Case Study on Business Communication
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Case Study on Business Communication

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Business Communication, Trust & Ethics

Business Communication, Trust & Ethics

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    Case Study on Business Communication Case Study on Business Communication Document Transcript

    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust A Case study on Effective Communication should be developed through Trust Prepared by SUNAM PAL KIRAN VARGHESE JACOB PGPM student of Marketing Specialization, PGPM student of Marketing Specialization, Alliance University School of Business Alliance University School of Business Official Address Official Address Sunam Pal, Kiran Varghese Jacob Room number MS-324, Room number BS-202, Boys Hostel, Faculty Quarters (Boys), Alliance University School of Business, Alliance University School of Business, Central Campus, Central Campus, Chikkahagade Cross, Chikkahagade Cross, Chandapura - Anekal Main Road, Chandapura - Anekal Main Road, Anekal, Bangalore - 562106 Anekal, Bangalore - 562106 Karnataka, India Karnataka, India Contact Number: +91 9620368402 Contact Number: +91 9886401773 Email-Id: Email-Id: sunam.pal@alliancelive.com kiran.varghese.jacob@alliancelive.com BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 1
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust Effective Communication should be developed through Trust Transparency, credibility and sticking to the commitments are very important while communicating. Effective communication is driven through loyalty and trust of the people. Purpose is of this case is to know:  Importance of communication in business  Understanding unethical practices in business  Transparency, Credibility & accountability are a major concern for managers.  Trust is must in an employee driven company.  Commitment is a worth of company’s values  Effective management is won through loyalty This case is based on a real incidence that happened last year in one of the top fortune 100 company. NOTE: Names of all character, company & events in this case has been kept confidential with the intension not to reveal the identity of those who had an impact or were responsible for this incidence. Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939) Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation. Judith Martin, (Miss Manners) Source: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/communication/ BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 2
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust Case Overview Mr. Shantanu Bannerjee was having his cup of coffee near the balcony of cafeteria after he had completed his task for the day. It was dusk all around. He was sitting alone & thinking upon few important issues. He couldn’t digest few things about the day & was regretting that why he didn’t act upon it before. He was also disturbed that why did he trust his manager & also why was he not made aware of it before hand. Any how Shantanu had no other choice as he knew that it was too late & only what he could think ahead was for a better future & learn a good lesson out of what had happened. Mr.Shantanu recently passed his B.Tech from Punjab Engineering College in computer science. Just as a part of his internship training he joined this company. Although he was technically sound, on his part he could make the best of what he could do for the company. He was selected for the position of project trainee in a domain meant for hardware testing. During the entire tenure of 6 months of his internship technically he learned a lot. Initially he was being appointed to simulate the circuit diagrams & review the wires, cables in case of any disorder. He was very good at performing tasks. Though he was a fresher he could mend circuits and verify it better than any other person in his team. Soon within span of 2 months he was given the in charge of the project that dealt with procurement & reviewing the electronic items. Being a fresher it was like a prestigious reward for him to be given a responsible task that was just new to his field of work. It gave him much courage & also motivated him to perform his tasks in a more productive way. As per one of his team member Satyajit Khurana, “Shantanu was very talented & technically expert. Once you provide him with the objective, he does that task before the stipulated time with perfection. There is no need of any mentor or supervisor to guide him all the time. He knew his work, deadlines & how to make things done” While he was undergoing his new project he could found some flaws in the inventory management system for procurement. He worked for about a fortnight and could come up with a solution to optimize the inventory management system using software’s which reduced the whole procurement project life cycle time by 23%. It was a huge achievement and an abnormal gain that no one can ever estimate. Soon his model of inventory system was being adopted by other teams & implemented. His manager rewarded him for his extreme innovation at his work. Shantanu got more priority over other trainees. He also got opportunity to interact with clients overseas. Shantanu’s instant innovation made him to be a lime light in his team. However he could notice that some of his senior team members were not happy with his manager’s decision. He could realize that his dynamism & progress were taken as a threat to the position & prestige of other team members because he was just a fresher & was doing well compared to those experienced. BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 3
