Workplace Communication Issues
Workplace communication can be defined as the process of exchanging ideas and information both in verbal and non-verbal ways amongst persons or even groups within an organization. Fundamentally, workplace communication is a serious aspect of an organization because it plays a significant role in determining the degree of organizational efficiency and productivity (Jelani & Nordin, 2019). Although communication is expected to be a priority in an organization, there exist underlying issues that workplace heads, stakeholders, and staff members are required to overcome for communication to remain open, effective, and productive. There also exist several tools, that can be combined with theories to improve the lines of communication in place (Mikkola & Valkonen, 2019). One of the communication challenges experienced in ABC company is cultural differences. ABC organization’s Human Resource Management department has embraced workplace diversity to boost its productivity. Although the intentions of embracing workplace diversity are to uphold productivity, the strategy has brought along communication issues amongst organizational stakeholders. In this light, the paper sought to investigate cultural differences as a communication problem in ABC organization and how principles from the Theory of Goal-Oriented Communication can be applied in fixing the problem.
Significance of the Inquiry and Relevance of the Question
Cultural differences in workplaces are a result of a diverse workplace. Most organizations, ABC inclusive have sought to embrace workplace diversity to enhance organizational productivity and the efficiency with which the organization is executing duties. The high number of advantages associated with diversity triggers various organizational management to forget about communication issues and barriers caused by workplace diversity and cultural differences. The question remains relevant because it will enhance an understanding of cultural difference as a communication problem from all dimensions (Mikkola & Valkonen, 2019). Evaluation of the pros and cons of workplace diversity will serve to ensure that the right solutions and strategies have been formulated which aims at addressing underlying issues. The problem inquiry will also expound on the utilization of the Theory of Goal-Oriented Communication to bring more advantages to the organization.
Communication Theory Chosen and its Relevance
The theory chosen for the assignment is the Theory of Goal-Oriented Communication. Ideally, this is a general communication theory that points out that, “Communication is not an end in itself, but rather a means to achieve some goals of the communicating parties.” Communication theories, just like other theories have certain frameworks that ought to be followed to attain the objectives of theory (Goldreich, Juba & Sudan, 2016). The ideology behind this communication theory is paying attention to the goals issues by the framework that can address the underlying challenge of misunderstanding during communication. The misunderstanding, in this case, is assumed to emerge from a lack of understanding and adhering to the agreement and protocol to be followed.
The theory defines reliable communication as “a means of overcoming any initial misunderstanding between parties towards achieving a given goal” (Goldreich, Juba & Sudan, 2016). Regardless of all the complex issues resulting from the diversity of workers in workplaces, the theory proposes a simple framework that can be used in capturing all the efficient communication goals. according to the theory, any goal can be modeled in a manner that minimized any form of misunderstanding in the organization. The theory works by examining the user and server who are the major parties involved in the communication. The focus however is not on the parties but the goals of communication. The framework and model of the theory are essential in addressing the challenge underway.
Communication Problem Under Investigation
The communication problem under investigation is cultural differences. As pointed out earlier in the paper, cultural differences in the organization are caused by workplace diversity. In the contemporary world, workplaces are becoming more diverse to clinch the advantages associated with workplace diversity (Goldreich, Juba & Sudan, 2016). Diversity becomes more serious when an organization is particularly handling global matters. The fact that workplace diversity has been embraced in ABC firm, several stakeholders are still persuaded more by individuals coming from their backgrounds. This has made managers experience several challenges when it comes to communication with ever person in as a cohesive team while handling organization based management dynamics.
According to Goldreich, Juba & Sudan (2016) “Culture is the pattern of taken-for-granted assumptions about how a given collection of people should think, act, and feel as they go about their daily affairs.” Different cultural beliefs and understanding have a different meaning to diverse groups of people. When a workplace is diverse, it, therefore, means that their perceptions of issues emerging in the organization and are perceived differently. Some communication protocols that are right to a given group of people might be wrong to a different cultural group. This has made it difficult for the managers to harmonize their beliefs and make them perceive communication aspects in the organization from a common ground. Cultural differences amongst stakeholders which might result in communication challenges can exist in the following ways. Language barriers in which certain groups of workplace personnel speak a different language from others in this light, speaking with one another remains a challenge.
The second cultural aspect is the interpretation of cultural semantics. Every culture has several non-verbal communication between people of different cultures. The gestures are interpreted differently when communicating using the signs, the interpretation of the target audience varies from person to person. Passing on information and ideas will remain a significant challenge. Behavioral and beliefs is another element of culture that comes with diverse interpretation in people. Culture comes with a unique cultural personality identity like the meaning of shaking the head and body movements. If such interpretations are different, then cases of miscommunication and misinterpretation from what has been attained remain rampant. Hence, increasing the issues of cultural miscommunication.
There exist several solutions through which cultural differences as a communication problem can be addressed. For the managers who are experiencing the problem, they are supposed to find strategies through which people coming from different backgrounds would be mixed up in a way that no issues will emerge. This will enhance the cultural understanding between the people of different cultures (Ruben & Gigliotti, 2016). It is this understanding which will ensure that issues cease to be issued because of a better understanding between the parties involved. The second solution is to break down the existing groups of people in workplaces, diverse them to collaborate their ideas. Incorporating multiple and modern forms of communication like emailing and software wallpaper can help address the existing challenges. Written forms of communication will pass information and ideas from the sender to the receiver without necessarily taking into account the nature of the people involved. The written communication also gets rid of any form of bias that might be present when engaging in verbal and face to face communication.
Application of Theory Knowledge to Address Communication Problem
The theory can be of great importance when it comes to addressing cultural differences as a communication challenge in organizational workplaces. According to the theory, communication is perceived as a tool that helps certain parties archive their goals. The groups and individuals who are making up a diverse workstation have goals in common. These are upholding organizational productivity and ensuring efficiency in the tasks being executed. Through the theory, the individuals and stakeholders will not have time to analyze individual differences. All their efforts will be channeled towards attaining the goals in place (Fortes Tondello, Premsukh, & Nacke, 2018). For this reason, productivity will be supported and cases of undermining individual differences will be addressed equally. Cultural differences in communication challenges result when the parties involved focus on varying disciplines. The theory sought to change the perception of what they think and see in people to what the organization can attain as a whole. Hence, making cultural differences cease to be a problem anymore.
In conclusion, workplace diversity, which is utilized as a tool to enhance company productivity can bring along communication challenges. A diversified workplace is assumed to bring different people together, and hence, different ideas can help an organization perform better. The theory chosen for the assignment is the Theory of Goal-Oriented Communication. The theory gives a different definition of reliability which helps in shifting the attention of the parties involved in what they are supposed to be going through. Cultural differences in communication challenges result when the parties involved focus on varying disciplines. Some of the solutions that can be used to address issues resulting from cultural differences include breaking down the groups that can side together against another, educating teams about the importance of diversity, and using written forms of communication.
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