Staff and line - Wikipedia
(i.e., line or staff) to performance evaluations of upper-level managers, and relationships of performance tributes ascribed to women (e.g., kind, caring, and relationship- oriented) . make distinctions among job definitions and, consequently, in their Because line jobs are likely to be viewed as more strongly male. Line and Staff Organisation Structure Definition: Line and staff organization is an organization in which line managers make decisions, and staff personnel. includes defining and assigning priorities, planning and organizing, and programming Although most of them agree that the human relations aspect of the job is Such descriptions not only indicate the male domination of the position but .. G. Turnbull, “Line and Staff in Industrial Relations,” HBR July– August , p.
Later versions of the model added a feedback loop from receiver to sender. Nevertheless, the model suggested that all meaning is contained within the message, and the message would be understood if received.
It was a sender-focused model. He emphasized relationships between source and receiver and suggested that the more highly developed the communication knowledge and skills of sources and receivers, the more effectively the message would be encoded and decoded.
Berlo also acknowledged the importance of the culture in which communication occurs, the attitudes of senders and receivers and strategic channel selection.
Today, the model is more complex due to new media and high-speed, multi-directional communications Burton, ; Williams, However, the core components live on in formal communications planning and implementation. Organizational leaders and communication specialists first develop strategies to achieve objectives, construct relevant messages and then transmit them through diverse channels to stimulate conversations with employees and members. Employees communicate informally with others inside and outside the organization through high-speed communications, too.
Communication Levels Internal communication occurs on multiple levels. Interpersonal or face-to-face F-T-F communication between individuals is a primary form of communication, and for years organizations have sought to develop the speaking, writing and presentation skills of leaders, managers and supervisors.
Group-level communications occur in teams, units and employee resource or interest groups ERGs. The focus on this level is information sharing, issue discussion, task coordination, problem solving and consensus building. Organizational-level communications focus on such matters as vision and mission, policies, new initiatives and organizational knowledge and performance.
These formal communications often follow a cascade approach where leaders at hierarchical levels communicate with their respective employees, though social media are changing communications at this level.
Communication Networks A network represents how communication flows in an organization. Networks can be formal and informal. In a formal communication network, messages travel through official pathways e. Informal communications move along unofficial paths e. Informal communications are often interpersonal and horizontal, and employees believe they are more authentic than formal communications Burton, Employees and members use both networks to understand and interpret their organizations.
Communications also can be described as vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Vertical communication can be downward—flowing down the hierarchy of an organization—or upward, i. Horizontal communication refers to communication among persons who have no hierarchical relationship, such as three supervisors from different functions.
Diagonal or omni-directional communication occurs among employees at different levels and in different functions, e. Evolving organizational structures and technologies create opportunities for new and conflicting communication flows Williams, Studies regarding the effectiveness of communication flows often reveal employee dissatisfaction with both downward and upward communications.
Less is known about the effectiveness of horizontal and diagonal communications. Communication Channels A communication channel is a medium through which messages are transmitted and received. Channels are categorized as print, electronic or F-T-F interpersonal. Common print channels include memos, brochures, newsletters, reports, policy manuals, annual reports and posters. New technologies have spurred the use of electronic channels, e. Face-to-face channels include speeches, team meetings, focus groups, brown bag lunches, social events and gatherings and management by wandering around.
According to Harris and Nelsonthe most used channel is listening, which consumes about half of our communication time Johnson, Effective listening is crucial to learning, understanding, conflict resolution and productive team work. It helps leaders at all levels improve employee morale, retain employees and uncover and resolve problems. Selecting the most appropriate medium or media is an important issue for professional communicators once they have determined objectives and strategies, assessed relevant audiences and constructed messages.
Hot media are more segmented and linear, while cool media may be more abstract and require more participation to understand. Daft and Lengel developed a media richness model to explain media choices. They said that media choice should match the ambiguity of any communication task with the richness of particular media. Ambiguity refers to the difficulty of interpreting or understanding a message.
