Introduction and Objectives
The MSc dissertation is a substantial piece of original research. The length of the dissertation should be 22,000 words. The objectives of the dissertation:
- Enabled students to apply the knowledge and experience gained in the taught component of their MSc Programme to a topic or dissertation within their subject area.
- Students got awareness and understanding of different approaches to management research and experience of dealing with practical issues in conducting a major research dissertation
Being in line with University requirements, the dissertation has been constituted as an ordered critical exposition of knowledge in an approved field; affording evidence of reasoning power and knowledge of relevant literature.
The process of completing the dissertation is essentially student orientated and it provided a degree of independence in learning. As a result, students set their own agendas and objectives and acquired useful skills as well as enhanced their knowledge of the subject material. A learning objective is associated with managing the research process as well as the finished product.
After undertaking the research dissertation students are able to:
- Prepared a well thought out research proposal taking into account the constraints of time and resources
- Designed a research methodology taking into account the nature of the topic under investigation and relevant literature
- Conducted research in the field with either companies, organisations or individuals
- Analysed qualitatively the data and made decisions about its usefulness and accuracy as well as assessing the implications of the findings for the particular theoretical domain of the dissertation topic
- Managed own research process recognising that the proposed research is achieved in the time available.
Whilst it is desirable to conduct research (i.e. primary research data) for the dissertation, the secondary research is appropriate as well for the chosen research topic and area. The discussion as to whether research is appropriate and what form this had formed part of the student’s initial meetings with your supervisor.
In research, the primary data collection is in the form of:
- Interviews with key informants in an organisation
- Focus groups
- Interviews with executives/employees from an MNC (Philips)
- Participant’s observation in a particular company or organisation
- A questionnaire survey of relevant people or influenced individual within one organisation.
- A questionnaire survey of employees and Manager
As the student thought that the secondary research is also more appropriate this has been included as part of literature review, discussion and analysis of relevant archival data and the methodology used included the collection of qualitative data.
Working With the Supervisor
Regular contact with the supervisor throughout the dissertation has been maintained. Student took the responsibility to establish and maintain regular contact with his/her supervisor and to reported progress on the research.
The dissertation is the student’s own work. The role of the supervisor has been limited to offer advice on the process and monitor a student’s progress. As a result your supervisor does not necessarily need to be an expert in the subject area you will be researching. Both Supervisors and students worked in different ways and students and staff therefore found it useful while clarifying expectations at the start of the process. In case of holiday reasons, the meeting dates of supervisor were planned well in advance.
A Student Learning Agreement has been completed with supervisor’s approval on the onset of your dissertation and a signed copy has been retained. The original has been returned to the Graduate Programmes Office.
The Research Process and Conducting the Fieldwork
Student followed a systematic research process. Student decided on the research topic, the main stages of the research process are as follows:
This is quite a lengthy task and student has begun working on it as soon as supervisor approved the topic. The literature review is an important part of the research process and has been done quite early on as it is essential to know the work done previously in the topic area and also as n aid the development of the theoretical/conceptual framework for the study. Based on the literature review students developed a framework or model which incorporated the issues or concepts that are investigated and defined the boundaries of the study.
Having completed the literature review and development of the research framework/model, the next stage in the research paper is development of research methodology. The design of research instruments, if appropriate, obtaining samples, arranging interviews etc are all important tasks are done with considerable amount of time and attention to detail with the approval of supervisor.
This stage involved the actual collection of data where appropriate e.g. conducting interviews or focus groups or administering a survey. The field work has been done after the literature review and after agreement of research model, methodology and research instrument with supervisor.
Analysis and Writing Up
After data collection the final stages involved analysing the data and writing up the results and conclusions.
Student gave a detailed time plan taking into account all of the above research stages after discussing with the supervisor.
Dissertation Regulations and Marking Arrangements
Student submitted one spiral bound copy and a CD ROM of the dissertation to be received in the Graduate Programmes Office before the stipulated time line.
The dissertation did not exceed the maximum length as it is 22,000 words.
Divisions of the Dissertation
Sometimes, the nature of a dissertation necessitates the student having access to sensitive information about a company’s business. The company may require the student to keep such information confidential, and occasionally may ask the student to sign a formal confidentiality agreement. However, this dissertation report contains no confidential information about the companies and individuals interviewed.
Abstract and Keywords
This page should be headed by your name and the title of the dissertation, followed by an abstract that must not exceed 250 words, and up to ten keywords (or phrases) which pin-point the subject matter. The abstract should detail the content and key findings of the dissertation in such a way that its aim, approach and outcome(s) are clearly identifiable to the reader.
The preface is used primarily to mention matters of background necessary for an understanding of the subject that do not logically fit into the text. Items such as the following may also be mentioned here unless they are more extensively considered in the body of the dissertation: reason for the selection of the subject and its limitation, explanation as to how the dissertation relates to practical matters in the field in which it is written, the nature and scope of the investigation undertaken, difficulties encountered, etc. It is customary to include a brief expression of the author’s appreciation of help and guidance received in the research. The preface is not the same as an introduction, which is properly a part of the main body of the dissertation.
Statement of Authenticity and Word Count
Student included a statement the dissertation as his/her own work. This has been as follows: “I certify that this dissertation is all my own work”. This statement may be included on the same page as the preface, should space allow. Students should also include a word count on this page. The word count should exclude bibliographies, diagrams and tables, footnotes, tables of contents and appendices of data.
Dissertations do not usually carry a dedication but may do so if the author feels there is a strong need for one.
Table of Contents
The table of contents contains the headings and subheadings of the chapters and sections of the dissertation, with the numbers of the pages on which these chapters and sections begin.
Lists of Tables, Figures and Other Materials
If the dissertation contains charts, figures, maps, tables, photographs, or other types of material, each series of these should be listed separately in an appropriate list on the page or pages immediately following the table of contents. Each such list should appear on a separate page. In format, such lists should follow the general style of the table of contents.
The number of the item is given at the left-hand margin of the page under the appropriate column headings entitled, “Charts”, “Figures”, “Maps”, “Tables”, or “Photographs”. After an interval of three spaces, the number is followed by the title of the item, given exactly as it appears in the text of the dissertation. The number of the page on which the item appears in the body of the dissertation is given flush with the right-hand margin of the page. Tables, figures, etc. should be numbered according to their chapter and position in the chapter. Thus Figure 2.10 is the tenth figure in Chapter Two.
Body of the Text
The dissertation proper begins with the first page of the first chapter or section. Each chapter or section should represent an important division of the dissertation. Special care should be given to dividing the text into paragraphs and the use of subheadings to help the reader. Each new chapter should begin on a new page.
The chapters are identified by Arabic numerals and the subsections numbered as specified in sections 1.5 and 1.6. Each chapter should have a title identifying the subject contained therein and it should begin on a new page.
The principal purpose of an appendix is to keep the text of the dissertation from being interrupted or cluttered with supplementary, minor and illustrative materials. The text of pertinent documents, tables that present extensive data, or date of minor or ancillary importance, the text of legal decisions or laws, very lengthy quotations, excerpts from diaries, transcripts or minutes, forms of documents, copies of sample questionnaires, and the like, may be included as appendices if they are pertinent to the subject matter of the dissertation and they cannot appropriately be incorporated into the body of the text.
Appendices should appear immediately following the body of the text. Each appendix should start on a separate page. The appendix pages should continue the regular pagination of the dissertation. Appendix A should be a copy of the dissertation proposal as submitted to the supervisor. Other appendices should then follow in the order that they are referred to in the text of the dissertation. Whenever possible and appropriate, the source of material in the appendix should be given.
The bibliography has only the works consulted and found relevant and thus cited by the author in the management dissertation.
Preparation of the Dissertation
The candidate submitted one spiral bound copy of the dissertation and a CD –Rom. The University retains these after the degree has been awarded, the CD-Rom being lodged with the University Library and the bound copy with the Postgraduate Office. Students must ensure that the pages of their dissertation will not easily become loose.
The dissertation has been produced using a word processor on one side only of A4 paper of good quality and conform to the guidelines detailed below.
The MAXMIUM permitted length is 22,000 words, The limit excludes bibliographies, diagrams and tables, footnotes, tables of contents and appendices of data. Please ensure your dissertation does not exceed 22,000 words in length. According to University regulations, assessed work which exceeds a specified maximum permitted length will be subject to a penalty deduction of marks equivalent to the percentage of additional words over the limit. Harsh penalties will be applied to work that is significantly over-length.
Margins Font and Spacing
Margin widths are as follows: Left at least 4.0cm, right 2cm, and top and bottom 2.5cm. The right-hand margin should be kept as even as possible. Folded tables, graphs, illustrations, maps, and similar inserts should be within the margins indicated, otherwise, they run the risk of being cut during the binding and trimming process.
The body of the dissertation is one and a half line spaced, with quotations in single line spacing, indented. 12pt Times New Roman has been used as the font for all of the text throughout the dissertation. The pages of the dissertation are numbered.
The copying and binding of the Management Dissertation has been done by a printer but the dissertation is a bound using a spiral device so pages are secure. The University Copy Zone can print and bind dissertations should you wish to use their services. Their address is:
University of Bradford
T: 01274 233240
- Dissertations are submitted as word files.
- Dissertations are submitted as text, where applicable, and not scanned in.
- The physical medium of submission must be on CD Rom.
The much needed aspect for an organisation to work properly is coordination between employees as well as the leaders and the team members. It is possible with interpersonal communication and relations between employees of a department and between different departments and it can enhance the performance of an organisation.
Objectives of the Study
The important objective of the study is to explore how the interpersonal communication as well as the relations between employees and various departments of a company affects the activities of the company. The way the leaders in the business corporations use the interpersonal communication and relations to get a better performance from their team is important while discussing the affect of it on the business of any company. In addition to that, in the era of globalisation, the businesses depend on interpersonal communication, which enhances the performance of the leaders and the executives dealing with the people in different countries who work in the subsidiaries or branches of a Multinational Company. At last it is important to discuss and analyse the effect of interpersonal communication to assure better coordination.
(Key Words: Interpersonal Communication, Efficiency, Functional Activities, Teamwork, Employees, Leaders, Top Management, Cross Cultural Environment)
The dissertation is about role of interpersonal communication in functional activities of a company. The role of interpersonal communication in enhancing the efficiency of team members as well as a company has been discussed and analysed. In addition to that, the usage of interpersonal communication in multi cultural environment of multinational companies has been explored in literature review, discussion and analysis. For this dissertation, the primary research is the responses of employees through Anosh Thakkar; global performance manager in MNC-Philips. The primary data includes the responses of Anosh on interpersonal communication as part of a top level leadership. Hence, the primary research contains the responses of employees from a leader and opinions of leader himself. In addition to that the veracity and authenticity of field research has been verified by secondary data, which comprises of authentic and academic sources on usage of interpersonal interactive system in corporate companies and MNCs.
The paper discusses and analyses the way the interpersonal communication and relations effect or enhance the performance of an organisation. The literature review starts with significance of interpersonal communication in team work and the importance of human tough in the activities of the leaders. In the next stage of the literature review, the aspect of much needed coordination between different departments and branches of a company comes to the fore and the role of interpersonal communication in it will find place in the review that paves way for further discussion. Moreover, the importance of information sharing that is enabled due to interpersonal relationships and coordination developed is part of the review. The next stage in the literature review is about trust that can be a result of coordination between employees and departments. The next part of the review considers the trust for the management and innovation in the employees through better relations of leaders with them. In the next stage, the application and usage of trust gained through interpersonal relations in marketing activities of the company is explored. As the context is marketing the communication with the customers also finds place in literature review and the way the companies and the employees in them talk with the customers or prospective customers. After that the production and supply chain management, which are part of larger companies as well as MNCs need review as the persons in them are also stakeholders of the company. In all the above-mentioned aspects, only the activities of the company are mentioned but there is absence of ethics. The next stage in the literature review is to discuss the ethical activities of the leader that can affect the performance of the employees or their loyalty towards the company.
The next stage of the assignment is methodology, which has two sets of questionnaires. The first seeks the response from the employees about the nature and the working style of the company. The next set of the questions are termed as open questions, which seek answers regarding the working nature and activities of the company about accomplishing its goals from a higher official.
In the next stage, the discussion about the findings from the questionnaires takes place and the analysis follows the discussion. At last the researcher concludes about the role of interpersonal communication and relationships as the points that make an organisation to work properly.
In this chapter, the importance of interpersonal communication will be emphasised in the backdrop of team work as both are indispensable. The review in this part suggests how can a multinational company administrates its activities in different subsidiaries in different locations as employees belong to different cultural backgrounds and have different perceptions. In this context, the way the interpersonal communication can be used to deal with the functional activities of the company finds place in the review.
In the next step, human touch in team work is emphasises, which is part of interpersonal communication. The review suggests that without human touch, one cannot implement interpersonal interaction in the team and the company. In this context, the review reminds that no leader can accomplish the goals of the company along and he/she needs the cooperation of the employees and that is possible to full extent with human touch, which is part of interpersonal interactive system.
After emphasising the importance of human touch the understanding due developed in a team and a company that comprises of number of teams comes to the fore. The review in this part indicates that the understanding about the perceptions of the employees is necessary to have unwritten expectations on them, which are crucial for a leader’s success or a management’s achievement of targets. Hence, this section of review suggests about having enough information about employees to have an understanding about them along with the human touch of the company with them.
The next part of the review talks about the information sharing that makes understanding possible and states that this is possible with interpersonal relationships. This part even suggests that it is important for a leader to treat the team members as important persons in achieving the goals of the company. In addition to that the next stage concentrates on coordination developed between different departments due to information sharing enabled by interpersonal interactions.
The next step of the review mentions about the influence of coordination on the activities of the company, which is a result of interpersonal communication. The review emphasises the importance given to others by every employee and how it affects the activities of the company. Moreover, how coordination makes a leader understands the point of view of the team members also finds place in this part of review.
As continuation to coordination, another important activity that is necessary for the smooth going of functional activities of the company; trust comes surfaces here and this review explains the way develops trust between different departments as well as the stakeholders of the company. The review states that the mutual trust between employees and stakeholders develops from the extent of expectations they have on each other and its effect on activities of the company.
As trust plays a key role in smooth going of functional activities, the way the coordination and communication go together is also reviewed as they are important to create mutual trust. In this context, the review states that the communication will be effective when it is understood by targeted audience and interpersonal communication follows that.
