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Historical Perspectives on
Organizational and
Communication Models
Based on Chapter 2, Goodall and Goodall
Lynne Dahmen
COM 2301: Advanced Speech
Classical Management Practices
Two major movements
Scientific Management (Taylor 1913)
 Bureaucracy (Weber 1946)
Top down
 Divides labor
 Seeks rules for performance
 Power in Management
 Inflexible structure/hierarchy
Scientific Management (Taylor 1913)
Sought rules and scientific « laws » for
work output
 Undertook time/motion studies
 Manager’s role includes:
Plan the work
 Organize tasks
 Set goals
 Coordinate work
 Control workers
Bureaucratic Approach (Weber 1946)
Sought « standards of fairness »
 Divided labor for efficiency
 Rules governed performance
 Separation of personal and professional
 Lack of preferential treatment
Progress: The Human Relations
Movement (1930’s-1950’s)
Hawthorne Studies (1930’s)
Communication can improve productivity
Employee’s feelings/attitudes affected output
Flexibility and growth inspired productivity
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1940’s-1950’s)
Lower order vs. Higher order needs
Emphasis on motivation
Higher needs met=more motivation=production
Organizational learning
Change in Communication Models
Information Transfer
Transactional Model
Today’s Approach: Systems
Awareness of interdependence of levels of
Need for communicated and
shared/negotiated goals
Role of feedback in productivity
Role of environment (within and outside of
Need for openness/flexibility in accomplishing
Modern Communication Models
(Senge 1994)
Communication flows through networks
 Decisions making-contingent on situation
 Open communication=healthy
communication environment
 Companies as Learning Organizations
Aspects of Organizational Culture
Communication habits and norms
 Dress
 Workspace organization
 Décor
 Behavior
 Process oriented
Classical Approaches to Power in
Organizations (French & Raven 1968)
 Coercive
 Referent
 Expert
 Legitimate
Systems Approach to Power
Power based on knowledge or
relationship abilities (savvy)
 Power located in relationships
 Exertion of influenct
Human Relations Approach to
Relation between manager and
employee transactional
 Cooperative
 Seeks feedback
Cultural Approach to Power
Power is located in struggles
 Over vs. covert power
 Shared power
 Democratic
Power & Democracy (Deetz, 1995)
Concept of ‘ownership’ in company
 Responsibility for self-management
 Information is power
 Social structure/power structure seen
from bottom up
Using Organizational Narratives
Organizational stories—circulate ‘how
things are done’
 Work-hate narratives—attempts to find
equity or feel better (revenge??)
 Narrative recovery—personal
perspectives on organization
 Organizational change—personal
accounts of change
Types of Organizational
Phatic (mindless) communication
 Ordinary conversation
 Skilled/professional communication
 Personal narratives
 Dialogue
What is mindful communication?
With purpose and strategy
 Analyzes situation
 Actively thinks of communication options
 Adapts message to audience/situation
 Evaluates feedback (criteria for success)
When does it occur? (Motley 1992)
Conflicting message goals
 Possible negative consequences
 Time delays (often related to attempts to
discern meaning)
 Unique or problematic communication
Describing a Learning Organization
Systems thinking
 Personal Mastery
 Mental Models
 Shared Vision
 Team learning
Dialogue as Aspect of a Learning
Recognizes power in feedback and com.
Fosters conscious communication
Can respect difference
Appreciates cultural experience
Balances individual and group concerns
Can relieve and reduce tension among
individuals and groups
Rewards skilled communication on a regular
Group Work
Read the scenario described on pages 59-60 in your
book, about trying to integrate a new team member.
Review the theories of communication discussed in the
chapter and in class and think about which theory might
provide a positive model to try to ‘bring John on board’
so that he shares the team’s vision and can add to the
group’s productivity.
Think about some suggestions and be prepared to
discuss them with your group during the next class.
Each group will be asked to submit their findings for a group grade.