Step I: Pre-Essay Activity: Workplace Observation
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.
During this pre-essay activity, you will observe organizational events that will ultimately develop
your finding(s) and recommendation(s) for this assignment. This process may present objective
challenges as mental models influence how we see and perceive the world around us. Be
mindful of mental models while observing your organization’s culture, people, communication
structures, and functions and strive for objective clarity.
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;
➢ 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
➢ 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 may be 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 final Practical Application Essay.
The discoveries, insightfulness, questions, and areas of needed communication improvement
that you develop during this observation activity will be presented orally to the class during our
Week 5 webinar.
Part I: Developing an Organizational Workplace Profile (7 pages)
Now, drawing upon the information developed in the Workplace Observation Activity, 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
Part II: Organizational Analysis (3 pages)
Next, write Part II of your essay, a discussion of the pros and cons of your workplace’s
organizational communication in light of your organizational communication perspective and
knowledge of management and social networking principles.
Part III: Organizational Development (2 pages)
Now, after exploring the strengths and limitations of your workplace, write the final section of your
essay. Make specific recommendation(s) to improve your workplace’s organizational
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 recommendation(s) with examples and support your position with rationale and data.
Show how your recommendation(s) 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.
The student must use, at minimum, four (4) sources with eight (8) citations.
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