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An effective communication and knowledge system guarantees information delivery without misunderstanding from the senior executive to the middle managers or supervisors and then to the employees. This also allows clarification about the uncertainty of labor that is critical for the whole change process. For example, after senior executives (change agents) develop changes, they communicate with middle managers and supervisors about the goals of the changes, assign individual objectives for each department and follow up their achievements. Middle managers are the information transfer intermediate between top and lower tiers of a company. They deliver information to employees after they get information from top managers and also provide employees’ feedback to top managers. They are the main directions of change for employees. Micromanaging is a good method to transmit all the necessary information to employees in a clear and effective manner. For example, setting up clear individual work or providing detailed solutions and so on. However, there are management behaviors that hinder open exchange of information and knowledge.
Improper leadership appears to be a crucial impediment to the free flow of information and knowledge in an organization. This is because the strategy to improve communication and knowledge exchange is to keep all people focused on the objectives that need to be accomplished. This is attained by constantly reminding people about the objectives, provision of motivation and encouragement through appreciation of effort and ideas (Tsoukas & Mylonopoulos, 2004). In addition, there should be harmonization of disagreements and differences among groups by maintaining cooperation and compromise, and involving members in management decisions and discussions. Furthermore, it is evident that open communications are developed when the leader understands everyone in a group in terms of their purpose in life, needs, wants, and abilities. The leader should often interact with other members and familiarize with their characteristics and unique qualities (Figallo, 2002).
The other negative behavior is the lack of team creativity. Such behavior hinders information and knowledge exchange. Team creativity in a broader sense ensures an efficient and effective execution of ideas. This is true, because there is an increased sense of ownership and extensive communication. It nurtures a culture that boost information sharing, and one that value trust and openness (Tsoukas & Mylonopoulos, 2004). The execution is done when consensus has been reached on the different aspects of team members. With team creativity, there is a free flow of information from one member to the other. Sharing of information ensures that learning process within the organization and among group members is maintained. Team creativity boosts the ability of the organization to solve any arising problems. Problem solving is made easy due to the presence of different possibilities of the solutions to the problem. Team members have different ideas on the possible solution to the arising issue. The presence of many possibilities will increase the chances of getting the right solution to the problem. This implies that the organization can provide a solution even to the most complex problems. Problem solving ability is core to the success of any business. Therefore, with team creativity, problems can be dealt with in a more accurate way.
Managers fail to encourage innovation in the organization, and as such, the process of communication and knowledge exchange is hindered. This is because individuals will not be motivated within the organization to come up with viable ideas for new services and product development, and ensure availability of resources such as time for idea generation, idea development and idea testing (Tsoukas & Mylonopoulos, 2004). Moreover, evaluation of business plans and cases as well as the approval of those which are viable, and at the same time monitoring of their progress will be affected. In that light, developers and originators of any ideas are not recognized for their achievement.
Managers still prefer traditional communication models that advocated for one communication channel where employees were supposed to receive orders but no mechanisms of forwarding their opinions or feedback to the leaders. Presently, orders come from top to bottom where the leaders at the top control the juniors and direct them to do what their duty requires. Transformational approach to leadership enables better communication in work environment by preventing miscommunications. This style of leadership recognizes that the effective performance requires a two-way communication, which is imperative in ensuring that there is a proper flow of information from one quarter to another. The two-way communication ensures that everyone participates in the leadership process as well as in the attainment of the set goals. This one-way communication and dissemination of information may be applied by using transactional style of leadership, but it is unacceptable and ineffective in the 21st century when the employees are expected to play multiple roles and have a higher standard of performance than it was in the previous century (Morone & Taylor, 2010).
The management failure to develop and implement socialization programs in the organization. Since it has been advanced that employees tend to learn and shape their behavior traits based on their immediate social environment, organizations can endeavour to create positive environments that will positively stimulate their employees and reinforce positive advancement of worthwhile skills and knowledge towards the achievement of the set objectives. In extension, organizations also need to formulate practical and viable employee socialization programs that will enhance the easy flow of knowledge from one employee to another as well as timely reaction to such knowledge. As such, a purposive integration between social learning theory, knowledge management and socialization practices can elicit potentially rewarding results at the organizational level (Tsoukas & Mylonopoulos, 2004).
According to Tsoukas & Mylonopoulos, (2004), the lack of knowledge management process is a key hindrance to information and knowledge exchange. Since the management does not ensure that the knowledge gaps are identified and process put in place to seal the gaps. This will lead to miscommunication and knowledge deficiency. The management has not put in place mechanisms to gather intelligence and members of the organization does not contribute in the search of information, and in addition, the organization does not have a formal process of disseminating best practices.
Furthermore, the management fails to develop strategies that will ensure open information and knowledge exchange in an organization. This is because the rapidly dynamic organizational environment makes it very important for an organization not only process information but to also create and disseminate knowledge. Consequently, organizations should always put in place mechanisms that allow constant learning as well as application of the acquired knowledge in productive activities within the organization. An effective information and knowledge exchange brings benefits to both the organization and the employees as it ensures that employees are given the necessary information to enable them perform organizational tasks well. Since from a theory of organization it can be argued that all organizations must always endeavour to process information as a way of solving organizational challenges, organizations cannot mitigate challenges if the processed information is not constantly passed on to the employees (Belbin, 2010).
The other hindrance is the management failure to implement change. A successful accomplishment of this task will mean that a manager is able to create a vision plus all supportive targets and operational plans. This also includes communicating regularly by the use of all different forms of communication, coming up with different leadership styles and utilizing them to appropriate people and situations. Support and advice community members, especially in terms of change and setback, encourage individuals to pioneer and show willingness in their area of expertise.
Many cases of miscommunication among the management and employees result from poor leadership style as it makes the subordinates resentful since it leaves no avenue for the juniors to express their opinions about the achievement of objectives. This discernment may transcend improper relation among the employees. This is because the achievement of objectives requires cooperation of both a leader and juniors. The cooperation can be forced or earned. Team creativity, which is described as a decision sharing process, is opposed to transactional model of leadership. Cooperation is earned since it goes beyond task-oriented rewards exchange. This takes leadership to a higher realm by creating a climate where a group rather than an individual in a top down manner makes ideas and decisions and is possessed with the ability to percolate ideas up through the workplace. The ideas can flow up as well as down, new ideas emanate from and for the group, and management assists in development and implementation in order to alleviate this disenchantment.
Recognition must be given to the fact that business environment may not always lend itself to team creativity, especially in critical situations where the leaders are under the pressure of conflict and has little time to consult juniors about what they think should be done. However, in team creativity, the relationship between the senior and subordinates extends beyond the norm of the relationship. It is defined by qualities of participation, empowerment, consultation and inclusion, and transcends the autocratic style of leadership. When a leader is friendly, the members will be willing to speak out their ideas.