“Bridging the Two Worlds—The Organizational Dilemma”
When the new manager of the customer service group began working at ABC Limited, communication usually flowed through proxies, with the top management using selected employees to pass on messages to other employees at the shop floor. Inasmuch as the shop floor employees played a very crucial role in the company, they were not involved in the daily meetings and they did not directly interact with such superior employees, as the vice-president of the company, George. These indirect communications often resulted to misunderstandings that in turn demoralized junior employees, such as John. The lack of communication between senior company employees and their subordinates created a series of negative issues that would further affect the relationship ...view middle of the document...
The barriers identified in this case involve encoding, transmission, and responding.
Lack of sensitivity in this case counts as the first barrier. The management does not adapt communications for shop floor employees; “the directions in the memos were complex” (para.3). This makes messages to be decoded or interpreted inaccurately. The second barrier lies in transmission, which in this case can be seen as a channel barrier. Despite that managers work in the same physical location as shop floor employees, they send memos. This means of transmission is not the right channel for workers, who would probably prefer a more direct and interactive means of communication to avoid ambiguities and misunderstandings. This would also call for immediate response to determine if the message was understood as intended. The memos were also longer than necessary for John, a shop floor employee.
The third communication barrier evident in this case pertains to the response part of the communication process. Indirect communication (through memos and proxies) provides no immediate channel for feedback, but the management expects workers to act according to the communicated messages. Besides, since John and George are not comfortable seeing each other, it is difficult for John to respond to the memos. To improve the flow of information, the new manager of ABC’s customer service group realized he had to know the people he was working with to improve communication as well as work efficiency. He spent much time with the shop floor workers, to learn how they worked, understand their problems, and know what they needed. He also started to improve the communication between managers and shop floor employees by acting as a messenger. The new manager’s efforts improved the flow of information in the company because of the fact that ABC Limited managed to reduce new order turnarounds from four to five weeks to one or two days.