hand, the employees think he does not listen to them and only keeps yelling. But actually he is not yelling but trying to convey his ideas without proper communication. Thus it can be clearly seen that there lies a communication in this situation. This problem will only keep Tuchman away from achieving his goals.

 

 

Answer 2.

 

 For the improvement of managerial effectiveness, the first and foremost thing required by Jim Tuchman is communication. He has to understand that achieving his goals of improving American’s on-time record in Mexico City, increasing productivity and improving customer service can be done only with the co-operation of his native employees. He should try to be good to the employees so that they don’t dislike him.

 

Moreover, since he had been transferred only three months ago. He had to have a bit of patience to get adjusted to Mexican style of work. Even in this step i.e. to get adjusted to Mexican style of work, his employees could help him in a better ay, as they were from the native country, so could help him to do the necessary changes accordingly.

 

Here, Tuchman should communicate verbally, all his ideas to the employees. There is lack in downward communication which should be rectified, so that Tuchman can know the likes and dislikes of the employees. This would in turn result in good upward communication, i.e. the employees would start communicating properly and then their misunderstandings could be cleared out and the required objectives could be achieved.

Case Study 2

6.2 Communication – Line and Staff.

Good communication between line and staff personnel is important in all organizations, and it can be said that effective communication plays a significant role in determining the overall success of the organization.

 

However, when the communication process between line and staff is less effective, problems can develop as seen in the following illustrations:

 

Raman who manages the personal department of an industrial plant of about 500 employees, recently distributed to all employees a detailed questionnaire that required the employees to fill in information pertaining to their job title, number of years with the organization, salary drawn and description of their job responsibilities. The form stated by the purpose of the questionnaire would be two provide management with an update material concerning job classification. It was also indicated that all employees should return the firms on or before the coming Friday, which gave the employees five days to fill the needed information. Raman announced to each department that he would visit the plant on Friday morning and collect the forms that have not yet been returned to the personnel department. The updating of the job classifications was requested by the plant manager. The reason was to review all the job duties with the possibility of re-classifying some of the positions and to provide in some cases a more equitable pay structure.

 

At the end of the week, before Raman’s visit of the plant, less than 20 percent of the questionnaires had been returned to the personnel department. After visiting the plant, Raman had collected only an additional 15 forms. As the response was poor, Raman contacted plant manager and other management officials and sought their co-operation. Obviously, an accurate study of the wage and salary structure could not be done because of the lack of necessary data. There appears to be a problem between line and staff, more specifically the passing of information from one to the other.

 

QUESTIONS:

 1. How will the line personnel suffer as a result of not filling out the questionnaires?

 2. How could Raman have made his communication more effective?

 

Answer 1.

 

In this case there is a problem in lateral communication i.e. between the line and staff, in passing of the information from one to the other. It can also see that there is downward communication problem i.e. from the managers to the employees. They did not convey the message well and thus there was some sort of problem in getting the questionnaires filled up. Since the questionnaires were not filled up study of wage structure and salary structure could not be done because they did not have the necessary data.

 

 

 

Moreover the review of all the job duties and also re-classification of some of the positions could not be done. Re-classification of certain positions and also providing more equitable pay structure would have motivated employees and helped them to see ahead, a better path to work on with that organization. This would help in retention of employees. Due to the failure in filling up of questionnaires all this could not be done for the employees. Dissatisfaction among employees would ultimately cause problems to the line and staff personnel, when the employees would gradually start complaining about their wages and salaries or position in the organization. These questionnaires if filled and returned properly could have been of great help to the line personnel to satisfy the employees. Thus, the line personnel may suffer a lot as a result of not filling out the questionnaires and the necessary changes that Raman wanted to bring out simply failed.

 

 

Answer 2.

 

           To make his communication more effective Raman could have made use of grapevine. In a grapevine accurate messages are passed among employees with amazing speed. Raman could have feed the right information at the right place and thus gain very quick communication among the employees. Also, an employee is satisfied with an idea of his sub-ordinate he can better influence other employees about that idea, rather than the manager making regular announcements about that idea formally to all the employees.

So, Raman should not have announced to everyone formally, but influence an employee who is mostly liked by all the others. The most liked employee then influence the others in a better way.

 

To influence such an employee who is liked by all other employees, Raman should have communicated to him directly or indirectly about the purposes and benefits of filling up of the questionnaires. In this way Raman could have taken advantage of lateral communication that is among the employees. Raman could also be diplomatic by handing over the responsibility of collection of forms to the most liked employee so that he would definitely influence his fellow employees, so that he could impress his manager Raman. In this activity Raman would benefit by getting almost all the questionnaires filled up on time and help the line personnel to go ahead with their job of studying the wage and salary structure. Then they could do their further required job of re-classifying some of the positions and to provide in some cases a more equitable pay structure thus satisfying the employees.

 

 

 

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