An evaluation of communication tools in a hierarchical training institution : the case of a police academy in the Western Cape
Communication in a multi campus organization has always proven to be difficult (Coiera, 2006: 95). The research problem emanates from bad use or non-existent communication strategies in one of the SAPS Academies. The objective of this research was to examine how the management and staff in the Police Academy can break the communication barriers created by hierarchy and bureaucracy; develop guidelines for the management and staff members on how they can create effective communication channels in the Academy, examine how poor communication impacts negatively on the operations at a police academy, highlight how proper and timely communication can improve operation in the Academy and to identify and make recommendations on the ways the management and staff at the SAPS Academy can improve communication. The research was conducted to, critically evaluating the existing communication strategies applied in the SAPS Basic Training Academy; determine strengths and weaknesses of these strategies; consider the alternative strategies that can be utilised to manage communication in the Academy; identify, highlight, assess and explain the importance of effective communication in a Police Academy and draw attention to how effective communication can be used to improve projects. The methods employed in this research include qualitative and quantitative research, where open ended questions were utilised in obtain information and closed ended questions to fill in the gaps on the information obtained from open ended questions. The study adopted the qualitative and quantitative research method to answer the research question and data interpretation was based on Microsoft Excel. This method was deemed to be the most effective for collection of the kind of data and numerical (quantifiable) data is considered objective. On Section B, a Likert-type questionnaire comprising closed-ended questions was the measurement instrument. Answer choices were graded from 1 to 5, being strongly agree, agree, indifferent, disagree and strongly disagree. Based on the different models that were studied, the researcher then suggested a tentative model that could be used. The population comprised of all the 147 employees of one of the SAPS Academies in the Western Cape, and questionnaires were distributed to all the 84 employees that were on duty on a particular day in this academy. The findings indicated that organisation communicate yields better results than those that do not communicate. The study highlighted the communication problems at the academy and came up with model/ solution to the current situation. The respondents used in the study gave a lot of suggestions that could be used in the academy. The frequency tables utilised will be useful as the reader could see the favourite suggestions or preferences by the people.