978-1319052348 Chapter 1 Part 2

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
Organizational Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint 8th Edition
Angela Trethewey, Eric M. Eisenberg, Marianne LeGreco
Personal work experience
Purpose: This exercise will allow you to reflect on your own work experience and to share that
with others in the class.
Process: Write a two- to three-page narrative that describes a typical day in your working
Personal analysis of group work
Purpose: This exercise will allow you to reflect on your experience as a group member in
Process: Each group member will analyze the group process and dynamics and write an individual
analysis paper of about three to four pages. Focus on your impressions in the following areas:
patterns of decision making, methods of conflict resolution, and group conformity and cohesiveness.
Write descriptively
and specifically, using examples to illustrate various points. Use a clear format,
with an introduction, separate paragraphs containing your main points, and a conclusion. If you keep
notes on group meetings, it will
be easier for you to write this paper.
Organizations and popular culture paper
Purpose: This paper is designed to accompany the syllabus entitled “Organizational Communication
at the
Movies: Fifteen-Week Semester. The assignment will help you analyze depictions of
organizations in
popular culture outlets such as movies and television shows.
Process: Over the course of the semester, you will view several movies, documentaries, and
shows that deal with organizational communication. Keep detailed notes about these
media clips, noting
the intersections between the clips and the concepts that we discuss in class.
About halfway through the
semester, you will read an article by David Carlone and Bryan Taylor
entitled “Organizational Communication and Cultural Studies: A Review Essay.The article can be
found in Communication Theory, 1998,
volume 8, issue 3. This essay will help you understand recent
research on cultural studies, including popular culture and organizational communication. With this
article in mind, continue to keep notes on the media clips that are shown in class. At the end of the
semester, you will submit a five- to seven-page paper
that synthesizes the media clips that we watch,
the concepts from the text, and the commentary on popular
culture offered by Carlone and Taylor.
You do not need to focus on the entire text and all of the clips;
rather, you should focus on three
or four key concepts and arguments. Your paper should be well organized, with an introduction,
main points, and a conclusion.
Journal option
Keep a written journal with your notes, comments, questions, and responses to required readings,
assignments, and lectures. This journal will be turned in for a midterm and final grade.
Communication and the Changing World of Work
Chapter 1 focuses on important social trends related to organizational communication practices. The chapter
highlights current issues of concern such as labor relations, multicultural management, and trust and loyalty, as
well as the impact of globalization. One of the most important points made in Chapter 1 is to ask the right ques-
tions rather than to focus on having the right answers. Organizational communication is approached as a flexi-
ble, evolutionary view of work life. The chapter also introduces key concepts, issues, and topics that frame the
remainder of the text. Most importantly, this chapter emphasizes organizational communication as a form of
organizing, marginalized positions such as the unemployed or underemployed, and the concept of employee
Provide a basic definition of organizational communication.
Discuss why worldviews and individual factors provide special challenges to the organizing process.
Describe why organizational communication is considered to be situated and perishable.
List some of the effects that globalization and recent world events have had on the world of work.
Discuss the role that technology plays in altering today’s workplace.
Explain how changing ideas of space, time, and loyalty relate to the organizing process.
Understand new developments in organizational communication, such as new social contracts.
Comprehend how studying organizational communication can be helpful in preparing for the world of
Discuss the growing focus on quality of life and the struggle to make work more meaningful.
Instructors must recognize that some students may not have had paid job experience. Students need to understand that organiz-
ing is not to limited paying jobs and corporate structures. Explain that whenever an organization has shared goals, communica-
tion is essential. It may be helpful to bring up examples of team sports, volunteer organizations, or even the classroom. Focus
on organizing experiences rather than paid positions to give students another perspective to advance their understanding of
organizational communication.
Exercise 1
Either as a class or in small groups, have students come up with their own conception of an ideal workplace.
Have students list everything from physical attributes to internal atmosphere, communication styles, policies,
and procedures. As individuals or groups finish, ask them to volunteer examples of the kinds of things they have
included and compile a list on the board or on the screen. After you have incorporated most of the ideas, initiate
a discussion about how this ideal workplace may be achieved. What is the likelihood that such a place exists?
What role might organizational communication play in making the “idealmore of a reality? Save the lists for
an end-of-the-semester reflection to see how much their ideas have changed.
Exercise 2
Ask students to fill out the questionnaire in Appendix A of this manual. Pay close attention to the way students
define communication at this point. Have students discuss some of their responses. Save these definitions and
use them as examples when you define communication in Chapter 2.
Exercise 3
Have students read passages from Robin Patric Clair’s article “The Political Nature of the Colloquialism, ‘A
Real Job’: Implications for Organizational Socialization.” This article can be found in the September 1996 issue
of Communication Monographs. Focus specifically on pages 252253 and pages 255259. Have students write
about and/or discuss what it means to have a “real job.” Ask students to consider what has changed about work
since this article was published in 1996. Does the concept of a “real job” still ring true? How does the concept
of a “real job” translate into students’ own concerns about pursuing a career? Use the concepts of “situated” and
“perishable” to help students analyze their answers in response to the changing world of work.
