The following essay will discuss the role of managerial communication within an organisation, by a leader that also supports and encourages team work. Theory and examples will be applied to outline the current situation with leaders in organisations that conduct this type of behaviour. A definition of managerial communication and team work will be discussed, followed by an analysis of how valuing employee relations and working as a team are important attributes of a leader, including notions of emotional intelligence and cross cultural communication skills. The key characteristics of what managerial communication of a leader, with teamwork, will then be outlined and relevant theory will be applied; these include ideas concerning two-way communication and managerial leadership and trust. The essay will then close with a conclusion that summarises the factors required by a leader in order to conduct managerial communication, with team work.
2.0 Managerial Communication
Managerial communication exists as a discourse that can provide organisations with an effective competitive advantage, particularly during a process where growth is key to that organisation according to Denison (2001). The role that managerial communication holds in leading and ensuring change occur within a business environment is discussed further by Candea and Candea (1997). Managerial communication builds upon the core capabilities of the skills of a good communicator, combined with directly managing others within the organisation. The managerial communication skills of a leader that also promotes team work are both concerned with emotional intelligence and cross-cultural skills, as described by Barrett (2005).
Efficient managerial communication by leaders could mark a new phase in business, in terms of how a business is developed and ran according to Camelia and Popa (2008). The leader is required to effectively communicate, on a managerial level, to employees in order to promote team work; currently the ever growing complexity of the business environment has meant that increased attention has been placed on the role of managerial communication in achieving business success. Communication can be defined by Dance (1970) as a method of sending a communication message via a channel and towards a recipient.
Managerial communication can be defined as the exchange of messages between leadership and the employees within the organisation; and that it must be noted that communication remains to be a social and psychological action that is concerned with sharing information. Managerial communication has a status which is associated with the oraganisational framework in which it sits, the way it which leaders conduct managerical communication is determined by set goals, business values and the purpose of the communication according to Camelia and Popa (2008). Managerial Communication therefore differs from communication as it represents the decisive and directional means of the leader and their desire to achieve set goals, whilst promoting team work within the organisation. Leaders would communicate their ideas and based on the responses of the employees, the behaviour of the leader may change.
Managerial communication has also been considered a natural extension to corporate communications which occur within and externally to the organisation, according to Smeltzer (1996). The main goal of managerial communication has also been suggested to be to improve the effectiveness of the work force and encourage team work.
2.1 The One Way Managerial Communication Model used by A Leader
This section will attempt to describe a managerial communication model that could be used by a leader within the organisation who also has the desire to encourage team work. The managerial communication process becomes more complex, as the responsibilities and the need to create team work, increases. According to Camelia and Popa (2008) the communication behaviour of the organisation leader should be concerned with generating positive behaviour by the employees in a way that develops shared values and a competitive sprit. One-way communication models have been used greatly within managerial communication; this modal shown below in Figure 1.0 approaches the classical communication idea and was developed by Shannon in 1949 (Popa and Filip, 1999).
Leaders which adopt the one way classical model of approach as outlined above, often believe in the presumption that the recipient’s, often the employee’s, feedback is not required and that the information communicated by the sender should be clear enough to require no feedback. This managerial communication approach does not necessarily encourage team work as feedback is not encouraged and the leader, being the sender, assumes that the message is decoded in the appropriate way and then acted upon, this model can often generate problems in organisations according to Camelia and Popa (2008) due to the absence of the response function, in some cases the information could have been interpreted incorrectly and the wrong activities carried out. Drucker (1993) also agrees with this view and states that when leaders use one-way communication, the employee’s feedback is ignored and team-working capabilities are reduced.
2.2 Circular and Behavioural Models of Managerial Communication
The circuit communication approach is another approach used by leaders when carrying out managerial communication. The response of the message is considered more important to helping the organisation fulfil tasks. Therefore this circular approach to managerial communication promotes an open style of management and a harmonious organisational environment in which team work thrives. The ability of the receivers, being the employees, to understand the message and carry out the tasks is considered very importance and therefore feedback is encouraged, as well as discussion of the message amongst other employees, and thus this can result in an increased level of team work. However, Camelia and Popa (2008) propose that this type of approach of managerial communication can often have negative effects in that discussions and debates concerning the message go on for too long, which can affect the overall effectiveness of the activity that the leader intended to initiate with the initial piece of communication.
Campbell has developed a more complex model of managerial communication and Dale (1985) these researchers had analysed the communication process conducted by the leaders of an organization, and found that the sender expects the receivers to react after a message has been transmitted. This idea of a behavioral reaction by the receiver means that the sender, being the leader or manager often structures and adapts the message in a way that would encourage a positive response.
