Q. Find the best example of poor organizational communication you can find on an organisation's web site.

Why did you choose this to illustrate poor communication? How might it be improved?



By - Siddhartha Butalia, Siddharth Dahiya, Srimurugan V., Srinivas C., Srikant D.

23rd June 2005 - The authors are pleased to note that following this report, which was shared with members of the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, the institute has risen to the need for enhancing their corporate image and in doing justice to the brand equity they enjoy as one of the premier instututes of management education, have revamped their website. They have taken into account the parameters the previous communication lacked in, and are scheduled to re-launch their website with a new design template and content which promises to be an excellent interface for the institute. The pilot website may be found at - IIM Lucknow Official Website

We would like to thank Team Synapse, of IIM Lucknow and specially Shivaprasad R. for being instrumental in bringing about this change.


Website Studiedhttp://www.iiml.ac.in

Organization – Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow

Communicational Problems in the Website

IIM, Lucknow prides itself in being one of the topmost in the country, with arguably the best infrastructure and sells itself as ‘educational innovators’. 

The website is the primary interface for corporates (including recruiters and collaborators), students (alumni, current Indian and foreign as well as potential students applying for admissions), other stakeholders (such as foreign educational institutes, faculty, management etc.). As such, it does not serve to provide an impressive picture, and communicates only to a minimal degree the information which may be required by these parties.

The following are the parameters and means by which improvements may be made–

  1. Technical parameters as listed in the appendix enclosed (next page) cause unfriendly user interface and browser incompatibility etc.
  2. The classes of information are adequate but the links which aim to provide the information are limited in content and form. Most of the information is outdated, has redundancies with those in the brochures provided by the institute, and of little use. For instance, ‘About the institute’ has only one paragraph, which apart from other data redundancies and inadequacies, quotes the age as 15 years instead of 20.
  3. The website does not fit the profile of a B-school website and falls short when compared for instance to that of IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, Stanford, HAAS School (Berkley) etc.
  4. There is no communication channel provided, feedback system etc to gain a better understanding/insight of information not provided o the website.
  5. Case-studies, research papers or institute publications find no mention on the website. A user has little to judge the institute on or compare it with other business schools.
  6. The essential focus of the student body in a B-school is toward placements and recruiters form an integral audience which the institute attempts to reach through its website. However, placement guidelines and policies are not mentioned on the site.
  7. Faculty home-pages have dead links and officers do not have e-mail addresses. For example, the e-mail address for the Student Affairs office is not listed anywhere on the site.
  8. The people finder is incomplete and does not list all students, faculty or officers, thus failing to serve its purpose. None of the PGP 20 batch are on the people finder, and officers portfolios have not been updated.
  9. The most recent event listed in news archives is ‘Dr. Devi Singh has taken over as the Director on August 25 , 2003
  10. Campus map is a bird’s eye-view with zero functionality.

Appendix #1


Technical Parameters for Checking a Website

IIML Rating (10)


Colour schemes


Purple and orange not in synch with seriousness of educational institute, lack of white/pale space used, non-standard page link colours

Domain/website/business name visibility



Navigation buttons


On the left and also on left-click have incompatible ranking order. Also 18 characters in left panel make it longer

Adaptability to screen resolutions


Needs scrolling in anything less than 800X600 resolution and doesn’t adapt to 1024X768 resolution

Browser compatibility


7 problems on versions of Netscape and IE used by 97% of web-surfers, including 4 html coding errors in the margin and 1 in the table attributes

Search engine friendliness


Title and title relevancy are very good, but meta tags do not include description, keywords, robots or author tags required by many search engine spiders/robots, Links from pages like /dayatl.html contain "potentially unsafe information to an ActiveX control"

Text legibility


Bad legibility due to similar text and background on pages like /placements/index.html, e-community/index.html

Download speed


Based on ratings by netmechanic.com, load time varies from 16.35 seconds on 14.4Kbps modem to 2.10 seconds on ADSL (2.0 Mbps)

Bleeding Edge technology


57 html coding errors. Also, logo is displayed as an swf image instead of an animated gif and may not be visible on many browsers

Outdated information


Home page has PGP-ABM announcement for Feb 2004, student activities and committees are 3-years old