Case Study: The Cost of Poor Communication

This article offers a Case Study: The Cost of Poor Communication. Learners may read and discuss it in groups to find out the best answers to the questions given in the end.

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Case Study: The Cost of Poor Communication

Iqbal worked in Majeed Export Services Attock for a year as a Public Relations Officer (PRO), and he was laid off as the entire Attock branch was closed due to recession. He decided to meet the CEO for possible outplacement as the organization had several other branches to accommodate him. However the secretary of the CEO, Ms. Zubaida did not permit Iqbal to meet by saying that CEO was busy. Iqbal returned without meeting the CEO. He got better employment opportunities elsewhere and joined.

Iqbal, being a competent person, wrote an article for an international journal while working in the new organization. It was published after 9 months and received complimentary copies from the publisher. Therefore, Iqbal wanted to share the successful publication with his former CEO and went to meet him to gift the article as a complimentary copy. Below was the conversation Iqbal had with the secretary of the CEO.

Iqbal: I would appreciate if you could arrange an appointment with the CEO. I want….. (Secretary interrupted)

Secretary: Why did you come? We had already handed over your résumé to Mr. Zakir for outplacement. You may go now.

hands and computer displaying a case study: the cost of poor communication

Iqbal: I did not come for employment opportunities. Don’t assume that people would come here for employment only. I have come to gift a complimentary copy of my article featured in an international journal. The CEO would be glad to share the success.

Secretary: No, No, the CEO sees everything and knows everything as every article publication is known to him.

Iqbal: It is not departmental journal. It is a prestigious journal globally and I want to inform him and gift the article.

Secretary: “You will not get an appointment. The CEO is busy” (said firmly.) 

Iqbal: I anticipated that CEO would be busy and I have already written the details of my name over the complimentary copy. 

Secretary: Okay, leave it and go. (She said impolitely and started looking here and there)

Iqbal handed over the complimentary copy to Secretary. 

Iqbal: Fine, please hand over to the CEO. I am leaving the place. However, I will send an email to the CEO about my coming physically to gift the article. (Secretary probably worried as Iqbal had already mentally prepared to send the email and keep the CEO informed. If the Secretary had any intention to skip handing over the complimentary copy, the CEO will know as Iqbal would send mail).

Iqbal handed over the complimentary copy to Secretary and departed the office. He sent an email to his ex-CEO about his coming and he could not meet as the latter was busy with his schedules. 

After 5 hours, the Secretary telephoned Iqbal and said firmly, “CEO told to return the article to you. You come and take the article back.”

Iqbal replied, “It is the complimentary copy meant for the CEO only”. Secretary insisted to take back the article immediately. Iqbal told Secretary to courier and he was about to give his address. Secretary interrupted Iqbal’s conversation and replied, “No we don’t send you through courier. You have to come and take.” Iqbal responded politely, “Right now, I am far away from that place. When I come to that area I would take back the article.”  The very next day, Iqbal received an email from his ex-CEO congratulating him for the publication and thanked for coming all the way to gift the article. Iqbal felt excited that his ex-CEO was pleased with the publication.

Questions Regarding the Case Study: The Cost of Poor Communication

  1. What aspect/aspects of communication does this case study cover? 
  2. What are the possible reasons behind Zubaida’s non-cooperative attitude?
  3. Was it right for Secretary in insisting to come and take the complimentary copy back physically instead of couriering? Why do you think she is doing this?
  4. What type of officer the CEO is?
  5. Your Recommendations?

After reading and analyzing the above case study on communication skills, learners will be able to determine which aspect/s of communication does this important case study on communication skill explore. While working in a group, the new learners are in a better position to explore their own pool of knowledge and apply it in a more constructive manner.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the case study: The Cost of Poor Communication, please don’t hesitate to comment in the comment section below. We welcome all the valuable suggestions and feel honored in answering queries. Thanks!!

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Mary Betzler

    Case Study: The Cost of Poor Communication are just great
    and very helpful.

    See you soon! 🙂

    1. Hamza Ali_20

      1) Poor Communication of Secretary Ms. Zubaida and Iqbal also non_cooperative behaviour of Secretary buy an Iqbal costly price for his appreciation after handed over his gift to CEO physically instead of Ms. Zunaida….
      2)Possible reason: May be It’s lack of communication or Bad communication between CEO and his Secretary …
      Also , it’s possible that Secretary may be think that Iqbal was too competitive and hard worker if i can arranged meeting between his and CEO for presenting his gift to CEO it’s possible that CEO impressed by his work and announced his new Secretary Iqbal as a replacement of Ms. Zubaida…
      3) No, It’s not right in any way because when he come to his office his rude behaviour cost effectively that he can’t present his gift phisically to CEO by his hands and get appreciation..Now she wasted his time to insist that he come to his office and take his article physically ….If Iqbal didn’t present his gift to CEO as physically by his hands so it’s not right at all that he received his article phisically to come his office…
      Hopefully, she is doing this for the advice of his CEO and secure his future as a Secretary in an organization because he did a big mistake……………..
      4) CEO is not bad it at all because he call himself to Iqbal and thankful for his article as a gift to CEO … Secretary is the problem creater between Iqbal and CEO…
      5) My recommendation goes to Secretary Ms. Zubaida and I recommend that Secretary is the main Part of any organization …Any person can’t communicate directly to an organization CEO … Secretary play role as an barrier or bridge between unknown or organization member to CEO So it’s very important that Secretary play a positive, eogoless role without any profit……
      It’s good for organization also for himself to achieved future goals …

  2. seemabYamin13

    It covers the out placement and writing of his journal and rude behaviour of Ms. Zubaida.
    She is non cooperative because she don’t want
    Mr. Iqbal to meet his Ex. CEO.
    Maybe She was saving herself from couriering the file.

