Managerial Communication: The Link between Frontline Leadership and Organizational Performance

By Ahmed, Zia; Shields, Frank et al. | Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, January 2010 | Go to article overview

Managerial Communication: The Link between Frontline Leadership and Organizational Performance


Ahmed, Zia, Shields, Frank, White, Rayondraous, Wilbert, Jessica, Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict


INTRODUCTION

Employees make significant contributions to the overall success of an organization, and their contributions are valuable in both public and private entities. Research shows that organizational performance markedly improves when communication is permitted to flow uninterrupted and employees are empowered, provided incentives, and given the necessary resources to perform at an optimal level. Managers at the technical core of an organization are obligated to develop good working relations with their staff by providing them with a comfortable work environment and swiftly resolving issues that could possible hinder performance. In addition, FMs play a pivotal role in inspiring their subordinates to maximize efficiency and enhance productivity. The spirit of teamwork among employees correlates with the inspirational leadership role of management. FMs should lead and motivate their staff to perform at a level that inspires them to achieve the goals and objectives set forth by the organization. A general definition of leadership is the ability to motivate subordinates to do their jobs willingly, without coercion or harm to themselves or to others. The practice of effective communication is a leadership attribute that facilitates FMs in becoming the prospective leaders of their organizations. In this paper, we view communication from a transmission perspective--meaning, communication can be seen as a linear relationship between a source and a receiver.

Bell and Martin (2008, p. 130) define managerial communication as "the downward, horizontal, or upward exchange of information and transmission of meaning through informal or formal channels that enables managers to achieve their goals." The performance of visionary organizations is linked to their FMs' efficient and effective use of communication, which inculcates confidence in employees. It is imperative that FMs in organizations, both large and small, understand the significance of establishing meaningful relationships with their employees. Moreover, beneficial relationships can be established through achieving organizational goals, providing performance feedback, and engaging in formal and informal communication networks. Non-supervisory employees are the face of modern organizations; therefore, involving them in the decision making process is one form of empowerment that is both motivating and inclusive. Offering incentives and adhering to a fair reward system positively contribute to an increase in employee morale and to the organization's bottom line. Our research is focused on the role of communication as an energetic process used to motivate and engage employees in the workplace environment. We explore frontline leadership through the communication process.

FMs (persons of influential status operating at the technical core of organizational subsystems) seek this type of knowledge. FMs, both in the public and private sectors, will find this essay beneficial if their goal is to establish for a culture conducive to achieving both long-term as well as short-term objectives. The importance of the FM's role has to be valued by top management in order for organizations to create and maintain a competitive advantage in this global business landscape. They play a pivotal role in motivating employees through the effective use of leadership and managerial communication. The top echelons of any organization should bestow confidence in their FMs by clearly communicating the vision, core ideology, and giving them leeway to affect change. The challenge in many companies is that top management often fail to provide FMs with advanced training needed to perfect their leadership and interpersonal skills. The consequence of failing to do so is that the cycle inadequate leadership and ineffective communication is repeated when FMs are given the opportunity to lead their organizations.

PROBLEMS IN PRACTICE

Leading and motivating employees to perform at a level that achieves organizational objectives is primarily tied to MC. …

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