As continuity for communication and coordination, the next part of the review is about employee organisational relationship as a part of interpersonal communication. The aspect that friend and stakeholder of a company is a result of its successful activities finds emphasis here and if they are present due to interpersonal communication, one can understand the effect of it on functional activities of an organisation. In addition to that this part of review explains how understanding of a leader about team members and teams enables quicker success in the activities of the company.
As trust and coordination are emphasised till now, the way they result in innovation in activities of the company finds place in the next part of the review. In this context, the review of literature mentions about the knowledge that is transferred through interpersonal and intraorganisational communication in an organisation and the way it is utilised for the achievement of gaols of a company.
After a reasonable emphasis on overall activities of the company this part of the review focuses on the effect of interpersonal communication on the marketing activities of the company. The review suggests that the trust developed in the customer due to interactive system of the company will be crucial for the marketing activities of the company.
Exactly, as a question and answer to the just-mentioned context of effect of trust on marketing activities, the next part of the review discusses the effect of interpersonal communication on marketing activities.
After the review of the effect of interactive system on the marketing activities, the focus turns to ethics that is related to interpersonal communication. The role of ethics that is capable of making interpersonal communication an interactive system that develops duty mindedness in the employees finds place in the next part of the review. The way the leader can develop ethical concerns in the team members by reflecting them in his/her attitude is emphasised here.
In the next stage, the way how communication and marketing go together comes to the fore. The way communication turns the prospects as the customers to the company and the way to create prospects before that is discussed.
Interpersonal Communication as part of Teamwork
According to Janet K. Winter., Karen K. Wagner., Joan C Neal-Mansfield (2008, p.265), team work and interpersonal communication are indispensable. It is important for leaders in any business to promote interpersonal communication as global trends are inseparable part of the present day business. Hence interpersonal communication and relations are important in team work as administration of a multinational company has to deal with employees belonging to different cultures who are from various geographical locations. As per the above point, global marketing and production is important in an atmosphere of intensified competition. In this context, interpersonal communication that can enhance the quality of team work in an organization, which also can be known as coordination between different departments is necessary. The above-mentioned coordination can help in marketing activities with a connection to production activities as well as distribution system and supply chain management. In the above course of work, J.K. Winter et al. (2008) emphasize the communication within a team. However, in this paper, the team is a global one, which has the presence of its members in different geographical locations who belong to different cultures. In the above context, J.K.Winter et al. quote George Bernard Shaw’s observation about the greatest problem in communication as illusion. The interpersonal communication and relations are capable of reducing or minimising the illusions, thus enabling a good communication between team members and departments. Hence, the authors opine that in order to avoid that illusion interpersonal communication is necessary between top to bottom of the team so that everyone in the team are having reality in their mind regarding goals and their achievement. In the above context, it is important to mention characteristics of effective teams. Regarding the characteristics of an effective team, J.K. Winter et al. quote Kinlaw (1991) who identified four characteristics of effective and successful teams. They are; producing results, developing informal processes, developing special feelings and take leadership. Author’s quote here Kinglaw’s opinion of transformation of team to a functional body with complementation activities between its members to achieve the common end or goal of the company (Janet K. Winter., Karen K. Waner., Joan C Neal-Mansfield, 2008).
Human Touch in Teamwork
In the above context, the human touch of the leader, which is a character attribute, is important and that brings out the leader in a manager and makes the team productive. According to Joseph P. Cangemi., Bill Burga., Harold Lazarus., Richard L. Miller., Jaime Fitzgerald (2008, p.1027), no leader can accomplish the goals of organisation alone. Hence, they must involve subordinates to get the tasks done. However, the authors opine that the leaders innovate and managers administrate. The reason is that the leaders have long range vision while planning the tasks to be done. Hence the authors’ opinion is that, leaders do the right things and managers do things right. Hence, a manager transforms to be a leader when he/she is team to get the task accomplished with minimum risks and nil misunderstandings. This is possible only when there is positive atmosphere in an organisation and a chance for expressing creativity. In addition to that the employees as well as stakeholders should be free to express themselves and contribute much needed ideas, which is the basis of interpersonal communication. Hence, the above aspect depends on the aspect they consider while dealing with the people. The important aspect the authors observed is the human side of work that is necessary in achieving goals. Hence, according to Cangemi et al (2008, 1028), states that leaders define the organisation’s mission. This definition involves sharing and that is possible with vision of the leader. Hence, it can be understood that the leaders develop shared visions, which include stake holders while charting the future direction of their organisations. In that course of charting future direction, it is important to set the goals as well as the core values that guide the organisational behaviour as well as stakeholders. Hence, in the above case it is important to have humanistic work environment in which subordinates and associates can work. In the above course of creating such atmosphere, leader has to understand the team members as well as him/her. Moreover, it is important to note that getting a leader who does not give importance to human touch is just throwing money away. In the above context, Cangemi et al. (2008), quote a case study in which a senior author studied the situation that prompted managers to lie to the plant director. The result of the study is that the managers did not lie, but they avoided the bad news in the organisation. The reason is that the plant director looses temper at the hearing of bad news and thus the managers avoided it before him. The above situation is an example of lack of human touch, which resulted in production problems in a large company. Hence, it is important to avoid mistrust between the leader and the team to enable interpersonal communication and the expression of creativity. In another case the authors mention the need of creating a climate that is safe to present the facts. However, it is important to take care that the presentation of facts may not lack the strategic data important for risk-taking and decision making. They quote the instance of Italian plane engine maker Piaggio, which produced faulty engines but there is no atmosphere to let Mussolini know about that fact, which resulted in loss in the war. Hence, it is important to have interpersonal communication as well as expression of creativity between team members and with the leader as well to avoid the misconceptions and the situations that lack required information. As a result it is important for a leader to create humanistic organisational climate that helps in cooperative discourse. Hence, it is important to have organisation wide open communications, which can be termed as a leadership mandate. In addition to that it is important to leaders to listen to dissenting views of the people, who are valuable for the organisation. In this context, the authors give example of Japan’s economic domination for the automobile market place, which is possible with open communications that is result of cooperative discourse (Cangemi et al, 2008).
In the above context of Grice’s Co-operative principle, while in the meetings with the staff, the leader should make contribution as is required at the stage. The contribution must be in accepted purpose or in that direction so that the talk exchange in which the team is engaged is related to the contribution. Moreover, it is important to note that the leader has to say what he/she believes and should not convey the information, which lacks evidence from the side of the leader. If leader does so, the context of lack of cooperation may arise and that may result in lack of interpersonal communication. Briefness and the orderly manner are important when a leader conveys messages to the team members. Moreover, to make the team members to obey the leader, it is important for the leader to abide by the norms of the company to which employees are bind to. In addition to that it is important for a leader to be sincere in questioning by making him/herself sincere in implementing the norms laid down for the team members. In the above context, QU Li-Juan (2007, p.65) quotes that, for example Mrs. Margaret Thatcher lacked the chemical properties of iron in her body, but she had hardness and resilience, as well as non-flexibility and durability in taking decisions as well as doing the tasks. Hence, the admirers may say her iron lady and at times it may also be a commendation. The above admiration conveys the toughness as well as resilience of a leader. Hence, through the above topic, it is important to note that the leader should be as resilient as tough and as flexible as hard. Moreover, it is important to note that the interpersonal communication is possible when the people are working in natural moods that make them laugh and react according to the context. Hence, Grice’s co-operative principle targets on interpersonal communication by being flexible in execution and tough in norms in a company (QU Li-Juan, 2007).
Human Touch that enables Understanding
The inherent aspect in the text just reviewed above is that the leaders must understand how the team members define and view market-oriented behaviours. Hence, the communication of unwritten job expectations are necessary and this can happen only with relationships, which happen with the help of interpersonal communication. Hence, social exchanges between employer and employee require a theoretical framework of the psychological contract. If the communication is faulty, the individual interpretation may take place resulting in confusion. Hence, the market oriented behaviours should be framed by mutual expectations as well as obligations, within the ambit of psychological contract between leader and the team member. Just in the above-mentioned aspect, the role of interpersonal communication takes important place, by avoiding the team members to perceive a breach of psychological contract, thus preventing the behaviour that is counterproductive. In this context, Francine Schlosser (2005, p.4), quotes Harris & Ogbonna) about the example of employees cache market information in anticipating self employment as well as employment opportunities with competitors. In the above context, employees may not feel obligated to develop strong customer relationships as they believe that their employer is not fulfilling his/her obligations. In addition to that it is necessary to understand the circumstances that prompt employees to consider market orientations as an obligation by their psychological contract. After that it is important to check whether the obligation is conducive enough to market oriented behaviour of the team members. However, there are other factors that influence market orientation of the team members or employees. The learning agility of the individuals is important for performance of market oriented behaviours and the interpersonal communication is crucial in learning while doing the duty. Hence, interpersonal communication with knowledge management is crucial in bringing the team members nearer to the psychological contract regarding achievement of goals of the company (Francine Schlosser, 2005, p.1-5).
Information sharing that arises from Human touch and Interpersonal Relations
One more important aspect in interpersonal communication is to share the information to make it organised as well as knowledge and listening to team members. When a leader asks a thing to the team member, it should not be a formality and he must really mean what he/she says. Hence, the words from the mouth of the leader should not be as the ones like the ‘How do you do?’ and going away without listening. In the above context, Orest Protch (2008) in page 17 mentions that it is necessary for a leader to ask the team members about the follow-up of the questions he/she asked them in the past and that is capable of giving tremendous personal touch. In the above context, Orest Protch (2008, p.17) quotes that the leader gives crew members the information on day to day requirements of the department along with the overview about the activities in other areas in terms of shipping as well as receiving of customers’ orders. The leader says that it is to cement the feeling that they are part of a larger community than their workplace. The above words state that it is important for a leader to treat the team members as important persons to know about the things in the organisation and let them discuss about them positively so that it can affect their productivity, which is capable of enhancing the achievement of gaols in a company. According to Orest Prtoch (2008) it is important for a leader to accept the necessity of the team members to achieve the goals as well as to meet the deadlines. As a follow up to the above aspect, it is important to encourage the team members to make suggestions on how best to utilise the equipment and waiting for their response. This makes employees or team members think that they are the part of the company and that makes them to take the work personally while involved in it (Orest Protch, 2008, p.17).
Coordination with Information Sharing
In the above context, the coordination aspect is important and can be illustrated with the marketing activities that are not limited to a single department. The leader should have vision and influence so that he/she can spread the wings of coordination companywide thus not constraining an activity to a single department. In the above context, Huw Williams (2004, p.18) opines that the focus on broader business will not be on the radar. For the above fact Williams quote the fact that only five of FTSE 100 companies have broad level marketer. Hence, from the above fact, one can understand that it is important for the leader to make his/her team members know about the perceptions of the customers. In this context it is important for a department like production to contact marketing department as the designs that reflect the customers’ perceptions will be more successful. In case of service brands, it is important to note that the leader should coordinate the departments for the sake of word of mouth communication from the customers regarding the services of the company, thus influencing their decision to purchase. Moreover, the interpersonal communication between the team members as well as the leader and team members enables positive interaction between staff and customers, which in turn is capable of cutting through the media jungle to get the positive message regarding the company across the customer base. In this context, Huw Williams (2004) quotes the consulting firm Watson Wyatt, which has shown that the companies with highly committed employees have 112 percent three-year return to shareholders. Hence, in the above context, the bottom line is that the companies outperforming competitors are concentrating in putting substantial resources into areas like internal communication as well as interpersonal communication (Huw Williams, 2004, P.18).6 Hence, it is important to build strong interpersonal relationships to develop coordination between different departments and branches of a company. In the above context, Laurence Valant, (2008, p.40) quotes about the important people in one’s professional and what they expect from a team member or employees. Valant (2008) opines that it requires self confidence in asking to define one’s roles clearly. This can be done by negotiating important aspects and avoiding misunderstandings if any. He also prompts to ask questions till both of the candidates have mutual understanding about tasks. By following the above words if a leader consults his/her team members it is important to note that harsh realities may surface as a gap and it will become inevitable to close that gap. If the leader is able to close the gap with necessary changes in the company and communication, the team can perform well, lest it may result in a failure in achieving goals. Once the leader and the team are willing to change, the clear communication must be continued while meeting the needs of the team members by simultaneously motivating them. In this course of change, the clarity of expectations is necessary in the dialogue to remove any ambiguity from relationships. Moreover, team members seek enough respect from colleagues and their leaders. In this context of respect Valant (2008, p.40) states that one can generate respect in return. In the same manner by exhibiting consideration, one can receive similar consideration in return. Hence, it is important to explore how one can be helpful to lead a team in doing real team work. Hence, a leader should take care that he/she will not communicate while in angry or disappointed as there is every chance of undermining the relationship between team members and him/her. It can be understood by above suggestion that the kind response of a leader is the gateway for developing interpersonal skills in the team members as well as the interpersonal relationships (Laurence Valant, 2008. P.40).
Influence of Coordination developed from Interpersonal Relationships
In building interpersonal relationships between team members and the leadership, the interpersonal influence plays a major role. Mentioning the importance of interpersonal influence, Robert Hicks (2009, p.72) states that its basis is in the respect that people have for colleagues as well as customers and other stakeholders. The respect arises from the trust that the fellow individuals take the interests of them to the heart and as their own. To maintain that it is important to behave in a manner that others want to listen and follow you even in the absence of that necessity. Hence, it is important to note that the professional skills of the leader can be made applicable suitably when the team members have confidence in their leader that he/she can take care of them. In this context, it is important for a leader to make his/her team members feel important. This aspect is possible by intelligent listening that requires active demonstration of interest towards team members, which enables a leader to understand others’ point of view. Hence, it is important to clarify the others’ point of view and confirm whether we have got it right about the expressions of team members. If time permits it is important to encourage the team members to elaborate their point of view. It is not right to correct a person immediately, but it is better to do it practically so that it can be printed in their mind and the problem cannot be repeated. This type of execution needs good coordination between team members as well as the departments. In addition to that the team members must know their own limitations in work and conference and should act accordingly in important discussions. The above aspect can be inculcated in the team members if the leader is facilitating communication in necessary contexts with verbal phrases as well as non-verbal cue along with the organisational setups that prompt the employees work with a direction and a goal (Robert Hicks, 2009, p.72-73).