  3. Anita

    Ans 1: In this case study, there is a huge difference between their attitude. One is co-operative and other is not. Secretary was rude and irresponsible although, it was her duty. There is the non serious behavior and attitude of secretary.
    Ans 2: May be she wanted to get appreciation by giving it to CEO with her own name. Or may be she’s lack of communication and doesn’t want to face the reality.
    Ans 3: It is not right, she can send him but she didn’t. Being a secretary,she should communicate with courtesy. Or May be she wantend to know that did he inform the CEO. Or is there any contact between them?
    Ans 4: we can say that CEO is a thankful and responsible person because, he called iqbal by himself and he was thankful to him.
    Ans 5: The secretary was not a good communicator. She didn’t care for company reputation. She was irresponsible and rude. Iqbal was matured. He handled it in a right way. Even after her rude behavior he was still in a sense and answer her cleverly. First she didn’t ask him why he came. She clearly answered that there is no apportunity for him. She niether communicate properly nor answered.

  4. Naima Dawood

    Question1:
    In this case study: there’s poor communication between Iqbal and secretary, both are non co-operative with each other.
    Question2:
    May be she was obeying her boss orders that CEO was the one who don’t want to meet Iqbal or may be she’s lack of communication and that’s why she can’t deal with both Iqbal and CEO.
    Question3:
    No! It’s not right at all, this shows insult of Iqbal like they are not suppose to waste their time on couriering him, also secretary horribly interrupted Iqbal which is not professional at all.
    Question4:
    We can’t say anything exactly as there’s no proper conversation of CEO from which we observe facts about his personality, but as secretary was rude and non co-operative with Iqbal and if we assume that she was doing this on her boss orders so that’s mean CEO is kind of ProudY person who don’t want to talk to his employees.
    Question5:
    Secretary wasn’t behaving professional at all and didn’t know how to handle visitors. She should use you attitude as she is representing a whole organization. Also her words will be considered as CEO’s words because she’s the front face of him.

  5. Bilal Ahmed

    Question1:

    For this situation study: there’s helpless correspondence among Iqbal and secretary, both are non co-employable with one another.

    Question2:

    May be she was complying with her manager arranges that Chief was the person who would prefer not to meet Iqbal or might be she’s absence of correspondence and that is the reason she can’t manage both Iqbal and President.

    Question3:

    No! It’s not directly by any means, this shows affront of Iqbal like they are not assume to burn through their time on couriering him, additionally secretary terribly interfered with Iqbal which isn’t proficient in any way.

    Question4:

    We can’t utter a word precisely as there’s no legitimate discussion of Chief from which we watch realities about his character, however as secretary was discourteous and non co-usable with Iqbal and in the event that we accept that she was doing this on her manager arranges so’s mean President is somewhat ProudY individual who would prefer not to converse with his workers.

    Question5:

    Secretary wasn’t acting proficient at all and didn’t have the foggiest idea how to deal with guests. She should utilize you demeanor as she is speaking to an entire association. Additionally her words will be considered as Chief’s words since she’s the front substance of him.

  6. Muhammad-Bilal-MB

    Q1. What aspect/aspects of communication does this case study cover?
    Ans. First aspect of communication was Language and Tone of voice. There was a huge difference between tone of secretary and Iqbal. Secretary was talking in a harsh tone, while on the other side Iqbal was polite and humble.
    2nd aspect of communication we see here is questioning and listening skills. We also see Non-Verbal communication here.

    Q2. What are the possible reasons behind Zubaida’s non-cooperative attitude?
    Ans. First of all Iqbal was Zubaida’s ex-colleague, so when Zubaida heard of Iqbal’s achievement, she felt jealous. Iqbal was earning a name for himself as he wrote that journal. She maybe had in mind that Iqbal will earn Boss’s goodwill. Or she was lacking in communication (Definitely she was).

    Q3. Was it right for Secretary in insisting to come and take the complimentary copy back physically instead of couriering? Why do you think she is doing this?
    Ans. It was a non-professional way she was using. She was working as a secretary in an office, so she had to be professional, but she wasn’t. She was doing this maybe because of jealousy that (Iqbal was working here before, now he is working somewhere else and giving us a present of journal to show that he is better). Or maybe she wanted him to visit again so that he can meet the CEO. But still it wasn’t right because you can’t insist anyone.

    Q4. What type of officer the CEO is?
    Ans. I think CEO was a kind and thankful person. He was polite with Iqbal. He wrote email to Iqbal which showed his professionalism. From Iqbal’s comments it is visible that CEO was a gentleman as Iqbal quoted “The CEO would be glad to share the success.”

    I guess this case study was briefly explained. There were some points where I had more than one answers in my mind (as my above answers reflect).

  7. Muhammad Usman

    Answer1:
    In this case study: there’s poor communication between Iqbal and secretary, both are non-co-operative with each other.
    Answer2:
    Maybe she was obeying her boss’s orders that CEO was the one who doesn’t want to meet Iqbal or maybe she’s a lack of communication and that’s why she can’t deal with both Iqbal and the CEO.
    Answer3:
    No! It’s not right at all, this shows insult of Iqbal like they are not supposed to waste their time on couriering him, also secretary horribly interrupted Iqbal which is not professional at all.
    Answer4:
    We can’t say anything exactly as there’s no proper conversation of CEO from which we observe facts about his personality, but as secretary was rude and non-co-operative with Iqbal and if we assume that she was doing this on her boss orders so that’s mean CEO is kind of ProudY person who doesn’t want to talk to his employees.
    Answer5:
    Secretary wasn’t behaving professionally at all and didn’t know how to handle visitors. She should use your attitude as she is representing a whole organization. Also, her words will be considered as the CEO’s words because she’s the front face of him.

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