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust One month was left for Shantanu to complete his training. Shantanu knew that apart from his good performance there was no vacancy for him in his domain as most of the old employees were on bench during recession. However on 5th July he got a call from Miss Sheela, Project manager of CII team from other domain. It also dealt with hardware testing which was very close to Shantanu’s work profile. She gave an offer to him saying that they have an urgent vacancy in their team & they would like to hire him, if he is right for the job based on two rounds of technical interview. Shantanu before agreeing for the proposal decided to speak to his current manager so that there are no disputes. So he asked for some time from Miss Sheela to convey his opinion. His current manager Mr. Ravi Sharma called Shantanu to his cabin. He said that he would ask his manager Mr. Shyam Kumar about it & let him know soon as he hopes that there is some project about to come to his team in next 2 months and they need to hire someone. Based on past 5 months performance of Shantanu, he & his manager were very satisfied & would like him to work as a permanent employee for the new project. Within two days Shantanu was informed to extend his internship by three months so that he would be absorbed as a permanent employee based on a formal interview. However it was clearly indicated to him that the interview was just a formality. Ravi & his manager Shyam were ready to hire him at any cost. He also mentioned “no need to worry. You can decline your proposal from Sheela & also from other teams if coming to you. Interview is just a formality. You are in. Now don’t think about your interviews much & concentrate on your projects. We have lot of expectation from you.” The news was spread all over the team that soon Shantanu will be a part of their team. But few members in his team were having objections but there were no other alternatives as it was manager’s decision. Shantanu called Sheela & said “Hi! Sheela, thanks for your offer. But today my manager informed me that there is a vacancy for me in my team itself. So sorry for keeping you on hold” Sheela replied “No problem at all. Congratulations” Shantanu was eagerly waiting for the days to pass & finally the day came when he was about to attend the formal interview. He was assured quite a number of times before that “the interview was formal & his performance was no way going to affect his selection. He was already being selected by both of his immediate managers. Interview was just a step to follow the employee recruitment guidelines of the company.Shantanu was also asked not to concentrate much on interview & rather pay attention on his routine work. Finally Shantanu had his interview on 30th July, 2009 at 5:00 Pm. Interview was carried by his team members some of whom were not always in favor of him. Shantanu was surprised to find that none of his managers were in the interview panel as they promised that at least one of them would be there. BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 4
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust Shantanu had a tough time in the interview. He was asked with the questions that were out of context & those that were not related to him & his work. Neither he had worked in that nor did his profile for which he was being selected match to the questions asked. Bust since Shantanu was technically sound & also had been resolving partly the technical disputes of other teams, he had ideas about the out of box questions and could manage to perform satisfactory in his interview. Still 8 days were left. Shantanu didn’t ask about his feedback as he was assured that it’s not going to impact anyway. Mr. Ravi gave him a call. Shantanu went to his cabin. Shantanu was told that “he will not be hired because he couldn’t perform well in the interview”.Shantanu argued that “Why Ravi, I performed well till date. I am having a very good track record for last 5 months & feedbacks were very good as given by you only. I kept to all my deadlines. You people awarded me. Because of you only I denied sheela’s offer. You only assured me that the interview was just a formality & I need to concentrate on my work.” Ravi replied back “Our Company’s policy says that while recruitment it is the interviewer who decides the final selection. The panel of your interviewer is not ready to hire you. They have an opinion that the task to which you were going to be assigned is different from your current profile & does not meet their expectation. So you can apply for your resignation latest by next 5 days so that it gets updated to the database before your tenure of training ends by default” Shantanu was helpless. He also knew that as per company’s policy “Interns are hired temporarily for projects & thus have no assurance about confirmation of their job after completion of the project even if they had performed well. He also didn’t have any documentary proof as everything was intended to him orally. There was no written evidence or mail that could suggest that he was being assured that he will be hired. He could have talked to HR’s, But in his company he knew that HR will only say that if the line managers are not ready then no one can do anything as the entire decision is based on managers. He called Sheela in case vacancy was still there. She replied that the vacancies were filled and there were no other vacancies in her team and in the entire domain for coming 6 months. Finally he had no other alternative, sat in front of his system. He applied for resignation, filled the form, clicked on the final button & his resignation got accepted. Then he went for a cup of coffee to the cafeteria.He could realize that he made some mistakes and could have rectified it earlier by being alert rather than taking the situation very casual. BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 5
