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Book Details

Interpersonal Group and Organizational Communication in a Bureaucratic Health Organization
An Empirical Study
Sundari Krishnamurthy , P. Murari (Foreword)
Bibliography : xxxvi, 338pp., 82 Tables, 14 Maps, 13 B&W Photos, Demy 8vo.
HB ISBN (10) : 8184542216
HB ISBN (13) : 9788184542219

(HB) List Price US$ :

About the Book:

The first book on anatomy was published in 1548; there have been a lot of developments in modern medicine during the long decades of evolution in the field of medicine. However the first text-like book on organization appeared only in 1911 and therefore since this discipline is still evolving.

Chapter One outlined the beginnings and growth of communication in Asia, Europe and the United States of America in the areas of communication: interpersonal, organizational, mass media, organizational, cultural, and political and health, along with information systems. There has not been a great deal of academic investigation in organizational communication (OC) in India, hence the present study.

Chapter Two presented the review of literature starting with organizational theory as this aids the OC researcher in understanding organizational behavior. Since the organization investigated was a bureaucratic health organization, theory and research on bureaucracy and health organizations contributed to experimental design. Since in contemporary times Organizational Communication (OC) has developed as an independent area of teaching and research, largely in U.S.A and Europe and to some extent in Asia, literature in OC illuminated key issues in the organization studied.

Chapter Three provided the rationale behind the framing of the various hypotheses. The individual employee is the cornerstone of the organization and this was the main reason, why hypotheses were framed concerning the motivation and satisfaction of the employee. The individual employee does not work in isolation but must work with superiors, subordinates and peers in a health-care group and so hypotheses have been framed with reference to relationships with supervisors (i.e. supervisory leadership) and with peers (i.e. peer leadership) and the group process. The organizational structure and climate and climate also influence organizational behavior and this was the reason why hypotheses on climate and communication variable (volume, content and direction) had been framed. Demographics of the employees had also been investigated through a hypothesis.

Chapter Four stated that Likert`s causal sequence formed the theoretical basis of the research investigation. The research of Hain, Tubbs, Widgery and others of the General Motors Institute gave additional support to the present research. Since the questionnaire is a popular tool of OC researchers, an English Questionnaire (Annexure A) had been framed, encompassing all the variables chosen for the study. The communication variables in the English questionnaire were expanded into a Tamil questionnaire (Annexure F) in order to obtain more details on media-usage in both external and internal communication.

There were about 383 Primary Health Centers (P.H.C.`s) (indicated in maps of districts in Tamil Nadu (Annexure B) or in name lists of P.H.C.`s (Annexure C) in the then 16 Districts of Tamil Nadu. About 10 per cent sample was taken; that is, about 40 P.H.C.`s were randomly selected and the questionnaire was administered by the researcher traveling to the sub-units and information could thus be gathered with speed.

Chapter Five stated that a five-point Likert scale was used to measure most of the variables, correlation coefficients were the starting point of the analyses; from this stage partial and multiple correlations were obtained. In fact, the tables were so numerous and because of the strict page limit, many of the tables of the intermediary stages of the analyses were displayed in Annexure D. Demographic data were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA), while simple percentage analysis had been obtained for the communication variables.

From the analysis obtained, a variety of pictures emerges of the organization studied. No individual employee works alone in the organization; hence inter-relationships with others, be it superiors, peers or subordinates, i.e., interpersonal communication determined organizational behavior and hence work performance. Since the organization studied was a health organization, team work is one of the most important facets. Coordination, integration and adaptation are the important functions performed by group communication. Planning, controlling, organizing and directing are important management functions and communication is used in the organization in all these aspects of organizational management. One of the best examples of organizational communication in the organization investigated was during the Mahamakkam festival at Kumbakonam (Annexure E).

Chapter Six attempted to give suggestions for further study. More research investigators should explore organizations in general and service organizations in particular. Productivity in itself is a major area of investigation in organizations. As this research study has indicated that organizations function because of communication. Hence the study of Organizational Communication (OC) is relevant to virtually every member of our society in today`s inter-connected world.

About the Author:

THE FIRST DECADE - 1975 to 1985 Sundari Krishnamurthy started her academic career by acquiring an M.Phil in the C.A.S. in Philosophy, University of Madras with a First Class , First rank; a P.G Diploma from IPRM with a First Class, Third Rank; certification in BASIC PROGRAMMING from C.M.C. Government of India with a `B Grade-Very Good`.

She taught theory to students of all three years of the under-graduate P.R. program from 1978-1981 as an Assistant Professor of P.R and Communication. She secured placement and guided research of students in public and private sector organizations.

She was nominated by Stella Maris College (SMC) as a Research Fellow in the UGC Faculty Improvement Program from 1978 - 1981 for an inter-disciplinary research in the Department of Psychology, University of Madras. She undertook a field study approach and collected data from 10% of the P.H.C.`s and district hospitals in all the 13 Districts of Tamil Nadu, which won her `Outstanding Grades` from two Indian and one foreign examiner.

She presented papers at international seminars in India and abroad; her audio-visual presentation on, ‚??Communication in India from Ancient to Modern Times‚??, at the 33rd Annual Convention of ICA, in 1983-World Communication Year. She organized inter-disciplinary seminars for a cross section of students at SMC on `Tensions` and `Health Hazards`, which were vastly appreciated.

She obtained grants from the Sixth Plan of the GOI and Department of SC and ST to take groups of students on field study trips to villages and tribal areas, produced documentation and organized an exhibition on tribal culture in the campus.

She became a Life Member in: Madras Psychology Society, Madras Philosophy Society, Indian Society of Training and Development and Indian Society of Health Administrators. She became a member of the International Communication Association (ICA), USA and International Hospital Federation, London.

Sundari K. headed the `Social Education unit` of the NSS at SMC from 1975-1978 and trained students to stage public performances on leprosy, blood donation, female literacy and so on. The State Government gave an award at a public function in Music Academy.

Sundari K. was awarded the `Outstanding Young Person` (OYP) in Philosophy by the Madras Jaycees in 1979.

Interpersonal Group and Organizational Communication in a Bureaucratic Health Organization, by Sundari Krishnamurthy


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