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Unformatted text preview: Assessing Organizational Communication: Strategic Communication Audits
Chapter 1 Communication Audits as Organizational Development Communication Audits as Organizational Development A common tendency is to take communication for granted until there is some problem. Periodic monitoring can overcome this tendency to ignore communication until there is a problem. Communication Audits as Organizational Development At the most fundamental level, organizations need to monitor how well employees communicate because the organization's very survival often depends on workers' abilities to exchange and coordinate information. Communication Audits as Organizational Development Globalization demands that people from different national cultures work together, sharing information and interacting in ways that are not common in some cultures. What is taught as standard communication procedures in U.S. schools of business simply does not work in other cultures. Communication In The Work Organization Downs Total Environment Communication Model
Total Environment Encoding and Decoding Filtering Feedback Downs Total Environment Communication Model Auditors also commonly pay attention to how communication processes can be linked to organizational results: Commitment Satisfaction Productivity Effectiveness of change/innovation Financial Stability Nature of Communication Assessments An audit is merely a process of exploring, examining, monitoring, and evaluating something. The idea of conducting a communication audit may be new to many organizations, but it follows a long tradition of management trying to obtain feedback about the current state of the organization. Nature of Communication Assessments
A communication audit takes a communication perspective on the organization. When we conduct a communication audit we assume that how workers communicate messages determines how they work and interact with each other. Nature of Communication Assessments Communication provides the framework for getting things done, rather than being just a side concern. We conduct each audit with a process perspective on communication, and that, in turn, enables us to relate communication to other organizational processes. Nature of Communication Assessments Therefore, communication audits differ from other assessments only in that they focus primarily on communication. Characteristics of Communication Assessments Characteristics Independence Professionalism Diagnostic Thoroughness Skilled Evaluation Tailored Design Current Time Frame Characteristics of Communication Assessments Independence The investigation should be conducted by independent assessors with training that qualifies them to make the investigation. Outside independent auditors can collect information that employees simply would not reveal to an insider. Characteristics of Communication Assessments Professionalism The investigation needs to be conducted by professionals who understand the intricacies of organizational dynamics and who also have expertise both in the analysis of communication and in the general processes of consultation. Characteristics of Communication Assessments Diagnostic Thoroughness The diagnostic design should provide for systematic observations to be made about all areas of communication that are considered important. Characteristics of Communication Assessments Diagnostic Thoroughness Because a common tendency for many researchers and consultants is to define problems according to the solutions that they have available, it is very important that the initial diagnosis not be bound just by whatever solutions an auditor would like to implement. Characteristics of Communication Assessments Skilled Evaluation Implied in every assessment is a comparison of what is to what ought to be. Evaluation requires the identification of some criteria to be used in judging the adequacy of current communication. Characteristics of Communication Assessments Skilled Evaluation While anyone may collect information about communication in the organization, it takes persons with special expertise and insights to determine what kinds of information will be helpful and then to make practical, usable sense of that information to identify strengths and weaknesses. Characteristics of Communication Assessments Skilled Evaluation
Observations must always be put into some context historically, organizationally, industrially, or economically. Credible auditors will have developed norms or a body of knowledge against which they can interpret the data obtained in an assessment. Characteristics of Communication Assessments Tailored Design
Both the audit methodologies and the criteria for evaluation must be tailored to the specific organization. This is not to say that one cannot profit from experiences in auditing other organizations, for not all audits start from square one. Characteristics of Communication Assessments Tailored Design
Usually a combination of measures of organizational communication is desirable to avoid inadequacies that can occur from over reliance on one instrument. Triangulation refers to the collecting of data about the same phenomena using several different methods or approaches to data collection. Characteristics of Communication Assessments Current Time Frame
Even though an assessment usually involves weeks of study, it still takes a time-bound snapshot of an organization over a particular time period. The assessment can be useful and practical, but generalizations to be made from it may be limited to that particular time frame because of the dynamic environments in which many organizations work. Management Rationale for Audits Functional Benefits Strategic Planning Benefit Verification Benefit Data Generating Benefit Feedback Benefit Benchmark Benefit Communication Benefit Training Benefit Participation Benefit Strategic Communication Audits Six Phases 1. Initiation 2. Planning 3. Diagnosis 4. Analysis 5. Evaluation 6. Feedback Assessing Organizational Communication: Strategic Communication Audits
Chapter 1 Communication Audits as Organizational Development END ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/20/2008 for the course COMM 425 taught by Professor Johnson during the Spring '08 term at Ashford University.
- Spring '08
- Organizational Communication