Sample Paper on Facebook, Inc. Professional Communications Analysis

Facebook Inc. has developed a culture of effective communications over time and shown a commitment to effective communication across the organizational setting. This culture has seen the organizational communication at Facebook Inc. strong points, such as the existence of a structured communications policy as well as some shortcomings, such as lack of a privacy policy.

Communications at Facebook Inc.: Analysis

Strengths of Communication at Facebook, Inc.

Most of the corporate and professional communications at Facebook Inc. is based on its communication policy. The communication policy describes expected behaviors about communications among staff, with clients, and with other stakeholders in the company. It also outlines the communication processes that are to be followed for conflict resolution in the organization. Adherence to the communication policy has been easy, particularly in conventional communications that occur in the workplace with ingrained organizational behavior and culture. Developed organizational communication behavior has minimized adverse communication issues in the company.

The communication policy of Facebook Inc. has also enabled employees to see their overall value in the organization and make decisions based on perspectives about the big picture. Standardized communication has also been made possible because of the communication policy, which has resulted in increased productivity. Increased productivity is realized from the clear and recorded communications both horizontally and vertically in the company. Such elaborate communication policy also results in a clear understanding of the organizational vision across all the teams and the deliberate efforts to steer progress towards that vision (SHRM, 2020). Indeed, the communication policy has been effective towards steering clear understanding across the teams and subsequently resulted in positive performance outcomes in the company.

Communications at Facebook Inc. also exhibit the commitment of the management and general staff to change. Operating in a highly dynamic environment such as the information technology field in which Facebook Inc. operates requires continuous innovation and intentional decision-making towards change. From the management communications at Facebook Inc., there is evidence of commitment to change and continuous innovation, indicating effectiveness in passing information regarding the need for change and monitoring and facilitating the change process through to completion (Isaac, 2019). The organizational leaders’ commitment to change has also enabled the entire organization to develop a positive attitude towards change. Barbu and Somacescu (2016) suggest that negative attitudes about change and about other members of the team inhibit communication between team members and may hinder the achievement of organizational objectives. From this assertion, the need for positive attitudes among team members is deduced. At Facebook Inc., positive team attitudes are maintained through the room for growth and innovation and support for change across the organization. Distrust and dislike for others, which is common where negative attitudes towards others prevail, have no place at Facebook. As such, the company’s employees all demonstrate effective communication and support within their respective teams and beyond.

Shortcomings of the Communication Practices

The success of Facebook in the development of the communication policy notwithstanding, its communication practices exhibit certain limitations. The first of these is the violation of clients’ privacy rights. According to SHRM (2020), privacy is an essential concern in the workplace environment due to the sensitivity of some of the information handled. In most organizations, the communications policy has a privacy policy as an addendum. However, privacy concerns have been raised in recent years at Facebook Inc. (Isaac, 2019), indicating the lack of regard for client privacy. In a work environment such as that of the mentioned corporation, where several people may be involved in communications with clients, access to information by many people is inevitable. Consequently, aligning communication practices with the need to keep information confidential can be challenging. The staff are bound and directed by the communication policy, which proves to modify the communication behavior but are not restrained from sharing the information obtained with third parties as there are no foreseeable consequences of doing that. As such, they are prone to divulging information that they should not.

The business model of Facebook Inc. makes it even difficult for it to align its communication policy to the need for privacy. In the past, the corporation has been criticized for how it handles its users’ information, especially its inability to protect the users’ privacy as well as the use of Facebook as a platform for sharing false news as well as other toxic content (Isaac, 2019). The corporation has even been in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission due to the privacy violations, and it was previously penalized for the use of technology to violate the users’ rights to privacy (Isaac, 2019). Additionally, various questions have arisen regarding how Facebook deals with the changing social media behaviors and perspectives about social media’s benefits (Isaac, 2019). All these issues indicate the need for better privacy management communication at Facebook Inc. Beyond the employees’ exposure to client information, the role of Facebook as a social media platform also increases risks of privacy violations by third parties. Although Facebook Inc. has since initiated the use of social community laws to prevent such privacy violations, its success rate is still limited. Therefore, Facebook Inc. needs to establish strategies for privacy management among the organization’s employees and the use of the social media platform.