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust Teaching Notes Prior action to overcome the situation Shantanu’s intuition should have predicted beforehand that something is wrong with the point of not giving a feedback immediately after his interview was over that he wasn’t selected. He was conveyed the same just 8 days before his internship last date. Shantanu was not clarified properly about the reason for not hiring him and thus Shantanu had no faith in what managers were saying. His manager’s statement was ambiguous and didn’t match to his action. Shantanu’s next project manager was out of the scene. Shantanu could have overcome the situation by being alert for his interview without taking it casually and preparing well for it.He should have not only questioned his manager Ravi but also to his further higher manager Mr.Shyam about his doubts & to justify the reason to not hire him.He should have given a trial, to freely convey the same to his domain HR.He should have intelligently managed to use the written documents like mail about the assurance given by the manager , so that he could have at least conveyed to HR about his circumstances. He should have talked to HR regarding other vacancies in other teams or domains. Major Communication Barrier The major communication barriers were the lack of transparency in communication, non- fulfilment of commitment by the manager which indeed lead to lack of trust, improper Organizational structure because he couldn’t convey his problems to his domain HRs. He had a prior perception as he believed that the HR’s cannot solve his problem in any way. Lack of autonomy & privileges given to bottom employees to discuss & resolve their personal issues with higher officials were lacking. Shantanu’s expectation was not high. The strength of an ethical company lies in its commitment. So when an organization assures him that he is being selected, it is quite genuine for anyone to think & stick to what organization has committed. Also Shantanu’s expectation was quite genuine from his team as he was being awarded for his work & could meet all deadlines within time. He could also fix many technical issues in his entire tenure of work. Mistakes committed by the management Shantanu’s project manager did the mistake by giving assurance. He should have kept control on his emotions & could have patiently watched the outcome till the interview was over. He shouldn’t have assured him, rather should have told him to prepare well without giving any guarantee beforehand. He should have justified Shantanu at the end, stating him the actual reasons for not hiring & should have clarified all his doubts. BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 6
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust He should have conveyed the message with the motive to convince him, till he found that Shantanu was with his statement & was in a position to agree to what he was saying. Shantanu should have been given with adequate time to make necessary arrangement in the meantime & to make up himself for the cause. Conflicting statements His earlier statement was “No need to worry. You can decline your proposal from Sheela & also from other teams if coming to you. Interview is just a formality. You are in. Now don’t think about your interviews much & concentrate on your projects. We have lot of expectation from you.” But his later Statement statement was “Our Company’s policy says that while recruitment it is the interviewer who decides the final selection. The panel of your interviewers is not ready to hire you. They have an opinion that the task to which you were going to be assigned is different from your current profile & does not meet their expectation. So you can apply for your resignation latest by next 5 days so that it gets updated to the database before your tenure of training ends by default” Role of HR & their policy There should be an open door policy where employee can approach them with any sort of problem they have. There should be a well expertise team to carry out employee counselling & manage stress. HR department should train those Managers without a Management Degree about communication barriers. How to tackle them. How to frame sentences so that they don’t deviate from their statements. Also they should be made learnt about the importance of maintaining transparency, accountability, credibility & autonomy within employees. They should know how to build trust & be loyal to its subordinates. There should be a feedback form to be filled by every employee while leaving their organization. From survey in various Indian software company it is being concluded that majority of the employees don’t leave their company but leave their managers” All employees who are undergoing resignation process should be examined well. They should track their details & come up with report to analyze different types of circumstances to encounter such problems before hand & optimize them. BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 7
