One of the challenges of making Kamak a professional organization is to get Pete, the Managing Director, to change his leadership style that is suitable to the organizational culture. First and foremost, Pete has to accept that he is merely a driver of that culture rather than its measure, and that he should get in touch with the realities of that culture.
His personal actions as the main representative of management impact the assessment of organizational culture being that management practices are a significant dimension of it. It is measured through “the fairness and consistency with which policies are administered, the accessibility of management to employees, the degree to which management provides a safe working environment and how well management encourages diversity.” (Jolly & Recarda, 1997). Given that, he must be prepared to act in a way that promotes and implements the policies and good management practices.
The members of the staff, on the other hand, seem keen on getting their opinions heard but they are having difficulty given the current situation. Moreover, confidentiality or a semblance of it is apparently an important condition before anyone will step forward and communicate an opinion. Since a face-to-face and one-on-one meeting opportunity is hard to come by, the best option at this time would be to express their opinion in writing and leave it anonymously and hope actions will be considered and forthcoming or sign it and explicitly request for a private meeting to discuss it.
In a professional organization, continuity and consistency are important in order to instill a set of values, beliefs and practices that are understood and shared by its members. Unilateral and regular changes in policies merely tend to confuse especially since the organization has only recently evolved from a local organization to one that deals with international companies and has yet to homogenize.
However, dealing with international companies would also mean having enough flexibility to adapt to the constantly changing environments and demands and thus, it is prudent to aim for continuous improvement as opposed to drastic changes. Consistency with policies and practices and service commitments can still be maintained and merely the strategy will be amended. It is essential, though, that to make a change successful, that change must be properly communicated.
To achieve professional standards in organizational communication, the elements must be present and developed. This would include the communicators or those engaged in the exchange and sharing of ideas with their assessment and accessibility, the message, the language of interaction, the channel of communication which may be formal such as memoranda and meetings or informal such as casual conversations and the climate of the communication situation which would be the dynamics of interaction that there are no hidden agenda, no repercussions, and the like (Chan & Palo, 2002).
The organizational culture in Kamak is a networked culture that is “high in sociability but low in solidarity” and is still at the low context stage which is “characterized by considerable dependence on explicitly articulated messages… that is usually observed in small firms or start-up firms where the entire operations is in the making and information must be widely distributed and clearly disseminated.” (Chan & Palo, 2002). Hence, the following are essential in its organizational communication:
- Promote a communication climate that is supportive, i.e., information is widely shared with the aim of progressing towards a climate that is high on empowerment and support;
- Open alternative modes of communication and utilize and maximize technology such as e-mails especially for information dissemination, fax, voicemail, phone if face-to-face communication is not immediately possible;
- Conduct regular meeting so that policies are formally introduced, implemented and reinforced;
- Make use of the grapevine to be in touch with the staff level and would encourage face-to-face interaction between parties making it personal and social;
- Open a feedback mechanism through suggestion boxes and at the same time, continue to encourage and promote the open-door policy but ensure accessibility in a climate and setting that nurtures confidentiality.
Chan, G.S. & Palo, T. M. (2002). Organizational communication. In G. Chan (Ed.), Managing people in Asian organizations (pp. 229-285). Singapore: Prentice Hall.
Jolly, J. and Recardo, R. (1997). Organizational culture and teams. SAM Advanced Management Journal, 62 (2), 4-9.