Media richness refers to the capability of media to effectively convey information.
Capability is differentiated by the availability and speed of feedback of the channel, the use of multiple cues and natural language to facilitate understanding and the personal focus of the message. The researchers proposed a continuum of media choices: At one end are channels that possess most or all of these capabilities rich media ; at the other end are channels with few of these characteristics lean media.
F-T-F communication is the richest medium and optimal channel for communicating complex information or resolving conflicts, for example. Lean and impersonal media include simple announcements, data reports and posters. Electronic mail, phone calls, personal written communications and other channels fall in the middle of the continuum. Later research has shown that media selection also is influenced by the social environment in organizations, which affects member attitudes toward a channel or medium and how it is or should be used in their organizations Fulk et al.
The data-carrying capacity of media is similar across organizations, but the symbol-carrying capacity varies from one organization to another due to cultural differences. Thus, communicators should select channels based on message ambiguity, media richness, organizational culture and available resources. Measureable Benefits Internal communication continues to evolve in a dynamic world characterized by an explosion of new technologies, intense global competition and rapid change.
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that effective internal communications help increase employee job satisfaction, morale, productivity, commitment, trust and learning; improve communication climate and relationships with publics; and enhance quality, revenues and earnings. Here are some examples: More than 80 percent of employees polled in the US and UK said that employee communication influences their desire to stay with or leave an organization.
A significant improvement in communication effectiveness in organizations was linked to a Effective communication facilitates engagement and builds trust, which is a critical ingredient in strong, viable organizations Grates, Engaged employees enhance business performance because they influence customer behavior, which directly affects revenue growth and profitability Towers Perrin, The Evolution of Internal Communication Social theorist James Colemantraced the rise of large organizations and claimed they have changed communications practices and personal relationships through two powerful interactions: Large organizations were relatively new in the early 20th century, apart from government and the military, so theories developed to explain how organizations worked and tried to achieve their goals.
This section outlines five theoretical approaches that evolved in the last century—the classical, human relations, human resources, systems and cultural approaches. Communication features or characteristics of each approach are briefly described.
More comprehensive treatments may be found in many communication texts, e. Classical Approaches Sometimes referred to as the machine metaphor because of how employees were viewed as interchangeable parts, this approach is grounded in scientific management theories of work and workers in the early 20th century. Frederick Taylor was the best known proponent of this approach.
He studied factory production lines and concluded that work processes could be improved by applying scientific principles to jobs and workers. These included such things as designing each task to improve performance, hiring workers who possessed characteristics that matched each job and training workers and rewarding them for productivity achievements. Henri Fayol believed that operational efficiency could be improved through better managerial practices.
He prescribed five elements of managing planning, organizing, command, coordination and control and 14 principles of administration. During times of emergency, however, he indicated that employees might communicate with each other across the organization.
Some key components of this approach included: Two key communication goals were to prevent misunderstandings, which might impair productivity or quality, and to convey decisions and directives of top management.
The formal structure of organizations drove top-down communication, primarily through print channels. The content of most communications was task or rule oriented. The social side of communication was largely ignored, and employees relied heavily on the grapevine for such information.
Human Relations Approaches In the s, the focus shifted from work tasks to employees and their needs, and the Hawthorne Studies spurred this movement. Carried out at the Western Electric Company in Chicago, the studies revealed the importance of groups and human relationships in work. Elton Mayo and his Harvard colleagues discovered that employees who worked in friendly teams, with supportive supervisors, tended to outperform employees who worked in less favorable conditions.
In his view, the key to cooperation was communication: These approaches focused on opposing assumptions that managers may hold for workers, and the corresponding behaviors of managers.
Simply put, Theory X managers believe workers lack motivation, resist change and are indifferent to organizational goals. Thus, managers must provide strong, forceful leadership to direct and control employees.
Theory Y managers believe employees are highly motivated, creative and driven to satisfy their needs for achievement. The role of managers, then, is to elicit those tendencies through employee participation in decision making, managing by objectives and problem solving in work teams. This approach included more F-T-F communication and acknowledged the importance of internal communications.
