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Organizational Communication Week 1: Background of Organizational Communication Theories

by: Mariah Tucker

Organizational Communication Week 1: Background of Organizational Communication Theories COMM 6120-01

Marketplace > Southern Utah University > Communication > COMM 6120-01 > Organizational Communication Week 1 Background of Organizational Communication Theories
Mariah Tucker
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About this Document

This week we discussed the beginning history of organizational communication, and some of the early classical theorists in organizational communication.
Organizational Communication
Dr. Arthur Challis
Class Notes
communication, Organizational sciences




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mariah Tucker on Thursday September 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COMM 6120-01 at Southern Utah University taught by Dr. Arthur Challis in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Organizational Communication in Communication at Southern Utah University.


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Date Created: 09/01/16
Organizational Communication Week 1/2 Notes Founding Organizational Communication Around 100 years ago, organizational communication started as a field of study. Working at a job was very different from the way it is today. Workers didn’t receive benefits, and a majority of the jobs were hard labor. Organizations existed, but the rules and norms were very different from the way they are set up today. Over the course of human history communication went from primarily oral communication to written communication. People began writing down rules, and things they wanted to share with people. Soon people began creating different organizations such as businesses and schools. Professor Challis specifically mentioned that Stanford was created because his son did not get into Harvard. For our assignment this week, Professor Challis asked us to read the first chapter of the book, and answer two of the questions in the back of the book, so we could discuss them in class. The questions are located on page 16 of Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes by Kathrine Miller. In class each of the questions were addressed, and discussed. The discussion highlights are coordinated with the number listed in the book. 1. The main purpose of the discussion was to discuss the way that globalization has changed the overall structure of trade worldwide, and how something in another country can have a big effect on people here in America, because of globalization. One of the students discussed the way that her little farm in New Harmony was affected by a change in China’s trade market, because of the way globalization works. She said that the change made it so the hay they usually sold to China ended up sitting in her barn, because of the change in trade policy. Another student talked about the way that a company he worked for tried to make their employees feel like they are actually a family. We tied that into different ways that companies try to make their employees feel like they are being rewarded effectively for their job. Another student mentioned the diversity training that SUUSA had student body leaders participate in, so they could help students from other parts of the world feel like they had a place at Southern Utah University. One of our students is from the Congo, and she mentioned how trade regulations in Norway have an effect on the market in the Congo. Essentially the discussion established the fact that the global market has an effect on every market in the world, even if they don’t necessarily have a direct trade line with that country, because it is a truly global market. 2. The second question discussion centered on how terrorism has affected the way that we as people maintain security. We discussed the security implements that airports added after 9/11, and why people were willing to accept the added security measures then, but some people have issues with some of the security precautions that TSA is implementing today. We discussed the different reasons such as length of time since something terrible has happened in the United States on a plane. We discussed aspects such as random security checks, and the way that bags are checked before people can actually get on a plane. We discussed different standards in other countries based on their security standards, and the way that terrorism has affected security all over the world. That’s pretty much what you need to know about this discussion. 3. We discussed the nature of globalization, and how people need a lot of different structures and processes to work, because every country runs a little differently. Currency rates aren’t the same, so a set structure needs to be followed for currency rates in each of the countries involved in the process for each purchase or trade. The organizations need to know that the U.S. dollar to yen or Franc to Euro ratio will be the same in each trade. The individual prices may vary, but a system needs to be designed to protect both parties. They make trading across countries safer, and more effective, because all parties involved are aware of the structures that have been set up for global trading. 4. The question wants to know how different forms of organizations handle different things like natural disasters, based on the way they are structured. In natural disasters there are multiple organizations attempting to alleviate the grief and distress that comes with a natural disaster. The rhetorical side of the organization’s communication processes would attempt to identify the best way to solve the problems that people are experiencing. They would discuss things such as what the biggest concern is, and what isn’t as important at the time. They would discuss ways to help people get to a safer place, and how best to relocate people until the area is safe again. The sociocultural facet would look at the different organizations attempting to help in this endeavor, and decide how best to organize help efforts. The critical would take the biggest issues, and find a way to resolve those issues in the most effective manner possible. Each of the different lenses play an important part of the overall effort to solve the problem in the most effective manner, they just look at the problem from a variety of angles. The process doesn’t have a single simple solution, but the different lenses working together makes the whole end result work the way that it is supposed to. We were then asked to discuss the three main organizational theorists mentioned in chapter two of the book. We discussed Fredrick Taylor, Henri Fayol, and Max Weber. The three theorists have slightly different approaches for their idea of how an organization should run. Fredrick Taylor  He believed that there was one correct way to a job, and that there was a correct person for a job. He believed in a clear distinction between management and workers. He believed that workers needed to be showed how to do the job the right way, so the job would always be the same. He believed in setting a pace for work, and the analogy the book used was a brick layer meeting a certain quota, so that quota became the standard for all brick layers. If someone did the job quicker that became the quota, because that worker proved that it could be done. He was a very classical theorist. Henri Fayol  We discussed his style as “one for all and all for one.” He believed in breaking up a job amongst a number of individuals that would report to higher management. He believed in a very clear set of rules and regulations that workers would be expected to follow when working for a company. We talked about the way that he wanted to make employees feel like they were being properly rewarded for the work that they did for the company, so they would feel more inclined to actually work for the company. Fayol was a classical theorist, but his standards were less stringent than Taylor, because he believed in a different motivation for work than Taylor did. Max Weber  We compared Weber’s management style to the way that Hitler and Donald Trump use charisma to convince people to follow them. We discussed the way that people counted as numbers to Weber, and the overall goal was essentially to charm people into doing something, because they felt like they could trust the leader and actually make a difference in the work place. The charismatic approach basically uses flattery to make people feel like their choices are making a positive difference in the work that they do.


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