The Significance of Effective Organizational Communication
First of all, let's explain what organizational communication is: It is communication that involves the exchange of messages to express and impart meaning within and between organizations and their environments.
To define an organization, I'll lay down some ground rules (K. MIller, 1999): It is a social group of people who particiate in coordinated activities to achieve specified goals. The activities provide a stucture allowing for the organization's members to deal effective with each other within the organization and its environment. The communication is transactional and symbolic.
There are several current instances in which we see how important organizational communication is.
Immigration is an issue that affects many organizations in the United States. Its prevalence means that the government will need to work with it in creating legislation around jobs, education, and more. Legislators will have to ensure that any policies or laws they create will be sensitive to race, citizenship, labor, and other factors.
As the text states, organizations will have to encourage the right interracial interactions in the workplace because of issues like immigration. Additionally, this preparation and communication will be applicable to other issues now and in the future. Immigration has such a large place in the U.S. economy in general that, whether immigrants directly affect an organization or not, all organizations will have to work to ensure that organizational communication is symbolic and transactional and has a structure that allows for a group of people to participate in activities to achieve goals. Whether this is through diversity training or management or another activity, employers will need to focus on the needs of and relationships between employees. Diversity should be celebrated, not ignored or avoided.
Organizations can’t ignore issues like immigration or else they might fall behind and even fail as workers find themselves dissatisfied with the work environment, and customers see the disjunction within the company. After all, workers need positive interpersonal communication in the workplace, and are even more productive when they have it.
Another example of the role organizations should have in the communication and relationships between its members can be seen in the film "Philadelphia," and also in the military. Effective organization communication could combat the prevalence and effects of discrimination in both situations. The types of discrimination are very similar in the context of organizations. For one, not only is there a lack of education on the groups discriminated against, but there is also a lack of organizational communication with a structure allowing for members to deal effectively with each other, and with positive transactions. Also, the members are not on the same page, moving toward the same organizational goals. Basically, the issues are not just those between the member groups, but also those of the organization itself; organizations should have a focus on the relationships between members. Without a central focus and source of support, an organization’s members cannot work together.
For instance, the way that the partners of Beckett’s firm were allowed to react to his lesion and his diagnosis should not be allowed by an organization; such a claim against him was unfair and only capable of being acted upon because of the structure of the firm. Similarly, the structure and organization of the military does not allow for positive interaction and effective communication; policies like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell certainly don’t encourage those things, and does not take into consideration the unique identities of its members. They are instead pressured to conform to certain behaviors and codes; Beckett was encouraged to hide his homosexuality and his AIDS diagnosis, as gays and lesbians can be in the military. (At least President Obama is looking to overturn that ridiculous policy!)
There is also a general similarity between the two types of discrimination, and that is that people who are capable of doing the same work as other – maybe even better work – are being treated unfairly for one part of their identity. Such discrimination is the result of poor education and inadequate contact and exposure to certain groups, or homosexuals in this case.