Communication Strategy: Dell Computers Essay
The development of telecommunication technology as marked by the ever-increasing speed of invention such as the revolutionized cellular phone technology, global positioning system (GPS), and video conferencing technology that eliminate distance in communications is not enough to ensure an organization accomplish the communication strategy.
Due to the role of communication in business, it immediately becomes one important element in business, especially to help the organization reach their communication strategies. As companies become more complex and the search for competitive advantages become more intense, the value of information has been enhanced significantly.
In line with the efforts for creating additional competitive advantages and support the corporate value creation, a chief information office (CIO) or any person in charge would develop many strategic applications to develop communication strategy that will support the company’s business objectives for its customers, workforce, and partners.
Concerning the issue, this paper discusses communication strategies of Del Computers. The purpose of this paper is to identify the multiple forms of communication and identify how often you will repeat your message and the forums for face-to-face, give-and-take communication efforts.
2. Communication Strategies
Communication strategies are set of actions designed to persuade a group of people to perform certain activities or to follow certain directions. In real life, communication could be both, a very easy task or a very difficult one, depending on the communicators and the popel they are trying to communicate with. In business or social organizations however, where people are expected to achieve a certain target using limited time and resources, the task of communicating with people becomes more demanding. Failure to communicate effectively with members of the organization usually represents failure to survive as a company or represents a very expensive cost to pay for the company.
In theory, deploying communication strategies should be accompanied with sufficient understanding about the nature of the organization. Organizational life cycle, organization structure, organizational culture and other factors of the organizational environment should be paid attention to, in order to produce a working communication strategy. Thus, despite the presence of underlying principles in strategy development, strategies that are resulted from the strategy-formulating stage could vary widely according to the organizational environment
In this paper, I am making a short case example of how a communication strategy could be implemented in a complex multinational organization, in order to achieve certain goals. The company in focus is Dell Incorporated, a multinational technology corporation developing, selling, manufacturing and supporting Personal Computers and its accompanying technological products. Learn about Dell Marketing Strategy
3. Corporate Background
The different business model brought by the company made Dell one of the most trusted PC producers in the world today. The company model is selling PC directly to customers and designing the computers to match customers’ needs and preferences, therefore, they will be avoided from buying features that they do not need. Currently however, Dell is a company employing more than 80,000 people worldwide (Mahoney, 1999). It is listed as one of the Top 20 list of the most admired companies in the United States according to Fortune magazine.
In order to maintain such a reputation and prevent Dell’s business model from becoming ‘rusty’ and stagnant, the company need to have a powerful communication strategy that will pass leaders’ initiatives to every member of the organizations worldwide. In order to design such a communication strategy, we need to observe Dell’s internal business environment.
3.1. Corporate Culture
Several corporate behavior analysts believed that Dell has quite a different culture compare to other high-tech companies. It is said that while other companies are striving to cut costs and re-deigning their systems to be more cost-effective, Dell is naturally lean, fast and entrepreneurial. Dell has no need to go through major downsizing acts in order to survive the changing business environment because the company already has the attributes of a highly efficient company. The company seems to have minimum cultural issues within their structures because they are naturally a performance-driven, cost driven company that is built on speed and low on office politics (Locker, 1999).
Corporate culture is expressed through the culture of Dell’s owner. Michael Dell has a quality of informality which is seldom discovered in leader of such a caliber. Analysts stated that even after two decades, Dell managed to retain its informality and maintain the energy to perform its actions like a start-up company. Employees in Dell is encouraged to express their feelings and concerns without fear because those opinions enable progress and development within the organization (‘How Dell’, 2005) Also learn Dell human resources management
3.2. Corporate Structure
Due to its sentiment regarding informality, Dell has a flat organizational structure. Decisions are made quickly from corporate executives to the factory floor without being burdened by hierarchical stages. The company also delegate sufficient amount of authority for its workers to take initiatives when it is needed. This is in line with Dell’s business model, which is to deliver a cost effective technological solution for its customers. With such a flat hierarchy it would take lees time and less complications in giving customers what they really need (O’brien, 2001).
Nevertheless, in order to deliver satisfying results to customers, Dell must cooperate closely with various external partners and bring them along with changes that are made. The company has a global production network that spans through the United States, Asia and Europe. This will made communication an even harder challenge.
3.3. Corporate Life Cycle
Living in the high-tech industry, the company has a high life cycle rate. This is caused by the rapidly changing technology in the modern world, which requires Dell to keep up and to bring the entire organization along. Thus, communication within this business environment must be maintained to remain efficient and effective.
4. Communication Strategy
4.1. Communication Structure
In theory, Dell’s Structure and culture and corporate structure allows good communication quality of people within the company. Simplicity of corporate structure and the low-politics nature of its culture generated an efficient communication environment. Nevertheless, there are several suggestions that we would like to make in order to improve the quality of Dell’s communication structure.
In theory, there are actually several meetings that needed to be done before a message is delivered from corporate executives to the whole part of the organization. Dell however, needs to avoid such a time consuming system to communicate a message. Dell cannot afford to have such a communication structure because its strategy demands for a swifter communication process that will allow customers to gain benefits over the company’s initiatives and ideas instantly. It is the basic philosophy of Dell’s business model (Freake, 2000).
Therefore, it is important for Dell to take significant advantage of its own technology to deliver information to all members of the organization. A well designed communication system that connects all members of the organization in a single network will allow a swifter distribution of information. Nevertheless, there are some risks that need to be paid attention to. For example, there will be a trade off between having a swift communication and having a two way communication that will allow a better cooperation between members of the organization. Two-way communication allows stronger collaboration between members of an organization because people will usually more committed in something when they played a hand in making the decision. Thus, Dell should generate a technological communication that allows a two-way communication instead of one way communication.
The company could design a message system that allows employees to provide feedback to the executives. On the other hand, Dell could also create access within the system that allow an executive to communicate with subordinates in whatever level for the sake of new ideas and technicalities. The company could also deploy company newsletter that allows people to be acknowledged for their suggestions and accomplishment.
4.2. Repetition of Information
The newsletter mentioned above can also be one of the chances to deliver information to members of the organization. Other opportunities might be through inter-company emails, bulletin boards, speaker announcement, face-to face meetings and superiors’ notification. These methods can all be used to ensure that employees and other members of the corporation can retrieve information repetitively.
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Developing a communication strategy is not an easy task, but it is necessary to maintain the survival of an organization. In the absence of such strategy, the organization will not move in a unified way, instead its values will be lost in translation between members of the organization. In large companies, there are usually several communication channels designed to help people deliver messages to one another and form a unified understanding of the challenges they face and how to face them. With Dell however, such communication channels should be simplified because of its business model.
Dell has a business model that put front customers preferences by hearing their needs and developing a PC that will address those needs. Thus, it must has an efficient communication channel so that customers will not be burdened by a long wait time in order to get what they paid for. Dell has addressed this need by delegating a significant authority to lower level employees to address the needs of customers. We also suggested that the company developed an online communication system that will allow member of the corporation to exchange information without time delay. Such a real-time communication system will increase customer value even further.