The aim of this study is to identify the extent to which a medium sized hospital based
on a hierarchical structure, impacts upon the organisational communication process
and the people, who are an integral part of this process.
The research was carried out by means of a likert scale questionnaire format and
semi-structured interviews, which involved a survey population of 94, out of which a
further sample proportion were selected for interview. The hospital itself has a
workforce of approximately 600 people.
The results of the study clearly highlight the areas of strengths and weaknesses in
relation to the level, type and substance of interaction between the hospital's
hierarchical structure and the level of satisfaction amongst employees in relation to
the communication process which this structure supports.
The areas of potential weakness identified from the study are concerned with issues
such as lack of upward communication, marginalised exclusion of certain employee
groups and differences in the level of perceived effectiveness of the communication
process amongst different hierarchical levels.
The study concludes that the hospital's communication structure is ill essence
inhibiting the communication process in meeting the needs of certain categories of
hospital staff, most notably those staff at the lower end of the hierarchical structure.
Consequently, the results of the study also strongly suggest, that employees within the
hospital are not seeking but demanding a more open and transparent process of
communications. These findings indicate that the needs of the hospital are
continually changing and so are the needs of the employees. Therefore the structure
and communications process in the hospital must work in tandem to satisfy the needs
of both. Although this study was completed in a medium sized hospital, these
findings could be used to supplement further research and could be adopted to other
hospitals within Ireland.