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How might managers use the grapevine to their benefit? As a manager, how do you think you would use the grapevine to further organizational goals?

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1. How might managers use the grapevine to their benefit?

The grapevine is defined as "the informal transmission of information, gossip or rumor from person to person."

The grapevine is the informal and unsanctioned information network within every organization. And, "if employees are so uninterested in their work that they do not engage in shoptalk about it, they are probably maladjusted"(Rosnow & Allen, as cited in http://www.analytictech.com/mb119/grapevine-article.htm). It is a communications network. The grapevine contrasts with the formal network, made up of memos, reports, staff meetings, department meetings, conferences, company newsletters and official notices is highly documented and as such has very little chance for change. However, nearly all of the information within the grapevine is undocumented and is thereby open to change and interpretation as it moves through the network. It often travels faster than formal channels. The grapevine is very useful in supplementing formal channels. It provides people with an outlet for their imaginations and apprehensions as well. It also helps satisfy a natural desire to know what is really going on ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains how managers might use the grapevine to their benefit and/or to further organizational goals. Supplemented with an article on managing the grapevine.

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Organizational and Interpersonal Variables for a New Court Administrator

You have just been appointed as the new court administrator for a medium sized court system with approximately 75 employees and five full time courts. This is a new position for the courts, as in the past each individual court has primarily managed itself, except for the employee hiring process, which was completed through the County Human Resource Division. Upon taking your post you quickly find out that none of the courts seem to be willing to cooperate with each other, or for that matter, any of the other various county offices, such as the County Clerks Office and the District Attorney's Office. Rumors and gossip about mismanagement abound, and the communications process between the five courts appears to be at a stand still. The courts currently have a huge backlog of cases awaiting trial, and in addition, employee morale is low and the turnover rate high.

Discuss how would you respond to this organizational problem. Discuss which problem would you address first and exactly how would you address it? In addition, from your reading and research how would you respond to the employee morale and the turnover problem that was identified? What techniques could be employed to improve communications throughout the organization and create a more harmonious work environment? What method or tactic would you use in order to reduce the backlog of cases awaiting trial?

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