COMT 310: Organizational Communication
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COMT 310: Organizational Communication Dimensions of Structure. Structure describes: work roles communication relationships. ‘decision’ is derived from the latin word decidere, which means to cut off. How might this apply to decisions concerning structure?. Class average = 85.

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COMT 310: Organizational Communication Dimensions of Structure

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COMT 310: Organizational Communication

Dimensions of Structure


  • Structure describes:

  • work roles

  • communication relationships


‘decision’ is derived from the latin word decidere, which means to cut off.

How might this apply to decisions concerning structure?


Class average = 85


  • Structure varies by:

  • goals

  • technology

  • environment

  • size

  • key individuals


the alternative to structure is chaos.


  • There are a number of formal structures possible:

  • matrix Aircraft Company

R&D Assembl Market

civilianmilitary commer

Design jet

Build jet

Sell jet


B

  • work teams

A

C

E

D


  • spider plant


  • hierarchy


  • Dimensions of hierarchy:

  • horizontal complexity = specialization


This is more horizontally complex.

Salesperson


Vertical complexity = number of levels

Flat

Salesperson


tall


centrality = degree to which decisions are made at the top of the structure.

  • centralized = at the top

  • decentralized = workers more empowered


  • Span of control

  • narrow


  • wide

narrow vs. wide??


formalization = how well does organization follow chart?

  • formal = follow to the letter.

  • informal = not so stringent


we have an ideological commitment to the intransitory - Pilotta


Emergent communication networks = result of formal and informal communication among those who work together.

It is who you are linked to. . .


  • Differences due to virtual structures

  • Fewer visual cues

  • Isolation allows stealth

  • No “there” there . . . What happens to context?

  • Asymmetrical in terms of time

  • Listening as reading


  • Talking as keyboarding

  • Communicating emotion

  • democracy? participation

  • group think differences?

  • coordination/chaos

  • accountability?


  • Competitiveness?

  • Potential for hegemony (domination)

  • Knowledge construction (negotiation)

  • Story telling

  • Commitment


So,to be more effective at work: develop key relationships in your organization which will allow more control over your situation.


Steve’s network 1998

chancellor

Fiscal vice chancellor

provost

dean

dean

Dean of Students

CAS dean

10 chairs

Steve chair

faculty association president

colleague

colleague

colleague

colleague

steve’s classes


Steve’s network 2008

Student vice chancellor

chancellor

dean

dean

Fiscal vice chancellor

dean

provost

dean

dean

dean

CAS dean

dean

9 chairs

COMT chair

colleague

colleague

colleague

colleague

steve

colleague

colleague

steve’s classes


  • The dean’s job is more complex

  • Steve’s job is less complex

  • Steve has more colleagues = harder to find . . .

  • Steve is not the chair

  • Steve is not the union president and chief negotiator


7+ other deans

chancellor

40+ departmental part-time faculty classes

~ 150 faculty at MSU-B

CAS Dean

6 departmental colleagues

Provost

Another view

steve

Former students

Admin Assoc

~100 students

9 other CAS chairs

8-10 staff

2 other vice chancellors

many colleagues across USA


  • Liaison = connects groups, but doesn’t belong

  • boundary spanners (bridges) = represent group to the outside

  • Isolates = out of luck


  • Why would this university form strategic alliances?

  • Give an illustration

  • The advent of EMOs.


Networked Society: I keep a list of scholars across the country with whom I communicate on a regular basis via the internet.

Sonja Foss

Linda Putnam

Roger Smitter

Larry Frey

Patrice Buzzanell

The late Dwight Conquergood

Mara Adelman


I belong to NCA, which posts 8-10 messages daily relevant to my work. Check it out at:

http://www.natcom.org/

Find your own networks.


For example, I read a message recently which reported that a Roper pole found that 57% of Americans are comfortable communicating with co-workers, and 51% are comfortable communicating with their boss.

What do you think?


MUS University Structure

# of levels?

Span of control?

Formality?

Centrality?

Specialization?


End of Section two


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