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?. Structure varies by: goals

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Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

COMT 310: Organizational Communication

Dimensions of Structure


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • Structure describes:

  • work roles

  • communication relationships


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

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

How might this apply to decisions concerning structure?


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • Structure varies by:

  • goals

  • technology

  • environment

  • size

  • key individuals


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

the alternative to structure is chaos.


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • There are a number of formal structures possible:

  • matrix Aircraft Company

R&D Assembl Market

civilianmilitary commer

Design jet

Build jet

Sell jet


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

B

  • work teams

A

C

E

D


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • spider plant


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • hierarchy


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • Dimensions of hierarchy:

  • horizontal complexity = specialization


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

This is more horizontally complex.

Salesperson


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

Vertical complexity = number of levels

Flat

Salesperson


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

tall


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

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

  • centralized = at the top

  • decentralized = workers more empowered


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • Span of control

  • narrow


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • wide

narrow vs. wide??


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

formalization = how well does organization follow chart?

  • formal = follow to the letter.

  • informal = not so stringent


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

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

It is who you are linked to. . .


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • 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


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • Talking as keyboarding

  • Communicating emotion

  • democracy? participation

  • group think differences?

  • coordination/chaos

  • accountability?


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • Competitiveness?

  • Potential for hegemony (domination)

  • Knowledge construction (negotiation)

  • Story telling

  • Commitment


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

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


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

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


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

Steve’s network 2005

chancellor

dean

Fiscal vice chancellor

temp provost

T dean

T dean

Student vice chancellor

dean

Temp CAS dean

T dean

9 chairs

COMT chair

colleague

colleague

colleague

colleague

steve

colleague

colleague

steve’s classes


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • The dean’s job is more complex

  • Too many interim administrators

  • 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


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

5 other deans

chancellor

35 departmental part-time faculty

~ 150 faculty at MSU-B

CAS Dean

7 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


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • Liaison = connects groups, but doesn’t belong

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

  • Isolates = out of luck


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • Why would this university form strategic alliances?

  • Give an illustration

  • The advent of EMOs.


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

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


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

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.


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

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

MUS University Structure


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

  • # of levels?

  • Span of control?

  • Formality?

  • Centrality?

  • Specialization?


Comt 310 organizational communication dimensions of structure

End of Section two


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