relational professional communication in an organisation
The Module 2 readings provide you with a number of ‘tools’ or strategies to use to facilitate effective organisational communication. Your task is to consider the three professional communication issues you and others identified in the Module 1 online assessment task. At this point you may revise your top three (3) issues. After you reflect, make a SELECTION of the ‘tools’ provided and answer the following question:
One of the team members of HOPE has made a protected disclosure which points to serious problems within the team. Your task is to reflect and then identify and promote within the HOPE organisation three (3) initiatives to address your chosen top three (3) communication issues.
Please note the Marking Criteria for this assignment.
1. In identifying a range of relational communication issues.
2. Critically evaluate the relational dynamics of a workplace scenario and the challenges for management;
3. Critically reflect on professional identity and acknowledge its impact on communication practice and management; and
Please LISTEN to the Module 2 podcast recorded by myself and Dr Conway PRIOR to attempting Assignment 2.
This assessment task relates to Learning Outcomes 1,2,3 and Graduate Attributes 1,2,4,6,7,8
Assessments will be marked and feedback provided in line with UNE’s Assessment Policy.
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Module 1 Notes – Acknowledging
Relational Leadership and Incivility
The first two readings by Cunliffe and Eriksen (2011) and Pearson and Porath (2005) encapsulate what we are trying to convey by offering this unit. There are many communication units and professional communication units on offer at UNE and further afield. Perhaps you will have already completed some. Most of these units will equip you with skills on verbal and non-verbal communication generally and possibly in particular professional settings. This current unit does not attempt to do this. Instead, we have conceptualised ‘communication for professionals’ in terms of relational leadership. Accordingly, the unit will focus on providing you with relational communication skills and tools to enhance your communication in a professional environment.
As stated by Cunliffe and Eriksen (2011), relational leadership theory conceptualises leadership as embedded in the everyday relationally-responsive dialogical practices of leaders. Relational leadership requires a way of engaging with the world in which the leader holds herself/himself as always in relation with, and therefore morallyACCOUNTABLE to others and engages in relational dialogue.
The Pearson and Porath (2005) reading entitled ‘On the nature, consequences, and remedies of workplace incivility: No time for “nice”?’ raises the issue of incivility, or employees’ lack of regard for one another. The authors argue that incivility is costly to organisations in subtle and pervasive ways. Although uncivil behaviors occur commonly, many organisations fail to recognise them, few understand their harmful effects, and most managers and executives are ill-equipped to deal with them. The authors state that incivility causes itsTARGETS , witnesses, and additional stakeholders to act in ways that erode organisational values and deplete organisational resources. Because of their experiences of workplace incivility, employees decrease work effort, time on the job, productivity, and performance. Where incivility is not curtailed, job satisfaction and organisational loyalty diminish as well. Some employees leave their jobs solely because of the impact of this subtle form of deviance. Most of these consequences occur without organisational awareness. In addition to detailing the nature of incivility and its consequences, the authors provide keys to recognising and dealing with habitual instigators, and remedies that are being used effectively by organisations to curtail and correct employee-to-employee incivility.
The article by Adler and Hansen (2012) titled ‘Daring to Care:SCHOLARSHIP that supports the courage of our convictions’ invites us all to explore the pain that is within organisations as well as the pain caused by organisations.
This way of theorising leadership also has practical implications in helping sensitise leaders to the importance of their relationships and to features of conversations and everyday mundane occurrences that can reveal new possibilities for morally-responsible leadership. In this regard, the readings by Dutton and Workman (2011) and Miller (2007) highlight the role of ‘compassion’ in relational leadership. Compassion may be defined as noticing, feeling and responding’ in order to communicate more successfully.
The Role of Language
There are three readings grouped together under the heading ‘The role of language’. The first reading is by Liang et al (2014) and is entitled ‘ Speaking of Corporate Social responsibility’. The findings from the Liang et al (2014)STUDY were that a company’s use of language, particularly by the CEO and other top executives, guides its business philosophies and decisions. The second reading by Allen (2012) is an exert from a blog that discusses the role of language in shaping corporate culture. The third reading by Iedema et al (2004) entitled ‘It’s an Interesting Conversation I’m Hearing’: The Doctor as Manager’ rounds off the section on the role of language and guides us into the next part of this module on professional identity. The article demonstrates the analytical tool of discourse analysis. Its aim is to outline in discursive-linguistic terms how doctor-managers (or ‘physician-executives’ as they are termed in the USA) manage the dimensions of position between profession and organisation. The authors undertook a discourse analytical study of both recorded, situated talk and open interview data focusing on one doctor-manager navigating between profession and organisation. The doctor-manager at the centre of this study locates himself on the boundary of at least three discourses which, in many respects, are incommensurate. These are the profession-specific discourse of clinical medicine, the resource-efficiency and systematization discourse of management, and an interpersonalizing discourse devoted to hedging and mitigating contradictions. While this multi-vocality in itself is not surprising, data show that the doctor-manager positions himself across these discourses and manages their inherent incommensurabilities before a heterogeneous audience and on occasions even within the one utterance. In this particular case, boundary management is achieved by weaving incommensurable positions together into the social and linguistic dynamics of a single, heteroglossic stream of talk. This highly complex and dialogic strategy enables the doctor-manager to dissimulate the disjunction between his reluctance to impose organizational rules on his medical colleagues and his perception that such rules, in the future (to some extent at least), will be the appropriate means for managing the clinical work, and through that the organisation.
