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15-1

Communication
Network of the
Organization
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The Vital link ………………


Communication provides the vital link
between people and information
whether a newcomer to the organisation or
a seasoned employee
you have information that others need in
order to perform their functions……..
And others have information that is vital
to you……………
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A Complex Network…………….
A complex network looking over all
of an organisation’s communication
we can see an extremely complex
network of Information flow.
We see dozens, hundreds and even
thousands of individuals engaging
in untold numbers of
communication events throughout
each workday …….
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Organizational Communication
Vertical Communication
 Communication that flows up and down the organization,
usually along formal reporting lines.
 Takes place between managers and subordinates and may
involve several levels of the organization.
 Upward communication
 Consists of messages from subordinates to superiors and is
more subject to distortion.
 Downward communication
 Occurs when information flows down the hierarchy from
superiors to subordinates.
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Organizational Communication (cont’d)
Horizontal Communication
 Communication that flows laterally within the
organization; involves persons at the same level of the
organization.
 Facilitates coordination among independent units.
 Useful in joint problem solving.
 Playsa major role in communications among members
of work teams drawn from different departments.
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Formal Communication in Organizations


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Informal Communication in Organizations


May or may not follow official reporting
relationships and/or prescribed organizational
channels
May have nothing to do with official

organizational business.
Promote a strong culture

and enhance employee


understanding of how
the organization works.
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Informal Communication in Organizations


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Informal Communication in
Organizations (cont’d)
Management by Wandering Around
 Managers keep in touch with what’s going on by
wandering around and talking to people on all levels
in the organization.
Informal Communications
 Informal exchanges among
employees that take place
outside the normal work
setting.
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Common Grapevine Chains Found in Organizations

Grapevine
 An informal communication network that can permeate
an organization. Types of grapevines are:

Source: From
Keith Davis
and John W.
Newstrom,
Human
15-12
Communication Networks in Groups &
Teams
Figure 15.3

Wheel Network
Chain Network

All Channel Network


Circle Network
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Communication Networks
Networks show information flows in an
organization.
 Wheel Network: information flow to and from one
central member.
 Chain Network: members communicate with people

next to them in sequence.


 Wheel and Chain networks provide for little interaction.
 Circle Network: members communicate with others
close to them in terms of expertise, office location, etc.
 All-Channel Network: found in teams, with high levels

of communications between each member and all others.


15-14

Barriers to Effective Communication


15-15

Managing Organizational
Communication
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15.2 Barriers To Communication

WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO


COMMUNICATION?

Communication barriers are anything that interferes


with accurate communication between two people
There are three types of barriers:

1. Physical barriers include things like time-zone


differences, office walls, and crashed computers
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15.2 Barriers To Communication

2. Semantic barriers occur when words can be


interpreted in different ways
Does “right away” mean today, tomorrow, in the

next hour?
The problem is intensified when jargon (terminology

specific to a particular profession or group) is used


3. There are nine personal barriers that contribute to
miscommunication:
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15.2 Barriers To Communication


-variable skills in communicating effectively
Some people are naturally better communicators than

others
-variations in how information is processed &

interpreted
People use different frames of reference and

experiences to interpret information


-variations in trustworthiness & credibility

Communication is often flawed when there is a lack

of trust between the sender and receiver


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15.2 Barriers To Communication

-oversized egos
Egos influence how we treat each other and how receptive
we are to be influenced by others
-faulty listening skills
Sometimes, people simply fail to listen properly
-tendency to judge others’ messages
People judge others’ statements from their own point of
view
-inability to listen with understanding
It can be hard to put yourself in someone’s else’s shoes
and really listen
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15.2 Barriers To Communication

-stereotypes & prejudices


Stereotypes consist of oversimplified beliefs about a

certain group of people and can influence


communication
-nonverbal communication

Gestures and facial expressions are an important

part of communication
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Formal Channels 0

of Communication
Exhibit 13.5

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0

Downward Communication

Messages from Top Management


1. Implementation of goals and strategies
2. Job instructions and rationale
3. Procedures and practices
4. Performance feedback
5. Indoctrination

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0

Upward Communication

Messages transmitted from managers and employees


1. Problems and exceptions
2. Suggestions for improvement
3. Performance reports
4. Grievances and disputes
5. Financial and accounting information

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Downward Communication 0

Problems
Drop Off
 Distortion
 Loss of message content
Dealing with Drop Off
 Use right communication channel
 Consistency between verbal and nonverbal
messages
 Active listening

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0

Upward Communication

Messages transmitted from managers and employees


1. Problems and exceptions
2. Suggestions for improvement
3. Performance reports
4. Grievances and disputes
5. Financial and accounting information

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0

Upward Communication
Problems

Barriers to accurate upward


communication:
 Managers may resist hearing about
employee problems
 Employees may not trust managers
sufficiently to push information
upward

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Horizontal 0

Communications

Messages among coworkers


1. Problem solving
2. Coordination
3. Change

Particularly important in learning organizations

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0

Team Communication Channels

Team communication considerations:


 The extent to which team communication is
centralized
 Complex and difficult team activities - share
information in a decentralized structure
 Simple problems - centralized communication
structure
 The nature of the team’s task

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Effectiveness of Team
Communication Networks

Exhibit 13.6

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Personal Communication 0

Channels

 Exist outside formal authorized channels


 Do not adhere to organization’s hierarchy of authority
 Primary way information spreads
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Developing Personal 0

Communication Networks

Build it before you need it


Never eat lunch alone
Make it win-win
Focus on diversity

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0

Personal Communication
Channels

 Personal Networks
 Grapevine
 Management By
Wondering Around

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Ways to Overcome 0

Communication Barriers
Exhibit 17.9

Barriers How to Overcome


Individual Active listening
Interpersonal dynamics
Selection of appropriate channel
Channels and media
Semantics Knowledge of other’s perspective
Inconsistent cues MBWA

Organizational Climate of Trust, dialogue


Status and power differences Development and use of formal channels
Departmental needs and goals Changing organization or group structure to fit
communication needs
Communication network unsuited
Encouragement of multiple channels, formal
Lack of formal channels
and informal
Feedback and learning
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Deal with global issues proactively


What are the issues you face in communicating globally?

PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS
RANKING THESE ISSUES IN TOP 3
100
90
80
70
60 51
50
40 34 32
28
30 2
3
20
10
0
The Need to Differences inLeadership Language Cost
Tailor Communication Perceptions of
Communication
Styles Communication

CATEGORY

Source: Towers Perrin/IABC “Future Trends” Study.


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COMMUNICATION NETWORK
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Information Loss In Downward
Communication
100%
Board
63%
Vice presidents

56%
General managers

40%
Plant managers

30%
Supervisors

20%
Workers