Communication Knowledge and Information

Task 1: Assessing Information and Knowledge Needs

  • Range of decisions to be made by the Heathrow authorities and management

The scenario highlights two major issues that the Heathrow Airport has faced with. The main issue is that the number of runways available is not sufficient to control the number of direct planes operating. The situation created difficulties for the management team, because it was difficult to decide whether they should increase the capacity of the airport by adding the third runway and a sixth terminal or they should reconstruct the airport. From the initial assessments made from the preliminary screenings, building of a third runway and the construction of a sixth terminal looks like a viable decision. However, the construction of the third runway will need a lot of support from other stakeholders whose decisions really matter in the particular scenario. The rebuilding of the airport will influence many activities before completion. Here are some of the things considered before the airport authorities think of rebuilding the airport. Nonetheless, there should be a range of subsequent stages and decisions made before the final solution is provided.

  • Information and knowledge needed to ensure effective decision making based on the scenario

The Heathrow authorities will require various types of statistics in order to make the right decision. First of all, managers should organize the team that would conduct brainstorming activities and work on the development of the proposed options.  They should consider pros and cons of the proposed options. At a glance, it is evident that the second option is more efficient and veritable for several reasons. First of all, the location of the airport plays an important role in the number of flights and clients, because numerous businesses are situated nearby the airport. Therefore, location is an important factor in making a decision. Further, it is necessary to determine the airfield capacity in relation to the runway to highlight the slots and use them in the most effective way. In this context, the effectiveness of the activities depends on the accuracy and relevance of the used equipment. Further, a technical analysis and statistics should also relate to the analysis of the schedule. In this respect, the task of the manager is to look at the possible ideas and previous practices. The Internet search can also be beneficial. For instance, in the article by Calder, it has been proposed that increasing the capacity of the Heathrow airport is a better option than creating a new airport. Specifically, the author proposes the integration of mixed mode flights that use runways as both landings and take-offs. In such a way, the company can allow 120,000 aircraft movements more. In other words, the functionality of the runways could be increased. Emphasizing the relevance of this decision, the team should conduct the research to determine what changes should be introduced to the equipment, personnel, and aviation to ensure safety of the flights.

The first type of information that is relevant for this scenario would be about the kinds of activities affected because of closure of the main operational activities in the airport. The authority should define the main types of activities to know what effect building a new runway would have on those activities. The same applies if the authorities are looking for an option of constructing another airport. Statistical data relating to the percentages and the actual figures of the number of people the airport holds in a year as well as approximate values for a day would be necessary. This will help to determine the relative economic index and the influence it will have on the economic environment. Estimated costs will also be important before the airport authority considers any options. 

  • Internal and external sources of information and understanding based on the scenario

The resources of information could be both internal and external. The internal sources will involve the analysis and research of the current potential of the airport. The external stakeholders will involve political, environmental, and financial organizations. Specifically, there is a list of mandatory stakeholders related to airport capacity project, such as government, business community, environmental review agencies, elected officials, local communities, and the general public. There are many other agencies which could be regarded as the potential stakeholders. According to Transport Committee of the British Parliament, “if rising demand for air travel is to be met effectively through additional airport capacity, a corresponding increase in airspace capacity must be realized”. At this point of discussion, the interaction of flight routes should be the major concern of the airport capacity project team.

Task 2: Stakeholders, Personal Networking and Decision-Making Process

  • Internal and external key stakeholders of Heathrow Airport involved in decision-making process

The main external stakeholders of Heathrow airport are customers, government, and environmental organizations. The internal stakeholders include managerial staff and employees. All of these four parties should be involved in the decision making process to solve the challenges the company is facing.

  • How Heathrow authorities can make contact with their internal and external stakeholders and develop business relationships

In complex situations, the interaction between internal and external stakeholders is essential for the recognizing many issues, such as environmental issues, political trends, and customer feedback. Therefore, it is important to develop mutually beneficial relations with emphasis placed on the sense of corporate responsibility. Further, interactions with the public and mass media are also an important stance in sustaining fruitful and trustful relations with the external world. In this respect, the Heathrow authorities can interact with the above-enumerated stakeholders by popular means of communication such as the Internet and TV. 

