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Historical Perspectives on Organizational and Communication Models. Based on Chapter 2, Goodall and Goodall Lynne Dahmen. COM 2301: Advanced Speech. Classical Management Practices. Two major movements Scientific Management (Taylor 1913) Bureaucracy (Weber 1946) Top down Divides labor

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Historical perspectives on organizational and communication models l.jpg

Historical Perspectives on Organizational and Communication Models

Based on Chapter 2, Goodall and Goodall

Lynne Dahmen

COM 2301: Advanced Speech

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Classical Management Practices

  • Two major movements

    • Scientific Management (Taylor 1913)

    • Bureaucracy (Weber 1946)

  • Top down

  • Divides labor

  • Seeks rules for performance

  • Power in Management

  • Inflexible structure/hierarchy

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Scientific Management (Taylor 1913)

  • Sought rules and scientific « laws » for work output

  • Undertook time/motion studies

  • Manager’s role includes:

    • Plan the work

    • Organize tasks

    • Set goals

    • Coordinate work

    • Control workers

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Bureaucratic Approach (Weber 1946)

  • Sought « standards of fairness »

  • Divided labor for efficiency

  • Rules governed performance

  • Separation of personal and professional lives

  • Lack of preferential treatment

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Progress: The Human Relations Movement (1930’s-1950’s)

  • Hawthorne Studies (1930’s)

    • Communication can improve productivity

    • Employee’s feelings/attitudes affected output

    • Flexibility and growth inspired productivity

  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1940’s-1950’s)

    • Lower order vs. Higher order needs

    • Emphasis on motivation

    • Higher needs met=more motivation=production

    • Organizational learning

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Change in Communication Models

Information Transfer


Transactional Model

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Today’s Approach: Systems Thinking

  • Awareness of interdependence of levels of organization

  • Need for communicated and shared/negotiated goals

  • Role of feedback in productivity

  • Role of environment (within and outside of company)

  • Need for openness/flexibility in accomplishing tasks

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Modern Communication Models (Senge 1994)

  • Communication flows through networks

  • Decisions making-contingent on situation

  • Open communication=healthy communication environment

  • Companies as Learning Organizations

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Aspects of Organizational Culture

  • Communication habits and norms

  • Dress

  • Workspace organization

  • Décor

  • Behavior

  • Process oriented

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Classical Approaches to Power in Organizations (French & Raven 1968)

  • Reward

  • Coercive

  • Referent

  • Expert

  • Legitimate

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Systems Approach to Power

  • Power based on knowledge or relationship abilities (savvy)

  • Power located in relationships

  • Exertion of influenct

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Human Relations Approach to Power

  • Relation between manager and employee transactional

  • Cooperative

  • Seeks feedback

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Cultural Approach to Power

  • Power is located in struggles

  • Over vs. covert power

  • Shared power

  • Democratic

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Power & Democracy (Deetz, 1995)

  • Concept of ‘ownership’ in company

  • Responsibility for self-management

  • Information is power

  • Social structure/power structure seen from bottom up

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Using Organizational Narratives

  • Organizational stories—circulate ‘how things are done’

  • Work-hate narratives—attempts to find equity or feel better (revenge??)

  • Narrative recovery—personal perspectives on organization

  • Organizational change—personal accounts of change

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Types of Organizational Communication

  • Phatic (mindless) communication

  • Ordinary conversation

  • Skilled/professional communication

  • Personal narratives

  • Dialogue

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What is mindful communication?

  • With purpose and strategy

  • Analyzes situation

  • Actively thinks of communication options

  • Adapts message to audience/situation

  • Evaluates feedback (criteria for success)

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When does it occur? (Motley 1992)

  • Conflicting message goals

  • Possible negative consequences

  • Time delays (often related to attempts to discern meaning)

  • Unique or problematic communication situations

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Describing a Learning Organization

  • Systems thinking

  • Personal Mastery

  • Mental Models

  • Shared Vision

  • Team learning

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Dialogue as Aspect of a Learning Organization

  • Recognizes power in feedback and com. systems

  • Fosters conscious communication

  • Can respect difference

  • Appreciates cultural experience

  • Balances individual and group concerns

  • Can relieve and reduce tension among individuals and groups

  • Rewards skilled communication on a regular basis

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Group Work

Read the scenario described on pages 59-60 in your book, about trying to integrate a new team member.

Review the theories of communication discussed in the chapter and in class and think about which theory might provide a positive model to try to ‘bring John on board’ so that he shares the team’s vision and can add to the group’s productivity.

Think about some suggestions and be prepared to discuss them with your group during the next class.

Each group will be asked to submit their findings for a group grade.

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