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ERIC Number: ED188270
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
A Communication Audit of a State Mental Health Institution.
Eadie, William F.; And Others
An adaptation of "communication audit" procedures was used to evaluate the communication patterns at a mental health center (MHC). The evaluation included initial interviews with 28 MHC workers/administrators, a survey of 215 staff members for a communication network analysis, and followup interviews with another 28 persons. The data produced four "themes" in the communication at the MHC: (1) the adequacy of information dissemination in the organization was very uneven; (2) the separation between top and middle management and the rest of the organization was acute, constituting a barrier to effective information flow; (3) patterns of information flow created problems within the organization at all levels; and (4) the manner in which the organization's members performed their assigned tasks created problems within the organization; inability to deal with nonroutine situations tended to create a sense of isolation from the rest of the institution's activities. In summary, the patterns of information flow at the MHC indicated an organization struggling for common identity. There appeared to be two groups operating within the same organization, groups with different perspectives on how the organization should function. These groups used different communication patterns to reflect their perspectives. The study also suggested that organizations as disparate from the industrial model as a mental health center could be analyzed through techniques such as the communication audit. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Acapulco, Mexico, May 18-23, 1980).