978-1319052348 Chapter 10 Part 3

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
Organizational Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint 8th Edition
Angela Trethewey, Eric M. Eisenberg, Marianne LeGreco
One result of the move has been a drop-off in the frequency of informal and
formal contact
among employees from different business units. Another result has
been a kind of “silo” thinking
about the individual business units, as if each unit
were in competition with the others for resources
and rewards. Yet another result has
been a kind of separation of management (management, personnel, and marketing
employees) from staff (software engineers and documentation specialists) based
the fact that management has offices on the second floor, whereas staff has offices on
the ground
floor. Recently, some valued employees left the company, complaining
that “things aren’t like they
You have been retained as an organizational communication consultant to improve
the operation
of GS in its new building. What recommendations would you make?
" "
Interviewing Others about Their Experience of Work
Working alone or in a small group or team, develop a list of the top ten jobs you plan to
consider following your graduation from college. Keeping in mind what you have
learned about “anticipatory
socialization,write down what you expect your
experiences of work to be like for each of the jobs
listed in your top three. Take into
account factors such as the length of your workday; the amount of
time you will devote
to self-improvement and skill development; salary; advancement opportunities;
of identification with the job, company, or field; and sources of potential stress and
Then locate two to three people in your community who are doing the work you
plan to do in
each of the job categories you have listed. Make an appointment to
interview them about their lives
and their experiences of work in that job category or
field. Using the material from the lists you’ve
generated, gather information from them
about those items. Make sure you allow a little extra time at
the end of the interview to
ask each interviewee, “What haven’t we talked about that you feel is important to your
experience of work?”
Compare what you gather from the interviews with what is on your original lists.
What does this
research experience teach you about the relationship of anticipatory
socialization practices and the
experiences of work you learned about in this chapter?
The Dilemma of the Empowered Dancer
Robin Reed is a twenty-two-year-old single mother and graduating senior at the
University of Nevada. In addition to being an excellent student and loving mother,
Robin is proud of the fact that she
has worked hard to support herself and her three-
year-old son and to put herself through school. She
hopes to attend law school and
someday to become a public defender.
Robin does have a problem, however. Since entering college, she has worked part
time as an exotic dancer at Sparky’s, a popular gentlemen’s club in Las Vegas, and
she doesn’t always feel comfortable telling people about her work. The few times she
has disclosed her employer—once when a
classmate recognized her at the club—she
has found people to be very judgmental about what she
does. And each time she
talks to the people who care about her the mosther mother and her sonshe feels
forced to lie about what she does for a living.
For her part, Robin feels that stripping is a just a means to an end, no more
degrading (and much
more lucrative) than a dead-end job in retail or food service.
She has read a good deal of feminist
theory in her classes and feels torn between
what these writers seem to want her to think—that she is
complicit in the continuing
oppression of women—and how she feels, which is powerful, resourceful, and
Even so, the lying is starting to get to her, and she is increasingly anxious. She
feels as if she is
being forced to compartmentalize her life in order to survive. Robin
feels comfortable in all of her
worlds—at home, at school, and at the club. But
problems occur when these worlds collide.
How would you characterize Robin’s emotional state at this time? What are
some of the possible
reasons she feels as she does? What might she do, if
anything, about these feelings?
What moral or ethical questions is Robin facing? How would you counsel her if
you were her
friend? Her mother? Her fiancé?
What do you think of her analysis of power and oppression in the work she does?
Is work of this
sort always exploitative regardless of the worker’s reported
How does Robin’s dilemma compare to other work situations people her age
face? What, if
anything, should she do about the growing feeling of
compartmentalization in her life?
The Case of the Corporate Peacemakers
Darshan Rao is an assistant professor of management who specializes in management
communication, corporate ethics, and global economics. Born in New Delhi, India, he
came to the United States
for college and never left. He became a U.S. citizen in 1995
and three years later took a faculty position at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
In 2001, Professor Rao was visiting family in New Delhi when India and
Pakistan’s long-standing conflict over the Kashmir region flared up. He was never
physically in danger, but war
rhetoric from both sides brought back terrible
memories; his father had fought in two wars with
Pakistan over the same issue, and
he was angry that peace seemed so elusive. The fact that both
countries had nuclear
weapons only added to his anxiety, and, for a time, they seemed on the brink
of using
them. Darshan thought about changing his plane ticket so that he could be with his
in case things got any worse. Then, in June 2001, the saber rattling suddenly
stopped. Parties on both
sides were surprised and confused about what had led to the
sudden de-escalation. Further investigation by Darshan turned up some amazing
He knew, of course, that Indian companies provided critical support to some of the
world’s biggest companies, including Dell, Reebok, VF, Avis, Sony, and American
Express. He also discovered
that General Electric’s largest research center is in
Bangalore, a city with over 1,700 engineers and
scientists. When the U.S. State
Department had advised Americans to leave India because war prospects with Pakistan
had risen to serious levels, information technology ministers from every Indian
approached the government and warned them about the economic chaos that would be
by a disruption of this magnitude. One American journalist even concluded:
“The cease-fire is
brought to you by GE—and all its friends here in Bangalore”
(Friedman, 2002, p. 8A).
