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ULO 1: Analyse, critique and reflect on communication techniques appropriate to different audiences.

ULO 2: Identify, utilise and apply appropriate communication styles and channels.

Assessment requirements

  1. For this assignment, each student needs to identify and summarise in your own words the main themes from each article (no more than 500 words per article).
  2. You need to discuss the conclusions you have drawn from examining the two different contexts from the two (2) articles in relation to communication styles, channels and intercultural communication (500 words).
  3. You then have to upload one Word document to your Assignment 1 drop box on CloudDeakin. The following two (2) articles are to be used for this assessment 1 task:
  4. Enhancing employee communication behaviors for sensemaking and sense giving in crisis situations: strategic management approach for effective internal crisis communication Young Kim, (2018)
  5. The mediating role of charismatic leadership communication in a crisis: a Malaysian example assignment has been submitted. You should check that you can see your assignment in the Submissions view of the Assignment drop box folder after upload; and check for and keep the email  receipt for the submission. You must keep a backup copy of every assignment you submit, until the marked assignment has been returned to you. In the unlikely event that one of your assignments is misplaced, you will need to submit your backup copy.
  • Penalties for late submission: The following marking penalties will apply if you submit an assessment task after the due date without an approved extension: 5% will be deducted from available marks for each day up to five days, and work that is submitted more than five days after the due date will not be marked. You will receive 0% for the task. 'Day' means working day for paper submissions and calendar day for electronic submissions. The Unit Chair mayrefuse to accept a late submission where it is unreasonable or impracticable to assess the task after the due date.
  • For more information about academic misconduct, special consideration, extensions, and assessment feedback, please refer to the document Your rights and responsibilities as a student in this Unit in the first folder next to the Unit Guide of the Resources area in the CloudDeakin unit site.
  • Building evidence of your experiences, skills and knowledge (Portfolio) - Building a portfoliothat evidences your skills, knowledge and experience will provide you with a valuable tool to help you prepare for interviews and to showcase to potential employers. There are a number of tools that you can use to build a portfolio. You are provided with cloud space throughOneDrive, or through the Portfolio tool in the Cloud Unit Site, but you can use any storage repository system that you like. Remember that a Portfolio is YOUR tool. You should be able to store your assessment work, reflections, achievements and artefacts in YOUR Portfolio.

ULO 1: Analyse, critique and reflect on communication techniques appropriate to different audiences.

The journal Kim (2018), is written to explore the ways of organisational effectiveness in terms of maintaining internal communication in a situation of crisis. Therefore, this study actually meant to discover new ways of crisis communication with a strategic bent. As referred in Kim (2018), when crisis occurs within a business scenario, depending on practice of internal commination among employees positive results can be generated and employee communication behaviour or ECB can be enhanced as well.

As discussed in Young (2013), occurrence of crisis in a business situation, is common yet unpredictable and requires proper theatrical and strategic approach to recapture the balance. Poor interaction network among employees and between employees and management create critical miscommunication within workplace and leads towards project failure. Crisis can be different in form and reasons can be numerous yet this study has discovered that by improving employee communication behaviour organizations can actually overcome such critical situations. It has been stated in the study that in spite of requirement and essential nature of internal communication; employees must spontaneously join in crisis communication.

In such situations, researchers have come up with new theory of crisis communication with a strategic overview in solving crisis. Employees will be encouraged to share their view point. Managers need to be involved in such scenario to evaluate the views and analyse them in a dynamic business environment. Good listening skill is necessary to be successful in such two way communicative approach along with that it can be used to recognise misunderstandings and probable difficulties. Basically, employees are valuable not to execute the given task on time and efficiently; as well as they play a crucial role in gathering necessary information to manage the crisis, sharing information and knowledge and creating a responsive network  to support both the internal and external operation. On the other hand, managers are suggested to support the employees with all the information so that employees do not feel they are incapable of executing some operation as enough resources are not available. Another, important factor is to filtration of information or understanding value of a piece of information in terms of solving ongoing crisis. This is technically called sense-making which implies the behaviour of seeking information consistently in order to channelize it for sake of solving issues.

