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Workplace Communication: A case study on informal
communication network within an organization
Evangelos Ergen, ergen@ergen.gr  
Issue date: 26 November 2010
Abstract: This paper is an attempt to bring forth, analyse and compare different aspects in terms
of workplace communication. It focuses in the informal communication which considered a
significant factor for an organization’s internal and external progress. It is a study on literature,
which aims to link the literature findings with a real case of a company which seeks to improve its
workplace communication. In the end, it proposes certain strategies to be followed in order to
control and affect the existed informal communications network. Thus, cultivation of “Communities
of Practice” and “Face-to Face contacts” are expected to influence and turn the informal network to
an added-value for the organization.  
Keywords: Communication, informal and formal communication, workplace communication, faceto-face contact, Communities of Practice (CoPs).
Forty years ago, James Granger (1970) described a number of obstacles that companies faced
in order to gain an effective communication. He identified: the existence of fear among employees;
the inertia due to a non-rewarding system; the sense that management did not care about their
problems; the fear that disagreement will block their promotions; and the lack of supervisory
accessibility and responsiveness. To cope with that, Granger claimed that companies should take
three actions, in order to change radically   the environment: (a) the management should start
building trust between them and employees; (b) the management should put a premium on
integrity; and, (c) they should get out of their   offices and find out what’s going on, in their
Over the years, different studies concluded that top management is necessary to build the right
infrastructure of communication...

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