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COM217A: Communication in

Organizations
Chapter 1: The Challenges

Its complicated

Four aspects of our world < 20 years

How they affect us

Globalization
Terrorism
Climate Change
Demographic Change

people
students of communication: concepts and theories

Important to keep a sense of context

Its Complicated

Globalization

Opportunities for entrepreneurs


Problems

Global economy
Global Internet

Job loss, exploitation of workers, environmental


problems

Complexities for business, government,


culture

Example Toxic Toys

Its Complicated

Terrorism

A set of strategies the involve the use of


unpredictable violence against individuals to
create fear and suspicion
Implications of 9/11 are everywhere

Communications scholars look at

How they communicate


Crisis communications
Information security and preservation of civil
liberties

Its Complicated

Climate Change

Greenhouse gases

Human created, result of industrialization

Sea levels, glaciers, permafrost


Weather effects (hurricanes)
Love of petrochemicals

Green theme (study of)

In corporate communications.and actions


How to communicate preparedness
Reaching individuals to make a difference

Its Complicated

Changing demographics

Characteristics used to describe the population


Trends from 2010

Increase in Spanish speaking americans (17%)

Hispanics surpass African Americans as largest minority

Shift of population to sunbelt, Pacific Northwest


Projected population over 65 years increase to 20% by
2050

Meeting the Complications

About Organizations

Think about new hierarchies, structures, teams

Think about new goals:

Concept of Requisite Variety: as complicated as the


environment
bottom line plus green?

Service Organizations not manufacturing


Rise of the NGOs globally
Virtual Organizations

Meeting the Complications

About Communication

Organizations in todays society, technology


Communication as Constitutive versus
Transactional
Craigs (1999) model approaches

Rhetorical
discourse by leaders
Semiotic
corporate symbolism
Phenomenological
dispute facts
Cybernetic
process information
Sociopsychological
interaction and influence
Sociocultural
organizational culture
Critical
confronting issues

Whats next

Approaches

Processes

Theories about how organizations work


Impact of theory on study of communication
Theories about what goes on within organizations
Communication is central to these processes

Reminder

Syllabus Quiz! (available until Feb 5)