To conduct this study full time employees from all over USA were considered as respondent. At the end it has been found that there are certain factors related to strategic internal communication. Among them mutual communicative responses and distinct or direct modes of communication are two of the major aspects of ECB. After applying this theory into a real life crisis situation, it has been understood employee communication behaviour can be enhanced by encouraging employees to participate in sharing opinion for managing crisis. In this due course, it has been observed responses are positive when employees have been engaged into the matter of solving the crisis through sharing opinions and maintaining effective flow of interaction.

At the end of the study, it has been well proven that theoretical framework of crisis communication indicates the value of human resource in terms of maintaining communicate and friendly atmosphere in workplace and simultaneously recovering the crisis.

ULO 2: Identify, utilise and apply appropriate communication styles and channels.

The study, Jamal and Abu Bakar (2017), has established a model to prove relationship between responsibility of crisis management and charismatic leadership communication. Based on responses of 383 employees of a Malaysian farm, the mediation model has shown that with different mechanism of charismatic leadership a strong connection between organisational reputation and responsibility of managing a crisis can be established during situational crisis. The newly invented model is capable of guiding both the organizational leaders and the business itself on how to prevent the organisation from potential damage of reputation due to crisis through charismatic leadership communication.

Organizational structures have become immensely complicated these days. Researchers have started to focus on several aspects related to governance, ethical considerations of business, political rightfulness, customers’ satisfaction and complaint, communication and organizational performance. Frequent occurrence of crisis highly affects the reputation of a certain business organisation along with the production and profitability. It has been proved already by prior researches that both the internal and external communication helps to elevate reputation of business. Therefore, this research as well directly influences the theories of business communication and maintaining PR. The study yet to explore the styles of various leadership behaviours and has come to a conclusion that different approaches of leadership, communication and perceived organisational reputation when crisis occurs.

While reviewing various literation few attributes have been highlighted related to crisis and reputation management. Crisis responsibility is the tendency of various stakeholders to take part in mitigating crisis. As per the intensity of crisis, the clusters can be categorized into three part. Victim cluster does not have much responsibility in mitigation process. On the other hand, accidental clusters are moderately involved while preventable clusters share a high responsibility in mitigating crisis. In case of any failure while recognising intensity of individual and collective responsibility organisation reputation will be harmed on a high scale.

According to findings, this style of leadership is extremely effective to minimize the impact of crisis. In addition to that, it has proven to be similarly effective on reputation management of a certain organization. Therefore, the relationship between crisis responsibility and reputation of the organisation is inversely proportional as reputation will be increased if guilt makers rectify their behaviour and try to execute business operations appropriately.

While discussing about organisational reputation, two dimensions are consistently come in forefront. Whereas, one group says better financial position creates good reputation; on the contrary other group perceived reputation as ore associated with employee experience such as, various HR perspectives on salary, compensations and winning public popularity and acceptance. The second one can be applied while conducting this study as this article is moving towards proving active contribution of charismatic leadership communication on maintaining reputation. No matter which leadership style may have been applied, crisis management is always a change not only for leaders but for entire workforce.  Communication is important due to a situational crisis to channelize the information and different opinions. Therefore, successfully leading and maintaining organisational communication has a pivotal role to play in such a complicated context. The particular leadership style has been chosen as from the context of Malaysian company, charismatic style has proven to be the most effective in terms of sharing information and strengthening organisational reputation.

Crisis communication: enhancing employee communication

Both of the journals intend to clarify several theoretical concepts like intra and interpersonal communication both in verbal and non-verbal mode. Readers continue to consider several literary pieces to understand the communication theories and apply it to real life business situation. Based on Kim (2018) as well as Jamal and Abu Bakar (2017), a guideline has been made for managers on various styles of effective communication in order to operate business smoothly. Hence, two journal articles have been considered and discussed to gain better idea on effective business communication.

After generating learning from both the article journal and with other literary supports it has been understood that while managing organisational crisis communication must be maintained effectively to mitigate issues and prevent the organisation from loss of resources as described in Lalonde and Roux-Dufort (2013). The first articles highlights the role of employee participation, atmosphere of mutual sharing of knowledge and information and managers effectively to address and channelize the communicative culture in mitigation of crisis. Listening plays an important role, therefore employees have to be aware in terms of sense-making and sense-giving. It is enough to share only. According to Men and Stacks (2013), Employees need to develop an attitude of consistently collecting necessary information from an authentic sources as far as recovering crisis is concerned.  This attitude helps to empower employees and they feel valued within organisation, thus participate in communication programme and realize responsibility. It also helps in improving sense- making and sense-giving capability of an employee which helps the company to avoid similar issues with business operations in future.

