Organizational Communication

Organizational Communication Free Essay

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Communication is a key element that influences the success of an organization. Good organizational communication is one of the aspects that provides room for the free flow of information and data within an organization (Ruck and Welch, 2012, p. 295). The importance of efficient interpersonal communication cannot be downplayed in an organization as long as it is the foundation of well-developed organizational communication. In an ideal communication environment, interpersonal communication should be healthy, promoting the exchange of information within the workplace, and ensuring that the members develop interpersonal relationships that are associated with enhanced teamwork (Ruck and Welch, 2012, p. 295). I work in a textile and apparel manufacturing company. Due to the fact that the apparel industry is labor intensive, the company has a large workforce containing about 7,000 employees. There are various factors that affect the quality of interpersonal communications within an organization. The key factors include culture, gender, and age. The following essay will give an in-depth discussion of the mentioned factors on their effect on communication within the company, organizational and management practices, and policies that can affect interpersonal communication within the workforce. In addition, it will discuss the ways of improving communication in the company.



Culture is a set of beliefs, practices, and values that are upheld in a specific social group. Considering the advanced globalization, the movement of people across borders has increased. With provisions for labor mobility under globalization, business organizations tend to source talent in the global market. It is important to highlight that the company I work for consists of about 40 nationalities which shows that the company has used labor mobility in the global market. There are various cultural factors that affect interpersonal and general communication within the organization. The first challenge to communication that rises due to cultural diversity is language. Different cultures around the world speak different languages. Additionally, various nations have national languages. Linking the above to the situation at the textile and apparel company that I work for, it can be acknowledged that the 40 nationalities present communication in the company with a major challenge. Although the company encourages its employees to develop strong English language skills, there still exist challenges with pronunciations, intonations, and expressions that make communication difficult. Besides, there still exist expatriate employees who are not able to communicate in fluent English thus exposing the company to a communication challenge.

It is important to highlight the influence of the cultural dimension on communication at our company. The five cultural dimensions model was developed by Geert Hofstede in the 1970s after he conducted a study on IBM employed in 50 different countries (Minkov and Hofstede, 2011, p.11). The five cultural dimensions have an influence on the way people behave according to various social and cultural values that they hold. The first cultural dimension is power distance. Power distance represents a measure of the inequality between people in power and their subordinates. It illustrates the degree of tolerance that the people out of power have for those in power. With the existence of a dynamic workforce comprising 40 nationalities, it can be acknowledged that there is a need for a balance between high and low power relations to have efficient organizational management in place (Minkov and Hofstede, 2011, p.11). Therefore, it is important to mention the importance of power relations in communication. In low power distance, the subjects will be at ease to communicate their concerns to management thus enhancing good communication.

The second dimension represents a confrontation between individualism and collectivism. Certain cultures have a higher regard for collectivism thus they would encourage interpersonal and general communication within an organization. Likewise, individualism has the effect of encouraging individual work thus discouraging communication. Individualism has the effect of encouraging personal work as opposed to teamwork. Therefore, it does not provide an opportunity for the development of interpersonal and organizational communication (Minkov and Hofstede, 2011, p.12). The third dimension is masculinity versus femininity. Masculinity is an attribute that is associated with success, strength, assertiveness, and speed. On the contrary, femininity is associated with social well-being, cooperation amongst people, and good relationships. There are certain national cultures that exhibit either of the two divides. It is important that organizational management appreciates the orientation of their human resource base to be able to develop good organizational governance and management strategies. The fourth dimension is avoidance of uncertainty. Various national cultures have different tolerance levels for how they deal with anxiety (Minkov and Hofstede, 2011, p.12). Therefore, it is important to incorporate the structures in organizational management that take into consideration the uncertainty avoidance levels of the stakeholders involved. Last is the long-term orientation dimension whereby certain cultures are more oriented toward having short-term achievements while others prefer provisions for long-term fulfillment. Such variations may be evidenced in how employees react to contract and full-time employment.

Human resource management policies have the potential to make the most significant influence on culture and, consequently, on communication. Considering the current globalized business world, it has become imperative for human resource managers to have in place international human resource management practices that incorporate diversity management amongst other issues (Farndale, Scullion, and Sparrow, 2010, p.169). The key to diversity management in an organization is the development of a language policy. In the event that several nationalities are involved, organizational management encourages the use of other common languages in addition to the official corporate language. Moreover, the company provides language training for those that are not fluent in the official corporate language. It is important that human resource management implements policies in place that enable the employees involved to appreciate each other’s culture (B?cker and Poutsma, 2010, p. 830). The stakeholders involved can acknowledge the contributions made by their peers and appreciate their backgrounds and values. Therefore, it is essential to have team-building programs that would enable the employees to mingle with each other and build relationships thus enhancing organizational communication. At the textile and apparel company that I work in, there is a robust diversity of management strategies that incorporate the issues mentioned above.

Henceforward, it is important for me and other employees in the organization to work towards improving interpersonal and organizational communication. Currently, there is a certain communication policy in the company. I will ensure to follow the outline guidelines and encourage my colleagues to do so as well. However, there still exists a room for improvement. One of the ways that I feel would enhance organizational communication is to increase teamwork and appreciation of each other. To achieve this, I will use my position to influence the development of a company league where different cell groups will compete against each other in common sports, such as athletics, football, and soccer. Such competitions would act as a good platform for relationship and team building. Additionally, I will try to map informal networks that exist within the company and identify ways that I can leverage to encourage cultural diversity competencies.

