This is a solution of St Patrick College Managing Communications and information Assignment, part of HND Business Course.
Communication plays a key role in any kind of business decisions. It is not only crucial for the personal interaction but also for the professional development of the people. It refers to the exchange of idea, feelings, data or the information among the people by techniques like speaking, writing, body language and their behaviour. There are various types of business decisions that have to be taken on day-to-day basis. Taking of business decisions require communication to be effective and leaving a mark on the client or the prospective deal in gaining the business. While making or proposing any plan, it is required that all the necessary details and information is being presented in the form of entire data available. The company saves its working and business model in such a respect that it gathers and stores the information and data in various forms and even it resources it from various sources available. When a proposal is submitted then the board or the authority takes the decision on the basis of the efficiency, quality and completeness of the data and information that is submitted. It is also necessary that the companies maintain personal and professional relationship building with their vendors, associates, clients and the market. This will help in delivering the essential information and gaining effective business opportunities. In this report a detailed study of the strategies and benefits of the personal networking would be done. In addition, how a company can utilize and resource data and information for its business development and decision making would also be analysed. An evaluation of the stakeholder’s responsibility and the value in driving the business would also be done. This report will help in gaining an insight on the business, its importance and application to the entire business world (Thill & Bovée, 2008).
LO1 Demonstrate how you understand how to assess information and knowledge needs
P 1.1 Discuss the major decisions to be taken
Business Decision refers to the process of selection of the right choice for the implementation and action plan. Business keeps on making decisions at various levels. Everyday management and the employees encounter situations where they have to make decisions on the options that they should choose in order to develop. Decisions form the important part of the professional life. There are basically three types of decisions that have to be taken:
- Operational Decisions – These are said to be the day-to-day decisions that are made related to the operations. These decisions are not very difficult to be taken as involve the set rules and regulations of the business. Operational decisions are the base of the strategic decisions. When the operations of the company are running smoothly then the higher objectives could also be achieved easily (Simon, 1979).
- Strategic Decisions – These are said to be the decisions that are taken on the high level in terms of the strategy or the plan that has to be developed by the company. These types of decisions are multi-directional and complex in nature. These may be related to short or long term for the tenure or period. These decisions cannot be taken at junior or middle level rather involves higher authorities or the top management in it. Strategies have to be developed as per the business model. While making effective strategies for the company, it is pertinent that the companies keep the overall perspective in mind. They should take into account all round development of the organization and achieve the goals.
- Tactical Decisions – These are the decisions related to the techniques, tactics, ways, procedure or the method that could be employed in implementing the strategy and achieving performance in them. These decisions determine the amount of time and resources that are required for these decisions.
P 1.2 Examine the information and knowledge needed to ensure effective decision taking
In order to take such decisions, there is a requirement of data, facts, figures and the information that could help in easily deciding on the actions that could be taken. Data refers to the facts, figures related to the business needs and requirements on which decision has to be taken. This data helps in the analysis of the facts and figures available converting them into useful information. The data that is analysed, processed and evaluated is called as the information. This information acts as a great support for the processing of information and aiding in making the business decisions. It has been observed that sometimes even the raw data supports the decision making process whereas on the other hand, this data is required to be converted into the useful data called as the processed information which would act as a support in making the business decisions. Information flows at various levels and forms. Management and the Stakeholders have to decide on the selection of the decisions that they have to make so that they end up achieving rather than losing. A fully progressive system is developed when not even a single data is neglected. It has to be easily analysed and evaluated to form relevant and useful information. This information would act as a great source of base for making strong and important decisions for the company (Schlaifer, 1959).
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P 1.3 Assess the internal and external sources of information and understanding
There are various sources of information that are available for the company. This data and processed information could be derived from sources:
- Primary Sources – These are the sources that are derived by the researcher himself. For example autobiographies, correspondences, case studies, dissertations, original research work technical reports, data from the laboratory, manuscripts and other related information. This is the source that is itself created by the decision taking or making person. This type of source of information is obtained with the help of a lot of research and development process that takes place in the world. Primary surveys, evaluations and the analysis take place in the world to obtain the information.
- Secondary Sources – These are the sources which are not created self and are the work of the other people that support the development of the data and information. They could be explained with the help of examples like: Biographies, Dissertations, Editorials, Film Documentaries, Literature Reviews, Criticism and works done by others in terms of their reports. One may compare the data obtained from primary sources with the secondary data available. This will help in evaluating the authenticity of the information.
