Interorganizational Field - This is the idea that every organization is part of a larger group of organizations. There are a variety of different organizations that fall into the interorganizational field as well. Some of them include: consumers, unions, partners, and even competition from other similar organizations.
Organizational Communication Activities:
There are two types of communication activities used when coordinating between multiple organizations, information-gathering activities and information-giving activities.
Information-gathering Activities: this will "occur when boundary-spanning organizational actors use their interorganizational connections to keep up with changes within the environment that are relevant to their organizations" (Kreps, 2011, pg. 224).
Information-Giving Activities: this occurs when "boundary-spanning organizational actors provide strategic information to key representatives of external organizations within the environment to elicit support and coordination for their own organizations" (Kreps, 2011, pg. 224).
External Organizational Communication
Public Relations: The Public Relations (PR) department of any organization plays a critical role in the success of the organization. The PR department works both internally and externally. The PR department works internally by doing things like conducting employee surveys, writing and distributing company newsletters which keep employees informed and up to date about what is going on inside the organization. When working externally, the PR department will communicate to any outside party, including customers, regulators, competitors and the media. Whenever a crisis occurs or when the company is being negatively portrayed, the PR department will address the appropriate parties and try to make everything better.
Reflection Question: Think of some examples of a company going through a rough time and had a negative image. What did the PR department do to try to persuade people that everything is going to be okay?
Lobbying: The main goal of lobbying is to develop influential relationships between organizations and policy makers. These can include various media outlets and government agencies on every level.
Reflection Question: Does lobbying have more of a positive or negative impact?
Marketing and Advertising: The main goal here is to talk to consumers about products and services that they are interested in. The 5ps of Marketing are used here as well.
1. Developing communication strategies to increase understanding about organizational products.
2. Pricing those products so they are attractive to key audiences. (This means not only the financial price of products but also the psychological costs and rewards connected to organizational products or services.)
3. Placing messages about organizational products and services on communication channels that will capture audience attention.
4. Promoting products with motivating messages.
5. Positioning products and services as attractive options for audiences within the marketplace of similar and competing products and services.
(These five examples were all taken from the class text, Kreps, 2011, p. 228).
Open Systems Theory
This theory talks about the important impact that the environment has on organizations. Impacts internally as well as externally will impact the organization and everyone in it in some form. Think of it like this, if anything happens, it will have some type of impact. If there are changes in the economy or with regulations, an organization will need to look at how they conduct business and restructure accordingly. Likewise, if there are changes in products or services a company has, people will either react in a positive or negative way. This reaction will impact how the organization communicates with their customers.
Take a look at your organization. What are some factors that impact how you perform your job and interact with your coworkers? Are any of these factors out of your control?
Relationship Development has a vital part in external organizational communication. The goal of any organization should be to establish strong and meaningful relationships with multiple parties. If an organization has no relationship with internal and external parties and does nothing about it, it is bound to suffer. There are also times when an organization has a strong relationship but for various reasons, the relationship will suffer and not be as strong as it once was. When this happens, the organization and appropriate personal must ensure the relationship does not suffer future.
Reflection Question: If an organization you have a strong relationship with breaks your trust, what can the organization do to regain it and make the relationship what it once was?
While every organization should be ethical and always do the right thing, this is sadly not the case. All too often, you will see a story of an organization doing something unethical. In order for an organization to have a strong sense of ethics, it needs to be honest, be equitable and do everything they can to avoid or minimize harm.
Honesty: All organizations should be honest and do the right thing, this is a given. This includes refraining from purposefully deceiving customers, regulators, competitors and other parties. Organizations should also never mislead people or withhold information in order to increase sales.
Equity: "Any organizational practices that unfairly restrain free trade, self-determination, and inhibit the activities of key publics—such as instances of monopoly, conflict of interest, bribery, coercion, stock manipulation, and discrimination—threaten equity in organizational life" (Kreps, 2011, pg. 238).
Avoiding Harm: Organizations should do everything they can to avoid or at the very least minimize harm the natural environment and to those that buy their products and services.