The role of efficient organizational communication in enhancing cohesion and service delivery: the case of the Small Enterprise Development

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Kasongo, Allan
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This report is the result of the student's attachment to the Small Enterprise Development Board (SEDB) Head Office in Lusaka for four months from July 1, to October 31, 1999. The main purpose of the attachment was to enable the student participate in the activities of the organisation in order to enable him to observe and assess the role of efficient organisational communication in enhancing the organisation's cohesion to facilitate service delivery to its clients. Information for the report was gathered mainly through participant observation, in-depth interviews and personal experiences as the student interacted with members of staff and some of SEDB's clients. The findings, observations and personal experiences revealed that SEDB was experiencing critical financial constraints as a result of its huge debt and loss of credibility. This has affected its performance as the organisation has been unable not only to pay employee salaries on time but also failed to deliver services to its clients. The financial and administrative constraints of SEDB have led to demotivation and fi-ustration of staff members. These problems could be attributed to lack of effective communication links within SEDB. The fact that even at the moment there are no formal management, departmental or management-union meetings, and that regional offices no longer submit reports to head office, is indicative of a breakdown in the communication network at SEDB. Lack of formal interaction between top management and employees has promoted suspicion, mistrust and reliance on rumours for information. Since managers work with and through their subordinates, warm relations at interpersonal and group levels are critical to the promotion of cohesion and co-operation in the organisation. Good relations can also promote employee support for their managers and the organisation. Because SEDB is experiencing financial constraints and there are no services to clients, constant management-employee interactions are the key to the maintenance of employees' morale. In summary, the principal recommendations are that the government should provide adequate financial and technical support to SEDB in order for it to regain its credibility and that SEDB management should make deliberate efforts to improve its internal network so that it can play a significant role in improving living standards of the poor in Zambia through small businesses.
Small business -- Zambia , Communication in Organisations