BUS 3050 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Riverbend City Communication and Organizational Effectiveness

BUS 3050 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Riverbend City Communication and Organizational Effectiveness

Part 1: Analysis of My Approach to the Riverbend City Issue

The Situation

Following a devastating flood in Riverbend City, particularly in the area known as Brown Trout Bay, Mayor Brian Nicollet took decisive action by issuing an emergency evacuation order to ensure the safety of the residents. The flood had wreaked havoc on the city’s infrastructure, particularly the water supply, necessitating immediate attention. 

However, despite the order, numerous individuals faced significant obstacles preventing them from leaving their homes. Limited transportation options and existing medical conditions rendered evacuation difficult for many. Additionally, some of the population stubbornly refused to comply with the order, raising concerns for their well-being.

A group of dedicated individuals from various emergency service departments in Dodd County was quickly assembled by Mayor Brian Nicollet to tackle the pressing need for a reliable water source. As the appointed team leader, I was entrusted with coordinating water distribution to Brown Trout Bay’s residents until the city’s water supply could be fully restored. This task demanded effective collaboration and open lines of communication among the team members to ensure its success.

Possible Causes for the Caustic Exchange

Caustic exchanges often occur when a message’s tone or choice of words triggers defensiveness or hostility, hindering effective communication. Comments such as “however,” “but,” “you,” “think,” and “opinion” can inadvertently point fingers or challenge the other party, leading to defensiveness (World et al., 2013). Utilizing such triggers can create an obstacle for the team members in comprehending and handling the primary concerns, thereby hindering the desired communication. The team members’ email exchanges revealed several potential triggers in this situation.

Beyond trigger words, the email exchanges highlighted a deeper issue within the team dynamics. Many team members had held department leadership positions for an extended period, resulting in a shift towards a dictatorial communication style rather than fostering a democratic and collaborative environment. 

BUS 3050 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Riverbend City Communication and Organizational Effectiveness

Autocratic leaders tend to make decisions based solely on their perspectives and experiences, often disregarding the input and ideas of others (Miller, 2018). This authoritarian approach was evident in Brad Nygard’s initial message when he unilaterally set the team’s meeting location and time without considering the input or circumstances of others.

The usage of capital letters by Matthew Chu to assert dominance and the subsequent sarcastic and disrespectful response from Brad Nygard exemplified the breakdown in communication and the lack of a collaborative approach. The situation escalated further when Matthew Chu responded, suggesting an alternative meeting location and proposing using Skype due to commuting issues. This triggered a series of power plays and demands from other team members, transforming the email exchange into an acidic and hostile interaction.

Core Organizational Issues

The email exchanges not only revealed the presence of a caustic discussion but also exposed several underlying organizational issues within the team. One prevalent issue was ambiguity, where team members might need to fully understand what was expected of them or perceive conflicts between stated policies and actual practices (McMahon, 2022). Matthew Chu’s suggestion to deviate from the established meeting protocol at the Courthouse due to traffic and road conditions exemplified the ambiguity surrounding protocols and practical considerations.

BUS 3050 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Riverbend City Communication and Organizational Effectiveness

Another core organizational issue that emerged was the divergence in priorities among the team members. For instance, Brad Nygard prioritized strict adherence to protocol and insisted on holding the meeting at the Courthouse. In contrast, Matthew Chu prioritized accessibility and suggested alternative options such as Skype to accommodate team members facing difficulties physically attending the conference.

The email exchanges highlighted the team members’ contrasting leadership styles and approaches, underscoring the need to address this core organizational issue to establish a functional and collaborative team—furthermore, the group comprised individuals with diverse personalities, backgrounds, opinions, views, and experiences. While valuable, this diversity also presented a challenge in integrating multiple perspectives and fostering cohesion within the team (Stowell, 2019).

The Message

Given the high-stress nature of the situation and the challenge of coordinating a group of individuals in disaster response, my message to the team will play a critical role in fostering effective communication and collaboration. 

By emphasizing the shared goal and utilizing a soft tone, I can create an environment that encourages teamwork and keeps the team focused on resolving the challenges. The primary objective will be to reintroduce and reinforce the team’s core mission while maintaining a neutral stance.

I will carefully craft my message to minimize the potential for caustic exchanges, avoiding trigger words that could lead to defensiveness or misunderstandings. Inclusive pronouns such as “we,” “us,” “team,” and “feel” will be employed to foster a sense of unity and shared responsibility (World et al., 2013). Moreover, I will refrain from using para-language elements such as boldface type, all capitals, italicized type, underlining, or highlighting in red ink, as these can be interpreted as aggressive or caustic forms of communication (World et al., 2013).