Does Coordination can build Trust?
In order to give a direction to employees achieving goals, trust is important as that plays a crucial role in work related activities in an organisation. In the context of trust, the foci and bases come to the fore. Hence, it is important to note that trust develops with interpersonal relationships, which are possible with that type of communication. In the above context, Yang, Jixia (2009, p.2) quotes Lewicki, McAllister& Bies, 1998 and Bhattacharya et al. (1998) about positive expectations involved in the concept of trust that is related to another’s deliberate or actual conduct. The mutual trust depends on expectations as well as varying conditions that are capable to maintain different expectations. Hence, the interpersonal influence should be in a manner to posit the trust as multi-dimensional in order so that it reflects in the coordination developed between different departments and stakeholders of the company, which avoids conflicts. Hence, the above quotations about positive expectations and actual conduct can be known or be formed with interpersonal exchanges between team members as well as the leader and the team members. A team member’s intended behaviour may result in disturbance of positive expectations and that is due to lack of interpersonal communication and relationships. Hence, interpersonal relationships between employees lead to perceptions of trustworthiness as one cannot disturb other due to sensitivities involved in interpersonal relationships. Hence, it is important to note the importance of instrumental trust and relational trust. In this context, Yang, Jixia (2009) quotes Lewicki and Bunker (1996) about the cognitive bases of trust in which identification based trust corresponds with affective trust. Hence, interpersonal communication is crucial to enable trust to give strong positive effect as it involves behaviour history of the team members. As personal relations are also polished with interpersonal communication between team members, they can influence one’s trust in another’s intended behaviour thus resulting in efficiency of team (Yang, Jixia, 2005, p.2-4).
Coordination and Communication
As per the review of importance of trust just above, it is important to mention the communication that makes the people as assets of the company. This is possible with communication of leader with the employees, which in turn leads to interpersonal communication and relationships. In the above context, Hank Darlington (2009, p.59) quotes about the managers who are skilled communicators. They communicate with employees, vendors,
As well as customers and act as role models by following certain ethics, while maintaining interpersonal relationships. The author states that the communication will be effective if it is understood by targeted audience. Hence, it is important to have interpersonal communication that makes an impact of a leader on the team members a successful one. Moreover, the quality of communication is capable of increasing the incidence of positive interaction that increasing the quality of interpersonal relationships that result in trust as well as work orientation in employees. The interpersonal communication between employees leads in helping others to be right simultaneously having fun. In addition to that, the above-mentioned type of communication cam rise required enthusiasm in the employees regarding work and its activities, which result in initiation and being bold as well as helping others. Moreover, the above mentioned enthusiasm and fun and initiative nature do not contribute to gossip between employees due to positive nature and enthusiasm. If the leader observes any differences in the above mentioned activities that result in negative trust and consequences, one-on-one conversation is necessary between leader and the team members. The reformation of the employees’ view in the above-mentioned meetings may result in quality of discussions in state-of-the-company meetings, which happen quarterly, half-yearly or annually thus making team members as the asset of the company.
Employee-Organisation Relationship as part of Interpersonal Communication
The above-mentioned interaction can develop personal relationship networks of a leader across the departments of a company and thus facilitates exchange of favours for the company from the side of employees. Hence, in multinational companies, it is important to have contextual relationships that start with ‘new friends’ and extend till they are ‘old friends’ as well as useful stakeholders in a company. In this context, T.K.P. Leung, Vincent C.S. Heung, and Y.H. Wong (2009, p.24) reviews from phraseology perspective. Leung et al., (2009) quote Lee and Dawes (2005) about passing the gate and staying connected. In the above context, the author opines that even in business context, the network of personal relationships with informal social bound by individuals are necessary in the context of interpersonal communication and that creates them. Hence, it is important to note that guanxi network is necessary according to two dimensions of frame and links. A frame can be a department or any physical work unit like a company and contacts can be termed as links. The more the links of a leader in different departments of a company, the more potential he/she can have in activities of the company being done successfully. In this context, the interpersonal communication between leader and the employees as well as the one between employees will act according to reciprocity norms and both are mutually benefited. Hence, it is important for a leader to classify the contacts in different departments according to their calibres and using them to achieve the goals of the company. Moreover, leader can extract information as part of the unwritten obligations between him/her and the employees with pragmatic favour exchange. Hence, interpersonal communication and relations depend on pragmatic favour exchange also. Consequently, leader and the employees should act on a mutually favourable basis and develop interpersonal communication as well as relationships to achieve the goals of the company (T.K.P. Leung, Vincent C.S. Heung, and Y.H. Wong, 2008).
Trust and Innovation through Employee Relations
The leader and employee relations depend on trust also and when it comes to innovation, the chemistry between leader and the employees and between the team members also plays a role. In the above context the interpersonal communication as well as relations enables the team to think innovatively as they can minimise the ego problems and other inhibitions due to interpersonal relations. In this context Riikka Ellonen, Kirsimarja Blomqvist, and Kaisu Puumalainen (2009, p.160-161) explain the critical role of organisational trust. They opine that it promotes the organisational efficiency as well as effectiveness. They mention distinguishing knowledge along with interpersonal and intra organisational collaboration and underscored the significance of interpersonal communication when combined with idiosyncratic knowledge. When the above-mentioned both are mixed with trust, they can together increase the efficiency and effectiveness of communication in organisation. Hence, in the above context, the organisational behaviour and interpersonal communication involved in it comes to the fore. Employee satisfaction, commitment and performance as well as intra-organisational trust are important in the firms and when the leaders are able to mix the above aspects with interpersonal communication, the labour conflicts as well as downsizing might can be reduced thus paving way for enhancement of production and excellent marketing. Moreover, the dimensions of interpersonal trust depend on the standards of interpersonal communication, which depend on competence, benevolence and reliability of organisational innovation. In the above context, the development of behavioural innovations are necessary and the interpersonal communication developed by the leadership should take care that it leads to behavioural innovations that promotes innovation in the activities of the company. The innovation can be reflected in all the departments if the coordination between them happens. In the above context, Ellonen et al. (2009) quotes about concept of the organisation. They also quote Cruz and Costa Silva (2004) about approaching trust from numerous theoretical frameworks like transaction cost theory. In addition to that they mention social exchange theory, agency theory, resource-based view of the firm, system theory and attribution theory; which work on the basis of trust and knowledge that run parallel with interpersonal communication and relationships. Hence, according to above quotes, it is important to have social interaction with much needed trust. In this context, the lateral trust that refers to the trust within the team members comes to the fore. This depends on the nature of vertical trust between employees and leadership. The vertical trust may depend on competence, benevolence or reliability and in turn it decides the trust between employees. In this context, Ellonen et al. (2009) opines that organisational trust is thus defined as the positive expectations between team members and employees and that depends on institutional trust within a multinational company. The institutional trust is more necessary for an MNC as it operates in different geographical locations as well as with executives of different cultures. Hence, Ellonen et al. (2009) calls the trust as interpersonal trust if it is achieved by good interpersonal communication. In this context, they quote Atkinson and Butcher (2003) about procedural justice in the form of fair HR processes as they are capable of positively associating the leadership with the employees (Riikka Ellonen, Kirsimarja Blomqvist, and Kaisu Puumalainen, 2008, p.160-162).
In the context of associating the leadership with the employees, communication is the process with which the information can be exchanged. In the exchange of information the interpersonal relations as well as communication enhance the quality of the content. Moreover, the aspects like initiation, definition, maintenance of relationships also work in tandem with interpersonal communication as it is capable of managing, controlling, planning the organisational activities. In the above context, Mary Bambacas, and Maraget Patrickson (2008, p.52) mention the feedback loop that can develop two-way communication between individuals. They opine that it is interpersonal communication that can impact on the substance of message as well as relationships between communicators, thus increasing the credibility of their messages. Hence, interpersonal relationships contribute to the effectiveness of communication. Consequently, it is clear that interpersonal skills are essential in managing people in a company. In this context, Bambacas et al. quote Boyatzix, (1982), Whetten and Cameron (2002) about that necessity and Robbins and Hunskaker (2003) regarding the review of synthesised interpersonal skills that are useful for the companies. They classify the interpersonal skills into leadership, process of communication and motivating the employees. The above aspects depend on leadership style as well as the capability of handling conflicts, running meetings. In addition to that team building and promoting change also matter while inculcating interpersonal skills. While talking about the interpersonal skills that are necessary more than the above aspects, Bambacas et al., (2008, p.53) found that empowering others, persuading, politicking as well as negotiating interpersonal communication are other interpersonal skills. Consequently, the informational and relational level is the indicator of good communication and in the next step information pertaining to the task-role or organisational activities comes to the fore while dealing with the relationships between superiors and team members. In the above context, Bambacas et al. (2008) mentions the communications of managers with subordinates regarding performance appraisals. They are to facilitate developing organisational commitment and perceived as the ones that can influence the levels of commitment. Consequently, after the above influence on the levels of commitment, the organisational commitment concept is multidimensional in nature as it depends on collective commitment of team members as well as their superiors. The organisational commitment can be understood by decoding the messages that influence the different aspects of commitment in the team members. By understanding the feelings of attachment and moral obligation, one can understand how far the superiors or the leaders are successful in leading the employees by inculcating interpersonal communication between them. Moreover, it is important to note that quality of feedback also matters and that decides the response of superiors towards the employees. Hence, for maintaining good interpersonal relationships, a system that gives quality and original feedback of the employees or the team members to the management or to the leadership is necessary (Mary Bambacas, and Maraget Patrickson, 2008, p.51-54).
Trust with Interpersonal Communication that can affect Marketing
While discussing about marketing, the feedback system it is important as it plays a significant role in marketing activities to be customer specific as well as being clear. The importance of interpersonal communication in marketing activities lies in coordinating the designing and production department with marketing department, as the ideas of the prospective customers can be conveyed to designing and production department, so that they produce the products or offer services accordingly. Regarding the above-mentioned coordination, the knowledge interpersonal communication and relations is useful for sales people, so that they can effectively communicate with production and designing department also as well as with the customers. Moreover, it is important for the management of the company to establish a mechanism that enables the communication between designing, production and marketing departments. In the above-mentioned mechanism, the role of interpersonal communication is crucial as it is coordinating three different departments. Hence, in this context, Hodge, J., and L. Schachter, 2008, p.30) quotes about knowledge about the problems managers and leaders face and mention the recommendations of sales persons. However, they claim that it is an act of past and the present customers wish that the sales people should have knowledge about my business. Hence, in order to make salespeople understand the business drivers of the present day, the organisation should have interpersonal communication system to interact with each other. The interaction system should cover the business results, which customers want to achieve and the strategies as well as initiatives that pursue their goals with required financial metrics. The above context underlines the importance of the interpersonal skills in the marketing people and the level of interpersonal communication they can do with the customers as the author is talking about the customers who prefer the marketing people that have the capability of understanding their business and needs. The above aspect is a good context for interpersonal communication as that only is capable of making the people know about the business needs of customers, though the marketing executive is to do nothing with the business of the customer. The interpersonal skills prompt the executives to know about the needs of the customers by understanding their business compulsions. In the above context, Hodge, J et al., (2008, p.31) quotes about building relationships by sales executives and representatives. The executives face difficulties in making representatives to build the relationships. The problem is that the representatives are stuck while talking with technical buyers who focus on price of the items and services. Hence, it is important to note that interpersonal skills are necessary for the marketing people to communicate efficiently with the clients of the company (Hodge, J., and L. Schachter, 2008, p.30-31).
In the context of combination of interpersonal marketing, it is important to understand the perceptions of the people regarding mass media communication in contrast to the communication with the clients just mentioned above. Hence, in this context, advertising, campaigns, their design and the outcome are necessary aspects for discussion. It is important to note that the perceived persuasiveness, changes in knowledge as well as attitudes and intentions in the behaviour of people may result in heeding to the messages of the company. In this context, Schuster, Darleen Victoria (2005) quote anti tobacco programs, which are characterised by aggressive media campaigns. Schuster et al., quotes Siegel (2002, p.17) about evaluation research, which compared the effectiveness of various types of anti smoking advertisements. The advertisements redirect the focus from communication outputs regarding the aspects like behaviour change to message strategies. Hence, the advertisements use qualitative measures like perceptions and ad effectiveness to identify the message themes that resonate with youth audiences. Hence, it is important to note that the knowledge about behaviour change, message strategies, and perceptions of ad effectiveness in marketing executives is important for good mass marketing strategies. To know about the behaviour change, the marketing executives need to have some discussions with some of the people who are identical to the ones in the customer base of the company. Hence, it is important to know some research findings of Schuster et al., (2002, p.20) about above aspects. The authors quote about the studies that examined the manner in which the messages were delivered and the emotions sought from them. Consequently, the studies regarding the messages and the emotions resulted due to them as the effect of the communication, which had a regard for the emotions of the individuals, who are at the receiving end of the messages. This is another form of interpersonal communication and the same can be applied in corporate activities. However, it is important to have the information about the emotions of the target audience of mass advertising and the marketing executives should have a program designed by the company to have interpersonal communication with the people identical to the customer base of the company (Schuster, Darleen Victoria, 2005).
Marketing and Communication with Customers; Can it be Interpersonal?
After the aspect of message delivery in mass media advertisements, the marketing executives’ rapport and contacts with customers and prospects comes to the fore. In this context, it is important to note that the marketing executives who are capable of talking to customers interpersonally on phone is important as the customer care the company offers may result in mouth publicity for the products and services of the company. In the above context, Beth Snyder Bulik (2004, p.25-26) quotes an experience of a sales manager, which is about the hide and seek play of a sales executive in marketing section. This is due to lack of interpersonal communication of the executive with the customers. In Ametek Solid State controls, which is an electrical power company based in Columbus, Ohio; one of the inside sales people is hiding behind e-mails thus avoiding the contact through phone calls from the customers. This is due to the fact that, he is not able to address or answer the queries from the customers. The customers are expecting a return phone call for their messages, but the executive is not responding in that way. However, in the presence of interpersonal interaction in the company, the executives cannot behave in the above-mentioned manner and thus can reduce the dissatisfaction of the customers or prospects. Hence, it is important to note that the customers want to talk with marketing executives and customer service people as well as sales personnel to sort of the differences quickly. E-mail messages are enough only when the problem is of general nature and can be solved with the systems in place by the company. However, if the problem or the query of the customer needs the intervention of sales or customer care personnel and should addressed personally, the e-mail messages may result in a delay in resolving that results in customer’s frustration. However, it is important to note that a leader has to use the team members according to their capabilities. In this context, Beth Snyder Bulik quotes about the above mentioned marketing manager as he did not want to fire him. The thought of Beth was about the position Mr. Gen Y could stay in comfortably. As a result, Beth created a specialised role for tech savvy representative so that the sales person’s job is to looking after e-mails only. In this context, the leader Beth, used his interpersonal skills to use the marketing team members in the positions they actually fit (Beth Snyder Bulik, 2004, p.25-26).