Exercise 4
Have students read the Everyday Organizational Communication box titled “Globalization and You.” Divide
students into groups of four and ask each group to respond to the ethical questions related to antiglobalization
advocacy. Have each group tell the rest of the class how they responded. Help students understand the difficulty
in determining the “right” answer and the increased complexity of the questions we face.
Exercise 5
As an individual exercise, ask your students to generate two lists. The first list should include those items that
individuals cannot live without in order to carry out their daily lives. The second list should include those items
that students currently live with; however, they are items that students could give up if need be. Ask your stu-
dents to move into small groups and consider what their lists “say” about living in a global economy that is cur-
rently facing a credit and spending crisis.
Exercise 6
The What Would You Do? box titled “Religious Differences in the Classroom” offers an excellent example of
the difficulties of managing a multicultural and increasingly global workplace and encourages students to con-
sider how we can respect different viewpoints in an increasingly global world. Ask your students to consider the
Discussion Questions associated with this excerpt.
Exercise 7
Divide students into groups of four and have them discuss the level of importance they place on quality of life
and finding meaningful work. Ask them to consider the importance of personal fulfillment. Are they willing to
tolerate drudgery if it means financial stability? Guide them in a discussion about how their choice of major and
career path may be directed by their views on quality of life.
Exercise 8
Pair students for a shared online research experience. Instruct students to research Gravity Payments and CEO
Dan Price using credible online sources. Students will present their findings about Price’s 2015 plan to raise the
minimum salary for all employees to $70,000 a year. Discussion should include how this initiative is working
for the company and its employees today. Find the negative and positive effects of this bold move.
The Corporation (2004, 165 minutes, Not Rated). This documentary is one of the best ways to illustrate the
concepts related to Chapter 1. The film examines the pervasive roles that corporations play in modern life. Of-
fers commentary by Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and a host of other critics and players in corporate America.
Food Stamped (2010, 60 minutes, Not Rated). This documentary follows a nutritionist and her filmmaker hus-
band as they attempt to eat on a budget allotted to recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(formerly and still popularly known as the Food Stamp program). The film calls attention to issues of poverty
and quality of life in important and compelling ways. Instructors could use this documentary as a nice contrast
to the issues raised in I Don’t Know How She Does It (see below).
I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011, 89 minutes, Rated PG-13). This movie addresses the challenges of bal-
ancing career, family, and community obligations. It allows instructors to open up a conversation about quality
of life and balancing different organizational communication needs.
Outsourced (2006, 106 minutes, Rated PG-13). This film offers a look at organizational communication and a
sometimes negative aspect of globalizationoutsourcing. An American novelty product company has out-
sourced its entire company, and a sales manager is forced to go to India to train his replacement. Students may
use this film to discuss the negative and positive aspects of globalization and outsourcing trends.
Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping (2002, 60 minutes, Not Rated). This documentary follows ac-
tor/performance artist Bill Talen as he engages in antiglobalization rhetoric and “shopping interventions” in
New York City.
Shattered Glass (2003, 94 minutes, Rated PG-13). The New Republic magazine was scammed by one of its
own, Stephen Glass. This film is a study in organizational communication focusing on the magazine’s pub-
lisher, editor in chief, and writers. Students will be able to discuss the appropriateness of the communica-
tion between the editor and his staff.
The Simpsons: Burns Verkaufender Kraftwerk (1991, Season 3, Episode 11, 22 minutes, Rated TV-PG). Ad-
dresses issues of globalization and power when Springfield’s nuclear power plant is sold to a German competitor.
Up in the Air (2009, 109 minutes, Rated R). Ryan Bingham is a corporate downsizing expert who travels cross-
country to fire people. The self-absorbed Bingham cares more about his frequent flyer miles than about having
real relationships. Judy Olian, dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management, recommends this movie to
business majors. According to Bloomberg News, “It reminds all leaders that organizationsno matter how
complex or technologically advancedare about people, not ‘things.’
Cross Cultural CommunicationPellegrino Riccardi (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMyofREc5Jk).
Riccardo is a cross-cultural expert. In this TEDx talk, he shares his personal and professional experience as he
describes how to work with different cultures in a global environment.
Globalization 101 (http://www.globalization101.org/). This website, a project of the SUNY Levin Institute,
provides access to basic definitions and examples of globalization. Moreover, the site updates current infor-
mation and trends about important global issues.
Google’s Multicultural Workforce (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/04/12/us/20090412GOOGLE_index.
html). This slideshow from the New York Times offers useful resources and insights for the multicultural needs
that many managers must address in contemporary workplaces. The article features a slideshow about how
Google has managed their multicultural workforce in fairly positive ways.
