u07a2 Unit 7 Assignment 2

Topics: Organization, Edgar Schein, Employment Pages: 7 (1193 words) Published: April 19, 2015

Wallace Design Group – Responsibility Conflict
Andrea D. Diaz
BUS3050 – Fundamentals of Organizational Communication
Section 10
Andrew Kozak
March 1, 2015


In a small organization, the hiring of new individuals has the potential to have a greater impact on day-to-day interactions in which organizational communication can be observed. More often than not, exactly who does what and for whom, is based arbitrarily on the need of the moment within the organization and one must be flexible when responding to differing demands. The potential for conflict is extremely high and because of the more intimate setting, extremely challenging. The potential for hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and outright interference due to an unwillingness to relinquish a role or include a new hire into the fold is more readily observable when an organization is smaller. In fact, a smaller organization can be said to operate and behave much like a family-unit, with all the pathos and joys of that kind of that intimate grouping. “When new employees are brought into the organization, they need to receive a comprehensive introduction into the proper ways to communicate throughout the organization. Companies that do not include communication training in their new-hire orientation programs will be forced to struggle with new hires who are forced to learn proper communication procedures by a process of hit and miss.” ( http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-communication-problems-workplace-11243.html).

Overview of the Organization and Case Study

Wallace Design Group owned by Kevin Wallace is an architectural services company. The location is in Farmers Branch, Texas. Kent Wallace, the marketing director, resides in California and remotely operates in the office. The organization is very small, yet group communication is very poor. Wallace Design Group is in the process of increasing staff and preparing for the office manager to retire. The former administrative assistant, Shelly is preparing to replace the out-going office manager, Jack and Andrea is the new administrative assistant hired to replace Shelly. They have recently hired a new architect, Kayla. She was hired to replace, Diane, who was fired because of performance issues.

Identify and Describe the Situation or Problem


The major problems involve the hand-off job responsibilities. All of the staff that have been with Wallace Design Group have been with company for years. They have developed a pattern of communicating with one another and the new-hires are viewed as threats instead of team members. The “organizational culture formation” theory (Shockley-Zalabak, P., 1999, pgs. 88-89) best applies to this situation. Organizational culture formation, as defined by Edgar Schein, defines the organizational culture as “a pattern of basic assumptions – invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration – that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.” (Shockley-Zalabak, P., 1999, pgs. 88-89). The actions of the employees that have been with company the longest, support Schein’s premise that their shared history has created a consensus of how the company and its employees should relate, hence their unwillingness to embrace new people and new ideas. The important information missing is whether their reactions are based on gender, age, or race. To what extent do these external factors influence their willingness to accept the new hires.


Jack and Shelly have developed an understanding of working with each other and have a long work history. Shelly’s husband at one time was the project manager for Wallace Design Group and still has investments within the company. A lot...

References: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-communication-problems-workplace-11243.html
Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2015). Fundamentals of organizational communication: Knowledge, sensitivity, skills, values (9th ed.). Pearson.
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