MEANING OF COMMUNICATION

Communication is the process of conveying message from one person to another so that they are understood. It refers to the exchange of ideas, feelings, emotions, knowledge and information between two or more persons. There is a communication when you talk or listen to someone. For example, a teacher while delivering his lecture communicates to his students. But if he speaks in a language which is not understandable to his students, there is no communication. It does not include only written or oral messages; it can be everything that may be used to convey message from one person to another; for e.g. movement of lips or the wink of an eye or the wave of hands. In business management ideas, objectives, orders, appeals, instructions, suggestions have to be exchanged among the managerial personnel and their subordinates for the purpose of planning and executing the business policies.

TYPES OF COMMUNICATION
Communication, very broadly, is classified into the following two categories: 1. Formal communication 2. Informal communication 1. FORMAL COMMUNICATION Formal communication is that which takes place in an enterprise in a formal manner via the scalar chain or the line of command. This type of communication has the following variations: a) Downward communication b) Upward communication c) Sideward (or horizontal) communication a) Downward communication: Downward communication moves downwards in an organization, from the top management to middle and lower level managements travelling via various links in the scalar chain. Such communication is imperative for organizational purposes. Mostly it consists of communicating plans and policies of the enterprise to lower level managers and in particular issuing orders and instructions to subordinates, for initiating action according to these for execution of assigned jobs. b) Upward communication: This type of formal communication is really a feedback to downward communication. Upward communication proceeds upward in an organization from

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pictures. manuals. among persons at different levels who have no direct reporting relationships with one another.  Suggestions and ideas of subordinates to upper management for kind consideration and appropriate implementation. in the scalar chain. Written communication Written communication implies transmission of messages in writing. magazines. placed at the same rank in the organization and the diagonal flow. For example. doing the similar type of work under managers of equal ranks.  Clarifications sought by subordinates from superiors as to the orders and instructions issued by the latter (i. superiors). rule and procedure books. newspapers. usually takes the following forms:  Reports by subordinates to superior on work performance. a communication between two assistant production managers is an instance of horizontal communication.  Grievances. reports circular. orders. travelling via various links. It is necessary for achieving coordination of actions of individuals. graphs. agreements. memoranda. b) INFORMAL COMMUNICATION Informal communication. It may take the forms like. problems or difficulties of subordinates forwarded to superiors. Sideward (or horizontal) communication might take place through the µgang plank¶ as suggested by Fayol. Classification on the basis of methods or media used or expression: 1.  Upward communication. Point of comment In fact the basic cause behind the formation of many informal groups is the necessity for a mutual exchange of information related to organizational matters or social or personal matters of individuals comprised in informal groups. like the structuring of grapevine. diagrams. c) Crosswise communication:This type of communication includes the horizontal flow of information that takes place among managers. It might spread from any person to any person in any manner and in any direction. notice boards etc. instructions. Hence the need for informal communication arises.the lower level management to middle and upper levels of management. This communication has no formal manner of routing. at appropriate levels. or through the scalar chain in a hierarchical manner. 2 .e. also called grapevine communication takes place through informal groups existing inside or outside the formal organizational structure.

face meeting of two people or in a manager¶s presentation to a large audience. it may take a long time to know whether a message has been received and properly understood. it can be formal or informal or it can be planned or accidental. SENDER The actual process of communication is initiated at the hands of the sender. PROCESS OF COMMUNICATION The process of communication consists of following steps or stages: MESSAGE This is the background step of the process of communication. may be poorly expressed by ineffective writers and may provide no immediate feedback. movement of lips or the wink of an eye or the wave of hands. the effects can be noted.g. who takes steps to send the message to the recipient. or a mere silence. Non. or a request or a suggestion. The disadvantages are that written messages may create mountains of paper. 2.verbal communication includes facial expressions and body gestures to convey meanings from one person to another. 3. or an order. It can also promote uniformity in policy and procedure and can reduce costs in some cases. nodding of head. ENCODING 3 .to. which.verbal or gestural communication Non. Its advantage is that it makes possible speedy interchange with immediate feedback. The message might be a fact or an idea. references and legal defenses. for e. as many managers knows who has attended meetings in which no results or agreements were achieved. Consequently. A message can be carefully prepared and then directed to a large audience through mass mailings. by forming the subject matter of communication necessitates the start of a communication process. Oral communication Oral communication can occur in a face. Its disadvantages are: it does not always save time.face interaction. Clearly it gives rise to the saying actions speak louder than the words. People can ask queries and clarify points. In a face-to.This type of communication has the advantage of providing records. These meetings will be costly in terms of time and money.

