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Effective Workplace Communication

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Effective Workplace Communication

Dashman Company was a large concern which produced equipment for the armed forces of the United States.
It had over 20 plants situated in the central part of U.S.
There was the absence of coordinated purchase policy within the firm.
Each plant was working as a separate individual unit.
It became evident in the late 1940’s when the company felt that they might face difficulties in procurement of essential raw materials.
To deal with this situation, Mr. Manson, President of the firm, appointed Mr. Post as Vice President (Purchase) and assigned Mr. Larson who has worked with the firm for many years as his assistant.
The appointment of Mr. Post was announced through formal channels in the firm and his first decision was to centralize the company’s purchase procedure.

He made a proposal of getting all the purchase contracts in excess $10,000 approved by the head office one week in advance of the signing date and the proposal was accepted by the company’s Board of Directors.
At the time, when the peak purchase period was three weeks away, Mr. Post drafted a letter giving the directions to all the plant executives. But, Mr. Larson suggested that personal visits would be more effective than written communication.
Mr. Post dismissed the idea and sent the letters to the plants with his signatures. Most of the plant executives responded positively to the letter.

In the end, there were no notices from any plant executives regarding negotiations of contract in the next six weeks. Moreover, the executives visiting the plants reported for the plants being busy with the usual routine for that time of the year.
From the above mentioned brief summary of the case, it can be said that:
This case deals with a typical condition which many organizations face in today’s world. In this case, we have a new person joining the company at a very responsible post. The company has its own way of running until the person who has newly joined thinks of an improvement. It was noticed that the things didn’t go exactly as the new professional wanted it to. This case brings to the forefront matters of communication in an organization and effective decision making.

Problems of the Case:

The people in the organization have not taken the letter seriously. They don’t feel it necessary to follow what the letter instructs them to. There could be many reasons to which this might have happened which can be discussed as below:
The psychological aspect can be the major problem miring the organization. It is human nature that people do not give up easily on something, especially when it comes to power and position. It would have been very difficult for the heads of purchases of the respective units to find a reason to give up their power which they had been exercising over the purchases of the unit. According to me, it would only be possible to increase or modify the powers enjoyed by the respective units rather than decreasing them.

The requirement of such an action would also be a probable problem for the orders of Mr. Post not being taken seriously. There has to be a very logical approach to any decision that is to be taken at the Vice – President Level of the company. The heads of purchases of the unit were not the part of the decision-making process which would have reduced the effectiveness of the measure that was decided upon.
The people might have acted differently if the mode of communicating the decision would have been different. Mr. Post has been very blunt in communicating the message to the people of his organization. The new man has not taken into effect the way the things were in the organization and has not taken ample amount of help from the assistant he has been assigned.

The problem that the company is facing might not be affecting each of the plants individually. Hence, it is very unwitting to assume that the problem that the people at the head of the organization see is visible to the people of the units individually. Hence, the reactions to the measures taken by the Vice – President may have seemed irrelevant to the people of the company at the unit level.

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