- Tertiary Sources – This is the source of the data and information which is entirely performed with the help of the secondary sources. The examples include film documentaries, web searches etc.
- Grey Literature – This is the source of the data and information that is obtained and derived from the data exchanges, statements of the impact analysis for various factors, oral presentations, seminars, working or research papers, documents available online, reports on market research and government publications etc.
These are said to be the major sources of information or data which help in the analysis of the data and information and get the work processed to develop a sound business decision making. All these sources are available in the form of books, journals, grey literature, magazines, newspapers and encyclopedias etc. Business model runs with the effective decision making and each and every department in the company has research work available which helps in deciphering and exploring the facts. Management has to keep all the perspectives in mind while taking any decision forward. When the information and data is available in the processed form it helps even the managers working with the organization to take the right decision at the right time by the right selection of the team member (Sharda et al, 1988).
P 1.4 Justify recommendations for improvement
Right information available at right time to the right individual helps in making the good decisions in the following ways:
- Information available helps in predictive analysis of the data and accordingly the company may make decision.
- In the situation of doubt on unclear thoughts, people can refer to the information as it gives clarity in the ambiguous situations.
LO2 Explain how you would create strategies to increase personal networking to widen involvement in the decision making process
P 2.1 Identify stakeholders for decision making process
Stakeholders are said to be a group of people who have their interests in the organization. These people are key decision makers in the company. They remain associated and concerned with the growth and progress of the organization. They remain part of the significant and strategic decision making for the company. There are basically two types of the groups of stakeholders: Primary and Secondary. Primary Stakeholders have consistent and direct participation within the organization. A company cannot perform or go ahead without their support or existence. Various examples of Primary Stakeholders are: Investors, Suppliers, Customers, Contractors and Employees etc. Secondary Stakeholders are the one who get affected by any decision taken by the company but they are not directly involved in any kind of action, transaction or decision making of the company. The examples in this category include: government agencies, trade unions, regulatory authorities etc. These categories of the stakeholders also are divided into the internal as well as the external stakeholders. Internal stakeholders form the part of the internal organization and include employees, investors and managers etc. External Stakeholders include category like: Customers, Suppliers, Community and Government etc. The above diagram also depicts the external and internal categories of the stakeholders. These stakeholders irrespective of their types remain an important part of the organization (Drucker, 1988).
P 2.2 Discuss how to make contact with those identified and develop business relationships
It is with their efforts that the company achieves various objectives. These stakeholders help in making the investments, financial, strategic and other key decision making. Organization is formed with the various objectives, goals and the mission statement. These include: business ethics, corporate governance, stakeholders and the cultural context which form the basis of the organizational decision making. Stakeholders make an association help in the progress of the company. They help in achieving the desired levels of the growth and expansion for the company.
It has been observed that business grows when the relationships are kept strong. People get along with each other and sell their products. Sales professionals go into market counsel the customers and attract them for their specific products. Similarly business will grow when the relationships with the customers, suppliers, distributors, stakeholders, investors and employees are strong and they understand each other. They are able to deliver their best to the organization in terms of manufacturing and sales. Personal as well as professional network is important to be developed so that the people get associated and linked with each other. Personal network once grown will ensure success for the company. Personal Network could be grown with the help of the following mentioned ways:
- Maintaining Synchronous connections on personal basis – There should be good and synchronous relations among the various people on the personal levels. This means rather than taking out mistakes should help each other in growing.
- Maintaining Synchronous connections on the social basis – It is important that in order to grow socially people should not leave their connections.
P 2.3 Discuss how does personal networking helps in the decision making process
Business relations would be made stronger and healthy when both the parties would be taking efforts in maintaining them. Each and every individual should participate in the progress of every other person. They should realize their full potential and help in their as well as company’s success. Personal Networking helps in making the business relations strong and as the times arises; they are able to cash them for their benefits. Personally people learn a lot in terms of the business etiquettes, knowledge and learning in the unexplored areas. Personal Networking starts from the family and continues with the profession of an individual. Each and every individual is a social being and he cannot function without keeping relationships and support from the other people. Effective networking is obtained with the help of excellent communication, keeping relationships with each other, learning from each other, listening to others carefully and keeping a pace with the trends and developments that are taking place in the world. It has been viewed that when people interact form teams, network and relate to each other, they tend to achieve even the complex objectives and goals. They realize their full potential in the competitive environment. Networking helps in forming much better and strategic business relations. These relations are en-cashed by the people at later stages when required. This means that there should not be keeping of bad relations as they may turn out to be a hurdle in future in one’s professional career (Dubini & Aldrich, 1991).
