Key Issues in Organizational Communication

By Dennis Tourish; Owen Hargie | Go to book overview

12

Motivating critical upward communication

A key challenge for management decision making

Dennis Tourish and Owen Hargie

The temptation to tell a Chief in a great position the things he most likes to hear is one of the commonest explanations of mistaken policy. Thus the outlook of the leader on whose decision fateful events depend is usually far more sanguine than the brutal facts admit.

(Winston Churchill, 1931)


Introduction

Communication in organizations involves the transmission of information (messages) between senders and receivers (sources), utilizing a variety of means (channels). Such information can flow horizontally (across similarly placed levels in the organizational chart), vertically (from managers to non-managerial staff, or vice versa) or diagonally (from non-managerial staff to managers, bypassing intermediate layers, and vice versa). The meanings of the messages are affected by the cognitive set of the individuals who receive them and the context in which they occur. Organizational communication research has therefore often been construed in terms of an information exchange cluster, involving information, networks, uncertainty, messages, load and (more recently) technology (Conrad and Haynes, 2001). The purpose of this chapter is to suggest that important issues involving information transmission from those without managerial power to those with such power have been insufficiently explored in the literature. Power itself is a frequently unacknowledged variable in organizational science (Clegg, 2000), while it has been argued that, whatever other changes have occurred, ‘corporate organizations have remained largely autocratic in form’ (Deetz and Mumby, 1990:19). In particular, the need for upward communication that is critical of organizational goals and management performance has been little recognized, or researched. Primarily, researchers in the general area of feedback have been concerned with the nature and efficacy of appraisal systems. Here, we argue that this is no longer sufficient.

Feedback and knowledge of results have long been known to be essential to effective human performance in any task (for example, Annett, 1969). The more channels of accurate and helpful feedback we have access to, the

-188-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Key Issues in Organizational Communication
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 304

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.