Communication in the Planning Process

The reality concerning lines of authority and responsibility in organizational life, however, is almost always unclear, particularly as organizations have become larger and more complex (Perrow, 1984). As work is divided and compartmentalized and as employees become increasingly specialized, and even remote, a clear and unequivocal understanding regarding who is accountable for what is reduced. As Jackall (1988) notes, the segmented work patterns of modern, bureaucratic organizations have served to cut off action from responsibility (p. 131). In organizations then, “who caused what is a matter of rival interpretations” (Petress & King, 1990). Responsibility is, therefore communicatively and retrospectively constructed as participants argue that they are more or less responsible for particular outcomes.

“Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofits Organizations.” San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

More recently, however, questions concerning the ethics and values of organizational communication have received more attention in the research literature (Seeger, 1997; Cheney, 1999; Conrad, 1993). Propelled in part by cultural and interpretive metaphors of organizational communication inquiry (Putnam, 1982; Putnam & Fairhurst, 2001), efforts to detail the moral dilemmas organizations face (Jackall, 1988) as well as dramatic instances of ethical failure such as the EXXON Valdez oil spill, the Archer Daniels Midland price fixing scandal, and the continued deception and consumer harm caused by tobacco companies, these views situate questions of right and wrong more centrally in organizational communication inquiry.


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The purpose of this discussion is to demonstrate effective communication using one scenario.

Ethical issues are often positioned in opposition to the more important questions of organizational profitability. Value questions are secondary questions only considered when economic goals are met. In fact, a significant body of work suggests that many managers view their jobs as requiring basic moral compromise (Deetz, 1995; Jackall, 1988). Recently, however, some communication scholars have suggested that issues of ethical communication are not entirely disconnected from larger questions of ethics. Heath (1999) for example, suggests that part of the strategic issue management of the organizations should involve maintaining ethical conduct. Stakeholder theory (Deetz, 1995; Freeman, 1984; Freeman & Gilbert, 1987, Strong, Ringer & Taylor, 2001) seeks to broaden the definition of organization beyond the narrow economic interests of stakeholders to all those groups with a stake in the success of the organization. Cheney’s (1999) examination of the Mandragon Cooperatives details the case of a corporate structure that is first grounded in clear and unequivocal set of social values and profitable. Seeger and Ulmer (2001) have described two organizations that in the wake of devastating fires chose to emphasize the well being of workers and the community over immediate short term issues of profitability and economic stability.


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The exercise of power within organizations is one aspect of the exercise of power within the larger social system.62. What are some specific political strategies for power acquisition within organizations?

Strategic Planning Research Assignment: Communication Plan

Active listening strategies such as analysing and displaying non-verbal body language, clarifying meaning and accuracy, expressing understanding for the speaker’s feelings through empathy and moments of silence contribute to effective communication.

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By using a situation in which a native Japanese speaker and an American with a Jewish background as an example to demonstrate communication difficulties could arise in their conversational interaction.