Relationships and Supply chain Management
Purchasing and supply chain management (PSM) is also an important as aspect in the context of globalisation as knowledge, skills and attitudes are necessary for effectiveness in their profession. In this context, Volker, Kenneth L (2003, p.1) starts his paper on supply chain management. Kenneth L (2003) mentions globalisation in the backdrop of development of information technology as it changed the role of PSM in business strategy and. The use of information technology in PSM has changed customer-supplier relationships as the business as usual is not adequate. In this context, Kenneth L (2003) quotes Friedman, (2000), McIvor McHugh (2000), Porter (2000) about other factors required for PSM professionals that need modification of professional competencies to address the changing environment. Hence, it can be understood from the nature of this paper that the change mentioned in above quotation is interpersonal communication and relationships between the company and suppliers as well as distributors for better and quicker delivery of goods and products. Interpersonal communication is also possible with information technology as it changed the environment of PSM professionals. As the suppliers and distributors are not the ones who are in daily contact with the PSM professionals it is important to use technology to communicate with them in a timely manner to get the raw material and products to the company and to the dealers and retailers. In addition to that the usage of information technology enables the PSM professionals to remove the boundaries between nations to communicate while communicating with suppliers and distributors as well as retailers and even bigger customers. According to Kenneth L., in the changed atmosphere of globalisation, it is not enough for PSM professionals to function as senior clerks just letting bids to multiple suppliers and has to follow strict administrative procedures to issue purchase orders. As the changed world order is demanding the sourcing of raw materials, it is important to have PSM functions as part of corporate strategy. In addition to that the significance of PSM on business performance should have closer attention and that needs improved management of customer supplier relationships and interpersonal communication using information technology can help in the above aspect. As a result it is important to have a framework regarding it to manage the supply chain as well as customer relationships across the borders of a nation for a company. As a result, the competencies required are regarding selecting suppliers, managing supplier relationships, manage supply chains, digitise transactions, and demonstrate PSM’s functional impact on corporate profitability as well as conducting other functional administrative responsibilities. Hence, interpersonal skills of PSM professionals can help the company in executing above activities (Volker, Kenneth L, 2003).
Ethics and Interpersonal Communication
In addition to above mentioned aspects ethics in leadership add to the benevolent results of interpersonal communication. According to an article about business ethics in Economics Week of 18 December 2009, managers have the potential to be the agents of virtue or vice within organisations. The above fact is possible through ethical leadership behaviour that enables managers to virtuously influence perceptions of ethical climate. This in turn is capable of positively impacting team members by flourishing job satisfaction in them. Hence, it is important to know about the perceptions of team members about the character of their leader from the point of view of interactional justice, which moderates the ethical leadership-to-climate relationship. The above aspect finds place in the aspects of interpersonal communication and relationship because, ethical leadership has both direct and indirect influence on follower job satisfaction and affective commitment. In addition to that the indirect effect of ethical leadership is regarding shaping of perceptions of ethical climate, which in turn effects the interactions between the team members. As the ethical leadership is capable of inducing positive perceptions, the team members have greater job satisfaction as well as good interpersonal communication as their leader shapes their perceptions of duty and commitment. As a result the author of “Business Ethics; New business ethics findings from Baylor University described” opines that the interactional justice is perceived to be high in strengthening the ethical leadership-to-climate relationship. However, climate relationship will yield positive results if the interactions are in that direction and that is possible with interpersonal communication, which is clear from the review of literature till now. Consequently, one can understand that the ethical leadership is a toll for developing positive perceptions as well as interpersonal communication between team members as well as employees of a company (Business ethics, 2009).
Communication and Marketing
In addition to supply chain maintenance, marketing is important for any company and experiential power of the company to reach the broad audience will be helpful initially to attract the prospects towards the company. Hence, the ability of providing two-way communication will help the company to capitalise on the true of the markets in a global field. Mass advertising can only helps to persuade the customer that the product or the service is for them but the conversation of them with the company is capable of giving powerful insight thus resulting in differentiating the customers who are truly interested in the brand, product and the service of the company. Hence, currently the companies are prompting the customers for a trial of their product of the service and are conversing with customers continuously. This helps the company to overcome the preconceived notions of the customers about the products and services. As the customers are tired of marketing activities of number of companies, it is important to have a relationship with the customers with the help of interpersonal skills of the marketing people. The initiative for the interpersonal communication is the positive experience of the customer with the company or the marketing people. In this context, Stokes, C (2009, p.9) mentions Pareto’s 80/20 theory that ensures you about 80 percent spending of your efforts on 20 percent of customers are the ones who are advocates of the company or at least potential customers. In an extension to that, Stokes C (2009) suggests to create experimental platforms that do not end even at the time of least availability of marketing resources. The above aspect is in the light of the fact that marketers have to truly leverage the power of fully integrated experiential marketing in which they need to create a series of engagements and metrics. However, now interpersonal interaction between company and the customer combined with coordination and knowledge about the customers’ needs plays a crucial role. Consequently, with the help of experiential activities it is easy to earn a seat around the planning table and specialist agencies by making them strategic partners to achieve goals regarding marketing and sales as sales represent the success of marketing. Hence, building a loop of sustained engagement with agencies and customers will help in working together regarding marketing activities and the goal of identifying the prospects and then changing them to customers. In modern days customer relationship management (CRM) can be used as the role of interpersonal communication is the topic of the paper. Hence, one can explore how interpersonal communication and relationships can help in CRM. Moreover, interpersonal communication can help in developing strong CRM strategies that stay in touch with attendees and sales promotion tactics. The above activities drive customers from all walks of life to engage and purchase with the company. In this context, Stokes, C (2009, p.9) quotes about BlackBerry marketing. Stokes highlights the activity, which sought the consumers that are interested in demonstration. The demonstration is to establish the interest and once it is established, they are invited to participate in a facebook competition that involved in writing a message about the phone. When the company photographed them with the phone and sent them to the customers, they are excited and are more interested in buying the phone. The above activity states that the interpersonal interaction is even possible in marketing strategies. In the above manner it is important to establish contact with the prospects who in turn act as the unofficial mouth pieces for the publicity of the product or the services of the company (Stokes, C., 2009).
According to the topic of the paper, the methodology involves the answers for the questionnaire from Global Manager: Philips; Anosh Thakkar, which are responses of him and his employees. In addition to that the effect of interpersonal communication on activities of an MNC is discussed and analysed according to answers for the questionnaire comparing with the aspects reviewed in literature review. As a whole, the methodology involved in the paper is to review the effect of interpersonal communication and relationships in a company and to compare the results with the field response. After that the analysis of the literature that is relevant and nearer to the field response helps in concluding the paper.
How the interpersonal communication in your company does helps in administration activities to go smoothly?
- Helps excellently
- No effect
Does the communication between employees is helpful in productive work?
Does management take enough steps to develop interaction between team members (employees) so that they can develop coordination?
Are the employees are able to solve the problems at work place that do not need intervention of management with interpersonal interaction?
- Now and then
Does your leader (CEO or such responsible person) have a human touch in his/her interactions with the employees?
Does your leader encourage you to interact with him/her in the context of meetings or if the situation demands?
Will your leader discusses frequently about the activities with team members to increase interpersonal interaction between you and the management?
- Yes but not frequently
- Yes but very often he/she is not available for employees
Does your leader explain you about the organisational goals?
- We get written intimations about our goals
Does your leader share the mission of the organisation with you? I mean do you have any understanding about the views of management regarding the production, marketing and achieving goals of the company
- We developed understanding with the discussion between employees d. Our leader enabled us to understand them
Does your leader express the ethical leadership?
The discussion part will be in a form of continuation to the literature review as this considers the responses of corporate people about interpersonal communication. In discussion the researcher took the help of Anosh Thakkar working as global manager in MNC Philips to know the responses of corporate people as well as a leader like him. As other corporate people are not available directly, the questionnaire has been framed in such a manner that enables the researcher to know the responses of corporate teams and team members from the answers of Anosh. To the questionnaire that concentrates on the effect of interpersonal communication on functional activities of a company, Anosh got responses in a positive manner and even his responses support the interpersonal interactive system. The important response of the affect of interpersonal communication is that it minimised friction between different actors of the company and enabled the smooth running of the activities. The discussion on questionnaire with the support of relevant literature goes in a way that indicates the increase of cooperation as well as competition with interpersonal communication.
In the next stage, Anosh’s responses give us chance to explore the collaboration activity that is important in any company. According to his responses, collaboration is possible in a company with the help of interpersonal communication and the discussion regarding this takes into consideration the response of Anosh to the second question that emphasises the fact that communication enhances the productivity. The literature that is considered for the discussion of this aspect quotes the activities of three city councils in the Lowa area, which collaborated between themselves for quality public services systems.
Regarding the response to the third question of the questionnaire Anosh informed that the management of his company takes enough steps for the development of coordination between staff members. In this context, the literature taken for the discussing the aspect expressed by Anosh states that win-win solution between managers of different companies enable the smooth going of the activities of the company. In addition to that the strategies of the company that decides the way the behaviour of the staff outside the workplace also comes to the fore and explores the ways that can deal with team members without offending them. The collective responsibility, which is proposed by an essay in ‘personal today’ that can be instilled in staff finds place in this part of discussion. This part of discussion concludes that coordination can be achieved by interpersonal communication.
In the next stage of discussion, Anosh’s responses for fourth question are considered, which states that interpersonal communication enables the team members to solve the problems without direct or frequent interventions of leaders and management. In this context, the literature of Stupak et al., states that leadership is not a position but a relationship. Hence, the interpersonal relationships that enhance the overall efficiency of staff come to the fore and finds place in discussion. In the course of discussion of Anosh fourth response with that of Stupak’s literature, creating thinking in production as well as in marketing is possible when team members are given chance to vent their ideas freely without fear.
In the next stage, the fifth response of Anosh regarding human touch comes to the fore and he informs that it is present in the top leaders of his and such organisations. However the important fact that is considered in this part of discussion is that the organisational communication, which is interpersonal, helps in conveying and expressing that human touch present in top leaders to team members. Emphasising this fact, the literature of Hiland et al., (2006), which states that sound communication in an organisation leads to sound performance and discussion goes in the way finding the relationship between Anosh’s response and Hiland’s statement.
In the sixth answer, Anosh responds about encouragement they give to their employees in meetings to express their views, which he feels that is the effective way of communication. In this context, Beaufort (2005)’s literature about exchange of information is taken to discuss the veracity of Anosh’s response.
In the next stage the discussion is about interaction of leaders with employees and how it helps in making weak employees stronger and the role interpersonal communication in that model.
In the ongoing discussion, the explanation of goals by leaders to employees is a part and Anosh feels that it is to avoid pitfalls if any in the executive activities of the employees. In this context, the discussion considers literature of David (2003) to find the reality in the above response and it resulted in a positive manner.
As continuity to the aspect of leaders’ information about the goals to the employees, the relationship between management and the employees comes to the fore and Anosh states that it depends on the employees’ idea about mission and goals. The discussion combines this aspect with interpersonal relationship of management with employees.
In the next part of the discussion, the ethics in top leaders of a company finds place in discussion and Anosh’s response in this context is that the leaders’ way of ethical expression of his/her activities has effect on team members.
However, all the above activities involve or result in some pressure on leaders and employees and the next part of discussion states that interpersonal communication in the organisation has a solution for that aspect also. In this context, Anosh’s response is taken into consideration by Ted Pollock’s literature, which states that the pressure is due to vague feeling in the employee and the discussion shows ways for tackling pressure with interpersonal communication.
In addition to above aspects the discussion concludes with discussion minimising the emotional opposition of the employees in workplace towards activities that help in reaching goals.
Interpersonal Communication and Enhancement of Quality
While discussing about the role of interpersonal communication in enhancing the quality of activities of the company, the responses of corporate people are important as they are involved in the activities. In this context, the response of Anosh Thakkar- global manager, Philips- states that interpersonal communication helps the company excellently to make the activities go smooth. This can be compared with Al-Ajmi, R (2007, p.181) findings, which are about the people with different goals. The author quotes that when they work together the potential for disagreement is always present and conflict over ideas and goals arise in decision making. Though they are considered as the inevitable part of management, the Anosh Thakkar’s responses reveal that interpersonal communication is capable of minimising the above mentioned friction between different actors. Hence, one can understand from Ashok Thakkar’s response and Ajmi’s quotations that interpersonal communication can work as a conflict avoiding activity as it is difficult to disagree seriously with the persons who maintain interpersonal relationship. The interpersonal communication thus avoids opposing interests and perceptions and thus avoids conflicts and disagreements in work atmosphere. As it is not productive to struggle over incompatible goals, interpersonal communication between team members avoids struggle or conflict, which is assumed to be natural part of organisational life. Hence, interpersonal communication can be used as a tool, which can remove the natural parts that are detrimental to company’s activities. As a result the presence of interpersonal relations can preserve cognitive and behavioural activities that enhance the productivity. Hence, interpersonal communication can be termed as the aspect that is necessary in a company that can avoid conflict instead of resorting to conflict management styles. Consequently, one can understand that interpersonal communication and relations reduce or minimise the use of conflict management as conflicts can be minimised with communication. The essence of above discussion is that conflicts are interpersonal and can be avoided by communication. As a result interpersonal communication can be understood as the one that increases simple cooperation as well as competition. Hence, dichotomy can be avoided by interpersonal communication as the individuals’ perceptions match with each other regarding the activities. However, there is another aspect; complexity, which can pose obstacles in understanding between employees. In this context, interpersonal communication between leaders and the team members can make the usage of conflict management due to complexity easy as the team’s perceptions are identical. Moreover, the assertiveness as well as cooperativeness increases to reduce the complexity in the presence of interpersonal communication. Hence, interpersonal relations can ease the conflict management due to complexity as the complexity itself is minimised (Al-Ajmi, R, 2007).
