Organizational Script/ Credo
The use of an organizational script in managing organizational behavior can be effective if applied consciously and ethically. Otherwise, it is bound to come to a disastrous end like in the case of Volkswagen and many other companies that have previously attempted to use an organizational script. For instance, Johnson & Johnson Managing Director (Mr. Burke) once desired to do away with the corporate credo as he realized that most of the management personnel merely looked upon the script as part of the normal operational aspects. From this perspective, it appears that organizational scrip can only be applicable where it is created with a clear conscience and where the intention is honorable. The use of a corporate credo can thus be considered appropriate when the communication attached to it is positive and directed towards the achievement of organizational vision in an ethical manner.
The use of an organizational credo can be good to an organization in guiding behavior. This is because through the credo, organizational employees are made aware of the organizational goals and thus can align their own personal goals to those of the organization. This can result in continued and sustainable growth as the employees tend to adhere to organizational needs and demands. Having clear goals, as provided in the organizational script, helps to place people on the same path within the organization. When members work towards achieving the same objective, it gets easy to communicate with others, as well as to give reports and fine tune them to the organizational progress. The employees can also give information about practices that can help them to achieve the outlined goals at minimum negative impact to the organization.
At the same time, organizational scripts also offer guidelines on dealing with specific occurrences in the organization. Moves such as addressing criminal tendencies and unethical practices can be well outlined within the organizational script. Although it is presumed that most organizations that rely on an organizational script are based on bureaucratic practices and the scripts are mainly used to cover up unethical practices, the scripts can be used to encourage positive behavior. For instance, when the organizational script clearly outlines the punishment meted against corporate offenders. According to a study conducted by Gioia and Poole (1984), organizational script offers an opportunity for the organizational managers to gain an understanding of the cognitive processes that are ongoing in the organizational context. Through understanding the employees, managers can thus predict their expectations and thus make changes in line with the cognitive functioning of the employees’ cognitive processes.
While organizational scripts can be useful in guiding organizational behavior through the goals and the organizational practices, it can be non- effective if not accompanied by matching communication. From the perspective developed by Useem (2016), organizational management can negate the positive impacts of the organizational script if their communication goes contrary to the expectations derived from the script. For instance, when the management actions counter what the credo recommends, the employees may lose respect for the managers and also ignore the script. Failure to maintain the organizational stand through the script and communication can therefore result in negative outcomes of the script. It can thus be concluded that organizational scripts can be effective for guiding organizational behavior yet this depends on effective communication.
Unit II: Article Review
In ‘The “Ottawa way” Thrives’, the authors purpose to explain how the Ottawa county leaders managed to strategically plan and accomplish a method of improving customer services delivery to the citizens of the county. The article begins by highlighting the differences in the ways companies such as Starbucks, Disney and the Four Seasons Resort practice their customer centric service delivery and that in which the county of Ottawa and every other county does its work. In particular, the author asserts that from the onset of the program, it was not clear why the county needed to engage in training to foster customer centric service delivery yet the county government enjoyed monopoly in the provision of its services. As the article develops however, it becomes clear that the county government was not mistaken in its plan to enhance customer delivery. The author of the article does well to begin his argument and report from introduction given. From this point, one can clearly see that there is something unique in what Ottawa County leadership plans. One can thus question the authenticity of the plans and subsequently develop the desire to acquire more information regarding the progress of the county plans.
From the story developed by Vanderberg and Capodagli (2015), it clearly comes out that the Ottawa county leadership based all forms of development on an effective and strategic plan. The plans made by the county were progressive as well as stage wise. For instance, the authors clearly explain that the training process began with the identification of organizational goals, objectives as well as vision statements. From this, it could then be understood that change was needed in order to bridge the gap between the position of the county at the time and their desired position. The authors clearly describe the progress in the manner through which each stage was accomplished beginning with the training of leaders and their distribution. It can thus be said that the authors managed to provide an in-depth description of the Ottawa Way and how it was accomplished. From the beginning of the article, it is clear that the authors desired to give detailed information on the same.
