Information Flow

There are many elements that aid an organization in being successful, however one of the key elements is Information flow. In my Journal Entry I will be describing the levels of communication, both good and bad, that are found within Johnson Matthey, my current employer. I will discuss the three main managerial approaches within my company that I have observed, and the three potential communication barriers as well. The intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, organizational and intercultural levels of communications are all on display amongst the coworkers of Johnson Matthey.
There are multiple levels within the headquarters, located in Wayne, PA. They are all providing the same product for the Oil and Gas Industry. Each level contains up to 45 employees depending on the department. Interpersonal communication is continuously conducted within each group so that nothing ever falls between the cracks. Individuals are always communicating with themselves due to the constant changes in materials needed, which requires them to be able to adapt to change quickly. The workforce here is largely diverse, mostly all men with degrees in The Sciences, but various backgrounds and educational levels.
We all work in groups, each department is tied to the next, therefore requiring tight nit and close communication. Every department is essentially like its own “clique”, everyone talks about the next department, and it’s kind of like lunch time in the cafeteria during high school. Depending on your department you can be looked at as a friend or an enemy, sadly in my line of work, it’s very hard to find people who support you and back you up unless they are in your department. The woman here are very jealous of each other, they don’t like to be outshined, especially by newbies or those of us who are younger.

This kind of behavior can put a major dent on communication skills. Mostly to spite someone, but that’s still not a responsible way to handle any situation. Information travels generally in one direction from our customer (various Oil and Gas clients) to us. There are occasions when we have a little say so in the actual product but for the most part it is a one-sided show. We have our Regional Manager Andrew, our Offshore Manager Jim and our Operations Manager Roy. The way it starts is, the job comes into Andy, he determines if it is an Onshore or Offshore project.
If it is determined to be offshore, it goes to Jim, he works out the schematics of personnel with Chris and myself. Any budget questions, equipment needs etc. have to be cleared by me and then run over by Roy for final approval. The channel used is generally email from the client to one of the site managers. The feedback comes once the work is complete and as long as we get a top notch report, then we get a good “pat on the back” from upper management, and we move on to the next project. The functions of Y Hierarchy of managerial communications do exist within this organization.
Our manager is continuously creating and encouraging a wonderful work environment and providing opportunities for employees to take the initiative and self-direction. Management is always looking for new ways for employees to make significant contributions within the organization. Behavioral, empowerment, and contingency are the three managerial communication approaches that I have observed within the organization that I currently work for. Empowerment is the distribution or entrustment of power or authority to his or hers subordinates within an organization.
Generally used when upper management is out of work for certain amount of time. Empowerment also encourages the employees to get more involved with the organization. The contingency approach is seen a lot in our office. Our Operations Manager knows that there is more than one way to get an “A+” on our work, and whichever way produces the best result with the least amount of money and time spent, is generally the path that is taken. This is probably the approach seen mostly around the Johnson Matthey organization because of the results that are produced.
Behavioral approach comes with trust and one’s individual character. Managers have been seen trusting and respecting the employees more now than ever due the production that each department has put out for our clients. Personality, emotional, and physical are the three potential barriers to effective communication within not just Johnson Matthey, but most organizations. Everyone here has their own personality and that can sometimes create an issue throughout the business day. Individuals are loaded with many traits that create personal attitudes, approaches, angles,
quirks and different views on the world, and how to handle various situations. There are many occasions in which this trait has stalled communication between two individuals and in some case hurt the overall job being done. Emotional barriers can by far be the worst thing out there, in terms of communication in a company. There are many individuals in my organization that let things go straight to their heads and forget that we are at the workplace. Emotions should not be brought to work with you at all, you should be able to brush things off and move on with the job.
Especially personal conflicts and personal issues. Your office and your coworkers are not the place to be dealing with those kinds of things. Managers are often seen using a softer touch to get through to the individuals with emotional issues. Physical barriers are one of the most common around my office though. There are many occasions that we are working with a wall between co-workers and with communication being the key to our success problem will generally arise on occasions. We have made complaints on many occasions with the same results “deal with it”.

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