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust Conclusion To maintain effective communication, maintaining transparency within the company and sticking to its commitment plays a very important role. The doubts among the bottom line employees should be clarified and HR should take care to resolve such issues. Enough of clarification should be given so that the person is convinced with manager’s decision and should have faith in the organization. Organizational structure should be designed in such a way that it is easy for employees to sort out their problems with HR and is genuinely clarified with the cause behind such decisions. Q Questions based on above case study: 1) What were the major communication problems faced in this case? Were Shantanu’s expectations his team were very high or it was quite genuine. 2) Do you think there was lack of transparency? 3) What would Shantanu have done to overcome the situation? 4) In what better way Ravi could have handled the situation? 5) What were the conflicting statements said by Ravi in this case? How could he have sorted it? 6) How HR within an organization can play an important role in tracking miscommunication and resolve such issues BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 8
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust Exhibit-1 FACTORS: EXPRESSER DRIVER RELATER ANALYTICAL They seek a lot of They like their They like positive data, ask many How to own way; decisive attention, to be questions, and They get excited. Recognize: & strong helpful & to be behave viewpoints. regarded warmly. methodically & systematically. What (the results Why? (The How? (The Who? (the personal Tends to Ask: oriented personal non-goal technical analytical dominant question) question.) question.) question.) Rejection, treated Boring Someone wasting impersonally, Making an error, What They explanations/wasting their time trying uncaring & being unprepared, Dislike: time with too many to decide for unfeeling spontaneity. facts. them. attitudes. Reacts to Taking charge Becoming silent, "Selling" their ideas Seeking more data Pressure and taking more withdraws, or argumentative. & information. Tension By: control. introspective. Get excited with Provide lots of Best way to Deal Let them be in Be supportive; them. Show data & With: charge. show you care. emotion. information. Activity & Likes To Be Applause, feedback, Results, Goal- Friends, close busyness that Measured By: recognition. oriented. relationships. leads to results. Get into a Make decisions at Relax, feel, care, Must Be Allowed Get ahead quickly. competitive own pace, not and know you To: Likes challenges. situation. Likes to cornered or care. win. pressured. A position that A structure of Recognition & some Interpersonal and Will Improve requires goals & methods structure with which communication With: cooperation with for achieving each to reach the goal. skills. others. goal. Face. They hate to Effort they rely Time. They like to Relationships. make an error, be Likes to Save: heavily on hunches, be efficient, get Friendship means wrong or get intuition, feelings. things done now. a lot to them. caught without enough info. Allow them Care & provide Inspire them to Structure a For Best freedom to do detail, specific bigger & better framework or Results: things their own plans&activities to accomplishments. "track" to follow. way. be accomplished. Source: http://www.drbackman.com/print-communication-styles.htm BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 9
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust Exhibit-2 Passive Assertive Aggressive Communication Communication Communication style in which you style in which you style in which you put the rights of stand up for your stand up for your Definition others before your rights while rights but you own, minimizing maintaining violate the rights your own self respect for the of others worth rights of others my feelings are not we are both your feelings are important important not important Implications to Others I dont matter we both matter you dont matter I think we are I think Im inferior I think Im superior equal apologetic I statements you statements Verbal Styles overly soft or firm voice loud voice tentative voice looking down or staring, narrow looking direct away eyes Non-Verbal Styles relaxed posture, stooped posture, tense, clenched smooth and excessive head fists, rigid posture, relaxed nodding pointing fingers movements lowered self higher self esteem guilt esteem anger at self self respect anger from others Potential false feelings of respect from lowered self Consequences inferiority others esteem disrespect from disrespect from respect of others others others pitied by others feared by others Source :http://www.cedanet.com/meta/communication_styles.htm BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 10
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust References http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/communication/ [ Page-2] http://www.drbackman.com/print-communication-styles.htm [ Page-9] http://www.cedanet.com/meta/communication_styles.htm [ Page-10] BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 11
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 12
    • PSG Institute of Management Effective Communication should be developed through trust BENCH MARK 2011 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore Page 13