How to Make Work-Life Balance WorkNigel Marsh (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GgrKjsLrZg). In this
Ted-Ed talk, Nigel Marsh says that achieving work-life balance is too important to trust to employers . This
engaging presentation challenges workers to create work-life balance without waiting for employers to take the
Identity Theft (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft).This federal website offers
helpful resources for dealing with identity theft. In an increasingly global and online world, new forms of ex-
ploitation are emerging constantly. Have your students view this site to see if it offers the assistance for the
problem outlined in Chapter 1.
Message in a Bottle (http://www.fastcompany.com/59971/message-bottle). This article from FastCompany.com
examines the innovations associated with bottled water. The essay critiques a Western culture of indulgence, as
well as the global implications for water security.
Organizational Communications (Internal and External)
(http://www.managementhelp.org/org_comm/organizationalcommunications.htm). This website provides a va-
riety of links to sites regarding organizational communication. Have your students examine these sites for defi-
nitions of organizational communication.
The Power of TeamShawn Stratton (http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxSTJOHNS-Shawn-Stratton-The). In
this TEDxStJohns talk, Shawn Stratton shares photos, stories, and team-building lessons that work in
organizational communication as well as in the wilds of Kenya.
2015 Distinguished Speaker Series: Dan PriceFounder and CEO, Gravity Payments
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-slGSPkzbVQ). In this talk, presented at Seattle Pacific University’s School
of Business, Government, and Economics as part of its Burton and Ralene Walls Distinguished Speaker series,
Dan Price explains his decision to raise the minimum salary for all his employees to $70,000 a year.
Explain why the definition of effective communication is always changing. How does this concept af-
fect your role as an organizational communication scholar?
How have tragic world events and recent corporate decisions transformed the way that many Ameri-
cans think and feel about organizations?
What are the three critical dimensions that have instigated changes in the process of organizing in the
twenty-first century? Describe each dimension and provide an example of how it influences communi-
How might the use of wetware afford unprecedented opportunities for surveillance?
Describe how the “new social contract” has changed the relationship between organizations and
How has the definition of success changed for many Americans? What kinds of social changes have
brought about these new values and priorities?
What does it mean to enjoy a good “quality of life”? How does it help you define what you can live
with and what you can’t live without?
Why is the ability to prioritize work, family, and other needs seen as a luxury for many workers?
How does the study of organizational communication have an impact on your experience and under-
standing of work, sports, groups, and other activities?
Examine how current national leaders (Democrat and Republican) deal with globalization issues such
as outsourcing and trade agreements.
Interview an older friend or relative who has worked at the same company for more than twenty years.
Ask that person to describe his or her relationship to the company over the years. Write an essay ex-
plaining the “new social contract.”
worldview The habitual way of seeing the world that is unique to each individual.
organizational communication The interaction required to direct a group toward a shared goal.
globalization The closer integration of countries and peoples thanks in part to re-
duced transportation costs and barriers to trade.
outsourcing Using labor outside of a company’s home country as a way to reduce
multicultural management The challenge of organizing products and services that both represent
the brand and meet local tastes and tolerances.
trafficking The illegal trade of human beings across borders.
communication technology Software and networking programs that help organizations transcend
the barriers of time and space.
identity theft The practice whereby someone steals your identifying information and
impersonates you in transactions with various stores and institu-
wetware A form of communication technology that integrates information
software with biological processes.
urgent organization A company whose main challenge is to shorten the time in which
employees can respond to customers and to one another.
communication network Dynamic source of power within contemporary organizations where-
by employees can get things done within organizations, across
organizations, and among other stakeholders.
new social contract The career ladder metaphor has been replaced by an ever-expanding
web of opportunities to identify challenges and apply one’s skills
to meet those challenges.
quality of life The overall satisfaction with one’s work experience in the context of
other life experiences, constraints, and aspirations.
How is the history of human civilization essentially a history of organizing?
If organizing is a necessary part of life, why isn’t it easy to do?
Define organizational communication.
Ask students to reflect on how a deeper understanding of organizational communication might enable us
to better comprehend the factors that contribute to successful organizing, especially in a constantly
changing world.
Why is the definition of effective communication constantly changing?
Discuss how change is an inevitability that individuals and organizations must address in increasingly
global and technological ways.
Describe how the new world economy and globalization have brought about positive changes, such as
artistic exchange and easier access to medical care, but have also brought up new concerns about labor
practices and multicultural management.
Globalization has allowed businesses to look beyond their own national borders for the lowest possible
Discuss how the inevitability of change, as related to globalization and global economic practices, also
presents organizations with new challenges involving the abuse of power and people.
Discuss how communication technology is central to organizational communication in the twenty-first
Describe how changes in the meaning of work have implications for how individuals view their relation-
ships with organizations.
Discuss the increasing desire for individuals to have an improved quality of life as well as what the idea of
“quality” means.
Review why it is important for us to work toward setting priorities and goals that include employees at all
levels of the economic ladder.
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