By delivering a message emphasizing collaboration, respect, and the greater good of the community, I aim to reframe the team’s mindset and redirect their focus toward providing water to Brown Trout Bay residents. Reminding the team members that this response effort requires their collective expertise and cooperation, transcending individual agendas or power struggles is crucial.

The Impact on Future Communication

My message to the team will significantly impact future communications and team dynamics. It emphasizes the importance of respect and active listening, encouraging team members to value and consider the perspectives of others. 

By motivating and inspiring the team to work together as a united entity, I will establish a solid groundwork for effective collaboration and communication. Cooperation towards a shared aim can boost productivity, enhance decision-making, and foster a conducive work atmosphere where all voices are heard and appreciated. Let us strive for greatness and be there for each other.

BUS 3050 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Riverbend City Communication and Organizational Effectiveness

To ensure a positive shift in communication, I will closely monitor future exchanges, intervening when necessary to prevent potential escalations and redirect the focus back to the mission. By demonstrating genuine care for the team members and the community they serve, I will foster an environment of balance, harmony, and security within the team.

Ultimately, my message will initiate a transition from a hostile atmosphere to a harmonious one, allowing all future communications to be clear, concise, and focused on delivering water to the residents of Brown Trout Bay. Through open and respectful communication, the team will be better equipped to overcome organizational challenges and work towards a common goal, ensuring the successful resolution of the Riverbend City issue.

Part 2: A Response Email to the Team

From: Patrick James

Date: August 2, 2022, 6:15 pm PST

To: “Emergency Operations Team” <Melanie Cohen; Matthew Chu; Lisa Truman; Sebastian Cardoza; Brianne Twyha; Rodney Saunders; Sophia Perez; Brad Nygard; Janice Keller>


Subject: Group Email Communication

Hello Team!

I want to express my enthusiasm for working with every one of you on this vital mission. I am thankful for this opportunity to connect with all of you before we meet in person. Although the circumstances that brought us together are challenging, I believe that our collective efforts as the Emergency Operations Team will significantly contribute to distributing the vital water supply to the residents of Brown Trout Bay. Your roles and contributions are instrumental in fulfilling this mission.

Before we embark on this endeavor, I want to address a few critical matters and provide guidance for future interactions. Firstly, while we are all leaders within our respective departments, it is crucial to recognize that we are now coming together as equals, unified by the common goal of delivering water to the residents of Brown Trout Bay. 

They have been without water for the past twenty-four hours, underscoring the urgency of our mission. Secondly, as equal team members, we must communicate respectfully. The clear, concise, and respectful dialogue will enable us to effectively convey our thoughts, ideas, concerns, and priorities. We can make tangible progress together by fostering an environment of mutual respect.

My commitment to the team is that every member will have an equal opportunity to express their opinions, concerns, and ideas in a safe and supportive environment. I want to assure each team member that I am readily available for one-on-one discussions should any issues arise. Together, we can overcome any obstacles that come our way. 

BUS 3050 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Riverbend City Communication and Organizational Effectiveness

In high-stress situations, emotions may run high, potentially clouding our judgment. However, as professionals working towards a common goal, we must remain calm, remembering that we are on the same side, striving for the same outcome. We will collectively decide on the best course of action as a team.

As we move forward, we must remember the policies and procedures local and state officials set. We must prioritize the safety of our community and take all necessary measures to ensure that everyone remains healthy and protected. Suppose we encounter situations where these guidelines may need to be adjusted to fit the circumstances better. In that case, we will work with Mayor Brian Nicollet to devise a solution and obtain authorization to implement it.

Hey everyone, I wanted to give you all a heads up that our meeting is scheduled to take place at the Courthouse at 1:00 pm. We were looking forward to seeing you all there! During the meeting, we will discuss the damages due to the recent flooding and brainstorm the necessary next steps. Additionally, we will take a field trip to the bridge together to explore potential water delivery routes for the locals.

Thank you so much for taking the time to work with me on this. I appreciate your cooperation and dedication to making things happen. I am excited to see you at the Courthouse at 1:00 pm.

Best regards,

Patrick James

Team Leader, Emergency Operations Team


  1. McMahon, M. (2022, July 10). What Are the Most Common Organizational Culture Problems? Smart Capital Mind. [Online]. Available:
  2. Miller, K. (2018, September 21). 12 Advantages and Disadvantages of Dictatorial Leadership Styles. FutureofWorking.com. [Online]. Available:
  3. Stowell, S. (2019, May 13). The 5 Most Common Problems of Organizations. Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness. [Online]. Available: https://cmoe.com/blog/organizational-problem/
  4. World Class Speakers and Entertainers. (2013, October 9). Converting Caustic Communication | World Class Speakers & Entertainers. [Online]. Available: https://www.wcspeakers.com/converting-caustic-communication/

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