Visual communication: a methodology for measuring management intention and shopfloor acknowledged meaning

SADDIQ, Sajid (2017). Visual communication: a methodology for measuring management intention and shopfloor acknowledged meaning. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

The aim of this research study was to explore the management intended and subsequent acknowledged meaning of visual communication found in organisations, specifically those used in shop-floor contexts. In doing so the intention was to generate new insights into the concept and use of visual communication. In organisations, visual communication is said, for example, to contribute to and sustain continuous improvement (Jaca et al. 2015), but how can this be known unless it can be measured in some way? To date, due to the fragmented understanding and lack of holistic approaches to investigating visual communication, this remains a subject that is empirically under-theorised and detached from real world professionals and contexts. To access the intended and perceived meaning, the Shannon & Weaver (1949) Communication model has provided the necessary conceptual framework. Although originally created to depict telegraphic communication, it is said to be representative of all forms of communication and was used successfully to theoretically underpin this research. This structure, through a neo-positivist case study design, has enabled the exploration of visual communication in a manufacturing environment. Using a number of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, based on the Repertory Grid Analysis design (George Kelly), enabled the themes that are motivating visual communication to be operationalised. These methods have put at centre stage the motivation of those involved in the acts of visual communication by empowering their voices. This has been done whilst retaining a strong focus throughout on practice based issues to ensure the utility in future for researchers and managers to make sense of the usefulness of real world visual communication. This research has demonstrated how individual managers are bound by the overall imperatives for mass production environments, using visual communication to affect control of issues such as capacity, inventory and customer demand. However, what has also been demonstrated is their further orientation towards specific requirements based on the contingency of their sub-environments, i.e. safety, profitability, supply chain issues, etc. The findings of this thesis, in relation to enabling the measurement of visual communication meaning within its situated context, contributes to both organisational and management theory. The ability to measure what individuals interpret from different visual communication in comparison to the intended meaning, is a first step to focusing a scientific light on its use and usefulness. Doing this using a direct form of analysis for evaluation, without recourse to specialist statistical analysis, also lends itself to being practised by managers in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Director of Studies: Jonathan Gorst
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2017 15:22
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2017 16:57
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16809

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