Case study: Bridging The Two Worlds - The Organizational Dilemma What are the barriers to effective communications in Aluminium Elements Corp and how were they addressed? What would you do differently? GSM 5101 Organizational Behaviour Page 2
Communication refers to the process in which information is transmitted and understood between two or more people. The word "understood" is emphasized because the transmitting of the sender's meaning to other people is the essence of good communication. In the model of communication, there are various channels and barriers (noise) that can become the factors of communication effectiveness. 1.1 Introduction to communication
Figure 1 Communication Model
Figure 1 refers to the communication model. Firstly, communication starts when a sender has a message which he intends to send to the receiver. The sender will encode the message and transmit the message. In this process, sender will choose the channel of GSM 5101 Organizational Behaviour Page 3
communication through which the message is sent to the receiver. These channels may include voice, body language, the social media, electronic gadgets, and so on. However, ‘noise’ may occur during the transmission of message and this can become barriers to the communication. These barriers can be psychological, social or structural and can affect the clarity of the intended message. When the receiver receives the message from the sender, he will decode the message in order to understand it. If the receiver wishes to respond the message, the same communication process will take place. Either way, the ‘noise’ will negatively affect the meaning of the conveyed message. 1.2 Case summary
The case describes the experience of William Todorovic who was just appointed as the manager of AEC's customer service group. More specifically, this case describes the communication problem that existed between different departments in AEC i.e. the company management, office staffs, and shop floor workers. Firstly, the shop floor workers appeared to be less friendly with the office staff and the company management because they felt that both the office staff and company management do not care about their feelings and opinions. This can be seen in the way the management excluded the shop floor workers in the daily production meeting, and the fact that the management have their own separate lunch rooms, bath rooms, and enjoy other perks that the shop floor workers do not have. These seemed to have negatively affected the relationship between the floor workers and the office staff. Besides that, the communication between the top management and the shop floor workers was also not really effective. William's superior, George, for example, do not like to confront one of the shop floor worker, John, directly, and instead, he sent a long memo to John that was difficult for him to understand. Another machine worker, Tony, has certain ideas about the office staffs. He thought that the office staffs only cared about schedules but not the shop floor workers. GSM 5101 Organizational Behaviour Page 4
William was trying to address these problems by listening to the shop floor workers and try to understand their requests and demands. This seemed to have a positive effect whereby, the employees became friendlier and began to accept William as one of their own. Members of other departments also began to rely on him to deliver messages to the shop floor workers. Meanwhile, John has made a significant contribution in the improvement of the scheduling job on the one related to the aluminium slitter. William had made this known to George, his superior. William has also suggested that they should award some sort of promotion to John. George decided that John should attend a management skills seminar which meant that John he would promoted. However, John misunderstood the decision by George and thought that the management did not...