¶ FEEDBACK To complete the communication process. graph. through which the message is to be conveyed to the recipient. µFeedback¶ implies the reaction or response of the recipient to the message. comprised in the communication. as illustrated. sending feedback to communication. MEDIUM It refers to the method or channel. For example. by the recipient to the sender is imperative. gestures. DECODING Decoding means the interpretation of the message by the recipient-with a view to getting the meaning of the message. symbol. RECIPIENT (or THE RECEIVER) Technically a communication s complete only when it to the knowledge of the intended person i.e. All told. drawings etc. an oral communication might be made through a peon or over the telephone etc. It is at this stage in the communication process. the recipient or the receiver.Encoding means giving a form and meaning to the message through expressing it into-words. by means of the following circular diagram: SENDER ENCODING PROCESS OF COMMUNICATION MEDIUM FEEDBACK DECODING RECIPIENT 4 . as per the intentions of the sender. that communication is philosophically defined as. communication is a circular process. while a written communication might be routed through a letter or a notice displayed on the notice board etc. µthe transmission of understanding.

All attempts should be made by management to overcome these problems. 4.PROBLEMS IN COMMUNICATION Though communication is regarded as providing a basis for the operational life of the enterprise. yet many a times there are problems in communication. the recipient get only a half hearted and hotchpotch idea of what the superior really intends to convey to them which state of affairs lead to many organizational and operational problems. otherwise the basic purpose of communication might be meeting with frustration: For sake of clarity and comprehension. Unclarified assumptions or too many assumptions Sometimes either there is too many assumptions in the message assumed by the sender which puzzle the recipients or there are unclarified assumptions in the message which create confusion for the recipients.making for what are called µbadly expressed messages¶:       3. As a result the subordinates i. and make no meaningful contribution to organizational objectives. status and authority in doing so. the sender of communication. Badly expressed messages Sometimes the sender even through getting ready to communicate is not in a position to make an effective communication because of one or more of the following.e. never cares to plan for communication ± either because of laziness or because of pressure of work and makes or issues a communication to subordinates in a rough and casual manner. problems in communication have been departmentalized into the following categories: Problems on part of the sender of communication 1.e. Poor organization of ideas Lack of coordination Inadequate vocabulary Repetition Awkward sentences Careless omissions etc. 5 . 2. Egoistic communication Some superiors make egoistic communication to subordinates just to satisfy their false ego and impress subordinate with their power. Unplanned communication Sometimes the superior i. Such communications merely waste the time of both the sender and the recipients.

Lengthy scalar chain When the scalar chain which is the basic route of travelling for all formal communications is too lengthy. Problems on part of the recipient of communication 6.5. grievances do develop on the part of subordinates owing to lack of feedback to communication. Fear of challenge to authority Some superiors might be reluctant or hesitant to make even important communications to subordinates fearing that any feedback or reaction to their communication might challenge their authority. they better prefer to avoid making any communications. 9. 6 . Premature evaluation Many recipients especially subordinates go in for a pre mature evaluation of the communication. 11. This again invites organizational problems. In such cases misunderstandings and grievances to develop between the sender and the recipients of communication. No attention So many recipients of communication pay no attention to it either because of tension created by personal and family problems or because of being overburdened with emergency issues. Under such psychological situations. whatsoever.e. even before the communication is fully communicated to them. Too wide a span of management Where in an organization span of management is too wide. communication gets unduly delayed. with an unduly large number of subordinates. only from the top management to downwards at lower levels. 7. ORGANISATIONAL PROBLEMS Some of the organizational problems in communication are: 8. One way communication system When in an organization the communication system is only one track i. 10. the superior might not be able to effectively communicate. the very purpose of the sender in making a communication is frustrated. Irrelevant and out of context communication The situation accounting for irrelevant and out of context communication usually emerges when organizational objectives are not clearly defined and organizational policies are imperfect. In such situations.