  • Heathrow authorities involving the identified stakeholders in the decision-making process

As it has been mentioned before, local and governmental communities should be engaged in solving the issue because they are the key clients of the airport facilities. Government should also encourage sponsors and investors to reconsider the problem to improve the quality of the services. Customers can also take an active part in decision-making via the Internet forums and surveys conducted by the research group created by the Heathrow authorities.

  • Strategies for improving personal networking and involvement of stakeholders in the decision-making process based on the scenario. Justification for the recommendations

The public relations department at Heathrow should make incredible efforts to attract more investors and clients by proposing the improvement to the quality of service and increase the number of flights, which would contribute to the airport’s profitability. Additionally, improving relationship with the major stakeholders should become a part of corporate philosophy. In particular, there should be an ethics audit that can provide the new reporting system within the company, concerning the cases of ethical conflicts as well as the incoming complaints.

Task 3: Communication Processes in an Organization

  • Report on the existing processes of communications in the organization

Alliance Boots is a recognized pharmacy-led group that delivers a wide range of products and services. The company has close relations with the leading producers and pharmacies all over the world and is dedicated to improving health in the communities. The focus is made on two major areas – pharmacy retailing and pharmacy distribution. Based in the UK, the company is an international venture and, therefore, it is aware of the importance of promoting fruitful communication techniques. As a proof, Alliance Boots introduces many press releases about their activities and announces new products in a global context. For instance, the company has recently informed about complete acquisition of pharmacy retailers in Latin America.

  • Report on the existing processes of communications between management and employees

A closer examination of the internal communication processes is essential. As such, the company strives to gain trustful relations with employees all over the world. Its corporate social responsibility framework demonstrates new techniques in communication and cooperation.  In the context of the workplace development, the group focuses on assisting people in promoting the safety and health of the employees. Therefore, many people all over the world are attracted by the benefits which could be enjoyed with the Alliance Group. Specifically, the major company’s objective is “to reinforce that a robust health and safety regime exists n all parts of the Group supported with appropriate training, and education, and incident management practice”. Secondly, the application of healthcare expertise can also contribute to the quality of interaction and communication. Further, regulation feedback sessions ensure the possibility of immediate response to the existing challenges.

  • Report on the existing processes of communications between the organization and its customers

The opportunities for establishing favourable relations with clients are closely related with the conditions under which employees work. Specifically, in case workers are satisfied with the conditions, they are more motivated to increase the company’s performance as well as the quality of communication. Therefore, the external stakeholders are more likely to cooperate successfully.

  • Ways to improve the appropriateness of the communication processes

In order to further sustain the successful communication, attention should be paid to change management, which allows employees to constantly adjust to the occurring shifts in communication. The introduction of new technologies and innovative thinking should be the priority for the company, which is a recognized international manufacturer and distributor of pharmaceutical products.

  • Explain how the improvements to the ways and IT Systems can be implemented to ensure greater integration of system of communication in the organization

Introducing innovative technologies is the key to greater performance and productivity because advanced and technologically friendly companies can take a competitive advantage from other companies that are resistant to changes. Therefore, the ethics in promoting new information technologies should be discussed. Further, communication issues could be improved with the integration of transparent reporting, which is the key to the respectable image of the company.

The use of Internet has opened up more opportunities for communication.  The exchange of data and information via email, extranets and intranets has simplified he communication process in the organization. These technologies facilitate information exchange and improve communication.  Furthermore, videoconferencing and web-casting allow for quick information exchanges between the employees and the management. 