Reading 1.6 Liang et al (2014)
Reading 1.7 Allen (2012)
Reading 1.8 Iedema et al (2004)
The Role of Identity
In the reading entitled ‘Identity on the line: constructing professional identity in a HR call centre’, Pritchard (2011) applies insights from the social construction of professional identity to an understanding of the ‘professional service’ call centre representative (CSR). This reading moves us to the next phase of Module 1 – acknowledging identity and how it impacts upon communication. In this case, HR HUMAN RESOURCES ) practitioners found themselves in a CSR role in a newly constituted HR call centre. This research explores how they then (re-)constructed their role as professionals within this context. Overall, this research challenges accepted norms and definitions of both call centre work and professional identity, suggesting that both are contested and constructed through identity. In the reading entitled ‘Investigating the factors influencing professional identity of first-year health and social care students’ Adams et al (2006) investigates the level of professional identity when students commence their professional studies; the differences in the level of professional identity between students from a range of professions; and the factors which may affect the initial levels of professional identification. Data were collected by questionnaire from the first-year cohort of Health and Social Care (H&SC) students embarking on IPE as an embedded part of anUNDERGRADUATE pre-qualifying programme. A sample of 1254 students was achieved. The authors findings suggest that a degree of professional identity is evident before students begin their training. Differences in strength of initial professional identity were observed across professions, with physiotherapy students displaying the highest levels of professional identification. The variables that were found to be significant predictors of baseline professional identity were: gender; profession; previous work experience in H&SC environments; understanding of team working; knowledge of profession; and cognitive flexibility. Some explanations for these findings are presented and the implications are discussed. In the reading entitled ‘Reconsidering research on teachers’ professional identity, Beijaard et al (2004) examine the research on teachers’ professional identity. The study highlights the difficulties in defining professional identity. Despite this, the authors identify four essential features of teachers’ professional identity.
The Role of Ethics
The three readings on the role of ethics explore the role of formal ethics training in shaping identity and professionalism.
The first reading by Liang et al (2014) focuses on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This reading links the role of language with the role of ethics: The authors argue that the language spoken by corporate decision makers influences their firms’ social responsibility and sustainability practices. More specifically, the authors state that linguists suggest that obligatory future time-reference (FTR) in a language reduces the psychological importance of the future. Prior research has shown that speakers of strong FTR languages (such as English, French, and Spanish) exhibit less future-oriented behaviour. Yet, research has not established how this mechanism may affect the future-oriented activities of corporations. The authors theorize that companies with strong-FTR languages as their official/working language would have less of a future orientation and so perform worse in future-oriented activities such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) compared to those in weak-FTR language environments. Examining thousands of global companies across 59 countries from 1999-2011, they find support for their theory. Their results suggest that language use by corporations is a key cultural variable that is a strong predictor of CSR and sustainability.
The reading by Bebeau (2008) demonstrates the need to educate and train professionals about ethical decision making early, from the time they are students, prior to their entry into the professions. It provides guidance on the domains in which educators must work to foster ethical development and professionalism as well as some insights into efforts to promote ethical development.
Hamilton and Monson’s (2010) article examines the relationship between professionalism and effectiveness through a review of empirical literature from the social sciences and the professions. The authors found that increased capacities for professionalism (e.g. personal conscience defined as perceptual clarity and empathy, moral judgment, moral identity, and moral implementation skills) were related to a wide range of effectiveness outcomes as assessed by clients and experienced professionals. These effectiveness outcomes include (1) increased satisfaction with the professional’s services, (2) decreased likelihood the professional experiencesMALPRACTICE CLAIMS or complaints, and (3) increased likelihood the professional will detect or report wrongdoing. Evidence indicates that professionalism is not a fixed trait, but rather it can be enhanced and developed across the career span.
Revisit Reading 1.6 Liang et al (2014)
Reading 1.12 Bebeau (2008)
Reading 1.13 Hamilton and Monson (2010)