2.3 Informal Managerial Communication
Management and individuals groups within an organisation need to communicate effectively in order to work as a team and achieve the set goals. Kraut et al (1983) suggests that Managers use both formal and informal communication and Leaders in order to elicit positive team work amongst their employees. Informal communication also plays a role in developing teamwork in an organisation and in reality, it is also carried out by Managerial Leaders. Informal communication can be defined a concept which remains when the rules and hierarchies of an organisation and momentarily eliminated according to Kraut et al (1983). Therefore, informal communication can be used to communicate spontaneous information and this form of communication is also very often interactive and therefore promoting team work within an organisation.
Informal communication is also suggested to increase levels of feedback, according to Kraut et al (1983) and therefore feedback and team work can be more effective when informal managerial leaders combine communication with formal communication. Kraut et al (1982) also propose that informal communication means that formal feedback channels are eradicated and conversations are not prevented by gate keeping and therefore flow more freely.
2.4 Two Way Communication
As documented by Shell (2002), research has shown that managerial communication by leaders should promote two-way communication, whereby feedback from employees is promoted. Research by Herzberg (1987) has also found that two-way communication by managers can greatly help to motivate employees. Communication guru, Lasswell (1948) suggests however that two-way communication can only occur when both the sender and the receiver are communicating with equal frequency. This point stresses the difficultly that managerial leaders could find when trying to communicate in a two-way fashion, as they are always seen as eliciting a type of power or control over the receiver due to their position in the workplace. Nevertheless, two-way communication certainly encourages teamwork as it promotes feedback and encourages each communicator to listen and respond to one another. persons.
The emphasis of two-way communication, particularly by managerial leadership, is on the sharing and exchanging of ideas between leaders and employees, according to Whitener et al (1998). Therefore two-way communication can certainly be suggested to improve and encourage team work within an organisation.
2.5 Managerial Communication and Trust
The credibility of communication by management in organisations, in America particularly, has greatly decreased, and according to Caudron (1996), employees are lacking trust in managers due to their communication styles. The quality of managerial communication of a leader greatly effects trust, and thus teamwork, within an organisation; Muchinsky (1977) and Roberts and O’Reilly (1974) have written greatly on the subject. Three key factors have been identified by communication researchers such as Yeager (1978) concerning how managerial communication by a leader can promote trust within and organisation, and therefore result in an increased level of team work. These factors include, the exchange of accurate communication, a discussion of the reasons behind decisions and general openness of the communication. In addition, Roberts and O’Reilly (1974) have also found that gate keeping of information by managerial leadership can lead to low performing employees and provide for great disadvantages in terms of generating an organisation that thrives on team work. Thus, if managerial communication is forthcoming and accurate then employees are more likely to view the Leaders as trustworthy.
From large corporations such as Enron and WorldCom allegations of corporate fraud and greed has damaged trust within such organisations, as a result, a new form of managerial communication evolves in order to promote trust and team work in employees once again, according to Beslin and Reddin (2004). Building trust amongst the organisation requires effort form the leaders and communication is the fundamental activity that this effort should be put into, in order to build and maintain trust amongst employees within an organisation. A key responsibility of a leader wishing to increase and promote team work within their organisation should therefore be the ability to communicate effectively, via managerial communication. Dyer (1987) has proposed that increased openness and the listening ability of the leaders can encourage feedback, which can in turn promote team work in organisations. Sharing this view is Zander (1994) who suggests that open and easy communication within a team in an organisation can help in achieving overall business goals.
3.0 Managerial Communication that Promotes Team Work
Organisations have gradually come to realise that the involvement and participation of their employees is a vital factor to the overall success of the business. Employers are also encouraging team work and team activities within their organisation as they begin to understand that team support is key. Team work has been defined by Katzenbach and Smith (1993) as a number of people with complementary skills, which are working towards achieving a common purpose. Effective teamwork includes the characteristic of communication and more importantly, managerial communication, according to West (1994). West (1994) goes on to suggest that team work can only be achieved if a strong shared vision is effectively communicated by the leaders of an organisation. Kirkman & Rosen (1999) also agree with this view and state that if the goal is better communicate, the team will become more able to complete it effectively and will feel more motivated to work together. Meanwhile, organisations also need to have clear expectation of the teams in place, these should be set out by the leaders and communicated managerially so that the teams can become accountable of each aspect of the project that they need to achieve, according to Brill (1976) and Blechert et al (1987).
