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A Communication Executive Fails to Communicate

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117380930436  Zhang Xuhua 张旭华 17PTD

A Communication Executive Fails to COMMUNICATE

Communication is always thought to be one of the basic skills required within a company. When a company grows from a small one to a nationwide or even international one, it is important to adopt a good communication procedure that would allow free information flows both internally and externally.

If we focus on the case of Dashlu Company, we would find that there are several issues or problems with the company. The analysis of the case is as follows.

Problem

The major problem is that the centralization of the company’s communication procedure led by Mr. Wang, VP in charge of communication, turned out to be unsuccessful.

Before the discussion of the problem, we have to take a look at what issues or difficulties that Dashlu is faced with. Plant managers were encouraged to act on their own, which resulted into a discoordination of communication procedures. As time went by, Dashlu came to realize that it is more difficult to secure essential supplies. Thus, Mr. Wang was appointed as communication executive to handle with the issue.

The assumptions hidden behind the problem are as follows:

(1) A centralized communication procedure would lead to better coordination, which would serve the interests of each plant and the company better;

(2) Better coordination of communication procedure would be helpful in securing essential supplies;

(3) A special position is needed for the change of communication procedure;

Alternative Solutions

Mr. Wang’s unsuccessful trial would make me wonder whether there are alternative solutions. As a saying goes, failure is the mother of success. Before the discussion of alternative solutions, it is necessary to understand why Mr. Wang failed in the reform of communication procedure.

Here are the possible reasons:

(1) Unnoticed announcement. Mr. Wang’s appointment was announced through a monthly published house organ and other formal channels, which didn’t indicate that the communication executive in each plant was well informed. It will lead to the second reason – weak authority.

(2) Weak authority. In a company with a state-owned-enterprise background, authority is the key to keep business operating. Mr. Wang even sent a letter in an informal way, which further diminished his authority.

(3) Disconnection. Connecting to people is one of the steps to solve a problem. Mr. Wang didn’t do any survey or face-to-face talk with managers and staff from the plants. He even turned down his assistant’s suggestion on visiting plant communication executives.

(4) Slow to react. The head office received no reply from any plant after the delivery of the email. Mr. Wang didn’t reflect on what was really going on and seemed to stay still during the six weeks without any reply.

(5) Reluctance to make a change. Since plant managers and staff have been operating separately and independently for a long time, it is apparently difficult for them to make a change.

(6) Other reasons. It might be the shortage of talent in each plant to handle with the supplies issue that results into the difficulty.

These reasons mentioned above might be the key to seek out alternative solutions to the problem.

From Mr. Wang’s perspective, it is strongly recommended to change his way of communication, to strengthen his authority, and to build up a good relationship with plant managers and staff. Only by doing these, his new implementations can be well accepted and the issue concerning essential supplies might be addressed.

Furthermore, it is possible that the solution to the issue concerning supplies does not lie in the reform of communication procedure. It might be the bargaining power of the company as a whole. Thus, it is not the appointment of a communication executive but the external business partners that can solve the problem.

Lastly, Dashlu has a little bit Team culture, since it focuses on internal matters and maintains flexibility. However, it is not operating well. We have discussed the solutions to switch it to a bureaucratic one with head office owning more control over plants. The other possible solution might be to bring the company to a entrepreneur one by giving plants more resources and even offering a stock incentive plan.

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