Professor Rao has mixed feelings about this situation. As one of his best students,
you hope to
understand his thoughts and feelings and perhaps provide some counsel.
What are the social, political, and economic conditions that made this scenario
Why is Professor Rao feeling conflicted over corporate influence in
government matters?
What aspects of globalization are highlighted by this case, and how might they be
applied to
other situations?
What should be the relationship, if any, between multinational corporations and
Explain your answer.
The New Dojo
The sport of judo has been good to Hank Tagawa. A sixth-degree black belt in the
sport, Hank was
born in Osaka, Japan, in 1965. He competed for years at the highest
international level and won both
a world championship and a silver medal in the
1992 Olympics. Eventually he settled in Pensacola,
Florida, where he met and
married an Anglo woman and began to put down roots in the community.
A shy, focused, but highly likeable man, Hank had been encouraged for years to
consider opening his own judo school (dojo). About a year ago, Hank got the money
together and did so. At first,
the new dojo, at which Hank was the head teacher
(sensei), had few students, but he was not interested in advertising, which he felt
would appear too pushy. After a few months, however, there was
an explosion of
interest, both from parents bringing their small children for lessons and from men
and women from a nearby military base who had heard of Hank’s history and
sought out the new
dojo as a solid place to train. He set up classes for both children
and adults and enjoyed both the cash
flow and the camaraderie. He recruited a
number of his former Olympic teammates from Osaka to
visit for extended periods
and to help out as instructors in the new dojo.
Hank’s foremost concern is his desire to teach judo the “rightway—the way he
was taught at
the Kodokan Judo Dojo in Japan. This includes enforcing strict rules
for the cleanliness and appearance of mats and uniforms as well as rules for the
respectful address of people of more senior ranks.
Students are taught to bow to their
teachers and superiors, speak some Japanese, and carry themselves with a quiet
dignity both in and outside of the dojo.
After a year in operation, however, the dojo’s attendance is starting to drop off.
Sensei Tagawa
has not deviated in his commitment to “doing things the right way,
but many students have been
unwilling or unable to tolerate his discipline.
Furthermore, students from the military base resent his
characterization of them as
too aggressive, and parents are concerned about the visiting instructors,
who force
their children to do push-ups for bad behavior or, worse yet, to exercise to the point of
exhaustion as a way of building endurance.
Sensei Tagawa has come to you for advice about saving his dojo. He’s ready to
conclude that he
is just not cut out for teaching, but you suspect that there is more to
the story.
Given what you know about organizational communication and culture, answer the
following questions:
Describe the organizational culture of the dojo. What is the origin of these beliefs,
attitudes, and practices?
Would you characterize the dojo culture as strong or homogeneous? Why, or why
not? Are there
subcultures? Kinds of resistance?
How would you describe the interaction among different cultural perspectives at the dojo?
How do you feel about the sensei’s desire to ensure that his school teaches the “right”
way? What are the pros and cons of his taking this approach?
At this point in the story, what advice would you give Sensei Tagawa about future
actions? Can
the dojo be saved, and if so, how?
How is this case similar to challenges faced by other organizations? How
might we apply
lessons from the dojo to a start-up plan for another, similar
The Networked University
Like most social institutions, for most of their history universities have been associated
with specific
towns or locations, and it would be hard to conceive of them otherwise
(e.g., how about moving the
University of Southern California to Nevada, where the
property taxes are lower?). At the same time,
schools wishing to compete in a global
marketplace have gradually expanded their offerings worldwide, establishing campuses
in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. And they offer a significant number of
degrees online
through distance education.
Still, most of these institutions continue to retain an attachment to a particular
locale. Recently,
private institutions like the University of Phoenix have emerged on the
higher-education scene without these preconceptions. They set up shop wherever
potential customers (students) congregate, and
they offer highly flexible degree
programs that require very little in the way of physical presence in a
Imagine that you are the education reporter for the New York Times, and you are
writing a feature
article on the changing landscape of higher education in America.
Knowing what you do about organizational communication, what would you say
are the main
reasons for the emergence of these types of schools at this time in
What will be the main advantages and challenges of building a corporate network of
schools like the
University of Phoenix?
