ch13 - Chapter 13. Organizational Communication1 By Kathryn...

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Ch 13 Organizational Communication 06.08.02.doc 06.08.02 Chapter 13. Organizational Communication 1 By Kathryn A. Baker Managers have traditionally spent the majority of their time communicating in one form or another (meetings, face-to-face discussions, memos, letters, e-mails, reports, etc.). Today, however, more and more employees find that an important part of their work is communication, especially now that service workers outnumber production workers and research as well as production processes emphasize greater collaboration and teamwork among workers in different functional groups. Moreover, a sea-change in communication technologies has contributed to the transformation of both work and organizational structure. For these reasons, communication practices and technologies have become more important in all organizations, but they are perhaps most important in knowledge-intensive organizations and sectors and, as such, are of great significance to science organizations and to public science management. The study of organizational communication is not new, but it has only recently achieved some degree of recognition as a field of academic study. It has largely grown in response to the needs and concerns of business. The first communication programs were typically located in speech departments, but most business schools now include organizational communication as a key element of study. The study of organizational communication recognizes that communication in organizations goes far beyond training managers to be effective speakers and to have good interpersonal communication skills. Moreover, it recognizes that all organizations, not just business organizations, have communication needs and challenges. The field of organizational communication is highly diverse and fragmented, as evidenced by results of literature searches on the topic, textbooks in the area, and the Harvard Business Review’s (1993) compilation of its communication articles, The Articulate Executive . It spans communication at the micro, meso, and macro levels; formal and informal communications; and internal organizational communication practices (newsletters, presentations, strategic communications, work direction, performance reviews, meetings) as well as externally directed communications (public, media, inter-organizational). Innovation, organizational learning, knowledge management, conflict management, diversity, and communication technologies are also addressed. As a new academic discipline, organizational communication is struggling to develop and convey some sense of coherency across these many areas. In addition to its fragmented nature, organizational communication, perhaps more than any other aspect of organizational theory and practice, has been subject to dramatic change. Before 1920, communication in small organizations was largely informal. As organizations increased in size, formal top-down communication became the main concern of organizational managers. Organizational communication in today’s organizations has not only become far more complex
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ch13 - Chapter 13. Organizational Communication1 By Kathryn...

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