AOC-Ch13 - Assessing Organizational Communication:...

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Unformatted text preview: Assessing Organizational Communication: Strategic Communication Audits Chapter 13 Phase 5: Final Analysis and Interpretation The Nature of Interpretation "To interpret is to try to make sense of or to understand something in a particular way; as understanding increases, the auditing process becomes worthwhile and valuable." "The process of interpretation requires the construction of an answer that makes practical sense, rather than the discovery of the `right' answer that already exists in the environment." The Nature of Interpretation Eight Steps: 1. Synthesize all data 2. Develop focal areas 3. Identify and define problems 4. Identify organizational criteria for success 5. Consider the organization's stages of development 6. Form tentative conclusions 7. Make client-centered recommendations A Systematic Approach to Interpretation 1. Synthesize All Data Use data from all instruments Reconcile contradictions Welcome Different Points of View Avoid the halo effect Use other auditors' work carefully Keep negative information in perspective A Systematic Approach to Interpretation 1. Develop Focal Areas Brainstorm Allow time; Do not rush Remember that not all problems are communication problems A Systematic Approach to Interpretation 1. Identify & Define Problems or Strengths Make your search comprehensive Determine whether an observation really is a problem Test different ways of characterizing problems Probe the nature of the problems fully A Systematic Approach to Interpretation 1. Identify Criteria of Organizational Effectiveness Organizational comparisons Internal organizational comparisons Comparisons with stated goals Comparisons with past performance Outcomes Desirable characteristics A Systematic Approach to Interpretation 1. Consider the Organization's Stages of Development (Tailor the Interpretation) "...it is important to know what stage of development the organization is in and to realize that each new solution breeds new problems in the long run." "One important implication for the communication auditor is that the same rules do not apply equally to all organizations." (Downs, 1988) A Systematic Approach to Interpretation 1. Consider the Organization's Stages of Development One Size Does Not Fit All Consider the Influence of National Culture A Systematic Approach to Interpretation 1. Form Tentative Conclusions Look At The Implications Of Your Conclusions Check Your Assumptions Use Intuitive Powers Beware Of The False Causeeffect Trap A Systematic Approach to Interpretation 1. Finalize Your Conclusions The final conclusions should reflect strengths as well as weaknesses. They should be general statements, amplified with specific rationales. They should cover only the most important items. A Systematic Approach to Interpretation 1. Make Client-Centered Recommendations Is it practical or workable? Is it desirable? Is it cost efficient? Relation of Theory to Audits Basically, interpretation is a process of constructing theory about organizational communication. In no organizational discipline do scholars have enough "theoretical truth" to make prediction exact. Relation of Theory to Audits Nevertheless, one must use whatever theory one has. The ultimate test of any theory is whether it works, that is, whether it is usable, useful, and relevant when applied. In this sense, communication theories have been applied with great success in communication audits. Assessing Organizational Communication: Strategic Communication Audits Chapter 13 Phase 5: Final Analysis and Interpretation END ...
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