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Barriers to communications between different agencies have long been a serious problem, certainly within the United States Government, but also within and between corporations and other entities. With respect to breaking through organizational barriers to communications within the government, the intervention of the Congress is routinely required. Only through the passage of laws requiring agencies to communicate and share information has progress been made within the government. That was especially true with respect to the statutory and cultural restraints on interagency communications before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
When private organizations are involved, surmounting communications barriers requires informal and formal agreements between the heads of the different companies that better communication between the two will mutually beneficial and that trade secrets will not be transferred from one party to the other without written agreement to that effect.
Organizations and agencies tend to be competitive and often petty. The old adage that "knowledge is power" holds true too often for the public good. In times of crisis, a newfound sense of common purpose breaks down barriers, but to the effect better communications could have prevented the crisis in the first place, it will always be a struggle to break through those obstacles. Strong leadership on both sides is usually a sine quo non. Lacking that, obstacles are likely to remain.
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