Secondly, there appears to be a frequent mixing of personal with professional communications at Facebook Inc. Such a tendency can be attributed to the fact that the corporation is social networking-driven, and the employees are frequently involved in operations that support social networking in one way or the other. Incorporation of personal communications in the workplace is considered detracting to professionalism and can even result in harassment complaints in the workplace (Barbu & Somacescu, 2016). With the tools available to support personal communication through social media, the work environment at Facebook Inc. is sufficiently tempting for employees to engage in personal communications.

Interpersonal communications at Facebook Inc. need to be improved through the adoption of nonviolent rather than the conventional communication practices currently in use. Professionalism should be characterized by nonviolent communication across all departments (Museux, Dumont, Careau, & Milot, 2016). Nonviolent communication helps enhance interpersonal communication across teams in an organizational setting through enhanced goal sharing and participation. There is never an end to improvements in nonviolent communication, and Facebook Inc. could find ways of improving the practice in the organization.

Recommendations for Enhanced Communications

Foremost, Facebook Inc. should develop an internal privacy policy. Such a policy will be instrumental in guiding collaborative communication among staff members while at the same time managing users’ information. Information shared via Facebook should not contravene community privacy policies, and the best privacy policy for achieving sustained privacy should provide a detailed and robust description of the employee and user dos and don’ts while communicating with clients as well as when handling privacy issues involving Facebook users. It may be difficult to develop a foolproof privacy management system for the user side due to the challenge of authenticating shared information, but the privacy policy will help to reduce the probability of significant damage as a result of privacy violation.

Staff training can also help Facebook Inc. to address issues about interpersonal communications in the workplace. Incorporation of personal communication in the workplace and the practice of nonviolent communication require staff to be trained on the implications of different communication practices in the workplace (Museux et al., 2016). Additionally, they would be trained on the best practices in professional communication, particularly argumentative and persuasive communication. Effective communication requires effective listening skills, a good feedback mechanism, and the right tone to pass the intended message without offense to the recipient. It is therefore recommended that Facebook Inc. should invest in training to create awareness of the need for and practice of such effective communication.

Conclusion

Over the years, Facebook Inc. has maintained a robust and effective communication strategy, albeit among the employees. The availability of an organizational communication policy that directs communication both within teams and across hierarchical levels has made communication effective at the corporation. However, there are still some communication concerns, such as privacy violations, which threaten the company’s reputation. The company should focus on developing a privacy policy and training the staff on nonviolent communication practices to address such issues.

 

 

References

Barbu, C. M., & Somacescu, S. M. (2016). Challenges of the organizational communication in the context of the new technologies. Journal of Advanced Research in Economics and International Business, 4(5). https://journals.aserspublishing.eu/jareib/article/view/1232

Isaac, M. (2019, April 30). Facebook unveils redesign as it tries to move past privacy scandals. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/30/technology/facebook-private-communication-groups.html

Museux, A-C., Dumont, S., Careau, E., & Milot, E. (2016). Improving interprofessional collaboration: The effect of training in nonviolent communication. Social Work in Healthcare, 55(6), 427-439. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00981389.2016.1164270?journalCode=wshc20

SHRM (2020). Managing Organizational Communication. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/managingorganizationalcommunication.aspx

Appendix: Bulleted Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Strengths of Communication at Facebook, Inc.
  • Facebook Inc. has a communication policy that guides vertical and horizontal communications practices in the organization.
  • Proven management and staff commitment to effective and clear communications.
  1. Shortcomings of Communications Practices
  • Absence of a privacy policy, which has seen the company experience various privacy issues both with communications within the company and through the Facebook social media platform.
  • Engagement of employees in personal communications in the workplace.
  • Interpersonal communications challenges – there is limited practice of non-violent communications.
  1. Recommendations
  • Development of an internal privacy policy.
  • Training on non-violent communication.
  1. Conclusions