The authors recognize the imperative taken by the county government and the importance placed on ‘The Ottawa Way’ through recognition of the fact that enhancing customer service would not be an activity that depends on being checked off but instead requires an organization- wide cultural change. The author also reports on how the county leadership planned to drive a cultural exchange beginning with the leaders in the organization. The trainings were conducted progressively from the leaders through to the other employees in the organization. This clearly paints the picture of an intensive planning process which entails consideration of the most crucial aspects of organizational growth. The authors also highlight how the county of Ottawa borrowed from the culture of Disney and Starbucks at every other stage of progress. Through this, they managed to list the resource requirements at every stage of the cultural change process and to allocate the resources satisfactorily. As expected, the efforts made by the county government bear fruit at the end of the process through a change into more effective customer services. It can thus be argued that even though the authors may not have participated directly in the entire plan, the detailed descriptions given can be used as an indication of how organizational planning can be influenced by communication.
Unit III: Communication as a method of conflict resolution
In an article by Hener (2010), the role of communication in organizational conflicts is clearly outlined. The author develops the thesis that communication can be crucial in organizational conflict management due to many reasons. As foundation to his argument, Hener asserts that different types of conflicts may exist in an organization. Some of the conflicts include vertical conflicts, horizontal conflicts, role conflicts and behavioral predispositions among others. These conflicts arise due to various reasons and as Hener reports, understanding personal differences can be the only way in which the conflicts can be resolved. As such, communication is imperative in bringing about changes where there are organizational conflicts. Hener however opines that the role of communication in conflicts can be three fold. First is that communication can initiate or escalate conflicts. This is whereby communication is misinterpreted or used negatively to rouse anger among others. Alternatively, communication can prevent conflicts where they are impending or end conflicts where they are already on-going.
The argument made by Hener can be taken to correspond to those presented by Rahim. According to Rahim (2000), conflicts in the organizational context can have both positive and negative outcomes. When the conflict is triggered by the need for changed and accompanied by the type of communication that prevents or ends conflicts, an organization can benefit from positive outcomes such as improved decision making, enhanced innovation and finding alternative solutions to organizational problems. On the other hand, the negative outcomes of conflicts may include reduced communication, increased job stress and escalated distrust among the employees. In essence, communication is recognized as having the potential to make a change in the organizational conflict management. Hener recommends communication strategies such as upward, horizontal, informal or formal communication for the resolution of organizational conflicts.
From Hener’s argument and comparison with Rahim’s work, it can be said that communication in an organizational set up can help to reduce the potential of conflict and also to end conflicts where they are already occurring. However, the use of communication should be conducted with care since wrong communication can result in conflict escalation. Using assertive communication where everyone stands for their own rights can be an effective process for conflict resolution. On the other hand, when no one wished to compromise, such assertive communication can result in even greater damage and conflict escalation. Hener, just like Rahim, manages to communicate to the readers that placing value on organizational communication is not always the right thing to do in any conflict but the type of communication involved is determinant of the outcomes that would be received. He further asserts that communication and conflicts in an organizational setting are inseparable and communication is always the driver of conflict resolution procedures.
Based on Hener’s argument, one can say that communication, in spite of being effective for conflict resolution, can also be driven by conflict. The mentioned interdependence is such that in an on- going conflict, the hurts already caused can result in negative communication. This in turn fuels further escalation of the conflict. In such cases, intervention strategies such as arbitration can be most applicable for conflict resolution.
Unit IV: Communication in an Organization
Communication has been described as a mode of conflict resolution in any organization. However, this is not the only purpose of organizational communication. In an article by Skidmore- Williams (2013) effective communication between staff members and the managers is described as stemming from the identification of specific needs and understanding the audience for which the communication is intended. Communication across the organizational hierarchy can help to offer guidance, pass instructions as well as enhance compliance with organizational principles. In the long run, these are the factors which contribute to organizational success. Through communication, managers can engage their employees in fostering a strong organizational culture.
