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Are Assumptions Impeding Communications at Nikunj Builders?

CASELET, ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR
ET Cases, 6 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Dr. Archana Shrivastava, Associate Professor, Birla Institute of Management Technology, Greater Noida

Case Preview

Are Assumptions Impeding Communications at Nikunj Builders?

November 30th 2017 was a special day for Ankit Sharma (Ankit), exactly 6 months ago the company Nikunj Builders under his leadership launched its first commercial real estate project in the city Gwalior at Madhya Pradesh. As this was their first commercial project, it was crucial in making or breaking the image of the company in the industry. Ankit was confident that he and his team have given their best to make it a success. While Ankit was signing the attendance register, one of his colleagues informed him about the complaints coming from the team working on the site of new recently launched commercial project. He was also informed that there was a widespread buck-passing within the Centre for Proposal Selection (CPS) department which was circulating in the entire office through grapevine. Most of the team members were blaming Ankit for wrong selections of the proposals. They were talking about how hasty decisions were made without consulting anyone from the team. They also shared that they were not allowed to voice their opinion freely during the meetings.

Ankit was shocked to hear this. He started mulling, “How can they say that? They were always a part of the discussions that were taken in the CPS and appeared to be agreeing with the final decision. What went wrong?”

Centre for Proposal Selection (CPS) at Nikunj Builders

After working for two years as a Civil Engineer at a private firm, Ankit chose to pursue management course from a reputed Business School in India. Soon after completing his course, he was hired by a highly regarded company with around 110 employees called Nikunj Builders (Nikunj). He was offered a senior managerial position in the CPS department, primarily dealing with construction biddings.

Based at Gwalior in central India, the company was in real estate business for more than 20 years, constructing structures and buildings. Good construction quality and timely delivery was their USP. The company handled many commercial and residential projects and were now expanding into retail and industrial projects too.......

Process Flow at CPS

Once the team was formed, Ankit shared job details and his working strategy with the team members. As their main task was to not only study the bids submitted by the contractors but also research about their image in the market, he knew that it was going to be a difficult task. He discussed with his team in detail on the challenges that the team might have to face. On the first day the entire team sat and made a working strategy they will follow. It was decided that all the proposals will be divided equally among the team members for preliminary evaluation and later for short listing. After studying the bidding specifications and doing the background check of the contractors’ profile, the proposals will be shortlisted for further discussion. It was decided that the shortlisted proposals will be submitted to the Senior Manager’s (Ankit’s) office on every Friday.........

Revised Strategy at CPS

After contemplation, Ankit felt that the preparedness related to the proposals to be discussed on Monday will not only reduce the total time involved but also can increase efficiency in selecting the right party. Since he received the recommended bids on Friday, he decided to take them along and study at home, during the weekend. He started reading the proposals and arrived at his own tentative conclusions........

Assignment Questions

I. Identify the organisational communication barriers that hindered the free flow of information in the weekly Monday review meetings.

II. Identify encoding and decoding of information issues related to Ankit and his team. Elaborate the implicit assumptions being made by Ankit and his team members that may be disrupting communication.

III. ......................

Exhibits

Exhibit I: Process Flow at CPS

Exhibit II: Process of Meetings After a Change in Strategy

Teaching Note Preview

Are Assumptions Impeding Communications at Nikunj Builders?

Synopsis

Communication in an organisation requires free flow of information. Any factor that blocks the free flow of information creates barriers. Experts in the field of communication think that the concept of barriers to communication can serve as a useful diagnostic tool that helps suggest its own remedy. This caselet is a simulation of a common office situation. It talks about the miscommunication that developed in a very high performing team at Nikunj Builders, a real estate company at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and how it impacted an overall outcome. This caselet aims at helping the participants to understand various characteristics of barriers to effective communication in an organisational communication. It highlights challenges which managers, especially those who lead the teams have to face in day to day work in offices and guide them to use the concept as a diagnostic tool which once identified, help to suggest their own remedies.

Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding (PCU)/Before the Classroom Discussion

Before attempting to analyse the caselet, the students/participants should come prepared with a basic understanding of the concepts of organisational communication, flow of communication, barriers of effective communication etc. They should read the following articles before coming to the class:

• Hoogervorst Jan, Flier Henk van der & Koopman Paul, Implicit Communication in Organisations: The Impact of Culture, Structure and Management Practices on Employee, Behaviour Journal of management psychology, Vol 19 No 3, 2004


• Linjuan Rita, Men Strategic Internal Communication: Transformational Leadership, Communication Channels, and employee satisfaction, Management Communication Quarterly, Vol. 28(2) 264– 284, Sage publication, 2014


• Berger, B. Employee/organizational communications, Institute for Public Relations, 2008


• Crescenzo, S. Internal employee communications media. In T. Gillis (Ed.), The IABC handbook of organizational communication (2nd ed., pp. 219-230), Jossey-Bass, 2011

Case Positioning & Setting

This case can be used for the following graduate-level courses:

(a) Business Communication Course: This caselet can help deepen students’ understanding about formal organisational communication and its significance in the proper functioning and growth of any organisation


(b) Business Management Course: Organisations globally can use this caselet to illustrate the subjective and mental barriers and identify implicit assumptions to minimize misunderstandings

Assignment Questions

I. Identify the organisational communication barriers that hindered the free flow of information in the weekly Monday review meetings.


II. Identify encoding and decoding of information issues related to Ankit and his team. Elaborate the implicit assumptions being made by Ankit and his team members that may be disrupting communication.


III............

Caselet Analysis and Classroom Discussion

Preamble to this Caselet Analysis

This caselet highlights the challenges which managers have to face in day to day work in offices. This caselet was discussed in a 90-minute session/class in the following way, [Exhibit (TN)-I]:..........

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Abstract

Miscommunication can happen due to lapses on the part of the sender, the receiver, or the channel used for communicating. There are various examples of management blunders that happen as a result of miscommunication at one level or another. Despite the best intentions from the sender and the receiver, several barriers inhibit effective exchange of information. While physical and other barriers related to language are easy to eliminate, the challenge arises when these barriers are subjective in nature and are unintentional. This caselet deals with a hazardous situation that resulted from the departmental review meetings which were done every week to take important decisions related to bidding proposals in Centre for Proposal Selection (CPS) of a company dealing with construction biddings. It highlights challenges which managers, especially those who lead the teams, have to face on an everyday basis in office.


Pedagogical Objectives

  • Understand how differences in values and perceptions can act as communication barriers
  • Identify several barriers in downward, upward and lateral organisational communications
  • Learn how implicit assumptions can become a cause of communication failure

Case Positioning & Setting

This caselet can be used for the following graduate-level courses:

  • Business Communication Course: This caselet can help deepen students’ understanding about formal organisational communication and its significance in the proper functioning and growth of any organisation
  • Business Management Course: Organisations globally can use this caselet to illustrate the subjective and mental barriers and identify implicit assumptions to minimize misunderstandings


This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Caselet
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
$3.66
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