Business Communication & Technology Barnes, Research Paper

Length: 25 pages Sources: 25 Subject: Education - Computers Type: Research Paper Paper: #24473488 Related Topics: Masters Business Administration, Export Business Plan, Mattel, Crisis Communication
Excerpt from Research Paper :

In this case, the authors say not much is understood in terms "…of how it support for knowledge management practices in organizations affects the development of TMS (transactive memory system) (Choi, et al., p. 855). In this research, the trio of researchers have come up with several interesting findings relative to the impact of information technology.

Indeed, after researching 139 technology teams (743 individuals) in South Korea, they learned that: a) knowledge sharing has a "positive impact on knowledge application" and that in turn has a "direct impact on team performance"; b) knowledge sharing "does not" have a direct impact on the performance of a team, and moreover the impact of knowledge sharing on team performance "was fully mediated by knowledge application"; c) organizations can improve the knowledge of team member regarding meta-knowledge…through the careful investment in information technology; and d) sharing knowledge stops short of being effective, unless organizations "ensure that shared knowledge is in fact applied in order to improve team performance" (Choi, p. 855).

What are TMS (transactive memory systems)? Choi and colleagues use TMS references throughout this article. According to Choi, there are three substructures to TMS: one, the specialization of knowledge (very important in the it world); two, "cognitive trust in others' knowledge"; and three, an ability to "coordinate knowledge according to the task structure and members' unevenly distributed knowledge" (p. 856). An interesting analogy is offered by the authors on page 856 to help the reader gain a deeper understanding of TMS. Couples that have been dating in a serious relationship and are very close "treat their partners as external memory devices."

Another description for TMS is that it can be enhanced when team members provide feedback to each other, help with learning and communication -- and indeed the strengthening of TMS has a positive effect on team performance over a period of time.

On page 858 the authors of this article explain that the use of advanced it can influence the way team members integrate knowledge, and that it allows team members to "solve complex problems" and along the way actually invent "new solutions by taking diverse perspectives into consideration." It also helps employees to embrace "tacit knowledge" in a more understandable and "standardized format"; hence the information captured can be easily applied to various contexts, Choi explains (858).

It is obvious that if knowledge isn't acquired from any source, it cannot possibly be used. The authors (p. 859) assert that in an organizational setting, knowledge can be acquired both formally and informally, and it can be used to the best advantage of the team. Moreover, if teams don't effectively apply the knowledge they share -- by communicating openly and frequently with one another -- their collective decisions can be "suboptimal."

Choi, Yoonhyeung, and Lin, Ying-Hsuan. (2009). Consumer Responses to Mattel Product

Recalls Posted on Online Bulletin Boards: Exploring Two Types of Emotion. Journal of Public Relations Research, 21(2), 198-207.

This article deals with the ways in which organizations deal with emergencies or order to best serve the reputation of the company when something goes awry. Basically, the authors are investigating how certain crisis situations influence the response strategies, and in turn how those response strategies influence and affect the consumer's view of the company -- e.g., how the company's reputation is affected.

To fully flush out the way that the public (referred to in this article as "publics") responds to communications from a company the authors embrace the situational crisis communication theory (SCCT). The emotions that the public experiences when learning about a crisis, and the appropriate tone of communication about the crisis, make up a good share of the research in this article. When first hearing of the crisis, the public is not necessarily looking to "seek the cause of a crisis," Choi writes on page 199. Once the initial reports have been sent, the public then will have generated their emotions and later they will search for "attribution" and attempt to learn why it happened and what / who was responsible.

The authors present a case study involving the 2007 production recall by Mattel. What were the consumers' responses? The authors reviewed the online bulletin boards and found 277 postings related to the Mattel recall of toys. The most "frequently manifested emotion" that was found on the online bulletin board -- no surprise --...


Indeed, 49% of the posts on the bulletin reflected anger; 11.3% reflected "alert"; 9.7% showed "surprise"; 9.4% showed "worry" (which is logical given that parents were the principle respondents to the recall announcement); 7.1% indicated "fear"; 6.5% showed "confusion"; 2.3% of the posts showed people were "relieved"; and the remaining smaller percentages showed, in this order, contempt, disgust, shame and finally, 0.5% showed "sympathy" for Mattel (Choi, p. 202).

