Organizational Communication

Hello! If you are reading this post because you want to know more about BA Organizational Communication (or OrCom), then good job, you! I’m assuming you’re browsing the internet to know more so since you’ve stumbled upon my communication blog, I’ll give you an idea as to what OrCom is from the perspective of someone who loves it so dearly.

Before anything else, here are some facts about OrCom in the Philippines:

  • It is an undergraduate degree founded in 1984 and is currently being offered in the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) and the De La Salle University Manila (DLSU-M). UPM offered it first as a degree program under the Department of Arts and Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Its four-year curriculum consisting of 138 units focuses on organization-related communication knowledge and skills to address the increasing demand for expertise in modern communication as related to organizations in the Philippines.
  • A bilingual approach is adopted for classroom dynamics to situate the study of communciation processes and organizational structures as the degree program integrates written-oral skills and not just the mastery of either oral or written skills as separate abilities.

"OrCom Monster" design by Marj Casal

So, what do you do with the knowledge and skills (and experience) you gain from the OrCom program, you may ask? Limitless answers, but let me give you an idea. 🙂

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I’ve got (Twitter) DM.

You’ve Got Mail is a 1998 movie where Joe (Tom Hanks) and Kathleen (Meg Ryan) fall in love with each other…. Over the internet. Little did each other know that Kathleen owns the bookstore Joe’s company is trying to shut down but at the end of the day, they chose their love over this (kind of) irony. Obviously, e-mail (since this was the “in” mode of communicating online) played a vital role in their relationship. Over e-mails, the characters must have found something in each other that made them like-love each other like that.

Contrary to popular belief, not all friendships (relationships) jumpstarted online are negative, bad, and/or cheap. Just to be clear (DISCLAMER), I am in no way referring to the online relationships that are totally internet-dependent (i.e. those who meet online, tell each other personal stuff online, and deciding to be “together” online without meeting each other in flesh first). The scope (LOL, yes scope) of the relationships I’m talking about are those that, again, have been jumpstarted online but are continued and developed online AND offline. Say, you meet someone from an online community you are a part of and you and that person seem to get along so well that you decide to be friends over Facebook, Twitter, and what-have-you. Such!

Maybe, just maybe, you could find one of the best friendships you’ll ever have online. Well, I did. 😉

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OrCom Blogs: The Real Buzz.

From Snake to Bounce to Angry Birds. From the frequent sending of group text messages (GMs) to Plurk to Twitter. From casette tapes to CDs to .mp3 music. From personal journals with hand-written entries to Blogspot, WordPress, Tumblr, and what-have-you. From Manila paper presentations to PowerPoint or KeyNote presentations. From reading and reporting about OrCom and many of its applications in the classroom to making content and hyping the buzz about OrCom outside the classroom… Both online and offline at that.

It can be seen so clearly that through the years, we have adapted to innovative changes. In studying OrCom in UP Manila, likewise, there have been (innovative) changes in the means of doing so. One perfect example of an “innovative change” is THIS… This communication blog requirement in OrCom152 (Communication Trends and Styles).

OrCom152 (AY2011-2012) Comm Blog Titles

In exchange (or in addition) to the in-class discussions, reports, and papers and to the application of the theories and concepts by pitching and implementing communication plans for actual organizations, OrCom students are also to blog about “any and all things social media and its impact to organizations.” (Barrientos, 2011)

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Spotlight on the Dead.

One day in July, I decided to cut a particular elective to watch one Cinemalaya 2011 film: Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa I-Libings. Little did I know that this movie will be the inspiration of one of my communication blog posts.

Well, here goes my desire to emphasize the role of social media in one talent and skill-based job that’s becoming a hit nowadays: videography.

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Bags from your iPad to Italy.

Like my previous post, my inspiration for this one is also the Financial Times. My dad, today’s birthday man (not boy LOL), showed me this article and again, I thought to myself, WOW.

“SARTORIA: Treat yourself to the pleasure of owning a unique piece, Made in Italy, chosen by you in every detail. Create your very own with the Piquadro-Sartoria app for iPad®.”


Piquadro-Sartoria Bag


Design for you, by you, made in Italy. All via your Apple iPad. Just amazing.

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Lady Gaga: Beautiful, (Online), Rich.

Superstars may be extremely busy with their schedules but some still take time to tweet the audience during concerts, to announce new singles directly to her fans–even before the press is informed, and to personalize their engagement by calling their fans by pet names.

The statement above holds true for Lady Gaga.

Yes, “the” Lady Gaga whose name has been ringing a bell globally. I’ve read a case study on the September 22, 2011 issue of Financial Times about this superstar’s social media campaign. Upon reading, I just admired Lady Gaga and her team even more.

Let me tell you more. 🙂

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OrComSoc: A hyperspecialized organization, the good way.

In a fast-paced environment, things and behavior are almost always in flux as people adapt and adjust. Even the way we research for information has already changed–from looking in to books to searching for it in Google more often.

You see, the method of getting things done change as rapidly as trends do. From Adam Smith’s concept of Division of Labor which most companies have adapted to something even more objective-specific and usually more efficient: Welcome to The Age of Hyperspecialization.

At this day and age, jobs that have already been divided (as inspired by the division of labor), apparently, can still be further divided into smaller, more specific jobs/tasks. To translate: the jobs which the manager can do could possibly be divided into more specific tasks then be cascaded to different people–the specialists. As Thomas W. Malone (2011) would put it, hyperspecialization has the ability to get things “faster, better, cheaper.”

The world’s overpopulation is a different story but as far as the current situation of some countries where a lot of people do not have jobs because there are probably more people than the number of jobs offered there, adapting the concept of hyperspecialization COULD POSSIBLY be one method to remedy the said problem. If someone, well-educated or not, specializes in a particular knowledge or skill, then it is likely for him/her to actually get a job that requires mastery in the particular skill he/she has. And the company in which he/she will be working in will probably become happier because they need not pay one person a lot to get everything done probably slower; they have specialists whom they can pay less but can do the tasks faster and more likely than not, better.

While it is good for some organizations, it’s not-so-good for others. This generally depends on how hyperspecialization is utilized.

  1. If the organization is more concerned about getting the tasks done than checking the quality of the collaborative tasks done, then hyperspecialization is not good for them
  2. If the organization assigns a particular task to someone and would intentionally not recognize the person’s potential (say, the person has the knowledge and skills to spearhead an account or a project but he/she is stuck in taking down minutes of the meeting),  then the organization must not be ready for hyperspecialization.
At the end of the day, there has got to be someone or some people who know how to manage and put together all the contributions in such a way that the end-product is of great quality. And organizations ready for hyperspecialization should always be open to changes, still. This said “Future Work” could eventually be replaced by a future “Future Work” that is more efficient and effective.

But for this blog post, I’ll focus on the GOOD. They say “experience is the best teacher,” so I’ll be using an organization I am the most familiar with as my example. This organization may only be a college-based one but for a college-based organization, it is relatively big for having roughly 200 members this academic year (AY2011-2012). Besides, it’s the organization closest to my heart (this is my communication blog anwyay. :P) So yes, say hello, once again, to the Organizational Communication Society.

OrComSoc: A hyperspecialized organization in a good way.

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