P 2.4 Design strategies for improving personal networking
Networking acts an added advantage to the business relations and decision making. By following below mentioned strategies, we may improve upon personal networking:
- Meeting new people, contacts, clients and the associates.
- Promoting the services, products and create new opportunities.
- Helping in forming the alliances on the strategic front.
- Helping in exchanging of ideas, thoughts, experiences and learning among the people.
- Helping in quick and efficient decision making.
- Forming healthy and new acquaintances and business associations.
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Networking is said to be the key for forming associations and relations among the various people. Networking has to be maintained at personal as well as professional front. We have seen that people refer to other people and through this mechanism, they get the business opportunities. This is called as Referral Marketing. This process is realized through the mechanism of Networking. When people get along with each other and form their networks and associations, then they are able to realize a lot of potential as well as gain business opportunities. At the same time it is essential to define and set your boundaries and markings. This means that the contacts have to be classified as per their business priority and importance. The contacts or the networks that will yield effective business should be kept at the top of the list. The associations which are there for just learning and gaining knowledge should also be given importance. The networks that help in gaining business and making or taking key decisions should be kept high up in the hierarchy. A system of the contact and networks should be established so that people can gain importance and realize the business opportunities. Personal Networking is an area which is not at all playing role in the realizing of your inner potential rather gaining business opportunities from the people. Networking solves even the tedious problems. It helps in giving a strong support system to various people (Baker, 2000).
LO3 Explain how would help communication process
P 3.1 considering selected organization evaluate processes of communication and make suggestions to improve it
Business Communication refers to the process of exchange of data and information in making the essential decisions for the business. In the selected organization of insurance, communication acts as a most important tool for the management and the employees in completing their tasks as per each other’s expectations. The only essential need is that the medium of the communication should not leave out even a single point. This is because in case any point is left out then it may result in spoiling of the information and may change its meaning. Communication not only helps in getting the work done in the business world rather also develops the relationships among the people. The only essential requirement in making the communication effective and easily reachable is minimizing the number and types of barriers in the communication process. These barriers are: overloading of the information, non-availability of efficient structure and clarity of the roles and responsibilities, absence of formal channels for communication, type of language and its semantics and inconsistent non-verbal and verbal communication etc. At the same time controlling these barriers will not only enhance effective communication but it is also mandatory that workplace behaviour among the employees is also monitored (Ghodsypour & O'brien, 1998).
P 3.2 how will you implement improvements to ensure greater integration of systems of communication in that organization
Communication would be enhanced and controlled with the help of the use of appropriate communication channel. Formal and informal meetings, seminars, outings and welfare events help in getting to know people well. Various other communication modes are: workshops, events of trainings, coaching, mentoring, presentations, emails, intranet, and extranet. While interacting even with a business colleague it is imperative that all the attributes of the communication are considered and applied well. This include: pitch, volume, tone, clear speech and way of speaking and writing. Each and every situation demands different approach or the channel that should be used for the communication purpose. There are many communication channels: meetings, memorandum, letters, reports, emails, presentation, conferences, seminars, telephone and facsimile exchange etc. The usage of these channels depends on the factors such as: time, distance, complexity, feedback, interaction, records, cost involved and the level of confidentiality that has to be maintained. Along with maintaining the business communication, interpersonal communication also should be improved. In case employees speak badly in their personal lives then even if they try they would not be able to prevent its reflection in their professional lives. At first the personal behaviour, attitude and way of handling people should be improved upon so that that makes us sound individuals. This way then irrespective of situation or the condition, the communication would become strong and effective. As per Maslow’s need hierarchy theory, all the needs are being divided into five different heads: physical needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem and self-actualization needs. Even to meet these needs, the communication has to be done. The communication has to be efficient for these purposes as well. There are various models of carrying out the communication like: Transactional Model, Linear Model and Interactive Models. These models will note applied in each circumstance rather their usage could be defined on the basis of the situation. In order to be successful in the business or any profession and even in the personal lives, it becomes desirable for the individuals to make a plan for their communication improvement.
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P 3.3 Create a personal plan to improve your own communication skills
In order to improve upon communication, my personal plan would be:
- Improving my presentation skills – It is imperative for the people to give more presentation and do public speaking. This will help them gain positivity and confidence in delivering of speech in the public. It will also help in making their communication efficient. People will also give their feedback and one will get to know the areas where improvement is required.