Collaboration and Interpersonal Communication
In the second question Anosh Thakkar agrees that the communication between employees helps in productivity. In this context, collaboration aspect needs reference as it is important between the team members to let the things go smoothly. Regarding collaboration, Kurt Thurmaier (2006, p.144) quotes about three cities in Lowa, which are hot beds of inter local agreements as well as collaborative activities thereafter. The three cities are Clive, Urbandale and West Des Moines currently work with a consultant to study about collaborating further to improve fire and emergency medical services (EMS). Though the collaboration seems to be tricky, the managers of the three cities are confident in a successful outcome as they have a solid track record of collaboration. This is because; their collaboration is built on a degree of interpersonal and inter-organisational trust among the actors of the three local bodies of the cities. The above quotes talk about the importance of collaboration in building interpersonal communication and relationships. Collaboration can build interpersonal trust thus leading to inter organisational trust at multiple levels and different actors of the organisation. Kurt Thurmaier (2006, p.145) quotes that the most evident success about collaboration is of Westcom Dispatch Centre, which is a consolidated public safety dispatch facility that receives calls regarding public safety and dispatches to concerned departments. As the cities are Western suburbs of Des Moines, the name Westcom is apt for the committee that contains representatives of three cities and chaired by a city manager. The position will be rotated among the managers, but due to the high levels of trust due to interpersonal interaction between them, Clive city manager Dennis Henderson has chaired the operation since its opening. In the above quotes Kurt Thurmaier quotes about trust in a team that is making things easier for administration of services regarding three cities. In the above context, Kurt Thurmaier quotes Urbandale city manager Bob Layton saying ‘We trust each other’. Bob says that they trust each other at all levels; manager, elected official and staff level. Moreover, according to Bob the trust is strong among managers as they agreed to be open about concerns and issues. This amounts to collaboration as they talk through problems and genuinely look for win-win solutions. The looking for win-win solutions can be termed as a good signal for the presence of interpersonal relationships between the managers as well as the team members. Hence, collaboration enhances interpersonal communication thus leading to win-win solutions between different departments of a company (Kurt Thurmaier, 2006).
Coordination and Setting Boundaries
As mentioned in the above discussion, the win-win solutions between managers of different departments can help the company activities to go smoothly. However, the coordination between different departments also is important and the coordination between HR and other departments is of utmost significance. Hence, it is important to note that HR department should take care that the coordination may not be disturbed due to its instructions. As Anosh Thakkar in his response to third question replied that the management takes steps for development of coordination between staff. As his designation is ‘Global Manager’ Philips he might be involved in those coordination activities. In that course of coordination, the instructions of HR managers regarding behaviour of staff outside the work are important as they may affect the relationship between managers and the team members negatively. In an essay in ‘Personnel Today’ (2006, p.37), the author discusses about staff ownership saying that, HR needs to instil in staff a collective responsibility about the company brand while quoting Burke. The reason he raises is that the employees should know instinctively certain things; whether they are right or wrong. In the above context, the author quotes an example of cigarette smoking while in uniform and anomalies in dressing. However, the author suggests that the staff should have the sense of not doing above-mentioned type of things while in uniform and that is possible through interpersonal interaction, rather than commanding them. Hence, according to above quotes, employees or team members should follow unwritten rules or conventions regarding the good will of the company and those instructions should be in a manner that the personnel follow with their perceptions and intentionally but not by forcibly. Hence, in this context, the interpersonal communication as well as relationships work in that direction and mould the staff in such a manner to coordinate and act according to the need of the company. In this context, the article in ‘Personnel Today’ quotes about the role model of the employees. The article mentions that staff look up to their line manager and expect their behaviour to be the example they have to follow. The author further states that the employees should be proud being so even after walking out of the door of the company. Hence, from the above quotes it will be clear that the middle management is important in building up interpersonal communication and relationship between leaders and the staff members as they are the ones who are the bridges between staff and the management. In addition to that the coordination activities between different departments also depend on middle management or line managers, whom the staff follow regarding their behaviour. As the behaviour of the staff also is one of the aspects that decide the direction of interpersonal communication and perceptions, the middle management is important in implementing the coordination development activities between different departments and managers. Hence, coordination can be termed as one of the aspects that can be achieved by interpersonal communication and relationships (Personnel Today, 2006).
In the fourth question, Ashok Thakkar agrees that his company’s staff solve the problems with interpersonal interaction. In this context, the leadership is important as the leaders have to convey that message and should mould the staff members in that way. Regarding this Ronald J Stupak, and Katherine N Stupak (2006, p.12) quote the words of Laurence Miller that leadership is not a position, but a relationship. As organisational effectiveness depends on leadership, that remove outdated deadly boundary protectors, grim litanies of the sceptics, and the loaded rhetoric the leaders should take into consideration cultural diversity and open systems in global nature of business. In this context, Ronald and Katherine (2006) quotes about the aspects of current organisational milieu. The open systems, flattened hierarchies, decision-making transparencies, process teams, and consumer demands for better access and better service are some of them. The democratisation of services from both public and private organisations and employees as well as their power and decision making are important for their distribution and diffusion if necessary. Hence, according to the above quotes, the nature of the leadership in corporate companies has to change according to time and needs of the company thus treating employees with interpersonal relationships rather than imposing discipline on them. As a result organizational leaders can help others or team members realize their own power, dignity, performance, development and contributions with interpersonal interaction rather than imposing discipline rudely or stubbornly. Hence, empowerment is important in interpersonal communication. Instead of high handedness the work place interpersonal relationship promotes empowerment in employees thus making them capable of reaching the goal of the company collectively. The creative thinking and production as well as innovation can be expressed in majority of people only through letting them express themselves in a free manner within the limits of organizational behavior. In this context, Ronald and Katherine (2006, p.13), quotes the definition of a team of two. She mentions that team believes in operational achievement, which is equivalent to any financial or technical as well as administrative achievement. The above aspect is possible if the team members share same goals and see independent relationship in themselves. Hence, every dynamic developing a team of two can be a manifestation of personal as well as professional relationships and a team can be a combination of teams of two thus inculcating professional relationships to achieve the goals of the company (Ronald J Stupak, and Katherine N Stupak, 2006).
Human Touch and Organizational Communication
Regarding human touch Ashok Thakkar answers about the nature of their CEO level leaders and responds that they have it. As he is a global manger of a multinational company; Philips, it is important to understand that he has that human touch and the people of his level in the company also have it. In this context, the organizational communication comes to the fore as human touch in the top leadership helps in evolving of organizational communication system. In the context of organizational communication, Hiland, Mary Linda (2006, first Para after head note) mentions about long standing assumption within administrative and organisational theory, which is based on belief that sound communication theory leads to sound performance. In the above context, Mary Linda (2006) quotes Chester Barnard’s pronouncement that the first executive function is to develop as well as maintain a system of interaction. He further says that communication is not just and executive function, but also a primary function for organisational activities. Mary Linda further quotes Simon Smithburg and Thompson who acknowledged the crucial nature of communication to government performance and opines that blockages in the communication system poses the most serious problems in administration of an organisation. Even Dunning and Campbell (1977) who made policy analysis and Lame (1997) who mentioned about innovation also insist on good communication, which is possible through interpersonal interaction. Hence one can understand that communication is also a part of administration as it decides the way the organization behaves. As the present state of discussion started with human touch in the top executives, the interpersonal communication is the only way that can develop organizational communication with human touch between team members as well as the leaders and team members. Without interpersonal communication the human touch turns into a charity or unnecessary activity in a corporate atmosphere. The interpersonal communication directs the employees towards achieving goals and treats them in a way that their materialistic as well as emotional needs are being satisfied as long as the company has a good record of achieving goals with interpersonal relationships between the staff members and departments. However, Linda (2006, second Para after head note) opines about focus on attention paid to communication in several domains and quotes some studies that examined the communication performance. The author also mentions and explains the reasons from the point of view of Garnett (1997) saying that the costs of communication are generally easier to measure than its benefits, thus making it difficult to express the favourable performance rations. Hence, the above aspect may be performance predicament major disasters. Hence, in order to averting the disasters due to lack of communication, it is necessary to retrospect and powerfully bring home the importance of communication performance. Hence, it can be understood that there should be a system that can analyse and estimate the costs of communication setup as well as its benefits. Without that system, the costs are only measured without estimating the benefits or losses if any. In both the contexts, there is every chance of misunderstanding or misinterpreting the communication benefits. As a result the human touch of CEOs needs to have a measure for its benefits on the team members that prompt them to achieve goals (Hiland, Mary Linda, 2006).
IN the sixth question, Ashok Thakkar responds that the managers in his company encourage the staff members to speak in the meetings as well as in the situations that need their response. Hence, in this context, the concept of effective communication comes to the fore. In the above context, Beaufort B Longest Jr, and Wesley M Rohrer (2005, p.191) state that the communication between agencies and the external stakeholders involves the exchange of information between agency-and individuals representing the agency it subunits and the external stakeholders. Hence, effective communication between agencies and their external stakeholders is capable of accomplishing the boundary spanning that is necessary for sharing of information. This is possible with interpersonal communication. Hence, it is important to know that the effective communication with interpersonal relationships is the one that bridges the gap between leaders and the team members. As the system of letting the team members to vent out their view whenever necessary, the leadership can take steps to build effective communication that further bridges the gap between stakeholders of the company and the management. The effective communication system that was built on the lines of feedback from employees and stakeholders can also used in bridging the gap between suppliers and the management of the company. The above aspect extends the interpersonal communication activities to stakeholders and suppliers also thus making them the part of interpersonal relationship network of the company thus affecting quality of products and services. The above-mentioned effective communication is most effective in case of services section of the company and is important because, every multinational company is concentrating on good services also to increase and consolidate their customer base (Beaufort B Longest Jr, and Wesley M Rohrer, 2005).
In the course of increasing the customer base, it is important to maintain the communication between the team and the leaders as it focuses on strength. If a team is not able to focus on its strengths, it would be termed as a pitfall and the focussing on strength avoids negative attention towards weak employees. Instead of thinking weak and strong about the employees, the interpersonal communication involves a better method of observing characteristics of the best performing and most productive employees. Consequently, the interpersonal communication transfers the characteristics to others to make weak employees stronger. Thus the communication between team and the leaders strengthens the team. In this context, Shawnna M Cunning (2004, p.18) quotes about communication that is at the core of the management curriculum and even reminds that it is not always fully defined in terms of behaviour. According to the above statement, it is important to communication expectations, rules and regulations within the internal culture, so that there is no frustration in staff members. In the next stage, the personal communication that is related to employee personalities depends on internal culture of organisation and interpersonal interaction makes it a success as it allows one-on-one talking to employees, whenever it is necessary. In the above context Anosh Thakkar also answers that the leaders in his company interacts with employees to develop interpersonal communication. That means they are trying to transfer characteristics of stronger and productive employees to weaker employees. Hence, instead of removing the weaker ones and searching for new ones, transfer of characteristics will be comparably easier as it strengthens the team as well as consolidating the customer base due to employee retention. The inherent aspect is that the employee retention at the middle and lower level is also capable of strengthening the customer base as the older and stronger employee can understand better the leaders as well as the customers. In this context, Shawnna M Cunning (2004) mentions about catching the employees doing something right as it is crucial for development of them as well as the organisation. In the above context, the author quotes about nurse leaders focussing on fixing an employee’s flaws, which do not need much verbal feedback.
However, the much needed feedback should be positive to make the job a well done task. For the above achievement, it is important to communicate basic work related tasks as well as everyday kindness that improves the patient satisfaction. Hence, recognising the employee’s merit is more important than pointing out his/her weaknesses. This is nothing but avoiding pitfalls as every employee can be assigned the task he/she is capable of (Shawnna M Cunning, 2004).
Strategic Management and Interpersonal Communication
Avoiding pitfalls in the activities can be termed as strategic management. As a response to eighth question Anosh Thakkar answers that the leaders in Philips explain goals to team members. The above aspect is one of the precautions that are necessary to be taken for avoiding pitfalls and is part of strategic management. In the above context, Fred R David (2003) in page 36 states that strategic management sometimes can be mentioned as a business policy. David opines that the analysis of strategic management gives an opportunity to work in teams and to evaluate the internal operations as well as solving external issues faced by the organisation. In the course of above activities the leaders have to craft strategies that can lead to success. Hence, they need good middle management members as well as a good team with excellent interpersonal relations. David’s opinion is that the secondary data will be more useful in analysing a company’s strategic management. Moreover, the data should contain the interpersonal relationships and the way they are helpful in the activities of the company. In the above context, David (2003, p.37), mentions about updates necessary for publishers, who offer online services for educational institutions, without any additional suggestions. In the same manner, it is important to production and marketing departments to have updates from other departments, and they can be provided successfully in the presence of a system with interpersonal interaction. The above content establishes the importance of using secondary date to analyse the nature of strategic management in a company. It is important to note that the strategic management blended with interpersonal communication will give a good working atmosphere as well as signals to external stakeholders that everything is going well in the company. The above-mentioned indication is good for a company as all the stakeholders will be satisfied with the company. In the above context David (2003, p.39) mentions about the issues bothered by the students who undertake case studies under strategic management. The case studies need organisation’s vision and mission statements as they are the guiding principles of those institutions. In addition to them, the firm’s code of ethics is also important as they are significant in overcoming some shortcomings in the activities of the company. The above quoted content states that the code of ethics and the vision of the company are considered as the bottom line of the organisation and interpersonal relationships between management and the employees allow the analysts to have good view about the company (Fred R David, 2003).
