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  1. Practical Application Essay: Workplace Organizational Communication Model Analysis (10-12 page paper, double-spaced, and PowerPoint summary)

    Step I: Pre-Essay Writing Activity: Workplace Observation: Over a period of 10-14 days, observe your organization workplace and operations, critically reflecting upon and analyzing how it has organized itself, communicates, and functions. As needed, professionally speak to colleagues to gain their insights.

    Organizational Structure and Culture: Examine how your organization:

  •   Has structured itself to achieve its goals and perform its daily tasks;
  •   Utilizes its organizational vision, beliefs, values, leadership, policies, processes, etc. to

    “enculturate” its employees into what is acceptable, how work is accomplished in the

    organization, and how information and knowledge is shared;

  •   Creates organizational processes for leaders to engage with employees and for peers to

    interact with each other, including functioning as effective teams;

  •   Understands and distributes organizational power and decision making.

    Organizational Workplace Environment and Communication: Examine how your organization:

  •   Forms and utilizes workplace relationships including management practices, meetings,

    work groups, teams, project groups or teams, mentor partnership, etc.;

  •   Creates channels of communication, including information storage and sharing,

    dissemination of important or new ideas, processes, etc., and gathers feedback;


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  •   Develops and utilizes social networking to accomplish tasks;
  •   Develops and maintains working relationships and partnerships with external individuals,

    groups and businesses, including civic communities;

  •   Communicates with customers and/or clients.

    Organizational Information Flow, Knowledge Sharing, and Decision Making: Examine how your organization:

  •   Accesses, manages, and disseminates its institutional knowledge and practical wisdom, including how it utilizes written policies, workplace partnerships, various types of electronic communication practices and systems, storage and report generating systems, knowledge management systems, etc.;
  •   Develops and utilizes various forms of technology to get work done;
  •   Gathers information, distills out and makes available knowledge from projects, events,

    etc., makes and implements decisions, and gains and applies feedback.

    Organizational Learning and Development: Examine how your organization:

  •   Enables organizational learning, including the use of training opportunities, mentor

    relationships, communities of practice, etc.;

  •   Structures avenues for learning from projects, successes and failures, etc. and

    disseminating or making accessible the knowledge gained;

  •   Fosters on-going employee learning, innovative thinking, etc.;
  •   Fosters on-going organizational innovation and implements change.

    Also, while identifying the form that organizational communication takes in your workplace, think about what is missing and what is not working very effectively. Explore why there are gaps in the organizational communication systems. Discern how your workplace organizational communication could be improved.

    As you did for your conceptual application essay, note and write down any interesting discoveries, insightful conclusions, questions, and areas of needed improvement that emerge. Weave these into your essay.

    Step II: Developing an Organizational Workplace Profile: Now, drawing upon the various organizational communication models explored in this course, compose Part I of your essay. In this section describe how organizational communication has taken shape in your workplace.

  •   Use the insights gained from your observation activity to develop your workplace organizational communication profile.
  •   The above bullet points can help you structure your profile.

    Step III: Organizational Analysis: Next, write Part II of your essay, a discussion of the pros and cons of your workplace’s organizational communication in light of a) your organizational communication perspective, b) Bolman and Deals’ 4 frameworks, and c) knowledge management and social networking principles.



Step IV: Organizational Development: Now, after exploring the strengths and limitations of your workplace, write the final section of your essay. Make specific recommendations to improve your workplace’s organizational communication.

  •   Outline the core critical changes that you would make to enable your organization to communicate, share and apply knowledge and collaboratively function more effectively. Illustrate your recommendations with examples and support your position with rationale and data.
  •   Show how 1-2 of your recommendations could be practically implemented. Discuss organizational barriers to implementing your ideas and how they could be addressed. As needed, include a discussion of human and financial resources to implement your recommendation.

    Upload the paper into the Assignments page on CampusWeb by the end of Week 8.

    Step V: Presenting Change to Inspire Action (Presentation): Develop a brief leadership training session that distills the essence of your paper. Create a PowerPoint presentation of your organizational analysis and highlight its key points. Upload it into the Assignments page in CampusWeb by the end of Week 8. (You will not need to actually give this presentation in this class, just upload the PowerPoint slides you create.)

    Presentation Format: Envision yourself presenting your workplace organizational communication findings to a team of senior leaders who have been charged to improve your organization. Develop an informative and convincing set of PowerPoint slides that would enable the leaders to critically understand the current organizational situation, 1-2 key issues, the need and urgency to act, ways to address the issues, and an action plan.

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