Discussion Question Responses

Please respond to the two discussion questions. These are two different discussions and should be done separately with separate references:

Discussion #1

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Write a scenario based on your personal experience where communication problems affected decision outcomes at your organization.
In 2012, I had to establish a working group to develop a strategy to identify and pay for the organization IT program requirements. The strategy included stakeholders, such as financial department, requirements department, operation department, and logistical department.  The strategy also included requirements from previous years and new requirements for the next five years, for example, funding needed to pay for contractor contract support, new equipment, upgrades, maintenance, replacement, and staff certification training, travel to sub organizations for assessment and training. The working group was established to solving the accountability problems of overspending on IT requirements. One of several major issues is stakeholders from the beginning the stakeholders didn’t want to become a member of the working group because they didn’t want to add more duties to their already business work schedule. Additionally, stakeholders didn’t want to participate because they didn’t want to decide on how much money to give from their tight budget to support my program. According to Bormann (1975), teams members deals with conflict and tension in decision-making. 
Identify the communication problem areas that affected the decision-making process.
Tension was primary communication problems areas that impacted my decision on how I approached the members because the member never worked together and had to learn to trust each other because we work for different departments.  Another problems area was conflict because the member thought other members was trying to take money away from them and was not being honest about their budget.  Another issue is emergence, initially, it was difficult getting all the members to participate to support the meetings because members didn’t see any value or benefit supporting a requirement that didn’t directly impact their own programs. Reinforcement, the major purpose of the working group is for all stakeholders to make key decisions as a team for all my IT program requirements, contract director who made final decision on the best contract vehicle for IT contractor support (Argosy, 2018.
Who were the people involved in making the decisions?
The organization stakeholders involved in making key decision on my IT program requirements; financial director, who funding my requirements and made decision to pulled money from other programs if needed to support my request. The operation director who provided the additional IT support to and decided what new equipment to purchase. 
Argosy (2018). Communication Problems Solving: Module 5. Retrieved from
Bormann, E. G. (1975). Discussion and group methods (2nd ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
Rooney, J. J. (2015). The obstacles of everyday problem solving. The Journal Quality and           Participation, 38(1), 39–40.

Discussion #2
Write a scenario based on your personal experience where communication problems affected decision outcomes at your organization.
            Several sections within my organization utilize Korean Soldiers for clerical labor. In other words, in addition to other duties, they are also the ones that create memorandums and other secretarial type functions. It is important to also note that there is not a direct translation from many English words to Hangul as there are 24 letters of the Korean alphabet versus 27 letters of the English alphabet. Not too long ago, my section needed a subordinate unit to provide dates for their upcoming quarterly inspection which requires the Commanding General or his delegate to attend and receive the brief from the chain of the command from the subordinate unit. Also, important to mention that the 2 major subordinate units within the command provide data from their inspections to their higher command [my organization] for its higher headquarters inspection that is given to the 3-star commander of US forces in Korea. The Korean Soldier began to send an email to the training section of the subordinate unit requesting dates for the quarterly briefing. The Soldier was told that the Commanding General was going to be out of the country on specific days and that the inspection could not happen on days when the General could not attend. Additionally, the Soldier overheard a conversation that there were no standardized slides for the units to work from and that they were to generate their own slide format as long as it was on the standardized command template. The Korean Soldier completed the task, but what he did was get the information mixed up, partly because he did not’t understand the word choices used and what they meant; therefore, he sent an email to the subordinate unit stating that the dates of the briefing needed to be on the dates that the General was going to be out of the country and that the format for the presentation did not’t not have to be on the standardized template and that they could create their own product for the briefing. When the unit received the email, they began working on products and collecting data for the meeting. No one in headquarters caught the error in the email until 4 days before the briefing and after the unit worked on the presentation for 2 weeks.
                              Identify the communication problem areas that affected the decision-making process.
            Written and verbal language communication were the problem areas in the decision-making process. It can be traced back to the information leading up to the email. Either the Korean Soldier or the NCO that gave him the assignment should have confirmed that the Korean Soldier understood what was communicated to him. Also, the Soldier should have explained to the service member that he did not’t understand what certain words were or how they were used in the communication. Second, when the Soldier translated the message into Hangul, some of the original meaning was lost as there is not’t a direct translation to certain words or phrases from English to Hangul. Third, when the subordinate unit received the email and read it both in English and in Hangul, someone in the unit should have contacted the headquarters unit to verify the information. This could sound strange for a subordinate unit to do, but the leadership within the command knew when the General was going to be out of the country as well as all members know that all PowerPoint presentations within the organization are mandated to use the standardized template, but the data in the slides can be represented at the originator’s discretion.  
Who were the people involved in making the decisions?
            The chain of command of the subordinate unit, the operation staff section of the headquarters unit [the ones that originated the communication efforts] and the General staff section as they are responsible for determining the General’s schedule and de-conflicting appointments/meetings for the command staff.
Analyze how the communication problems affected the decision outcomes.
            The outcome of the scenario was the subordinate unit went back and re-created the presentation using the organizational template, but because the date was already selected and nothing was done to change it until 4 days before the event, the subordinate unit made the argument to command stating that a potential change in date would have an impact on other training events that they have already planned. Ultimately, the lack of confirmation from both units in addition to the verbal misunderstanding due to language barriers, generated additional workloads for all parties involved. The higher headquarters team needed to de-conflict other events so that the Deputy Commander or the Chief of Staff could take the place of the General for the meeting.
Outline strategies to avoid such problematic communication in the future and discuss how technology (and the types of technology) might be incorporated into the strategy.
            Computer mediated communication is a tool that would give subordinate’s the ability to communicate directly with leadership and would negate the need of using administrative assistants (Haines, Hough, Cao, & Haines, 2014). Currently, my organization utilize video teleconferencing equipment to conduct meetings in geographically separated locations. Although it is not often utilized because of bandwidth restrictions and other factors, this tool would be effective in situations previously stated.  Another strategy is to use email and follow-up with subordinate units regarding high stake meetings and events. Unlike the scenario, email in this instance would be utilized as a leader to leader communication to coordinate efforts.

Haines, R., Hough, J. Cao, L., & Haines, D. (2014). Anonymity in computer-mediated communication: More contrarian ideas with less influence. Group Decision and Negotiation, 23(4).


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