intercom.e. the sentiments of the recipient are emotionally affected and resistance (or reaction) to such communication is invited on this part. might suffer from mechanical defects leading to e. are not available. Loss of transmission and poor retention There is usually a loss of contents of the message. relating to language of communication) problems to communication are as follows: 13. distortion of messages owing to technical faults in telephone lines or sudden disconnection of telephone link rendering communication incomplete etc. when it is in a course of transmission via various links in the scalar chain ±especially when the communication is made verbally. the same word meaning differently to different individuals). Poor or harsh language When the communication whether oral or written is expressed in a poor or harsh language. Technical language Sometimes the sender of communication might use technical language e. Vague language When language used in drafting a communication is vague (i. might not convey exact communications as intended by the sender. LINGUISTIC PROBLEMS: Some linguistic (i.12. 14. peons. In such cases. the purpose of communication is frustrated. employed for conveying messages. peons. 17. the communication lends to manifold interpretations. impairing with a free flow of communication. Photostat or typing facilities etc. Mechanical problems In some cases mechanical appliances used in the communication process. messengers etc. messengers. creating serious communication problems.g. regarding production engineering or financial management etc.g. communication delays. while drafting his communiqué so as to create problem for the ordinary recipient to get at the meaning of such communiqué. 15. As a result. creating confusion in the minds of the recipients as to the real meaning proposed to be conveyed by the sender.e. Lack of adequate communication facilities Sometimes in many organizations adequate communication facilities like telephone. Miscellaneous problems 16. In some other cases. Also 7 .

among other things. during the process of exercising leadership. y Communication as an aid to co-ordination Co-ordination is greatly facilitated when persons doing similar work or related aspects of work.e.there is associated with it a phenomenon of the poor retention of messages by recipients. are in perfect mutual understanding with one another. rules and procedures of the enterprise to followers and also communicates the necessary work orders. y Communication as an aid to planning Communication is helpful in the process of decision making in general and in planning. for the proper execution of the intended jobs. In fact. about their jobs that action on their part is possible.as to the manner and approach to work performance. In fact much of the accuracy of planning would very much depend on the accuracy of the information communicated to the management. IMPORTANCEOF COMMUNICTION Importance of communication could be brought into limelight through the following points: y Communication is the basis of organizational functioning Communication is the basis of organizational functioning as it is only when necessary communications are made to subordinates and operators. is largely an outcome of free communication allowed to exist among them. instructions and guidance to them. Such mutual understanding among people interest. The members of the group i. communicated to the management by suitable agencies. policies. The better is the communication system existing between the leader and his followers. y Communication helps in overcoming resistance to changes and ensures their implementation 8 . . Any type of decision making (including planning decisions) requires. in this regard. followers would communicate their problems. needs and performance to the leader. A leader communicates the objectives. communication is the petrol which drives the vehicle of the organization. basic information about the enterprise resources and limitations and the external environment factors. through which they can reconcile their differences and agree on a common approach to work performance.e. Hence communication is a good and great aid to achieving co-ordination of individual efforts. y Communication as an aid to leadership Communication is very basic to the process of exercising interpersonal influence. the better are likely to be the results. produced by the group. through leadership. which must be supplied i. in particular. as a matter of poor memorization power with most individuals. to be performed by the group.

y Communication as an aid to controlling The essence of controlling is the remedial action initiated by management to correct deviations in actual performance as against the planned standards. A free flow of communication. complaints of the public and assures them of their solutions. y Communication facilitates delegation of authority Delegation of authority is entirely based on the process of communication. Apparently communication is transfer of messages. is largely a process of entering into communication with the publiccommunicating to the public and being communicated by it. communication helps to resolve mutual differences. y Communication as the basis of good human relations Communication promotes good human relations in the organizational life. What process the public relations department follows in building good public relations. the management can convince people of the desirability of introducing organizational changes. is a pre requisite for successful delegation of authority. which basically entertains problems. y Communication as pervading all walks of organizational life 9 . Through communication. difficulties and progress of work to the former. communicates his problems. Maintaining open lines of communication between the superior and the subordinate. helps in redressal of grievances and becomes the basis for -sound manager subordinate relations -sound labour management relations y Communication helps in good public relations Good public relations comprise relations of the enterprise with outside agencies. while intrinsically it is transmission of understanding among the sender and the recipients of messages. now a days maintain a separate µpublic relations department¶. particularly consumers and the public at large. to the subordinate and the latter. necessary instructions etc. Such remedial action is possible only when the actual performance of people and the deviations from standards are communicated to management for controlling purposes. in general. resist to changes when changes are either not properly communicated to them or the purpose behind introducing such changes is not explained to them. In particular. A superior communicates the job assignment. through facilitating transmission of understanding paves the way for the development of good human relations in the organization.People. overcome resistance to them and prepare a base for their implementation. in turn. Many business enterprises.

in the organization. As a matter of fact. communication pervades all walks of organizational life.Communication is needed in personnel matters. requires communication of the rules of organization to all the members of the organization. orientation. selection. like recruitment. 10 . training. General point of comment Communication is a process by which human behavior is modified and shaped for organizational purposes and good results are expected of the members of the organization. of employees. and placement etc. Enforcement of discipline. It is needed for purposes of motivating subordinates.

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