- Improving my writing skills – Written Skills form a major part of the effective communication. In case the well written communication is not passed to the people then they make take different meaning and the entire purpose of communication gets spoiled.
- Engaging in the interactions and communication subjects that are useful – When one gets involved in the communication and interaction with other people, he tends to learn many things. He even deciphers few important facts that may not be known to him. This way he learns and gains knowledge. This knowledge is then expressed in the form of thoughts, ideas, concepts and the theories in their practical implementation. Once expressed will result in effective communication.
Unless an individual improves his communication at all levels, he will never be able to achieve success in his life. Communication is not only important at the junior levels rather plays a key and strategic role at the higher stages as well. Communication should be kept going as it also encourages healthy relations among the individuals, peers, professionals and even the personal relations.
LO4 Explain how you will improve systems relating to information and knowledge
P 4.1 Identify and evaluate existing approaches to the collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge
It has been seen that each and every department sends its status and reports in the form of Management Information System or MIS which is the brief analysis of the entire department to the top management. Top management monitors the movement or the pace of the growth of the company and its people. Based on the level of growth of the various heads, the company makes the decisions accordingly. This MIS acts as a tool for the progress and the performance evaluation tool for a company. MIS earlier had not gained much attention but now-a-days each software or the Enterprise Resource Management Solution has the internal ability to make direct reports. These have internal feature whereby they are able to make the right decisions based on the automatic reports and information processed from them. MIS has become the part and parcel of each business and enterprise in making the right decisions by the managers and the top management. This MIS should also possess the right data that predicts and gives the useful information to the higher authorities. We may therefore say that information helps in taking the right decisions and gives direction to the management for the progress and growth of the company (Feldman & March, 1981).
P 4.2 What Strategies can you design and implement to improve the current approach used to collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge
There are ways by which one can collect, format and disseminate the information. The strategy for improvement involves collecting information at various levels with the right information support system:
- Strategic Management – This is said to be the top level of the management that is usually playing a role when important and strategic decisions with respect to the company have to be taken. This level uses the executive managing communications and information systems in making various kinds of decisions. This level of management does not intervene in everyday functioning of the company. They come into play when they realize that significant strategic decision with respect to business has to be taken. This decision that determines the overall fate of the company.
- Tactical Management – This is the management which makes the tactics decisions after the strategic management. This level includes the managers and presidents on the senior positions. They utilize the decision support system and management information system in making the effective decisions for the company.
- Operations Management – This is said to be the level of the management that makes the operational level decisions of the company on daily basis. This level also makes the decisions with the help of the Management Information System as well as the Decision Support Systems in making the important decisions of the company. This includes the operational level of people who perform and determine the actions on the daily operas ability of company.
- Non-Management Staff – This is the level or the junior base of the entire organization. This level of the non-management takes decisions on day to day basis on the daily transactions that take place. This level plays the major role but has a very less decision making ability as they are said to be performers. The decisions and directions they are obtaining from the higher up in the hierarchy (Simon, 1979).
P 4.3 What are the steps you will take to implement a strategy to improve access to systems of information and knowledge
The following steps would be taken to improve access to system of information and knowledge:
- Collecting the correct data from reliable sources.
- Implementing the data only after thorough check and audit.
- Verifying the decision support system and even taking collective approval from the management.
Business is obtained with the help of effective communication among people. There is a lot of data available with the company. This data is converted into useful data calling it information. This processed information is utilized in taking important decisions pertaining to the company. These decisions determine the fate of the organization. These business decisions could not be taken quickly rather involve a lot of consideration. Stakeholders help in taking important measures for the company so that it may grow and expand. Stakeholders play a key role in the development of an organization. It is pertinent that both internal as well as external stakeholders support the organization in taking the important steps towards the improvement and determination of the strategic objectives. The objectives, goals, strategies and plans need to be communicated to all the stakeholders of the organization so that they are able to work towards that direction. When the team moves towards the set direction then it achieves the objectives in a shorter duration of time. Networking at personal as well as professional level helps in achieving the goals and objectives for an individual. Humans are social beings they cannot live without necessary support and help from others. We tend to be independent but need support in order to accomplish various tasks. In professional world too teams are being formed so that the mission is achieved. Hence in the nutshell we may say that communication, networking, strategic planning, stakeholders, decision support system and management information system work together in achieving the personal as well as professional success for an individual (Slater & Narver, 1995).