Problem Solving

Organizations often face different organizational communication challenges that require appropriate problem solving and decision-making to deal with such situations. Communication is key to corporate survival and effectiveness mainly because the central essence of an organization is cooperation. One of the common communication challenges in an organization arises when two leaders within an organization provide different directions or instructions to employees on how to conduct their work. This creates a state of confusion among the employees, especially when dealing with the dilemma of whose instructions to follow. Eventually, it causes distrust and poor performance by employees in the organization.

Organizational decision-making is defined as the process where one or more administrative groups or units make a strategic decision on behalf of the whole organization (Hodgkinson & Starbuck, 2009). Several decision-making models may be applied to solve an organizational communication challenge. These models include the rational model, garbage can model, and the political model, among others. Effective decision-making under the rational model requires accurate definition and identification of the problem. Further, it is important to identify the limiting factors and develop potential alternatives by entertaining all possible ideas and brainstorming. After analyzing the other options, the best alternative is then selected and implemented to deal with the organization’s problem.

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The political model of decision-making contrasts with the rational model because the incrementalists focus on numerous Intra organizational challenges that reflect their goals (Hodgkinson & Starbuck, 2009). Decision-making in this model results from coalition bargaining since power is decentralized. In addition, this model emphasizes the concept of the natural multiplicity of personal values, goals, and interests in a complex working environment. This model views the art of decision-making as consensus building and a process of resolution of conflicts through decisions based on compromise.

The garbage can decision-making model characterizes or views organizations as garbage cans where problems, choice situations, people, and solutions are dumped. This model assumes that organizational units operate without rules and not close to perfection in situations where organizational processes are conflicting or unclear, especially due to frequent changes in management or leadership (Nutt, Wilson, & Nutt, 2010). The main decision-making strategies in this model are oversight and flight. Oversight involves quick decision-making in situations where certain problems are attached to a choice. However, this does not solve the problem because there would be problems connected to the other alternatives. Flight entails delaying decision-making when faced with alternatives until the challenges wander away from particular choices to others to make a choice.

Having discussed the decision-making models, it is evident that the most applicable model, in this case, is the rational model because the organizational communication challenge may be due to conflicting ambitions and leadership conflicts that affect their performance. This model is objective, and it does not give considerations of personal desires and feelings; rather, it aims at creating a bias towards analysis and facts (Hindle, 2008). Therefore, to begin with, it would be essential to identify the cause of the problem between the leaders through critical analysis of the situation and identification of what ought to the proper directions that would promote optimum and positive performance in the organization. It would be necessary to consider priorities in the routine work conducted at the organization.

Further, it is also important to prepare a clear agenda for a meeting to clarify the directions given to harmonize the expectations and intentions of the leaders to the best interest of the organization. The meeting would be a platform to listen to the leaders’ reasoning and viewpoints that led to the conflicting instructions, then brainstorm the best and effective directions to be followed by the employees to achieve the organizational goals. It would also be important to identify the ultimate leader in the organization unless it is clear that two leaders manage the organization.

It would also be rational if the employees got their leaders to communicate effectively concerning the communication challenge. Discussion of the conflict by those causing the challenge would be effective for decision-making on the best possible solutions. Eventually, once the alternatives are analyzed, and a decision is made, it is crucial to clarify the employees’ directions and instructions. Employees are usually motivated when their leaders exercise teamwork and effective communication amongst each other and the organization.

In conclusion, it may be argued that all decision-making models are applicable when solving organizational communication challenges. However, it is important to choose the applicable and most effective model when determining the best decisions and solutions for a particular problem. The main consideration attached to the choice of model is the concept of optimal solutions that preserve relationships and guarantee high performance in an organization (Brunsson, 2007).



Brunsson N. (2007). The consequences of decision-making. Oxford University Press.

Hindle, T. (2008). Guide to management ideas and gurus (Vol. 42). John Wiley & Sons.

Hodgkinson, G. P., & Starbuck, W. H. (2009). The Oxford handbook of organizational decision making. Oxford University Press.

Nutt, P. C., Wilson, D. C., & Nutt, P. (2010). Blackwell encyclopedia of management: Handbook of decision making. John Wiley & Sons.