Downward communication still dominated, but feedback was gathered to gauge employee satisfaction. Some social information was added to the task-oriented content of communication, and managerial communications were less formal. Human Resources Approaches The human resources approach Miles, was widely adopted by organizations in the s.
This participative, team approach to management-employee relations recognized that employees can contribute both physical and mental labor. The preferred team-management style—high on concern for both people and production—became the basis for management development practices in a number of companies.
Quality control circles, decentralized organizations, total quality management and employee participation groups are manifestations of this approach. Focusing more on organizational structure, Rensis Likerttheorized four organizational forms and labeled them System I through System IV.
Likert believed that a System IV organization, characterized by multi-directional communication and a participatory style and structure, would spur productivity gains and reduce absenteeism and turnover. Other theorists argued that the best leadership style would vary from one event to another, depending on contingencies in the environment. Fiedler said that leaders should first define a contingency and then determine the most appropriate leadership behaviors to deal with it.
Contingency theory recognizes that organizations and environments are constantly changing, and there is a need to monitor environments and carefully analyze information before making decisions.
Communication became multidirectional and more relational. Feedback was sought to enhance problem solving and stimulate idea sharing. Innovation content was added to social and task information in communications. Concepts of employee trust and commitment emerged as important issues, and organizations began to share communication decision-making among employees.
Systems Approaches In the s some theorists adopted a systems perspective, viewing organizations as complex organisms competing to survive and thrive in challenging environments.
In general systems theory, any system is a group of parts that are arranged in complex ways and which interact with each other through processes to achieve goals vonBertalanffy, An auto supply company, for example, consists of a number of departments or units production, marketing, finance, saleseach of which includes individuals and teams.
The functioning of any of these units or subsystems relies on others in the organization; they are interdependent. The company is also part of a larger supra system—the automobile industry.
Line and Staff Relationship in Organization (with Example Diagram)
Systems and subsystems have boundaries that are selectively opened or closed to their environments, allowing the flow of information and other resources. Individuals who exchange information with other systems or groups customers, government personnel, suppliers are boundary spanners.
Media outlets provide other important links between organizations and the environment. Weick used systems theory to explain organizational behavior and the process of sense making. He argued that communication is the core process of organizing; through information produced by processes or patterns of behavior, systems can increase their knowledge and reduce uncertainty about the complex environments in which they operate.
Communication is vital for exchanging information in and among subsystems through multidirectional channels which are used in internal communications. No, according to several human resources professionals.
Some years ago, I became good friends with a now-former manager. He and I played squash, had friends and acquaintances in common and supported each other in our personal lives. Then, a client at the firm where we worked decided he wouldn't pay his invoices due to what he called poor service from the account executive on the business -- me. For him to pay his bills, he said I would have to be fired.
And fired I was -- by my boss and I thought friend. As the adage goes, "Nothing personal, it's just business. I was once hired by the second in command to the firm's CEO, who had been a personal friend of mine for many years. Once word of my long-time friendship with the CEO got out, colleagues thought I would keep him posted on office goings-on or have an unfair advantage at performance review time, resentment started to build up.
Employee / Organizational Communications | Institute for Public Relations
The CEO and I parted company, still friends, shortly thereafter. Business is global and more competitive than before and managers' loyalty is to the bottom line and their bonuses. Employees can source 10 job opportunities online during their commute and respond with a resume before the train arrives at the station.
Perceptions of favouritism may emerge among the co-workers of the employee who is friends with the boss, leading to resentment. The employee may be asked by the boss to do something that is business related in support of their friendship, even though they may not agree with the suggested strategy or task.
Lines between a business relationship and friendship can blur at review time. Unless the manager is very generous, the employee may feel short-changed following a salary review.
Why Bosses and Employees Shouldn't Be Friends
Even if the boss grants a raise, not even the employee will be sure it was performance-related. It can be difficult for close friends to be critical of one another. Business growth relies on unbiased performance evaluations.