As mentioned in Helm (2013), frequent occurrence of crisis is highly harmful for reputation of business organisations as well as in terms of revenue. Leaders must take effective actions for conducting both the internal and external communication which helps to elevate goodwill of a company. While reading the second study, the reference of Pang (2013) can be considered. External stakeholders must be handled diplomatically by maintaining a seamless communicational process.

This first study, while focuses on role of employees and managers during organisational crisis,  the second one made a successful attempt in establishing inverse relationship among the crisis responsibility and organisation’s reputation. A structural model have been implemented where the charismatic leadership communication is presented as one of the responsible factors for mitigating issues which creates crisis. Therefore, along with managerial efficiency it can be stated with the help of Mazzei and Ravazzani (2015), that if both the internal and external stakeholders are competent enough to recognise the reason of occurred crisis, then sharing responsibility and working on those flaws will be easier. It is an effective process to prevent organisational reputation from sinking into deep. Financial revenue matters in generating reputation, yet workplace atmosphere and employee experience are the major variables in terms of organisational reputation. Task and policy oriented charismatic leadership communication induces motivation in employees to execute works without any flaws, therefore contributes in management of crisis. Leaders can enhance employee performance and make them understand the potential of business as well as benefit and compensation policies which indirectly boosts employee experience. These are the factors that increases perceived reputation. Possible areas of future research can be initiated as people can question whether providing training on applicable leadership communication can enhance employee performance. It will be immensely beneficial for organisations to find out other modes of communications as well for avoiding risk factors to prevent the glory of a certain business. Further as argued by Mishra, Boynton and Mishra (2014), risk factors can be avoided if employees are engaged enough with organisational goals. Employee engagement is dependent on various matters like managerial and social support. Technically, workplace scenario or atmosphere is driver of good performance and help to mitigate crisis. This fact is supported by Gruber et al. (2015) as well that managerial support helps to engage employees more into the shared goals.

References

Gruber, D.A., Smerek, R.E., Thomas-Hunt, M.C. and James, E.H., 2015. The real-time power of Twitter: Crisis management and leadership in an age of social media. Business Horizons, 58(2), pp.163-172.

Helm, S., 2013. A matter of reputation and pride: Associations between perceived external reputation, pride in membership, job satisfaction and turnover intentions. British Journal of Management, 24(4), pp.542-556.

Jamal, J. and Abu Bakar, H., 2017. The mediating role of charismatic leadership communication in a crisis: A Malaysian example. International Journal of Business Communication, 54(4), pp.369-393.

Kim, Y., 2018. Enhancing employee communication behaviors for sensemaking and sensegiving in crisis situations: Strategic management approach for effective internal crisis communication. Journal of Communication Management, 22(4), pp.451-475.

Lalonde, C. and Roux-Dufort, C., 2013. Challenges in teaching crisis management: Connecting theories, skills, and reflexivity. Journal of Management Education, 37(1), pp.21-50.

Mazzei, A. and Ravazzani, S., 2015. Internal crisis communication strategies to protect trust relationships: A study of Italian companies. International Journal of Business Communication, 52(3), pp.319-337.

Men, L.R. and Stacks, D.W., 2013. The impact of leadership style and employee empowerment on perceived organizational reputation. Journal of Communication Management, 17(2), pp.171-192.

Mishra, K., Boynton, L. and Mishra, A., 2014. Driving employee engagement: The expanded role of internal communications. International Journal of Business Communication, 51(2), pp.183-202.

Pang, A., 2013. 11. Dealing with external stakeholders during the crisis: managing the information vacuum. Handbook of research on crisis leadership in organizations, p.209.

Young, M., 2013. Overcoming the crisis in curriculum theory: A knowledge-based approach. Journal of curriculum studies, 45(2), pp.101-118.

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