Internal Communication: Cerner Corporation Case

Topics: Communication, Emotional intelligence, Communication theory Pages: 9 (2302 words) Published: October 16, 2010



Philip Chao-Li Kao

Course Code: MGMT2002
Submission Date: 30th September, 2010
Lecturer: Ray Durham
Word Count: 2029
Executive Summary- 1 -

1.Introduction- 2 -

2.Interpersonal Skills in Communications- 2 -

2.1.Understanding Emotional Competence- 3 -

2.2.Taking Feedback- 4 -

3.Effective Organisation Communication- 5 -

3.1.Use The Right Communication Channel- 5 -

3.2.Organisation Structure And Communication Flow- 6 -

4.Conclusions- 7 -

5.Recommendations- 7 -

6.Reference- 8 -

Executive Summary
This report shows a critical analysis of the Cerner Cooperation case study from the perspective of effective organisational communication.

The case was about the CEO of Cerner Cooperation, Neal Patterson who sent out a work memo through email and accidently started a firestorm both in the organisation and the business world after the message was leaked out to the lower level employees and then onto a Yahoo message board.

This report examines and identifies several critical factors which lead to the communication breakdown in the Cerner Cooperation case study. The goal of the report is to provide useful recommendations which could improve the organisational communication to be more effective.

The critical analysis of this report covers interpersonal skills, communication channel and organisational structure which have a great potential to influence the way people communicate within an organisation. In the end, it is strongly recommended to implement ‘bad news sandwich’ approach, diagonal communication structure as well as culture of feedback, and it is expected to improve the success of organisation communication in the Cerner Cooperation.

1. Introduction

Communication is always playing as a very important role in a successful organisation. People come from different backgrounds are likely to have different perceptions. In a large organisation, communication could be very complex and it could be even more complex as the number of divisions or levels of department increases. In order to communicate effectively and efficiently as a manager or a leader in a large organisation, it is important to select an appropriate communication channel with proper language and to minimise the noise level between sender(s) and receiver(s). Sometimes it might involve some degrees of interpersonal and social skills.

The modern telecommunication and internet technology has shaped people’s communication experience after late 1990s. The convenient and efficient way of transfer information through out electronic format has been largely integrated into many organisations. However, there is still a gap between to achieve an effective communication and to communicate efficiently. In the case study of “The Cerner Corporation”, it provides some classic examples of how organisational communication failed badly by conducting business communication unprofessionally with recently advanced telecommunication technology.

The aim of this report is to exam the case study as a negative model and identifies critical issues from the organisational communication perspective. And then it provides a critical analysis which links back to the communication theories and concepts. At the end of the report, it presents recommendation of how to improve the quality of organisational communication within the business environment as well as what best to avoid.

2. Interpersonal Skills in Communications

Perhaps Mr. Patterson did not expect all the employees and the public will see the work memo. Perhaps it just some black humours between him and his directive managers. Or maybe he had a bad week and suddenly he lost his control. No matter what was the reason, there were full of strong emotional words and...
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