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Date: October 11, 2015

From: Morgan Westawski

Subject: Communication Gaps within Companies

The purpose of this memo is to present my research findings concerning the lack of
connection between top tier managers and lower level employees. Also to show
what can be done to fix such a gap.
Through my research findings there seems to be a lack of awareness concerning
company's future plans, visions and decisions being passed down to lower level
employees. These findings show that this is the main cause of miscommunication
between the levels which in turns can lead to conflict or lower levels feeling like
what they have to say has no effect. So overall the lack of connection between top
tier and lower level is due to two things: top tier not consulting with lower level and
lower level not seeing it beneficial to put their opinions forth.
The main problem this project addresses is the major disconnect in companies of
their top tier and their lower tier. Figuring out why it seems to be so common and
what problems may arise from this. The main purpose of this project was getting to
the root and finding out how it even comes to fruition.
I researched and browsed many scholarly articles, a few books and regular articles
through the WSU Library databases. I also reached out to a former CFO/COO and
interview her on her point of view and experience.
From my research I noticed that one of the main causes of lack of connection
stemmed from a lack of communication of all levels due to departmentalization. I
learned that in most cases Top Tier makes decisions or plans without having much
dialogue with most of the middle to lower level employees. The dialogue they do
have is the Top telling middle/lower what they need to do to follow the direction Top
just decided on. This can sometimes cause strife among employees and managers.
Another common theme was top tier not knowing what exactly is going on in their
company as in problems or ideas are not being brought to them from middle
managers. They do not take the time to go and see how their lower level employees
are doing or even get to know them. Another big point I found was that this seemed
to only be a major issue in companies who had more departments whereas flat
companies did not seem to have such big of an issue.

What I concluded was that the more a company is cut up and departmentalized the
more out of touch the top tier gets with the lower tier. It is sort of common sense in
the way of the more people you put in between yourself and your employees the
more mistakes and confusion there will be. Now if you take some of those away and
turn to a flatter organization the more connected and in tune everyone is into when
it comes to changes or just day to day things. Also the more communication top tier
has with lower tier the better the relationship between them is which will lead to
lower feeling like there are more involved and that what the do does contribute to
the whole.

My recommendations are for top tier to take the time to see how other departments
are doing. For them not to just rely on what people are telling them but to actually
get out and see for themselves. See what it is employees are doing and how they
are feelings. Anonymous surveys of workplace environment seem to be a great way
of doing this as well. Also holding staff or department meeting ever so often just to
check in to see and show that you are interested in how they are doing. Overall just
breaking down that wall and opening the line of communication even if it's just a
little bit will do wonders for fixing the gap between top tier and low tier.

Popovic, Kresimir, and Zeljko Hocenski. "Conflict Management." Leadership and
Management in Software Architecture, 2009. LMSA 2009. ICSE Workshop on(2009):
15-19. Web.
Khatri, Naresh. "Consequences of Power Distance Orientation in
Organisations."Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective 13.1 (2009): 1-9. Web.
Joseph, Chris. "How Does a Lack of Communication Cause Conflict in the
Workplace?" Small Business. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.