Managerial Communication, Case Analysis A
“Every word counts” is an article written by Patricia S. Eyres with the purpose or aim of discussing the importance of structuring business communications in such a way that these communications cannot be used as evidence to pin down the person making such communications. Due to the complex nature of work-related disputes, many of them tend to end up in court. This is as true for claims of unfair dismissal as it is of trials for corporate fraud. In both instances, managers may have to answer questions about their written communications at the time when the incidences like unfairness or corporate fraud happen (Eyres, 2003).
Communication Problems and their Objectives
The main communication problems are the repercussions that accompany or come after the issuance of some vital statements. It doesn’t matter the time, but it can happen even several decades down the line as in the case of an internal memo in general motors and written email on antivirus in Microsoft.
The other problem that faces many companies in terms of communication is destroying evidence by what is known as document shredding. This becomes very problematic in court if it is found that there was destruction of evidence.
The solution to avoiding company documents working against the company is performing what is called effective documentation. The three main effective documentation as a solution to communication problem include: First of all, the author emphasizes that corporate communications should be made with accuracy and precision, to preclude the possibility of being taken out of context in a courtroom setting. Secondly, the author advises managers to avoid the use of slang, technical jargon and negative connotations which may be misinterpreted by people who are not familiar with the industry (including judges and juries).
The author also cautions managers to know the subject matter of their communications, and to avoid the use of legal terms in a non-legal sense, to prevent misinterpretation. Managers should not use negative labels without justification, and should define or clarify technical terms involving their work, for the benefit of third party laymen. Another very important action is for managers to respond in writing to all written correspondence, after giving due consideration to their responses, especially when using e-mail, which is used in both formal and informal communications.
Finally, the authors insist that managers should pay attention to confidentiality, by limiting the availability of sensitive documents, and by understanding the boundaries of attorney-client privilege. Finally, the author calls for managers to be consistent in their documentation techniques, to defend against counter claims of discrimination.
Managerial Communication, Case Analysis B
The mobile phone industry is increasingly competitive, with all the major players fighting each other for market share. It witnessed phenomenal growth during the 1990s, but this was followed by a sudden downturn in the early 2000s. Despite this, Nokia was able to rise to the position of industry leader, and to experience continued growth even as its competitors struggled during the downturn. Nokia’s enviable position is credited to Nokia’s experience in industry analysis, which contributes to its strategy making, according to Carral & Kajanto (2008).
Communication skills reflected in the case
The authors state that Nokia’s change in strategy in anticipation of the downturn was influenced by their corporate communication. The four key communication skills applied include fast acting, early market exploration, focusing on the future and keeping up with technology. The Nokia company has mainly invested in this key concept to keep its amazing performance. Fast acting generally involves taking of strategic actions as fast as possible before the communication goes too far. This is like a recall of statements thought to be of detrimental to the company. It can be achieved by communicating a drastic message to contradict the one made earlier. In my own self analysis of my communication abilities and weaknesses, this can only be possible only if proper channels of communication network are set ready for recall of statements. The other strategy is exploration of the market early enough before other competitors. Ideas and value statements should be communicated to the target market early enough so that the competitors don’t use the same ideas to out compete you. The third one is being consistent. All the records, the documents and the products should be consistent any form of inconsistency should be communicated as fast as possible for rectification. The fourth communication competency is keeping up with technology and at the same time focusing on what the customers are likely to demand in future,. This needs a good communication strategy between the customers and the company by maintaining good customer relation. Customer relation is achieved by transparent form of communication.
Managerial Communication, Case Analysis C
Another instance of the impact of managerial communications involves the use of e-mail within the office. In the landmark case of The Guard Publishing Company d/b/a The Register Guard and Eugene Newspaper Guild, decided by the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) which ruled “that an employer did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by maintaining a policy that prohibits employee use of the employer’s e-mail system for “non-job-related solicitations” (Lavin & De Michele, 2008, p. 21).
The issue in this case was the use of a newspaper’s (The Guard Publishing Company/The Register Guard) internal e-mail system to send union solicitations. The Register Guard had implemented a policy, known as the CSP (Communications Systems Policy), which prohibited employees from using the company’s e-mail system to engage in union organizing activities. Allegedly, an employee contravened this policy by sending three e-mails in May and August 2000 to employees, encouraging them to attend union events. This was in contravention of the CSP. The question before the NLRB was whether the e-mails had been contrary to Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.
There were two possible interpretations of the e-mails. The first one was to treat employee-to-employee e-mails as face-to-face communications (the latter are allowed under Section 7), or to treat them as union solicitations using employer-owned equipment (which are not allowed under Section 7 and the CSP).
In deciding whether the Register Guard had been discriminatory in its enforcement of the CSP, by allowing employees to make non-work related communications over its e-mail system, yet prohibiting the sending of union solicitations over the same system, the NLRB could have followed its own precedent that all non- official communications should be treated in the same way. However, the NLRB chose to depart from its precedent by deciding that discrimination meant the “unequal treatment of equals,” and that union solicitations were not equal to charitable solicitations and workplace communications, which were allowed in the workplace, therefore the union e-mails were unlawful.
As a result of this ruling, companies have to re-examine their e-mail policies, and, instead of banning all non-work related e-mails, which would be considered draconian, they should find ways of restricting workplace e-mails to those which directly have a bearing on the company.
Carral, R. & Kajanto, M. (2008). Nokia: a case study in managing industry downturn. Journal of Business Strategy 29 (1), 25-33.
de Geus, A. (1997). The living company. Harvard Business Review 75 (2), 51-9.
Eyres, P.S. (2003). Every Word Counts. Retrieved on 18 May 2010, from www.supplyht.com.
Lavin, H.S. & De Michele, E.E. (2008). NLRB Upholds Employer’s Email Policy Prohibiting Non-Job-Related Solicitations. Employee Relations Law Journal . 34 (1), 88.