The Work of a Leader
While discussing about interpersonal relationships between management and employees, it is important to bring out the difference between leaders and managers. In this context, Anosh Thakkar answers that in his company the employees have an idea of company’s mission and goals. Regarding above aspect, Joseph P. Cangemi, Bill Burga, Harold Lazarus, Richard L. Miller, and Jaime Fitzgerald (2008, p.1027) quote about the leader who can accomplish organisational mission and goals alone. However, they opine that it is not possible and emphasise on the involvement of subordinates to get the task done. In the above context, the authors talk about innovation of the leaders in contrast to managers that enables them to have long range of vision instead of short vision of managers. In the above context, the authors quote Bennis (1989) and Adelson (2007) about doing things right and doing the right things and state that management is given authority and leadership is an earned authority. As a whole, Cangemi et al., (2008) states that leadership is getting a task accomplished through a team. Hence, it is important for a leader to have interpersonal relationships with the middle management to accomplish the tasks and goals of the company. Moreover, if the middle management has to do the same as the leader, they in turn should have interpersonal relationships with the employees. This hierarchy of interpersonal relationships is possible when the whole company has interpersonal communication as a system to enhance production as well as marketing activities. Doing as above, the leadership can provide an environment for the employees to develop a culture where creativity can express itself and develop into manageable ideas. Hence, the promotion of interpersonal communication in workplace can characterise the encouragement and can create a work environment that expresses creativity. The presence of interpersonal communication develops trust with all stakeholders and they fell free to express their ideas and feelings that can contribute to the enhancement of business processes of a company. In addition to that interpersonal communication and relationships are capable of providing humanistic work environment. Regarding it, Joseph P. Cangemi et al., (2008, p.1028) quotes about the capability of a leader in creating a special climate in an organisation. In the above context of organisational climate, Cangemi et al., quote Gluckman (2007), who used the term atmosphere for the situation in which subordinates and associates work with coordination. Hence, it is important for a leader to create above-mentioned type of environment that treats all associates with respect and understands them. For the above task, the leader has to understand him/her. For the above-mentioned aspect, it is important for a leader to have self awareness as well as the awareness of external environment. Hence, the above quoted content states the importance of interpersonal relationships between a leader and his/her team. Developing human capacity without much effort is the essence of a good leader and that is possible with interpersonal relationships as it expresses everybody in the workplace and the leader can understand own self using the environment of the workplace. In this context, Joseph P. Cangemi et al., (2008) quotes a case of senior author who was invited to a country in South America to determine why managers lied to the plant director. According to investigation of the author, the managers did not lie, but they merely omitted ‘bad news’ while taking about the activities of the plant with their director. As the director used to be upset on hearing bad news, employees feared his reactions and told him only the good news by omitting negative data and this caused the failure of the plant. Above case is the one that resembles the work environment in the absence of interpersonal communication and also indicates the importance of it (Joseph P. Cangemi, Bill Burga, Harold Lazarus, Richard L. Miller, and Jaime Fitzgerald, 2008).
In the next context of ethical leadership Anosh Thakkar revealed that the leaders and managers in the company he works express ethical leadership so that, the employees also follow ethics in business activities of the company. In the above context, it is important to quote the experiences of a sales manager regarding responses of his/her subordinates to the customers. In this context Ted Pollock (2002, p.10) quotes about the greatest obstacle of straight thinking. In answering that, Pollock’s view point is about the temptation that let our desires and emotions to guide our thinking. Though, it is important to assemble reasons and evaluate them to arrive at a conclusion, it is important to note that the conclusions always precede the situation. It is not right to jump at a conclusion for problem that confronts us and then seek reasons to support that. Normally in case of ethical leaders the above context is not the case. They exhibit rationalism and try to avoid or minimise the decisions that are being taken in emotions. The rationalism justifies the decision as it involves the ethics that are appreciated by subordinates as rationalism is even capable of controlling the emotions of the team members. In the context of rationalism, which the researcher believes that it guides to ethical leadership, Ted Pollock (2002) expresses his opinions about rationalisation mentioned above. As rationalisation is an aspect that justifies the decision, consciousness is necessary to arrive at it. If the decision is not taken consciously, there is no rationalism in it. The interpersonal communication enables to develop rationalisation as the employees and team members find a platform to express their view, and one can choose a rational view from them in the case of emergency. Consequently, it is important for a leader to take a decision consciously. The consciousness makes him/her think about the nature and capabilities of the team members. In addition to that it also minimises the self inclinations in taking a decision. Hence, ethical leadership can be made possible with mixing consciousness and rationalism while making a decision (Ted Pollock, 2002).
Pressure Relieving for Interpersonal Communication
While talking about the explanation of mission of the organisation to the employees, Anosh Thakkar did not reject that the company’s employees are able to understand the mission by discussing among themselves. In this context, it is useful to quote Ted Pollock (2002, p.12)) about ‘You’ approach as follows. He talks about handling the pressure as part of life and reveals that no one relishes it. Hence, handling pressure is important, while handling pressure it is important to know that the real threat from the pressure is the vague feeling that overwhelms an individual. The leader can overcome it by not being scared to it. In the above text from Ted Pollock’s work the author talks about tackling pressure. As individuals the team members may follow different ways to tackle pressure. However, it is up to the leadership and the management to streamline the ideas of the team members by organisational systems that allow them to tackle pressure as well as to know about the mission of the organisation. Hence, it is suggestible that the team should be able to tackle pressure despite knowing the mission of the organisation. In the above course of tackling pressure discussion between employees about work related activities plays a major role and that is possible with interpersonal communication. Interpersonal communication not only enables the employees to discuss while in the duty, but it also encourages them to talk about company and work even after duty timings. This discussion about the duty while they are in a leisure mood is capable of removing the fear for the work related activities. Hence, regarding the above fact Ted Pollock (2002) writes as follows.
“Psychologists estimate that we spend fully 92 percent of our thinking time about-ourselves. Put this fact to work for you in your business communications. Highlight other people’s wants, needs interests and desires. Nothing-but-nothing is so geared to rivet their attention on what you are telling them as this “you” approach.
Don’t say: “I’d like to tell you about a new production technique.” Say: “if you’re like most production people, you’ll be interested in this brand new way to lower your manufacturing costs.”(Page 12)
The above content states the fundamental aspects of interpersonal communication about the way the leader has to deal with his team members satisfying their ego as well as lessening the pressure. In this course of action, it is important to develop enthusiasm with pressure relieving techniques. However, one can be assured that if the pressure is relieved, the enthusiasm as well as the zeal for communication arises. Hence, it is important to relieve the pressure on the employees for creating an atmosphere of interpersonal communication.
In the above context, Pollock states that:
“Usually, it’ a simple matter of translating the I, me, or our approach into you terms. Obviously, it’s impossible to eliminate entirely the words I or me from a business letter of conversation. Nor is it desirable. It’s merely a matter of emphasis. As a rule of thumb, think in terms of the other person’s self-interest and the “you” approach will take care itself.” (Page 12)
In the above case it is important for a leader or management to consider “you” approach regarding the team members or employees to think the goals of the company are in their self interest. The above approach has the capability of making mission and goals of the company as the self interest of the employees and stakeholders (Ted Pollock, 2002).
Interactive System of an Organisation made Simple
According to just-mentioned approach of ‘you’ from the side of management towards the employees, the interactive system is important. In the above context, Durant, Rita Anne (2002, p.2), mentions about interactive systems in a complex world of global business. Anne (2002) opines that the important way to address the problem is to see its development when the communication passes between personnel. However, when the companies change their interactive systems according to interpersonal communication or they introduce the interpersonal relations to their interactive systems, it is important to note that the personal authority is limited for the leaders and they should depend on coordination rather than authority. In attaining above-mentioned coordination, it is necessary to opt for rational as well as legal, fair, uniform and predictable practices and it is possible when the leader is having good interpersonal communication with the team members. However, it is important to note that, maintenance of interpersonal communication is an attempt and making it to flow along the hierarchy smoothly is a endeavour. Hence, after adopting interpersonal communication, it is important to make sure that the hierarchy also follows the same or it is important to make the team members and the leaders in the middle management are comfortable with the new type of communication that minimises the personal authority and charisma. That means it is important for a leader to give reasonable instructions and for employees to consider the practicality of the instructions from the leader. In the above context, Rita Anne (2002, p.3) quotes a set up of an automobile industry. She states that the work is delayed due to the non-tuning nature of the leaders and employees who are part of the set up. Everybody is not giving up their proposed systems and designs and due to non coordination and lack of interpersonal communication; they are not able to decide what is necessary for completing the task. The author explains the non-coordination between different departments, which resulted in stalemate in designing a car as none of the technicians are relenting on their design or communicating with others to accommodate all the required components for the automobile. For example, when the usage of the automobile needs 12 amps battery, the technicians did not have any coordination with the designers of the car’s body and they did not find enough places to fit the batter of required capacity. Now, the whole design needs to be changed and that results in waste of time. If the coordination, communication and interpersonal relationships mentioned in literature review are applied in this case, it would have been a success rather than confusion (Durant, Rita Anne, 2002).
Combination of Coordination and Communication
Hence, according to above view, the coordination and communication combined is important and that implementation can be made simple through interpersonal relationships in an organisations activities. Hence, it is important to put interactive systems or a hierarchy that enables the coordination and communication between different departments. The dialog skills of the leader will enable the above activities. In this context, Ted Pollock (2000. p.10), states that,
“Managers who enjoy a dialog relationship with their subordinates tend to be more successful than those don’t.”
He mentions several reasons also stating that dialog removes the adversarial relationship between any two individuals, particularly between employees as well as leaders and team members. In the above mentioned automobile design context of Rita Anne (2002), the existence of unavoidable part of the employee-boss situation disrupts or delays the organisational activities. Hence, it is important to recognise that the people are more responsive nature regarding the communications indicated at the conversational level than as the ones issued in the form of orders. In the above-mentioned context, it will be clear that interpersonal communication between bosses and employees can be made possible as it humanises the work environment. In the context, Ted Pollock (2009), states that the creation of rapport and morale considerations as well as goals of the company is important, though the secrecy is maintained. Despite the maintenance of secrecy, the rapport between bosses and employees ensure the continuity of the work in an organisation. Hence, in addition to regular meetings that discuss the development of work and that monitor the planning of different departments, it is important to have a system that makes interactions between different departments, technicians as well as executive be made possible to avoid the disruptions due to ignorance of other’s planning and ideas. In the present concept, the goal of interpersonal communication is to avoid misunderstanding as well as ignorance that ensures smooth going of the activities in the organisation. Another important aspect is to consider the fact that the way the employees talk to boss. If they are relaxed as well as duty minded, they the leader can extract as much as he/she can from them. However, it is the interpersonal communication regarding work at workplace that enables the relaxation of employees while talking and having a conversation with the leader. Hence, leaders must make use of interpersonal communication in a way to ensure the relaxation of employees being duty minded and by offering job satisfaction by enabling them to reach the goals of the company (Ted Pollock, 2000).
Minimising the Emotional Opposition
In the just mentioned section, the combination of coordination and communication is mentioned to enable the employees to reach the goals of the company. However, while communicating with them it is important to note that there should not be emotional opposition in them while listening or implementing the orders or suggestions of the management. Though interpersonal communication presents orders as suggestions, they are enough to raise the emotional opposition, if the interpersonal relations are absent. Hence, the effective implementation of interpersonal communication in interactive system is important to develop interpersonal relations between employees and departments. In the above context, Ted Pollock (1999, p.10) quotes as follows:
“Messages that create resentment usually contain words that undermine listeners’ egos and self respect”. Hence it is important to avoid the above-mentioned type of conversation in employees or between them and the leadership. The purpose of interpersonal communication is to avoid anger, frustration and fear. This is important because, when the employees or team members are in fear or frustration, they will be unable to interpret the message objective and their work will be inadequate to reach the goals of the company. Hence, it is important to convey the whole information about the aspect the leadership wants to be implemented or about a goal to be achieved. If the information is concealed, the employees’ relations will be no more interpersonal and that may result in emotional opposition. Hence, it is important to note that the important aspect in implementation of interpersonal communication is transparency as well as openness about the goals of the company and ethics of the leader. In addition to that it is important not to exaggerate the employees’ loopholes. Instead of it, the leadership can create a work environment that enables the active nature of the employees as well as their leisure. Moreover, the interpersonal communication has to minimise the loafing of the employees but not in the way by scolding them with exaggerations. Hence, Ted Pollock (1999) insists on avoiding the ‘two-value’ words as they name only extremes but not the true value of the employees work. The frequent usage of ‘two-value’ words may resent in resentment in employees thus affecting the relationship between them and may affect coordination negatively. As a result, it is important for leadership to behave in manner that employees can feel oneness in the management. Usage of we in place of will be effective as both right as well as wrong comment effects the employees as a team and hurts nobody. As a result Ted Pollock (1999) suggests a grievances committee as part of interactive system that enables the interpersonal communication, so that the committee can address the weak links in interpersonal relationships and can correct them. The above aspect of grievances committee acting to implement or strengthen the interpersonal communication will oppose the stereotyped training, production, personnel, and sales methods in the activities of the company. The interpersonal communication will be aware of change that is imminent and adjusts the team according to the necessity. As reasoning is part of interpersonal communication in an organisation, that aspect should be used in enhancing the organisation activities and makes it to work properly. Using the interpersonal communication in the above-mentioned methods can result in inspiring confidence as well as a tool that drives the employees to reach the goals of the company (Ted Pollock, 1999).
After discussion, in analysis part researcher analyses the aspects considered in literature review and discussion with the help of responses of Anosh to open questions sent to him. The responses of these questions are the ones, which are his opinions about the team members and activities in MNCs having interpersonal communication. In the previous questionnaire, the response of the employees are also considered but in contrast, the open questions have the responses that are expressed by a successful leader (Anosh Thakkar) who worked and working in top position in a successful MNC. The analysis when combined with discussion will lead to a conclusion about the role of interpersonal communication and relations in enhancing the performance of an organisation as well as making it work properly to reach the goals. In addition to that, the analysis concentrates on the way leaders enhance the performance of the team and the multinational and cultural aspect that can be dealt by interpersonal relationships in the context of globalisation, much more than ever before.
Initially, the analysis starts with managing change and states that the managers of different departments should have minimum understanding about activities of other departments for developing coordination with them. As coordination is deemed to be developed by interpersonal communication, managing change with interpersonal communication also involves development of necessary knowledge in the leaders of different teams in the company.
In the next stage of analysis, avoiding conflicts while working comes to the fore as interface of employees with stakeholders may result in conflicts if there is any communication gap between them and the analysis in this context mentions about consensus that is capable of avoiding conflicts and achieving it without any friction.
