The Importance of Trust and Open Communication in Working Environments. A Study of EC Group (2013)

This MBA dissertation investigates the importance of trust and open communication within a live working environment. Throughout this study, the researcher aimed to determine the interdependence between trust and communication and employees morale; appreciating that low workforce morale inevitably translates into lower productivity and jeopardises a company’s success. The objectives set by the research were to acquire a critical understanding of the impact of closed communication on employee morale, identifying the causes for such phenomena, and determining effective recommendations for the re-establishment of a strong corporate culture that would foster open communication and build trust throughout the EC Group.

The study was deemed important not only on an academic level, where relevant literature is abundant, but even more so with regard to the imminent crisis faced by EC Group, a UK based medium-size, marketing outsourcing company. Indeed, EC Group was facing serious communication problems, and general, increasing, low employee morale, ultimately translating into lower productivity and poorer output quality standards.

The literature review, covering thirty academic works, confirmed the researcher’s basic assumptions whereby communication is deeply intertwined with trust, and where the lack of one engenders the other, ultimately resulting in low morale and consequent decrease in productivity. Special attention was also given to corporate culture and the leader figure vis-à-vis the issue of trust. Much in line with expectations, the investigation, conducted through face-to-face quali-quantitative surveys submitted to the entire organisations workforce (i.e., 41 employees with a response rate of 95%) provides the company with a picture of the current situation, highlighting the causes of the identified communication and trust problems.

As a result, the researcher recommends specific steps that need to be planned and implemented, in order to reinstate a solid corporate culture able to foster communication and knowledge sharing, progressively regaining employees trust. The study’s results and constraints also indicate the necessity for further and deeper research, to be carried out prior to the implementation of the above-mentioned recommendations. This is essential for said culture to reflect correctly and coherently the organisations values and beliefs, in a manner that they can be easily shared and embraced by the workforce.

The objective of such research is to provide the company with the necessary input to effectively implement recommendations, thereby restoring an environment of cooperation and re-establishing productivity levels as well as quality standards. Finally, the special attention given to validity, reliability and generalisability proved effective, and render this research a relevant academic work for future analogous scenarios. In view of the research scope and aim, four objectives were pursued;

  • Comprehend the repercussions of closed communication on employees morale
  • Identify the reasons that lead to closed communication
  • Explore corporate culture and the leader’s influence on communication and trust
  • Make recommendation for HRM to manage the problem of lack of trust and communication within the EC Group
  • 18,000 words – 80 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Includes questionnaire
  • Ideal for MBA students

1 – Introduction
Research Scope
Research Aim
Research Objectives
Research Assumptions and Questions
Research Rationale
Research Motivation
Research Approach and Method
Findings and Conclusion

2 – Literature Review
Trust and Communication
Knowledge Sharing
Delegation and Empowerment
Performance Appraisal
Corporate Culture Sense of Belonging, Commitment and Involvement
Corporate culture Methods of Analysis
Corporate Culture Leaders
Literature Review Conclusions

3 – Methodology
Population and Sampling
Validity and reliability
Content Validity
Construct Validity
Internal Consistency Reliability
Test-Retest Reliability
Inter-Rater Reliability
Alpha Value of Assumptions
Methodology Conclusions

4 – Research Findings
Work Environment Evaluation
Performance Appraisal and Job Security
Continuous learning and room for improvement
Distrust amongst employees and toward management
Corporate Culture
Artefacts and Behaviours
Assumptions and Beliefs
Research Findings Conclusions

5 – Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
Summary of Key Findings
Low employee morale affects output quality and productivity
Lack of trust and communication lead to employees’ low morale
Poor corporate culture and leadership can engender lack of trust and communication
How does closed communication affect employees’ morale?
What are the reasons underlining closed communication?
What is the role of corporate culture with regard to trust and communication?
How can HRM manage the problem of lack of trust and communication in EC Group?
Knowledge management
Feedback and performance appraisal
Values and Communication
Constraints on the Research Process
Limitations of Recommendations and Research Outcomes
Suggestions for Further Research


Appendix Section

Open Communication in Working Environments Dissertation
Open Communication in Working Environments Dissertation

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