Concrete Experience and Reflective Observation
Even though workplace communication is a natural phenomenon that remains self-sustainable in most corporate settings, it still requires managing numerous hindrances that may make workplace conversation more productive. For instance, reducing the levels of emotional strain and the pressure of workplace-related constraints should be regarded as an important step toward enhancing communication within a team. For example, the introduction of more manageable tools for ensuring quality and detecting defects in the produced goods should become one of the priorities for the organization. Similarly, the current framework for managing interpersonal communication needs to be updated so that staff members could feel secure and comfortable in the BAP setting. In this section, the Information Theory, Groupware Theory, and Critical Theory will be considered.
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Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization
The issue of interpersonal and cross-cultural communication needs to be scrutinized from multiple perspectives in order to embrace every facet thereof and understand its complexity. For this reason, several theories of communication were integrated into the process.
Theory 1: The Information Theory
Applying the Information Theory to the workplace setting that is particularly prone to confrontations implies that the process of data transfer is scrutinized closely and arranged in the most effective way possible. The significance of the proposed tool for managing emerging miscommunications lies in the integration of the principles of critical analysis and the objective assessment of data (Fuller et al., 2017). In addition, with the adoption of the specified framework, messages will be filtered respectively, thus preventing the data that can potentially spark conflicts from entering a multicultural team. It seems that the selected theoretical framework is likely to introduce a positive trend into the corporate setting due to the opportunities for spotting minor communicational problems.
Theory 2: The Critical Theory
The principles of the Critical Theory (CT) may also appear to be very useful when applied to the context of a diverse corporate setting. According to the tenets of the theory, communication represents the unceasing conflict of interests between the parties involved (Mumby & Kuhn, 2018). In the business setting, the application of the C theory seems rather legitimate since the described approach implies that conflicts are inevitable components of an interpersonal dialogue (Mumby & Kuhn, 2018). Therefore, the framework in question allows developing strategies for handling cross-cultural misconceptions and allows using them as points of learning and starting a professional and personal change. As a tool for encouraging communicational change, the proposed theory was very helpful in promoting positive behaviors in staff members, such as the willingness to use a collaborative and constructive effort in conflict management.
Theory 3: The GroupWare Theory
When exploring the factors that either facilitate communication or hinder it, one should give credit to modern technology as one of the contributors to the faster exchange of data and its effective processing. Therefore, the use of the Groupware Theory as the principal tool for evaluating mistakes in workplace communication and managing them respectively should be considered as an option. The Groupware Theory explains how the cross-cultural dialogue is established in a diverse group and what media can be used to improve its quality (Fuller et al., 2017). Therefore, in the multicultural setting of the Bridgestone Aiken Plant, the theory was very useful for promoting change.
The selected theoretical frameworks will explain how rumors emerge, spread, and persist in the contemporary workplace environment. Moreover, the identified approach will help one to infer the strategies for mitigating the spreading of misinformation, leading to the creation of safe workplaces.
Testing and Application/Active Experimentation
Due to the presence of a rather diverse team of staff members, working at Bridgestone Aiken Plant required incorporating a combination of several theoretical frameworks to manage the forces that affect successful interpersonal communication. In addition, as a team leader, I had to encourage professional development among the rest of the team members. Thus, the application of the Information Theory was viewed as the principal strategy in enhancing the interpersonal dialogue. In addition, the importance of the Critical Theory as the platform for promoting objective problem-solving within a team and the significance of the GroupWare Theory as the framework for multicultural collaboration deserve a mentioning.
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While coordinating the work of a team at the Bridgestone Aiken Plant in the Quality Assurance department, I had to face certain hostility caused by differences in the ethnic, cultural, and age-related characteristics of team members. While some of the staff members were very reasonable and eager to collaborate and compromise, others were unwilling to accept the set corporate standards of communication, which was a rather expected response, as Kolb and Kolb (2009) explain. Finally, the Groupware Theory was incorporated into the management of communication-related concerns by incorporating the tools for maintaining the consistency of the interpersonal dialogue. As soon as innovative technologies for distributing data and discussing it was integrated into the environment of the Bridgestone Aiken Plant, the threat of harmful rumors ceased to exist. The observed change allowed creating a more secure environment for staff members.
Fuller, J. B., Marler, L. E., Cox, S. S., Simmering, M. J., Bennett, R. J., & Curry, J. L. (2017). A gendered emotional display perspective on workplace touch and perceived supervisor support. Journal of Managerial Issues, 29(4), 395-320.
Kolb, A.Y., & Kolb, D.A. (2009). The learning way: Meta-cognitive aspects of experiential learning. Simulation & Gaming, 40(3), 297-327.
Kuhn, D., & Dean, D. (2004). Metacognition: A bridge between cognitive psychology and educational practice. Theory Into Practice, 43(4), 268.
Munby, H., Versnel, J., Hutchinson. N., Chin, P., & Berg, D. (2003). Workplace learning and the metacognitive functions of routine. Journal of Workplace Learning, 15(3), 94.