“Analysis of Real Life Communication Issue and Proposition of a Communication Strategy to Address the Issue
Communication forms an integral part of human usual processes and people use it for purposes of issues redress in an amicable manner. Communion is a vital tool that requires control failure to which people may misinterpret the intentions of the communicator and blow things out of proportion. This discourse analyzes the case of Lance Armstrong in June 2012 involving a doping scandal in which the cycler denied the allegations and later confessed to the use of the substances that gave him extra agility. The cycling star experienced a eminent holocaust over 9 months ago in a bid to rescue him from a swindle that saw him lose many sponsors of his charitable organizations. In handling the case, many concerns arise including crisis management, policy formulation, communication administration, ethics observance, and negligence among other multiple issues. Some situations call for calmness, others need confessions, while others crises can survive through denial.
Armstrong’s case was rather large incorporating trafficking of drugs, abuse of the same substances, denial of the offence, accusation of United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and use of improper channels and modes of communiqué among other characters. Communication management would be the best remedy for handling Armstrong’s case, and if the cycler had the knowledge to handle communication effectively, the situation would not blow out of proportion. Armstrong approached communication from a radical point of view and the same applied to the lawyer whose interest was in the protection of the person’s assets. Lance Armstrong had to deal with many issues prior to ending the scandal. Some people opposed his worldviews whilst many others judged the internationally renowned cyclist wrongly. Many issues resulted in the individual’s downfall including the inability to use credible communication strategies.
Conflicting Perspectives and Communication Management
Lance Armstrong Perspective
According to Armstrong, he refuted the claims basing the allegations on rumors and an attempt to ruin his cycling career. Denial is one element of handling communication that needs careful management. In times of crises, sometimes denial functions appropriately if the person or organization maintains silence later. It was ethically justifiable for Armstrong to confess on the Oprah show, but from a business perspective, confession was a risky move that prompted his downfall. Damage control was beyond correction since many investors already stopped working with him and resulted in his losses.
The Supporters of the Livestrong Foundation
The Livestrong foundation sill supports cancer patients through offering palliative care and hospice facilities to its residents. It works towards restoring hope to the surviving cancer patients. In a news release by Harvey Lazar and France St-Hilaire the foundation proceeds reduced by over 30% since June 2012 because of the diminishing image of the director-Lance. In a similar fashion, the foundation lost a better part of the shareholder base. It is evident that the supporters of the foundation including “Anheuser-Busch” and RadioShack withdrew because they believed that they had an image to maintain whilst doing business with other investors. As such, the perspectives of the supporters were to reap proceeds from the cyclist’s spirited image in the world of sports. They experienced short-term losses, and this still influences their performance in the international markets.
The professional cycling community
According to the international cycling community, Lance was a close friend and a founder of a program they all appreciated. However, they believed that lying would land them into more problems just as it happened to the three doctors who faked doping tests for Lance. The foundation dealt with a massive loss that made them all famous, but they believed that the practice of quality ethical standards would save the community.
Armstrong received a fair share of criticism and support in philanthropic activities and throughout the scandal. The mixed reactions from the varied perspectives aided in shaping the various attitudes, and organizational cultures that the star incorporated in the latter years. It is imperative to plan for communication prior to using it for the right or wrong purpose. Organization of communiqué follows a careful situation analysis based on participation of the public. Environmental scanning is about a situational analysis of an overall look out for the opportunities and threats in the environment. A situational analysis involves face-to-face communication with shareholders, clients, suppliers, and the media among other micro-environmental and macro-environmental factors. A situational analysis helps organizations understand the environment of work so that they can maximize on their strengths and reduce their weaknesses. It is impossible to achieve this without proper management of communication. Calculated communication or rather known as public relations helps the organization know the perceptions of the public towards them. Planned communication also helps the public understand things about the organization through annual reports, constant meetings, community social responsibility and philanthropy. Prior to involving the press and other disseminators of information, Armstrong’s communication team needed to incorporate various perspectives from both microenvironments and macro-environments. According to Lance Armstrong, he expected his cycling friends to support his cause, but on the contrary, they confessed the cyclist’s use of dope, steroids, and other substances. This reduced credibility and trust in the Armstrong supported charitable organizations including the Livestrong Foundation, and the professional cycling community. These entities supported talent in to young persons and offered help to underprivileged persons through fundraisings and mobilization of necessities. The diverse perspectives were strong points for the accused person to defend his case since most of the philanthropic and Community social responsibility activities would speak volumes explicitly to the jury and the communities that the cyclist supported.
Communication Strategy Creation
A strategy is a planned action to counter a negative occurrence. Lance Armstrong used various approaches to communicate, but all turned null and void. This resulted from constant conflicts and scenes he created by trying to blame USADA for his atrocities. Creating of an effectual communication strategy necessitates the attention of a manager who should set up an organizational assessment unit. Organizational learning refers to the study process of managers in the organization realm to have a clear understanding of the culture, organizational performance, management strategy, future goals, and the staff including other significant aspects of the organization. In each company, a manager must take the position of a leader and not a ruler. A manager must be able to understand the staff and other publics at a personal level. The other aspect of organizational learning is a liaison in which the senior managers create links with the staff to generate cohesion. In essence, it is of enormous significance for mangers to learn the work environment in order to be in a capacity to handle risks and take advantage of opportunities whenever they arise.