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  • Based on task 3, create a personal plan to improve your own communication skills
  1. Five communication skills appropriate for your role. Good communication skills in the team prevent conflicts. This provides for supportive and open environment for free sharing of ideas and information. There are five essential communication skills which should contribute to my role as a consultant. First, convening frequent meetings and encouraging every member to be open ensures a good communication flow. Second, I should be able to communicate and share the challenges while controlling employees’ activity. Third, I should find time for the individual team members, so that they get information on the challenges in the team. This encourages collective responsibility in problem solving. Fourth, better coordination in the team is also among my communication skills. It will enhance relations among the team members and reduce the level of conflicts in the organization.
  2. Three strengths in communications skills, and how each strength will enable you to be more effective or achieve in your role. There are three major strengths in the communication skills; these are flexibility, resistance to stress, and ability to listen. Flexibility implies the ability to compromise and reach a consensus in conflicting situation. Such a skill is essential while working in an international organization, where the attention is paid to the cultural diversity. Second, resistance to stress can help me to adequately respond to difficult situations. Finally, the ability to listen is the key in communication and achieving the goals.
  3. Three weaknesses and how each weakness can be improved. Decision-making process, lack of persistence, and low ability to negotiate are among my weaknesses. However, decision-making process can be improved through constant meetings and brainstorming activities. Lack of persistence can be reduced while interacting with the leader of the team. Finally, the negotiation skills can be improved through management of single projects.
  • Action plan using SMART objective technique
  1. Improving communication skills. There are three SMART objectives which should be pursued to improve communications skills. First, the attention should be given to the personnel management strategies aimed at reconsidering the ethics in communication. Further, the company should develop a credo that could rely on the utmost ethic and moral values. Third, personal development issues should be considered through the conduct of various personality tests.
  2. Specific actions taken to address each objective. The personnel management can be carried out via the introduction of educational and training programs. Specifically, they should be familiarized with new techniques in information exchange and communication. Secondly, the credo should rely on the previous practices and philosophical ideologies. Ethical theories should be discussed. Finally, personality-development tests, such as the test on learning styles, could be integrated.
  3. Possible barriers for each objective and how it can be addressed. The training programs as well as other elements of the action plan can be hampered by the lack of financial support and encouragement on the part of external stakeholders. Therefore, managers should reconsider the budget to solve the problem. 
  4. Resources to achieve each objective. The resources can involve the social and bonus schemes which could motivate employees to work in an effective manner. The manager can also offer employees to find out alternative ways of financing. Educational support is also essential. The company can address the relevant educational establishments for help. Finally, personal experience exchange is also among the means of improving training and education of the employees.
  5. Time scale. The action plan will be developed for three months, with one month to complete on objectives. Each month will be split into several stages. The first one will be preparation and analysis. The second one will be implementation. The final stage will be analysis of the outcomes.
  6. Self-reflective summary. The analysis of the action plan has promoted my understanding of how communication strategies could be improved. Specifically, three major tools should be introduced – people, money, and context. Communication is directly associated with interaction between individuals. Therefore, personal and social background of employees and clients should be analysed. Personality development tests are also useful. Financial support is also the key to implementing the plan because it provides the necessary resources and equipment. Finally, the context refers to the political and economic circumstance in which the communication plan is implemented.

Task 4: Improving Access to Systems of Information and Knowledge

  • Existing approaches to the collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge to support the teaching and learning at the university

Information Systems development specialist should be aware of the recent trends in gathering, processing, and storing information.  Specifically, managing system should involve the Internet, including cloud computing, IT, intranet, and extranet. Supporting end-user computing is also among the competencies of IT developer. All the systems integrated into the college management system help to control and store information. It helps trace the various operations that are taking place. In order to enhance the usage and security, various factors and practices will have to be adopted. Various modules are responsible for showing students their respective grades. Such modules are always a target of the hackers. Moreover, there are some targets which hold the financial and account information; it becomes important to protect the particular accounts and only assign one individual to be in charge of the data entry.

  • Appropriate changes to improve collection, formatting, storage, and dissemination of information and knowledge involving the teaching and learning at the university

The current system of dissemination of data and inflation occurs through two platforms, the automated and the manual platform. The main reason for dispatching in two major ways is for the purpose of emphasis of the information. The campus can invest in Internet services where a reminder is sent to the students’ phones for information. Other social media sites derive their application as an informative platform where students can obtain various types of data. Virtual and cloud servers are mostly used in the learning environment. For instance, a lecturer uploads notes to one platform from which students are able to access the data without alteration. There is also a need for timetabling systems. Timetables may be tricky to make, but with the presence of unethical hackers, the information confidentiality and secrecy may become questionable.

  • One strategy to improve access to information and knowledge for students, lecturers, management, employees and other stakeholders within and outside the university

The adoption and use of a website for the institution would be a perfect way of making the communication better. The main benefit derived from the introduction of an institutional website is that real time events posted on the site and referred to generate a nice informative platform. The academics module attached to it increases its functionality hence the access to materials becomes easy. Class unit registration is simplified, and it would go a long way in the boosting of the communication channels.

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