Is an organisation structure which is founded on a high degree of bureaucracy inhibiting the communication process within a public sector organisation?

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Grant, Suzanne
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BA (Hons) in Human Resource Management
Dublin Business School
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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.