Sunday, December 18, 2005

Blogging as Organizational Communication, by Becky Meyer

Context For This Post
“Why would you study blogging in an organizational communication class? What concepts from organizational communication give you any special insight into

Organizational communication classes are typically theory-based, as opposed to application-based, by their very nature. As important as theories are, I believe that they are not truly understood until they are applied to an actual situation. Blogging has allowed me to apply the concepts I have been learning for the past 4 years, in such a way that I was able to understand them in greater depth and scope. The applied concepts that were most apparent to me are the following, along with a brief reason why I believe they gave me special insight into blogging:

•Organizational identity: when employees blog for work, at work or about work, these blogs have the potential to help align the employees goals and mindsets to those of the organizations. The blogs act as a way to connect the individual-self to the work-self.

•Automatic responsibility: many corporate blogs seek feedback from customers and other company outsiders. Employees who read those blogs have the responsibility to either fix the issue or find someone who is capable of fixing it.

•The ideal communication climate (SCOPE): the 5 aspects of an ideal communication climate (supportiveness, credibility, openness, participatory decision-making, and emphasis on high performance goals) can be used to determine the effectiveness of corporate blogs. They can also help to generate criteria for whether or not an organization is ready to blog.

•Speaking truth to power/rocking the boat and whistleblowing: Blogs can act as a system of checks and balances for corporations that blog. If employees see something wrong, they can expose the problem easily, thereby damaging the company’s credibility and reputation. Thus blogs can help end wrongful business.

•Organizational culture: blogs can help employees connect with one another, regardless of status. It provides a forum for sharing ideas and feedback. Blogs have the ability to foster more internal collaboration and improve supportiveness and openness in the organization’s culture.

•Empowerment: blogs serve to empower employees by acting as a communication tool that allows them to express their self-identity and individual skills. Also, there may be people (customers, other employees, management, etc.) relying on them to accomplish something (relates to automatic responsibility) which would make employees feel worthwhile and needed.

There are several other course concepts that relate to blogging, but the 6 mentioned above were most helpful to me in understanding and gaining insight into the corporate “blogosphere.”


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