Dyer (1987) found that increases in work productivity by employees was not associated to tangible rewards but instead it was associated to increased support and communication with teams and the encouragement from leaders to utilise skills of team work. Whilst many scholars have also identified the importance of using communication to promote team work due to the relevance that team work has in achieving organisational goals (Clifford and Cavanagh, 1985) and Likert (1961). Whilst Cohen and Bailey (1997) propose that for organisation sot develop and offer improved products and services to their customers then groups have to be fostered through team work, which can be brought about by effective managerial communication.
Research that aims to discover how effective teams are made find that these effective teams are linked with good levels of managerial communication by leaders with the organisation, according to Gribas and Driskall (1989). Interpersonal processes, such as communication, are therefore a key part if promoting team building and team work within an organisation. The very nature of global corporations concerns the dispersion of assists and responsibilities, which are shared within the organisation; this therefore creates a need for interdependencies and the role of the leaders to conduct effective managerial communications activities so that team work is developed and maintained, according to Allen (1984) and Tucker et al (1996). Companies with effective internal communication practises are regarded to be successful, as discussed by Clampitt and Downs (1993), however, Oliver (1997) comments that not enough attention is given to the role of communication within the work place and the need for communication to support and foster positive team work.
The differing network of diverse employees within organisations also stresses the importance of effective knowledge sharing to occur, according to Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989). Furthermore, knowledge sharing within an organisation is now viewed as a competitive advantage due to its ability to encourage team work.
4.0 Managerial Communication by Leaders and Emotional Intelligence
Recent sources have provided a focus for emotional intelligence and its importance in the role of managerial communication by leaders, authors such as Cooper and Sawaf (1996) and Goleman (1998) have outlined how emotional intelligence is increasingly being applied to organisational settings. In addition to this, there are now an increasing number of organisations that promote the understanding of emotional intelligence when communication occurs by leaders, particularly with the aim to promote team work. Specifically, Goleman (1998) discusses how intelligence should contribute to 20% of an organisation’s success whilst Managers and Leaders who communicate with a high level of emotional intelligence are suggested to contribute to 80% of the organisation’s success.
Research that was recently conducted by Jordan et al (2002) involved a study which discovered how teams studied managerial communication based on problem based learning methods, these teams were then measured based on their level of emotional intelligence and how this affected their process when communicating with employees with the aim to complete certain tasks. The purpose of this study by Jordan et al (2002) was mainly to document how emotional intelligence is used when managerial communication takes place and to evaluate how importance and how great an effect emotional intelligence has to the managerial communication and to the overall success of the task carried out by the team of employees. The results supported the notion that emotional intelligence can lead to effective managerial communication, which can in turn promote team work amongst employees (Jordan et al, 2002).
5.0 Intergroup Communication and Team Work
As organisations are increasingly moving towards a structure that supports networks of teams and groups, intergroup communication is an idea that has to be taken onboard by the leaders that conduct managerial communication activities within the organisation. Managerial communication must now promote and support intergroup activities, which according to Hartley (1996) can be defined as when employees wish to represent their own groups and thus communicate with other groups on a two-way communication basis. Therefore, it can be suggested that the promotion of intergroup activity can encourage team work and is usually carried out by leaders that have a focus for team work.
6.0 Cross Cultural Communication
When carrying out managerial communication, leaders must become proficient in communicating on a cross-cultural basis in order to encourage team work within their organisation. Munter (1993) comments that this is particularly important in today’s global business environment. When communicating in a business environment that includes employees from different cultures, the leaders must adapt a managerial communication approach that is focused on motivating that particular audience in a way that can overcome language barriers whilst also using appropriate nonverbal communication to support the planned communication objectives. Munter (1993) proposes that language difficulties is the key factor in cross cultural communication that can often prevent leaders from effectively communicating to their employees, and thus the lack of understanding the language barriers can reduce team work amongst employees from occurring. Whilst Knapp (1980) also comments that as well as language barriers, non verbal communicators such as body language and greetings, that are carried out by the leaders, can have an effect on the success of their managerial communication ability and in turn can either promote or discourage team work from occurring.
To conclude, managerial communication exists as a discourse that can provide organisations with an effective competitive advantage, particularly during a process where growth is key to that organisation. It was found that leaders who adopt the one way classical model of managerial communication often believe in the presumption that the recipient’s, often the employee’s, feedback is not required and that the information communicated by the sender should be clear enough to require no feedback. This managerial communication approach does not necessarily encourage team work, whereas the two-way communication model does and is therefore becoming the preferred method of managerial communication by leaders with the focus on team work. From large corporations such as Enron and WorldCom allegations of corporate fraud and greed have damaged trust within such organisations and as a result, a new form of managerial communication evolves in order to promote trust and team work in employees once again. Factors such as emotional intelligence and cross-cultural communication have also been found to be important considerations for the leader of the organisation when carrying out managerial communications.