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Issues in Organisational Communication. Illustrate your essay with specific examples.


An organisation is a system comprised of people who work to achieve a common goal. Most of the organisations have four main features: interdependence, hierarchical structure, linkage to their environments, and communication, on which the entire system functions. Whenever there occurs a failure in communication, organisations face complex issues in productivity and member satisfaction. Poor communication practices can also work against the spirit of an organisation and it can make it a distasteful place to work by creating an unenthusiastic organisational environment. The spirit of an organisation can be maintained and objectives efficiently attained if managers and their employees could engage in fruitful communication; thus, avoid problems and enhance chances of organisational advancement. In order to communicate proficiently in an organisation, members should have initiatives to communicate with more formality than we do in other situations. The members should also have to acquire organisational genres, the unique forms of communication common to organisations (Daniels T, Spiker, B & Papa, M 1997).

Toonz Animation - A case study

Toonz Animation is an international animation production house having production facilities in India, UK, USA and Australia employing over 800 people most of them in the creative side. The main activity of the organisation was to do animation productions for their clients in the U.S. and the Europe; majority of them comprising outsourced productions from major production houses. Toonz Animation studios have the highest number of employees in their production facilities in India, which is situated in the metropolitan city of Bombay and Technopark, Trivandrum. Creative professionals from Europe and the US hold the top creative and marketing positions of the company while the main work force is a cross section of the West and the East, a majority of them from the Asian region; primary from India and the Philippines. The company is a typical example of how people from different nations and cultures interact in a professional environment to develop a peculiar corporate culture.

Upward flow is rare in most of the present-day organisations, but it, can also be twisted. This happens when employees themselves behave as protectors of their employers or when they don't want to take advantage of any peculiar situation in an organisation. There are also problems with horizontal communication when there arises competition between various departments in an organisation. Toonz Animation lacked a perfect communications channel, in this respect. Although organisations promote mutual trust and cooperation, people with various culture, personalities and backgrounds must work together with greater responsibilities to overcome their own biases and approaches. Informal structures, like the grapevine, can also be present in the communication channels in an organisation. Although there is a greater consensus that the grapevine is a hotbed of gossip and false rumour, studies have shown that it is precise, even though incomplete sometimes. Nowadays, keeping up with technological advances is a must. In addition to knowing the latest advances in technology, employees must be able to choose the correct medium for each message and must follow norms governing their use. Factors such as speed, timing, distance, audience size, intimacy, talent, and cost should be taken into consideration when choosing how to convey a message (Lewis G., 2006).

At Toonz, essentially, there existed  a sub-culture clearly formulated and promoted by the managers. But these were very much rooted in the organisations goals of productivity and profit, which only very few employees knew. Many of the employees did not know what the organisation's goals were, and there were concerned only with money, which the organisation has clearly equated with productivity. Some Creative Heads have found to be effective managers, that they informed their subordinates about the organisation's and department's goals and kept them updated about recent developments, thereby fostering mutual cooperation. On the other, some other Creative Heads saw the information as power, and created a sub culture which has a negative impact. It could be seen from the investigation that the internal communication in the organisation was not consistent and only a few feedback channels were available in the organisation for the employees. 

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