After avoiding conflicts, the paper analyses about the interpersonal skills of the employees that avoid conflicts and the ways inculcating them and role of leaders in doing that. The analysis in this part concentrates on time and energy spent by managers in valuable discussions and conversations with team members and stakeholders.
The analysis about inculcating interpersonal activities leads to self control and problem solving activities in the company. In this context, the analysis mentions the capability of employees or team members that can avoid meeting with the leaders frequently about the activities and completing them successfully though. The analysis considers saving time as well as increasing productivity with interpersonal communication.
The analysis of self control of the individuals in a team leads to self regulation as part of interpersonal communication and helps in achieving goals. Hence, in this part of analysis the self and social world of the employees that enables the quality work activities will be discussed and the results are termed to be positive based on Anosh’s response and other relevant literature.
In the next part, Anosh’s responses to open questions are included and the analysis continues according to it thereafter to include some practical observations with little connection with past literature.
In analysing Anosh’s responses, the achievement of everyday goals with social relationships is of utmost importance and they are termed as interpersonal relationships. In this context Anosh’s response that views interpersonal communication as a skill in the employees is of utmost importance.
After that the analysis views interpersonal communication with information technology and explores the ways, which incorporate the interpersonal interaction as part of information technology. In the course of the above type of analysis, the literature that mentions tactical management supports the above view.
After considering IT, the analysis points out the cross cultural context that needs interpersonal communication in a new form as local culture finds place in the interactive system. The ways and means that ease the communication activities between top management and subsidiaries as well as between subsidiaries also comes to the fore in this part of analysis. The content in this analysis mentions the importance accepting the local practices by parent company as well as the transfer of knowledge from parent company to subsidiary and emphasises the importance of interpersonal communication in this context.
The analysis concludes with effect of interpersonal system on production. The researcher considers a case study of an activity in Nissan Company to find acceptance for the field work done with the help of Anosh.
According to responses of questionnaire, the administration activities go smoothly with the presence of interpersonal communication. According to (Fejgin, Naomi, Gilada Avissar, and Yacov Kedem, (2008, P.97) it is important for the leaders to have an understanding about the various departments and their nature of functioning that enables coordination. The above aspect helps them in managing change and act in an environment of ongoing changes. Hence, Naomi et. al., (2008) states’ “team development, organisational decision making process, conflict management, introducing change, managerial tools like interpersonal communication, management of time, use of information technology and knowledge management” are important in making the team work properly. Out of the above mentioned aspects, the interpersonal communication will help in team development, organisational decision making process and conflict management as well. In addition to that, the other aspects will add a quality to the work, but the interpersonal relations are the ones that are important in decision making process and conflict management and making theoretical framework of a company a success. However, the presence of interpersonal communication helps in building a right and suitable theoretical framework for the organisation according to its structure and nature of the business. The coordination mentioned in literature review and discussion, which would be developed by interpersonal relationships in the workplace helps in working of different departments together to achieve the goals of the company. With the introduction of interpersonal communication, one can observe that the participants or the team members report that they have expanded theoretical knowledge in management, understanding, basic concepts in management and the differences between management and leadership, thus having an understanding about the goals of the company. Moreover, the introduction of interpersonal communication and the presence of interpersonal relationships, one can observe that the marketing activities as well as the performance of the company are enhanced and the customers are content than before. Moreover, the interpersonal communication will enable the team member to understand the system and act accordingly. The interpersonal relationships in turn help team members to accustom themselves to organisational environment and to take part in development of organisation as well as their team. Moreover, the interpersonal communication between employees or the team members and between different teams helps them to acquire understanding various management strategies, so that it may help in work in tandem with the method that enables to achieve the organisational goals. In addition to that, the inclusion of interpersonal relationships and communication enable the staff, employees and team members to know about the concepts as well as the expectations of the management in a casual way that results no stress in them as it caters to the needs of the employees also. Without catering to the minimum needs of the employees and team members, the interpersonal communication and relationships between leadership and the team members is not possible.
According to Grasha, Anthony F. (2002, p.284), in medical systems, it is important to make connection to frame patient safety problems that arise from our inability to manage the conflicts. Hence, Anthony F. (2002) states that interface with other practitioners are important. In the case of other organisations, one can understand that interaction between different departments and managers is important for conflict resolution. In the presence of interpersonal communication and relationships, there is little chance for the conflicts between departments and hence one can reflect consensus in activities of the company thus paving way for smooth functioning of the organisation. In addition to that Anthony F. (2002, p. 285) reveals that the decisions through coordination, which is due to interpersonal relations reflect consensus and it will be the best way to conduct the business if the consensus comes from the hearts of the employees and team members. However, even in the context of demands of all the parties exist, the compromise efforts will be easier in the presence of interpersonal relations rather than in the absence of them. The reason is that the coordination prompts preparedness in employees and the interpersonal communication enables them to discuss the decisions and opinions regarding business activities frequently, thus paving way for a total consensus or consensus with a convenient compromise that is essential for the success of the strategies as well as achieving the goals. Moreover, the above mentioned application of interpersonal communication and relations also remove stress and tension in the team members as well as employees. Anthony F. (2002) quotes about the tension, frustration, anger as well as cognitive bias that results in blaming others can be minimised and that may be an important cause for positive answers of performance managers regarding the effect of interpersonal communication in business activities (Grasha, Anthony F, 2002).
Inculcating Interpersonal Skills
The next context is about using the interpersonal skills in workplace and developing them in the employees and team members for the better functioning of organisation. In the above context, Hartley, Peter (2000, p.255) quotes Goleman (1998) about the change of rules for work. Goleman opines that the way the team members and employees handle the situations is important as well as their expertise and training. The above aspect brings an aspect that is just more than intelligence and teachers how to be successful at workplace. In other words one can understand that the more practical a person, the more chance of being successful at workplace and this aspect needs personal abilities like interpersonal communication. The interpersonal relationships between management and the employees make the latter feel motivated to do a good job. Moreover, the interpersonal skills contribute to social skills of the employees and team members thus making the interaction of the company with the society a possibility and making all stakeholders like the ones in supply chain confident of the company. In the above context, Peter (2000, p.256) states that the time spent by managers in conversation, meetings and discussion is an investment of time and energy. The result of the above-mentioned investment depends on their interpersonal skills and this requires self-awareness and the knowledge about the importance of handling relationships. The importance of interpersonal skills is the way to respond to others in ways that appear natural and effective. As this is important for coordination between employees and different managers of various departments in an organisation as well as between different subsidiaries in different geographical locations, the interpersonal communication is crucial for convenient workplace environment. Moreover, interpersonal communication encourages interaction between employees, which results in successful social behaviour. As the interpersonal relationships guide the interpretation of a person’s behaviour by another person, the team members see themselves in terms of their roles and status and act accordingly. Hence, it helps in productivity of the company if implemented in a right direction (Hartley, Peter, 2000).
Self Control and Problem Solving
After the effect of interpersonal communication on productivity, the aspect regarding the minimising the problems by employees and solving them comes to the fore. Self control is the one that avoids frequent visits or meetings with the leaders and manages by the team members. The energy of the manager or the team leader can be saved if the employees are capable are solving the problems on their own or it is best if they are able to minimise the conflicts and problems. In the article by Catherine D. & Rawn Kathleen D. Vohs, (2006, p.15), the authors focus on association between self-control and interpersonal relationships. According to the investigation and findings in that article, the self control and interpersonal relationships are tied with each other, though they appear to be different in surface. Hence by considering the answer of Anosh that the employees in his company are able to minimise or solve the problems by interpersonal interaction and relationships, it is important to note that the interpersonal communication results in conflict management and gives strength and can even power training and work style of the employees. Hence, self control that avoids conflict is important and the point in this context is that it can be achieved up to some extent in the employees through interpersonal communication. As interpersonal communication develops interpersonal relationships, there is less chance for any employee to disturb or hurt the ego of the other employees. In this context, Catherine D et. al., (2006, p.16), quotes the difference in the relationships of famous boxers Lewis and Tyson with others. Lewis is a person who maintained good relationships, but Tyson is the one who saw both heights and bottoms in his relationships. If the relationships are interpersonal rather than objective or subjective, the avoidance of conflict can be achieved and the conflict management of the leadership will be easier as there will be less or no conflicts at workplace, which effects productivity positively. It is important to note that the interpersonal communication system or interaction in any company should support or build moral character in leaders as well as employees and leaders should be example of that character spelled out by the unwritten principles that guide interpersonal relationships in a company. During the work and business activities of a company, many leaders or employees find themselves in a ‘self regulatory resource depletion’, which occurs due to ego depletion. If it is avoided, the employees work up to their full strength and expertise and interpersonal communication can be the best way in achieving that as it respects and values colleagues and superiors’ opinions, which are in tandem with the goal to be achieved (Catherine D. & Rawn Kathleen D. Vohs, 2006).
Self Regulation and Interpersonal Communication in achieving the Goals
After self control, it is important for a team to be self regulative. As self control is the personal process, self regulation can be termed as the follow up to that, which affects the whole team. In this context, Grainne Fitzsimons. (2006, p.31, 32), states from their research that, self-regulation is of great importance as it helps the people to create the self and social world in which they are living. As the present context is about the employees and team members, the self regulation is a necessary constraint that in team as well as the staff to avoid conflicts and to reach goals with minimum problems and misunderstandings. However, the coordination mentioned in the discussion chapter also helps in avoiding the delays, the self regulation aspect in the team helps in developing the coordination even in adverse conditions. Fitzsimons. (2006) claims that research has uncovered countless routes through which people’s needs goals and desires interact with psychological mechanisms. Hence, it is important to know how the people involved in a project perceive objects. In the above context, the important aspect that is necessary in a team as well individuals is self enhancing motivations for individuals and self protections motivations for teams. In the above context, Fitzsimons (2006) quotes Dunning, Leuenberger, & Sherman, (1995), Kay, Jiminez, & Jost (2002), Kay & Jost, (2003), Kunda (1990) about chronic motivations that avoid prejudice and quotes Moskowitz, Gollwitzer, Wasel & Schall, (1999) about social cognition developed due to it. Hence, it is important to note that self motivation and self protection combined with coordination is a necessity for a team as it is a part of social entity; the organisation or the company that concentrates on production and marketing (Vohs, Kathleen D, 2006).
Open Questions and Responses
How do you use interpersonal communication as to enhance the performance of the team?
Interpersonal Communications is not used as a separate tool but as a skill in every employee in the team so that it becomes an integral part of our day to day work.
As in-charge of performance management, what aspects you found had been changed for betterment of work environment due to interpersonal relationships between employees as well as you and employees?
After a greater focus on interpersonal behavior, I saw an increase in my team’s engagement index. Engagement Index in my company is measured by an annual survey of all employees with specific questions about the work environment, relationship with colleagues and managers.
How do employees react, when the interactive system that involves interpersonal communication for coordination between employees and departments?
Social media systems such as twitter or facebook are popular amongst employees in their personal lives. When such interactive systems are introduced in a workplace, inter and intra departmental communications increases due to its non-formal nature of communication.
Is it easier to deal with different subsidiaries all over the globe through interpersonal communication? If so, how?
Dealing with communication locations around the world poses certain challenges – language being one of them. While implementing an interpersonal communication initiative, companies should be aware of local/country specific norms, culture and customs.
Did the company find the interpersonal relationships and communications useful in assessment of employee performance?
During our company’s annual performance assessment process, one of the major factors in assessing is the “how” or the behavior of the employee (the other axis is “what” or performance). Behavior is a perception by others and is generally difficult to measure objectively. However, I have noticed that employees with more sophisticated communication skills and interpersonal relationships consistently score higher in the “how” axis.
Interpersonal communication is to eliminate or minimize the individual flaws as much as possible. Did you find it working practically? If so, how and why it happens?
Indeed, within a team, if the communication between employees is high, employees become team-players. This better teamwork creates synergy and eliminates individual flaws. This goes a long way in improving productivity.
Is there any difference of implementation of interpersonal communication in technology development departments to other departments? If so, why it happens and how do you manage that difference?
Technology, Development and Research departments certain are differ in the level of interpersonal communication when compare to employees from other departments such as Sales and Marketing. The reason for this is that most Technical employees are introverts by nature. Thus it takes more management effort and understanding to increase the communication within the technical employees. I manage it via by conducting more informal outings (for e.g. outside office meetings, etc.).
How does the company use the interactive system of interpersonal communication in dealing with stakeholders of supply chain management?
Interactive systems can be used very effectively when dealing with suppliers and logistics partners in a supply chain. For example a supplier can track his order delivery through an interactive web-site from our company. Such interactive communication increases reliability of the supply chain.
However, everyday goals achievement depends on social relationships that depend on interpersonal relationships. As per the response of Anosh to the first one of the open questions; “Interpersonal Communication is not used as a separate tool but as a skill in every employee in the team so that it becomes an integral part of our day to day work”, and as a result self regulation plays a key role. Hence, the interpersonal relationship of management with the employees is related with career goals, social goals as well as health goals and in turn they decide the behaviour relationships of the team. Hence, to integrate the work with interpersonal processes, the ways of the management and employees are different as their responsibilities are also different. While the management’s activities regarding the development of interpersonal relationships are regarding helping to reach their personal goals through the profession, the employees’ responsibility is developing coordination between them and departments with the interpersonal interaction provided by the company and accepting it as a part of their daily activities. Hence, the activities of management regarding interpersonal communication with employees should be motivational and cognitive and the responses of employees should be regarding right interpretation to the activities of the management and implementing them in right direction to achieve the goals of the company. With the above activities, the management can minimise the loyalty of the employees to a particular leader in the company and can attract their loyalty towards the company thus avoiding the personal loyalties by developing the submissive nature of the employees towards the company. Moreover, if the religious beliefs and current needs are considered, they may influence perceptions of the employees, but Anosh (performance manager in Philips) responds to second open question as; “after a greater focus on interpersonal behaviour, I saw an increase in my team’s engagement index”. This states that, the interpersonal relationships in team and with the leader can minimise the effect of religious beliefs and the current needs of the employees on work activities.
According to Varajao, Joao, Antonio Trigo, and Joao Barroso. (2009, p.34), the information technology systems in an organisation can play different roles as the technology is being considered as the driver of an organisation’s competitiveness. In contrast to the past, instead of being restricted to operational level, as the informational technology is being used in central and crucial role in organisations- it can be used as an interactive system that incorporates the implementation of interpersonal communication (Varajao, Joao, Antonio Trigo, and Joao Barroso, 2009).
