Introduction to a Cautionary Tale

One of the saddest tragedies that I ever had the displeasure to witness was the rapid decline of an organization where I once worked and thrived. The lessons learned in this real-life work scenario have proven to me how critical it is for organizations both for-profit and non-profits to function with moral integrity, organization transparency and have a solid plan for crisis management. Through content analysis, literary review and a practical application of organizational culture I took a detour in my original analysis concept.

An outline of one of the practical view concepts listed on in our textbook (p. 133) that described a “worse-case scenario” company that had “a culture of broken promises, a culture where no one took responsibility and a culture that denies participation and dissent” led me to include “eliminating toxic workplace culture” alongside the importance of organizations to apply transparency and effective crisis management for corporate success.

Hodges (2006) explained transparency this way as she quoted former ELA President Michael Fleming:

“If you want people to think you’re a good industry to do business with, you’d better have practices that are friendly, contain no surprises, and are perceived as fair, practices that if you had to explain on 60 Minutes you could.”

This article connected the dots of the importance of business practices, fairness and the ability to explain the aforementioned practices (which is a large part of PR/crisis management—the ability to explain it or have enough positive information to spin it well). Clark and Harmon (2004) explain that a good crisis management plan has two major components: plan for nearly every possible crisis and the practice of rehearsing the teamwork necessary to execute it.

In my textual analysis, I compare the demise of the Enron corporation that occurred in 2001 to the decline of the non-profit that I worked for nearly 10 years. My research shows that dictator CEOs, toxic workplace culture, questionable business practices, unstable organizational environments, lack of transparency and the absence of a crisis management strategy will ultimately lead to the downfall of any organization.

Whereas, the opposite is also true. According to Morgan (2006) “strong links exist between the welfare of the individual, the corporation and the nation. In Table 5.1 (p.119) he shows the company philosophy for Matsushita Electric Company which is one Japan’s largest and most successful organizations. I cannot cite the entire table but there this company’s 87,000 employees harmoniously recite the company’s code of values every morning at 8 a.m.

This company’s success mirrors Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs as displayed in our textbook (p.82) and demonstrates the positive outcomes associated with McGregor’s Y Theory (p.84) and Likert’s principle of supportive relations represented by System IV-participative (p.85).

My textual analysis shows the implications of not having positive workplace cultures and the results that loom over a company when toxic cultures emerge, transparency is absent and the company fails to devise or practice a crisis management strategy by observing the downfall of my previous employer and the Enron Corporation as a cautionary tale.

References

Clark, J., & Harman, M. (2004). On crisis management and rehearsing a plan. Risk Management, 51(5), 40-43. Retrieved from https://ezproxy.queens.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/227001259?accountid=38688

Eisenberg, E. M., Goodall, H.L. Jr., & Trethewey, A. (2014). Organizational communication: Balancing creativity and constraint. 7th Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Hodges, S. L. (2006). Transparency as opportunity: Where we go from here. Elt, 18(8), 28. Retrieved from https://ezproxy.queens.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/202679327?accountid=38688

Lord, K. M. Perils and Promise of Global Transparency. Ithaca, US: SUNY Press, 2006. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 30 May 2017.

Morgan, G. (2006). Images of Organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Restoring trust: PR’s new role in creating corporate accountability. (2003). PR News, 59(40), 1. Retrieved from https://ezproxy.queens.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/204214766?accountid=38688

Smith, L., & Mounter, P. PR In Practice: Effective Internal Communication (2). London, GB: Kogan Page, 2008. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 30 May 2017.

Davis_Rainah_Week4_Organizational Communication Textual Analysis Project060417

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