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What Barriers to Effective Communication Existed in Aluminum Elements Corp.?

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Q1. What barriers to effective communication existed in Aluminum Elements Corp.?

There were various barriers that interfered with the communication process between managers and shop floor employees within the company Aluminum Elements Corporation.

First of all, the management does not adapt communications for shop floor employees. Floor shop employees were not invited to daily meetings where production issues were discussed unless there was a specific problem. It would make employees feel that management does not need to hear about their opinions and they don't want to learn or adapt valuable ideas from the floor employees. However, in the company Aluminum the shop floor employees played a very crucial role and it concerns that these indirect communications often resulted to misunderstandings that demoralized shop floor employees like John as an example. In addition, separate washroom and lunchrooms as well as other perks create another barrier to social interaction between these two parties and employees would feel intimated to approach management.

The second barrier appears to be in transmission, which in this case can be seen as a channel barrier. Despite the fact that managers work in the same physical location as shop floor employees, they send lengthy memos. This means of transmission is not the right channel for workers, who would probably prefer a more direct and interactive means of communication to avoid ambiguities and misunderstandings. It makes floor employees feel that the management is only concerned about production schedules rather than their personal welfare, which would create negative issues that would further affect the work relationship and the overall effectiveness of the company.

The third barrier evident pertains to the response part of the communication process. Indirect communication through memos and proxies provides no immediate channel for feedback, but the management expects workers to act according to the communicated messages. Besides, since John and George are not comfortable seeing each other, it is difficult for John to respond to the memos.

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