The above aspect of using IT for implementation of interpersonal communication can find its cue from the Anosh’s third response about interactive system. Anosh mentions that social media systems like twitter or facebook are popular amongst employees in their personal lives. Hence, he talks about introducing such systems in a workplace regarding inter and intra departmental communications as it increases the communication between them in non-formal nature, which is crucial for increasing performance when the interactive system that implements interpersonal communication is present.
In a finding that gives strength to above analysis, Varajao et al., (2009, p.36) quotes about tactical management that occupies a certain level in organisational hierarchy, which is next to the level of managers assisting operational activities. The managers at tactical level are responsible for ensuring the achievement of plans and targets set by senior management. Varajao et al., (2009) in the above context quotes about interactive applications that help the managers in decision making process of middle management. The above systems, which are mentioned as decision support systems can enhance their performance by interpersonal relations of the managers with crucial team members. The interpersonal relationships will be useful to tactical management level to request the relevant data, select and apply the appropriate decision model as well as to generate the output report in the required format.
Cross Cultural Context of Interpersonal Communication
As appropriate decision model has been discussed and analysed in the previous section, it is important to consider in the context of multinational corporations as international comparative management is important in global economy. In this context, Wenchuan Liu (2004, p.500) quotes Tayeb (1998) about MNC being a powerful vehicle for transfer of managerial knowledge across nations and interpersonal communication and interaction can be one of the aspects of human resource management in that transfer of knowledge. Not only transfer, it is important to accept the local customs and culture and interpersonal communication should depend on the customs and perceptions of that area in which the subsidiary of the MNC is present. In the above context, Wenchuan Liu (2004) quotes about the capability of MNC management or HRM to implement the practices that are difficult to imitate. The above type of implementation is possible when the interpersonal interactive system in MNCs follows the local customs and develops a network that includes all the sensitivities and gives a common platform for the employees, managers and leaders to interact with each other and discuss in decision making process. Hence, locally designed practices should be acceptable for parent company and it is necessary to subsidiaries to accept the practices originating from the parent company. Hence, an adaptive orientation is necessary for any MNC to create HRM systems for its subsidiaries all over the globe to reflect the local environments in the communication system. In addition to that the successful HRM practices include local environments to transfer best practices throughout the organisation (Wenchuan Liu, 2004).
In the above context, Anosh also responds in the same manner. He opines according to his experience that dealing with communication locations around the world poses certain challenges language being one of them. Hence, he suggests that while implementing an interpersonal communication initiative, companies should be aware of local/country specific norms, culture and customs. Consequently, transferability comes to the fore in the above aspect of norms, culture and customs as it is defined as the ability to transfer HRM practices originated from the parent company to its subsidiaries. As a result, conceptualisation of country level effects by examining the characteristics of national environments is necessary for discrimination. In the above context, Morley, Wenchuan Liu. (2004) quotes Barkema et al (1996), Hennart and Larimo (1998) about institutional theory that refers to the extent of dissimilarity between host and home institutions, which can provide alternative explanation. The author consider the national and institutional distance as well as the cultural one are complementary concepts as neither of them has the capability of capturing full spectrum of national differences in HRM practices and interpersonal communication helps in capturing the above-mentioned gap. However as culture is termed as the collective mental programming of people who live in a particular society, it is important to frame a system of interpersonal interaction in a way that accustoms the culture of the employees.
In the next stage, the effect of interpersonal interactive system that incorporates the local needs and culture comes to the fore regarding the assessment of performance of employees as a team and individually. While assessing the performance, the behaviour of the employee or the team members with different departments and colleagues is important and Armstrong, Michael. (2006, p.112) in the above context argue that performance management is about analysing rather than assessing. As the future practice is in view of the assessors while analysing, it is important for the system to reveal strengths and possibly weaknesses that indicate the development chances in the activities of the company. In the above context, Anosh responds that during his company’s annual performance assessment process, one of the major factors in assessing is the ‘how’ or the behaviour of the employee. In addition to ‘how’ axis, ‘what’ axis also is present in the assessment. Anosh opines that behaviour is a perception by others and is generally difficult to measure objectively. However, according to his experience, the employees with more sophisticated communication skills and interpersonal relationships have consistently score higher in the ‘how’ axis. This means, the way the employees and team members work and execute the decisions depend on their communication skills and interpersonal relations with different departments and their colleagues. In the above context, Armstrong, Michael, (2006) quotes about BP Amoco that expects managers to reach an understanding with their staff. The above aspect is due to ensuring the staff to do well. This is contrast with contribution related pay scheme as overall performance includes behaviour also, which decides the performance of a team as a whole.
Production and Interpersonal Communication
In the context of production and interpersonal communication it is relevant to quote the case study at Nissan in which dynamic capability theory addresses the lock-in issue associated with the rigidities of the firm specific strategies resources and the formation of core competences. In this context, Vinh Sum Chau and Barry J. Witcher (2008, p.179) explains the activities of executive team at Nissan that manages a common set of management philosophies as the core competencies. The authors examined the use of top executive audit, which is a type of strategic operational review, and integral part of management. This when combined with communication controlled the problems against achieving the targets of the company. In the above context, Vinh Sum Chau et al., (2008, p.180) quote Barnard (1938) about the interconnection and interactions within the organisation, which can be achieved by interpersonal relations as well as communication mentioned in this paper in different chapters.
In the same context, Anosh also mentions the enhancement of productivity of the company due to the interpersonal relationships between employees. He points out that if the communication between employees is high they worked as a team and that resulted in better team work. Consequently, this created synergy and eliminated individual flaws as much as possible resulting in improving productivity. Hence, one can observe that the enhancement of interpersonal communication and interaction in Nissan and Philips companies resulted in improving production and the performance managers identified that aspect (Vinh Sum Chau and Barry J. Witcher, 2008).42 However, merely implementing interpersonal communication in the organisations may not work as the level of interpersonal interaction between employees in different departments may differ due to the introvert nature of the employees in technical related departments. Anosh dealt this problem by arranging more outings and outside the office meetings for his employees. In the above mentioned contexts, the need of inducting interpersonal communication for the development of interpersonal relationships between employees has been expressed and the necessity that managers find to deal differently with employees of different departments or teams to implement interpersonal interactive system. Moreover, in answering the last question of the open questions, Anosh responds that interactive systems can be used very effectively when dealing with suppliers and stakeholders and different actors in supply chain. In the above context Anosh mentions about the website that enables the tracking of a consignment or a service status, which in turn satisfies the supplier so that it increases the reliability of the supply chain.
As per the review of literature as well as discussion and analysis depending on the field research, it can be concluded that interpersonal communication enhances the performance of the company as a team. First to come, it is important to have an interpersonal interactive system that enables interpersonal communication between employees of a department. This interactive system may differ for different departments as the employees of various departments may behave in different manners. In the next stage of coordination between the employees and departments it is important to have an interactive system that develops interpersonal relationships between employees of different departments or in other words, the members of different teams. Regarding the production activities, the interpersonal communication enables the decision making process hassle free as well as free of delays as different technicians and strategists work in a coordinated atmosphere. In the context of marketing activities, the interpersonal communication helps in making the executives and managers know about the views and perceptions as well as expectations of customers. As an extension to the above aspect, the coordination between different departments enable the production department to know about the expectations of customers and prospects from marketing department and can design products or services accordingly. All of the above, in the context of global atmosphere in a multinational company, the interpersonal communication is helpful to deal with the people in different geographical locations and countries. However, it is important to note that an interactive system is necessary to include the local environment of subsidiaries as some of the aspects cannot be ignored. Hence, in an MNC it is important to have an interactive system that incorporates the interpersonal communication along with the local aspects of geographical locations of the subsidiaries. Moreover, interpersonal communication in a company enables the leaders as well as the management at different levels to identify the employees or team members’ suitability of work according to their talent. Consequently, the interpersonal communication is necessary in an organisation, where management wants its leaders to be ethical in their expressions and working style to inspire the staff and team members.
Al-Ajmi, R. (2007). “The effect of personal characteristics on conflict management style: A study among public sector employees in Kuwait. ” Competitiveness Review 17.3: p.181-192.
Armstrong, Michael. (2006). Performance Management : Key Strategies and Practical Guidelines. London, UK: Kogan Page, Limited
Beaufort B Longest Jr, and Wesley M Rohrer. (2005). “Communication between Public Health Agencies and Their External Stakeholders. “Journal of Health and Human Services Administration 28.1/2: 189-218.
Beth Snyder Bulik. (2004). “Hiding Out. “Sales and Marketing Management. Pages 25-26.
“Business Ethics; New business ethics findings from Baylor University described. ” Economics Week. Page 60.
Catherine D. & Rawn Kathleen D. Vohs. (2006). The Importance of Self-Regulation for Interpersonal Functioning. In Vohs, Kathleen D. (Editor); Finkel, Eli J. (Editor) Self and Relationships: Connecting Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Processes. New York, NY, USA: Guilford Publications. p.15-17
Durant, Rita Anne. (2002). You mean the world to me: Storytelling and leader listening in organizational learning. Diss. The University of Alabama, ABI/INFORM Global, ProQuest. Web.
Fejgin, Naomi, Gilada Avissar, and Yacov Kedem. (2008). “Effects of an academic management development program on participants’ perceptions and practice.” Review of Business Research. 8.5. p. 96-106
Francine Schlosser. (2005). The Market-Oriented Contribution of Individuals: Translating Strategy into Action. University of Waterloo. Vol. no not available. Pages 1-5
Fred R David. “Strategic management case writing: Suggestions after 20 years of experience. ” S.A.M. Advanced Management Journal 68.3 (2003): Page 36.
Grasha, Anthony F. (2002). “A lesson in patient safety from A Beautiful Mind’..” Nursing Economics 20.6: 284+
Hank Darlington. (2002). “People – your most important assest: Part 3 – communicating the best. ” Supply House Times Vol. 1. Page 59-60.
Hartley, Peter. (2000). Business Communication : An Introduction. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge, p 255-288.
Hiland, Mary Linda. (2006). Board chair-executive director relationships: Are there interpersonal dynamics that contribute to creating social capital in non-profit organizations? Diss. Fielding Graduate University.
H odge, J., and L. Schachter. (2008). “The missing ingredient. ” Sales and Marketing Management. Vol 160. No. 2. Pages 30-32.
Huw Williams. (2004). Marketing must not be limited to one department. Marketing. Vol and number not available. Page 18.
Janet K. Winter., Karen K. Waner., Joan C Neal-Mansfield. (2008). Team Climate and Productivity for Similar Majors Versus Mixed Majors. Journal of Education for Business. Vol. 83. Page 265.
Joseph P. Cangemi., Bill Burga., Harold Lazarus., Richard L. Miller., Jaime Fitzgerald., (2008). The Real work of the leader: A focus on the human side of the equation. Journal of Management Development. Vol. 27. Pp. 1026-1036
Kurt Thurmaier. (2006). “High-Intensity Interlocal Collaboration in Three Iowa Cities. ” Public Administration Review: Special Issue on Collaborative Public Management 66: 144-146.
Laurence Valant. (2008). Perfecting Interpersonal Skills. The Practical Accountant. Vol. 41. Issue 3. Page 40.
Mary Bambacas, and Maraget Patrickson. (2008). “Interpersonal communication skills that enhance organisational commitment.” Journal of Communication Management Vol 12. No.1. Pages 51-54
Orest Protch. (2008). Abc’s of Supervisory Communication. Supervision. Vol. 69. No. 10.. Pages 17-20.
Qu Li-Juan. (2007). Grice Theory of Conversational Implicature. Sino-US English Teaching. Vol. 4. No. 7. Page 63-66
Riikka Ellonen, Kirsimarja Blomqvist, and Kaisu Puumalainen. (2008). “The role of trust in organisational innovativeness. ” European Journal of Innovation Management Vol. 11. No. 2. Page 160.
Ronald J Stupak, and Katherine N Stupak. (2006). “Finding Organisational Reality in Paradise: A Team of Two.”Public Administration Quarterly 30.1: 11-21.
Robert Hicks. (2009). Advocacy vs. Influence. Physical Executive. Vol. 35. Issue 6. Page 72.
Schuster, Darleen Victoria. (2005). Contributions of interpersonal communication within a mass media environment: Exploring the role of social influence in a state-wide tobacco control media campaign. Diss. University of Southern California, Pages 17-21.
Shawnna M Cunning. (2004). “Avoid common management pitfalls. ” Nursing Management 35.2: 18-18.
Stokes, C. (2009). “Keep the conversation going. ” Marketing : Experiential Essays.com. Page 9.
Ted Pollock. (1999). “Do your messages trigger “emotional opposition”? ” Automotive Manufacturing & Production. 111, 10. P.10.
Ted Pollock. (2000). “How to improve your dialog skills. ” Automotive Manufacturing & Production: ABI/INFORM Global, ProQuest. Web.
Ted Pollock. (2002) “Smart listening. ” Automotive Design & Production. 114, 11: Page 10.
Ted Pollock. (2002). “Use the ‘You’ Approach”. Automotive Design & Production. 114, 9. P.12.
T.K.P. Leung, Vincent C.S. Heung, and Y.H. Wong. (2008). “Cronyism :One possible consequence of guanxi for an insider: how to obtain and maintain it?. ” European Journal of Marketing Vol. 42. No. ½. Page.- 23.
Varajao, Joao, Antonio Trigo, and Joao Barroso. (2009). “Motivations and trends for IT/IS adoption: insights from Portuguese companies.” International Journal of Enterprise Information Systems 5.4: 34+.
Vohs, Kathleen D. (2006). Self and Relationships : Connecting Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Processes. New York, NY, USA: Guilford Publications, Incorporated. p 33.
Volker, Kenneth L. (2003). Competency requirements of purchasing and supply management professionals for the beginning of the 21st century. Diss. Walden University, Pages 1-3
Wenchuan Liu. (2004). “The cross-national transfer of HRM practices in MNCs: An integrative research model”. International Journal of Man Power. 25.6: 500-517
“What can I earn as… an HR administrator (commerce) in the Midlands? (2006). ” Personnel Today.
Yang, Jixia. (2005). The role of trust in organizations: Do foci and bases matter? Diss. Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College.