A communication strategy must be able to offer feedback, a chance for a two-way communication function ability, and team building. Armstrong could not solve the issue independently since he had charitable organizations and adverts that sustained him in terms of corporate image generation and monetary attainment. In order to implement the correct strategy, the team must operate under collective contributions of the entire staff. The supporters of Armstrong needed to convince the other cycling mates to support the cyclist since there was no proof that testifying against Armstrong was a credible approach. In the very context, sometimes people can influence the decisions of rivals and managers through continued interactions with them. Communication styles prevail in various contexts. Communication is about setting the pace, being imaginative, and possessing quality interpersonal skills, administration, training, patience, commanding, and liaison among other. Evidently, the strategies are twofold. They are either democratic or dictatorial in nature. The dictatorial type incorporates stringent measures that keep the company on toes. People work tirelessly in order to meet targets and to avoid qualms involving senior managers. It is good for productivity but does not last since many workers get tired in the end and might easily quit. This is because of the top-bottom communication style. The democratic leadership style does not incorporate any fears or duress thus there is enough room for innovation and progression. Thus, people easily share information, and many channels of communication exist. As such, the best strategy to adopt in managing the changes in Armstrong’s case must be democratic in nature.
Building a Strategic Culture
An organizational culture is the set of norms, beliefs as well as values that guide an organization. In a number of cases, organizational cultures spell out ethical behaviors within the organization. Organizational cultures may support either ethical behaviors or unethical behaviors hence influencing managerial ethics. An organizational culture has a direct impact on performance since it is the focal point of decision-making and human resource allotment. Duty integration is the first point of interaction with the involved personnel. This builds a given organizational culture that either supports the company’s vision or undermines its efforts. Studies indicate that large organizations must undergo changes over a period in time. This is because of the number of personnel at their predisposition coupled with the franchising culture they adopt. It is imperative for organizations to undergo a similar transition in order to handle the human resource and increase productivity in a changing environment. The essence of this is to work in line with the organizational objectives as stipulated in the structure. A decentralized organizational structure offers a non-restrictive environment in which people can easily brainstorm and share ideas. This is why multinationals are always capable of employing various persons who have the prowess in innovation and this augments productivity. This was evident with the case in which the jurisdiction never filed a case with USADA. In a similar fashion, Armstrong was at a better capacity to use the influence of his charitable organizations in seeking benevolence from the public. All the efforts he put in using steroids and strength addition drugs aimed at working hard for the underprivileged population across the US. People should never forget an organization whose corporate culture fully depends on serving people whole-heartedly. Secondly, the decentralized culture allows for a seamless flow of information that refutes any hindrances surrounding ignorance of ongoing activities. This creates an easy time for administrators to coordinate and oversee progress. On the contrary, the other hand, a centralized system ensures that people work under stringent conditions thus the ability to meet deadlines. This means that productivity is a result of duress and lack of freedom. Though there is output, such companies stagnate because there is limited room for sharing ideas. In summary, the decentralized system is still effective no matter the circumstances involved. The culture ensures that people of diverse qualities work together to ensure an overall goal attainment. A positive corporate culture should embed the ideas of the majority and ensure popular participation in decision-making. Armstrong’s doping case would never affect the charitable institutions and other establishments if he set up a decentralized culture that limited association with him. Armstrong can be a leader of the company and ensure power allotment to other members of the staff so that his jail term would never affect the progress of the companies.
Issues management incorporates the ability to plan for any futuristic occurrences likely to turn into crises. Issues refer to concerns that occur unexpectedly but those that a company can plan for after assessment of a pilot project. On the other hand, a crisis is a critical issue occurring unexpectedly but that which a company cannot predetermine the magnitude. It becomes hard to plan for crises even though companies can discuss the possibility of their incident. In the case of Armstrong, there is a possibility that the daunted image would interfere with shareholder interest including the association of supporters. Inability to handle issues translated into a crisis that Livestrong Foundation, and the professional cycling community still learn to accept to date.
Issues incorporate financial factors like budgetary allocations to crises, cash required for image restoration and other things requisite of facilitation. The court case and the employment of a prominent attorney consumed many resources from Armstrong that rendered him almost bankrupt. Proper communication with other competitors would ensure that they protected Armstrong from the scandal, and this would prevent withdrawal of the supporters like Nike and other individual contributors of the cyclist’s endeavors. Doping is a serious offence and the fact that the jurisdiction demanded that he returned his titles since 1990 rendered him susceptible to a serious monetary crisis. The three medics who tried to protect him also received a fair share of punishment from the criminal law structure. Project management skills call for risk management strategies. As such, the team that Armstrong leads works under stipulated timelines in order to avoid any risks in the end. After Armstrong leaves the organization in the hands of a temporal managing director, he or she should look at every stage of development during the communication process. This is in order to identify the hitches and raise concerns. As such, meetings, social networking, electronic, and traditional media and other media can help the acting managing director to dictate functions. This is one of the best risk management strategies besides seniority and power allotment to avoid constant associations with scandalous leaders. The equity charitable cycling organization should be independent off Lance’s attention entirely. Another issue requisite of attention is human resource management. Human resource is a vital function of all project management endeavors. It is often advisable to choose a team based on natural skills and educational proficiency. This is because the combined efforts ensure that people work under coordinated timelines, and they achieve the company’s desire in record time. An excellent management team should consist of a Managing director, Human resource director, Operation director and two senior managers besides the staff. Each of them possesses conflicting aptitudes, and they have different educational orientations. To this effect, they work together to attain a common objective and goal. The cycling school needed a good legal representative to handle legislative crises amicably without depending on denial that resulted strategic withdrawal of Armstrong’s company associates and promoters…”
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