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Gender is another key diversity issue in the modern globalized world. With the focus on more women empowerment, it has become necessary to have in place strategies that take care of gender-sensitive issues. Looking at the textile and apparel company that I work in, it is apparent that gender is a sensitive issue due to the fact that about 60 % of all employees are female. In the apparel section of the company, 90% of the employees are female. From the above data, it is obvious that gender and its effect on interpersonal and organizational communication cannot be ignored. Gender influences communication through language and expressions. Gender-sensitive communication is all inclusive and takes into consideration the ‘soft’ female side of the demographics involved (Zhang and Huai, 2016, p.30). Additionally, it is important that communication is all inclusive since it does not exhibit any discrimination. Some time back, there was an issue in the apparel section of the company when the production chart used man hours as a measure of labor input in a specifically manufactured batch. The use of the metric seemed to communicate the wrong message to the large female workforce in the company. It seemed as if the women employees in the company were not appreciated by the organizational management. To solve the mentioned issue, the production chart had to replace ‘man’ hours with ‘human’ hours to incorporate gender diversity. Such a trend had to be replicated in all other signage and organizational communication that was biased on one sex. Therefore, it is significant to have in place gender-sensitive communication in an organization to embrace appropriate corporate communication practices.

Diversity management policies are best placed to address gender related concerns in an organization. With a bias to communication, diversity management should have in place policies that enhance gender-sensitive communication in an organization (Zhang and Hou, 2012.p. 1488). Such policies include the gender sensitive signage that was used on my workplace to make the female employee feel appreciated. Another key issue that should be addressed by policy is relationship and workplace romance. In the event of having certain employees in a single company, issues related to workplace romance can arise from time to time. Such occurrences are can have negative impacts on organizational communication in addition to reducing productivity and corporate morals. The issue can be addressed by having strict work relationships policy that inhibits romance expressions, sexual expressions, and harassment in an organization (Mainiero and Jones, 2013, p.368). Additionally, there is a need for anti-discrimination gender equity and equality policies where applicable.

I feel that the organizational management might have good strategies in place to address gender diversity since it should be engraved in the organizational culture to have a meaningful impact on the running of the organization. Therefore, I feel that it is up to me and my colleagues to encourage gender-sensitive communications and interactions within the workplace to encourage healthy interpersonal and organizational communication. The management has the responsibility of coming up with strategies that complement the positives of diversity management in the organizational culture.


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Age is another diversity issue that has an effect on communication. Once in a while an organization faces a challenge with managing a specific age group. The challenge of knowledge transfer, mentoring, and coaching always comes up with an aging workforce. Henceforth, formal and informal communication in an organization is always presented with a challenge of encouraging healthy communication between employees of different ages. About 60 % of all employees in my workplace are aged below 35 years. A typical situation at my workplace is where all the experienced and highly skilled employees are aged above 50 years. Most of them do not have high academic qualifications and have merely earned their skills and experience from their long time of service to the company and industry. On the other hand, new recruits are mainly aged below 25 years. They are better educated than the experienced employees but lack practical skills. Considering the need for transition and growth, the organizational management encourages the experienced employees to mentor the young employees. However, there is always a communication challenge that comes up during the process. On their side, the older employees feel that the young employees are proud of themselves and, ultimately, want to kick them out of the job market. Additionally, they feel that they have nothing of value to offer to the company. On the contrary, the young employees feel that the older employees are selfish and do not have the capacity to do what they have already done. Various personal perspectives are a major way through which communication in the company is affected negatively.

An appropriate policy that can address the above challenge is cultivating an organizational culture that is aligned to specific organizational values. At present, two age groups seem not to share the organizational vision and mission thus they are not committed to developing it. Moreover, it is important that the organization cultivates such values for all of its employees in addition to engraving it in the corporate culture. Additionally, the company should have a formal training, mentorship, and coaching program that formalizes the technology and skill transfer program and, ultimately, encouraging good communication practices in the company (Nishii, 2013, p.1755).

I believe that addressing the communication challenges that result from age diversity can reap maximum benefit from a more informed workforce that upholds the organizational vision and mission. Moreover, there is a need for a diversity management training that enables every employee to appreciate the contributions and value of other employees in the company, thus developing synergy and teamwork.


In conclusion, the current paper has highlighted the influence of culture, gender, and age on organizational communication. The paper based its arguments on the situation in a textile and apparel company that employs 7000 people. The first factor argued that culture is a set of values, beliefs, and practices that are upheld in the specific social setting. With language, cultural dimensions are having a major influence on how people relate to each other. It was highlighted that it is imperative that the organizational management has in place good cultural diversity practices that encourage healthy interpersonal and organizational communication. Activities, such as team building and cultural diversity strategies, were identified to be the key policy and strategy interventions that can be used to address cultural diversity challenges. In addition, the paper discussed the influence of gender and age in communication. It was argued that there is a need for an all-inclusive work environment that takes into considerations the requirements of the two groups. The paper argued that diversity represents a major challenge to modern organizations and the strategy that is effective in encouraging healthy communication and co-existence is the appropriate diversity management. Consequently, the paper has highlighted the importance of diversity management across all organizational operations.

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