The article offers quotes reflecting the varying degrees of emotion, such as shock ("I am SHOCKED!!! it's ridiculous!") and contempt ("Shame on you Mattel and others for moving your companies out of the good old USA!") (p. 203).

DeKay, Sam H. (2010). Designing Email Messages for Corporate Readers: A Case Study of Effective and Ineffective Rhetorical Strategies at a Fortune 100 Company. Business Communication Quarterly, 73(1), 109-119.

Email is so important within the corporate community that many research papers have been written about what should and shouldn't be written in an email. In this article DeKay points to the fact that email now goes well beyond its original genre. Today email is used in newsletters, order confirmations, shipping receipts, account alerts, short reports, corporate bulletins and announcements (DeKay, pp. 109-110.) What does DeKay have to offer in this article that is not offered in other email research pieces in this paper? He asserts that since academic researchers are reluctant to review and critique email from "the perspective of document design," then someone must. Some researcher should focus on the need for organizations to build an email system that integrates "prose, graphics, and typography" in order to achieve "rhetorical objectives in email messages" (DeKay, p. 110).

In rejecting the notion that email research is a "sterile" field, DeKay instead insists that emails are "most likely to be read" if they embrace "complex sets of visual and textual conventions specifically intended to achieve rhetorical objectives" (p. 110). In his effort to promote his view of how emails should be created and presented, DeKay references a Fortune 100 company's emails to its employees that explain (with fun, interesting graphics) how to practice "computer security." The bottom line: making emails smart, attractive, and interactive is an important step in improving a company's communication abilities, not only with employees, but also with the outside world.

Desai, Mayur S., Hart, Jeff, and Richards, Thomas C. (2009). An it Manager's View on E-mail and Internet Policies and Procedures. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 36(4),


Desai covers a subject that is well covered in the literature, email, albeit the author takes a slightly different approach than other authors in this literature. The author asserts that it is the responsibility of the it managers to "monitor and make sure" that employees use email properly. In fact, though the it department in many organizations is not involved in management per se, Desai insists that when the policies and procedures for email use by employees is written, the it administrator must have a role in those guidelines.

This article delves into subjects such as email etiquette, legal responsibilities and ramifications vis-a-vis email, privacy issues, employer risks when there is no way to monitor employees' use of email.

Du-Babcock, Bertha. (2006). Teaching Business Communication: Past, Present, and Future.

Journal of Business Communications, 43(3), 253-264.

Simply put, Du-Babcock's article relates to the fact that teaching business communication is going through a rapid period of change, and the question then becomes, how does an instructor utilize the best of the new strategies and technologies to make sure the challenge in that milieu are met? Du-Babcock is writing about teaching business communication within the theme of "conference"; the "past" (which reflects the actual establishment of business communication as a teaching field); the "present" (this is a transitional period now that information is instant and has global implications); and of course "future" (there will be new challenges and preparing for those challenges now is pivotal) (p. 253).

In the past, things were straightforward and instructors had a textbook to work with and for the most part "native English" speaking students from the United States. Instructors were not expected to have any "specialized knowledge of professional disciplines" nor did instructors need to have any particular knowledge of the "communication approaches and styles" of the professional genres in these other disciplines. This was a simpler time, and easier on the instructors, but it provided "incomplete and limited perspectives" vis-a-vis the multidisciplinary global communication environment.

The changes that are emerging today in Du-Babcock's field are intimidating, she writes. Messages have to be "concurrently translated into many national languages and professional genres" and after that they must…

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In this scenario that the authors present, there has been a faculty strike at a university. It is important for the faculty to get its side of the message out before the university administration jumps ahead with its side of the story. The faculty's union "must establish its voice and credibility" because in this case there will be "competing messages" sent out to the press and the community (p. 309).

One of the salient points of this article is not a faculty strike but how technology has changed the way people communicate in a crisis like this. And the more "uncertainty" about the reasons for the crisis, "the greater the crisis," Veilhaber continues on page 311.

The authors reference Argenti (2006) who makes the case that technology has "fundamentally change the dynamic between corporations and their employees" as well as any outside stakeholders that may have an interest in the events. Today, unions and union members have equal opportunities with the establishment to use technology's lightning speed of delivery.

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