Finally, what should be the reaction of more traditional, place-oriented schools?
Advertising and the American Way of Life
According to one study (Jhally, 1998), the average North American is exposed to
more than 3,500
advertisements a day. Consider the number of commercial messages
that you are bombarded witheverything from media images, Internet “banner ads,”
billboards, radio jingles, and print ads to designer labels on clothing. One effect of
living in a media-rich environment is the increasing lack of
public space available
for noncommercial messages. Think about important public health information
campaigns, antidrug messages, or open expressions of disagreement (or agreement)
with public
policies or governmental actions. Another effect is the increasingly
visceral nature of the images and
content of the advertisements themselves—more
naked bodies, louder volumes, more “in your face”
messages. According to Sut
Jhally and his associates at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst,
these two
effects combine to squeeze out public dialogue about important issues related to
problems, such as the demise of the ecosystem.
Let’s assume that you are director of Greenpeace, whose mission is to “use
nonviolent, creative
confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to
force the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future” and whose
goal is to “ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture
life in all its diversity”
<http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/about/faq>. Your challenge is to
develop a strategy for promoting public understanding and action regarding the
relationship of unmonitored global capitalism and the rapid demise of the South
American rainforests.
Using what you have read in this chapter about strategy, human resources, and
technologies, as well
as your experiences and knowledge of persuasive
communication, answer these questions:
Describe what your strategy would be and how that strategy can help you align
your resources
and technologies to develop a successful campaign.
Think about how you would manage such an enterprise. What important
questions and issues
should you raise about the implementation of your
business strategy? What human resources
issues can you think of? What
technology issues?
Using your strategy as a framework, develop ideas that can be translated into
vivid images and
powerful messages about the environment and that are capable
of gaining the attention of
audiences already overexposed to mediated messages.
Come up with an advertising campaign
capable of maximizing your strategy,
resources, and technologies.
The Brilliant Engineer
Carl McKnight is an electrical engineer with twenty-seven years of experience at a
major aerospace
firm in California. During his long career, Carl has played many
pivotal roles in the company, particularly in its contributions to the space program. He
is well respected by his peers and has received
a number of awards from both the
company and government agencies for his work. Other than reading scientific journals
and attending an occasional conference, Carl does not need to do much else to
current in his field. He came to it as an electrical engineering genius. Even in college, he
did not
have to work as hard as other students to succeed.
Recently, however, Carl has sensed that his technical expertise seems to carry less
weight. In the
past, his colleagues regarded his role in designing a new satellite or
spacecraft component as crucial.
Now, however, his comments are often met with
groans. Carl is not sure what to make of this
change, but he suspects that it may be
related to changes in what customers are looking for in electrical and aerospace design.
Carl feels that the customers are too willing to forgo cutting-edge design
in exchange for
lower cost. He is offended because his expertise, in a sense, has become irrelevant.
Apply what you have learned in this chapter about critical theory and related concepts
to envision a
future for Carl McKnight. When responding to the following questions, be
sure to address the connections among sources of expertise, sources of overt and hidden
power, and processes of overt and
covert communication.
From his manager’s point of view, what plans should be made for Carl’s future?
How can he best
be made a part of the changing situation?
" "
From his peers’ perspective, what is the best possible future for
From Carl’s point of view, what has happened, and what should
happen next?
Hacked Off
Computer hackers pose threats to Internet users as well as to commercial, public, and
computer files and systems. By “hacking into” company or
government files or by inserting computer viruses into these systems, hackers can do
major harm in a very short period of time. One particularly noxious hacking venture
involved the creation of “zombie” computers that flooded Internet
sites with junk
messages, effectively shutting them down for business for three days. Losses were
estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
One of the outcomes of computer hacking has been an increased need for security
from such attacks. Some companies forbid employees from removing company
computers or software from the
premises, thus reducing the ability of some
employees to work offsite or at home. In an unprecedented case in 1999, a former
director of the Central Intelligence Agency was called on the carpet
for taking his
laptop home because it contained some secret and top-secret files. Clearly, the rapid
expansion of—and now dependence on—computer technologies in business and
government has
created unprecedented challenges to the management of
Balancing the legitimate needs of users with the legitimate rights of an
organization to protect itself is a delicate activity. Based on your reading in this
chapter as well as your own experiences, how
would you go about establishing a fair
and equitable policy about the use of technology in the workplace?
How should a business strategy be used to guide the development of a
technology policy?
" "
Would the 7-S model be useful in helping you develop such a
policy? How?
What input should you seek in developing the particulars of such
a policy?
How important do you think the language of the policy will be to its successful
What steps should you take to ensure the successful implementation of
the policy?
How would you assess the effectiveness of the policy?

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