Hener (2010) suggests that horizontal communication in an organization is one of the tools that can be applied in embracing creativity and innovativeness in an organization. Hener argues that when new employees come into an organization, the join their position in the hierarchy and can then advocate for better strategies through development of new ideas, innovation and organizational change. At the same time, the existing employees can also educate the new employees on aspects of organizational culture. In this way, the new employees get assimilated into the strong organizational culture and eventually share their values, creations and ideas with the organization. This can only be achieved where there is effective horizontal communication. Organizational conflict is said to hinder constant organizational growth. As such, Hener suggests that where there is effective informal communication, interdependencies, collaboration and team work are the drivers of organizational communication. In the cases where the organization clearly communicates its goals, common organizational goals help to eliminate interpersonal differences and to focus on self hence improving the organizational performance.
Communication in the organizational setting can be crucial in different contexts in which it improves trust between employees and also enhances organizational engagement. In workshops for example, communication is focused on informing the employees of the objectives of the workshop as well as expectations. Effective communication includes telling the employees about the intention for holding workshops which is to improve skills rather than to condemn a few people for the wrongs they commit. During workshops, leaders can be trained on new skills and given the mandate to pass the information received to other employees. When all the members of the organization have been trained, it becomes easier to embrace and to manage organizational change. Moreover, when managers pass on the information they have received to the employees, trust can be built within the organization, across different hierarchical positions as the employees get to know that their managers have their development at heart. They also get to know that they are working with similar goals in mind. This can help to increase their trust in the management and also to be more involved in organizational decision making. Workshops are most applicable where a new concept needs to be introduced into an organization. The members of the organization can be trained in series.
Employee surveys are also important contexts in which employee trust and engagement can be earned. In employee surveys, the management aims at getting feedback from their employees on various issues. This can be effective in enhancing trust since the employees become aware that the management values their well being and satisfaction. It is also through such surveys that the organization can understand the needs of the employees and act on them to provide motivation. Engagement in employee surveys can help and organization to cater for the needs of all employees and subsequently motivate them towards becoming more in tune with organizational goals. Employee surveys can be useful where a decline in productivity has been observed and the management desires to recognize and address the challenge faced by the organization’s employees in delivery.
Unit V: Organizational Campaign- Procter and Gamble Company
Procter and Gamble Company has been very active in marketing its products through its website as well as through various social media platforms. In particular, one of the latest campaigns held by the company was the “Thank you, mum” campaign which was held in April to June 2016. The campaigns were aimed at promoting various baby care products such as pampers, wipes and others (P&G). Procter and Gamble Company is a manufacturer of household products such as diapers, body oil and various other baby products. To effectively market its products to its target market, P&G focuses on social media such as Face book where it conducts the campaign with various incentives in place. In the “thank you, mum” campaign, the company brings out the impression that its baby products have unique formulations that make babies more comfortable than similar products in the market. The use of Face book as a marketing tool can thus be argued to contribute significantly to organizational success. This is because Face book offers a unique opportunity to bring together so many people making it a strategic marketing tool. At P& G, the use of social media in marketing comes about as a supplement to other advertisement strategies. This can be based on the premise that social media may not reach the entire target population.
Gioia, D. and Poole, P. (1984). Scripts in Organizational Behavior. Academy of Management Review, 9(3): 449- 459.
Hener, G. (2010). Communication and Conflict Management in Local Public Organizations. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 30E: 132- 141.
P& G. ‘News Release’. P&G Website. Retrieved from http://news.pg.com/press-release/pg-corporate-announcements/strong-moms-inspire-latest-pg-thank-you-mom-campaign
Rahim, M.A. (2000). Managing Conflict in Organizations. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Skidmore- Williams, K. (2013). Communication Provides Foundation for Being a Best Place to Work. Public Manager, 42(2): 52-56.
Useem, J. (2016). What was Volkswagen Thinking? The Atlantic Monthly, 317(1): 26-28.
Vanderberg, A., & Capodagli, B. (2015). The “Ottawa way” thrives. Public Management, 97(6), 14-18.