Define the rhetorical situation: Who is communicating to whom about what, how, and why? What was the goal of the communication in each case

Define the rhetorical situation: Who is communicating to whom about what, how, and why? What was the goal of the communication in each case

Applied Business Communication Case Analysis

Dr. Laura Pohopien

 

No one knows exactly how much poor communication costs business, industry and government each year, but estimates suggest billions.  In fact, a recent estimate claims that the cost in the U.S. alone are close to $4 billion annually! Poorly-worded or inefficient emails, careless reading or listening to instructions, documents that go unread due to poor design, hastily presenting inaccurate information, sloppy proofreading — all of these examples result in inevitable costs. The problem is that these costs aren’t usually included on the corporate balance sheet at the end of each year, so often the problem remains unsolved.

The waste caused by imprecisely worded regulations or instructions, confusing emails, long-winded memos, ambiguously written contracts, and other examples of poor communication is not as easily identified as the losses caused by a bridge collapse or a flood. But the losses are just as real—in reduced productivity, inefficiency, and lost business. In more personal terms, the losses are measured in wasted time, work, money, and ultimately, professional recognition. In extreme cases, losses can be measures in property damage, injuries, and even deaths.

The following case study shows how poor communications can have real world costs and consequences.

Examine the case study below and compose your 250-325-word response to the following questions. Refer to the syllabus and rubric folio for upload and assignment information

1. Define the rhetorical situation: Who is communicating to whom about what, how, and why? What was the goal of the communication in each case?

2. Identify the communication error (poor task or audience analysis? Use of inappropriate language or style? Poor organization or formatting of information? Other?)

3. Explain what costs/losses were incurred by this problem.

4. Identify possible solutions or strategies that would have prevented the problem, and what benefits would be derived from implementing solutions or preventing the problem.

Exercises adapted from T.M Georges’ Analytical Writing for Science and Technology.

CASE: The unaccepted current regulator proposal

The Acme Electric Company worked day and night to develop a new current regulator designed to cut the electric power consumption in aluminum plants by 35%. They knew that, although the competition was fierce, their regulator could be produced more cheaply, was more reliable, and worked more efficiently than the competitors’ products.

The owner, eager to capture the market, personally but somewhat hastily put together a 120-page proposal to the three major aluminum manufacturers, recommending that their regulators be installed at all company plants.

She devoted the first 87 pages of the proposal to the mathematical theory and engineering design behind his new regulator, and the next 32 to descriptions of the new assembly line she planned to set up to produce regulators quickly. Buried in an appendix were the test results that compared her regulator’s performance with present models, and a poorly drawn graph showed how much the dollar savings would be.

Acme Electric didn’t get the contracts, despite having the best product. Six months later, the company filed for bankruptcy.

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