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Chapter 2: Literature Review

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2.1

Introduction:

This chapter is providing information about communication management in
any organisation. There are many researches made regarding the
communication management and significance of communication
management was represented in different ways from different authors. The
combined results can provide key importance of communication
management in any organisation. Beside the importance of communication
management, there are many factors involved in communication
management. There are many factors which are directly related to the
entities of organisation and affect the performance of any organisation. This
chapter is summarising these key factors that are bringing barriers in
communication management system of any organisation. There are many
problems regarding the communication management, this chapter is
focusing on the technological issues in any organisation. There are many
recommendations and importance of different technologies such as
corporate website, social media network, web meeting, email memos and
virtual rooms. These technological solutions are improving the
communication of entities in any organisation. These are the fastest and
cost effective methods used for communicating with each other and provide
different options to stake holders and employees to promote their business
all around the world.
2.2

Communication Management:

Communication is the nervous system of an organisation. It keeps the
members of the organisation informed about the internal and external
happenings relevant to a task and of interest to the organisation. It coordinates the efforts of the members towards achieving organisational
objectives. It is the process of influencing the action of a person or a group.
It is a process of meaningful interaction among human beings to initiate,
execute, accomplish, or prevent certain actions. Communication is, thus,
the life blood of an organisation. Without communication, an organisation is
lifeless and its very existence is in danger.
According to Kerzner (2001), there can be many definitions of
communication in any organisation such as an act or instance of
transmitting information, exchange of information, technique for expressing
ideas effectively and a process by which meanings are exchanged between
individuals through common system of symbols. In addition to the definition
of communication management, the Project management institute
standards committee (1996) defined it as :
“Project Communications Management includes the process required to

regularly and in a straight forward manner. 5. Continually reinforce the business reasons for change. affect. 3. . Deliver face-to-face / one-on-one where messages contain job sensitive information (i. collection. Design communication using fact-based information and deliver openly. and ultimate disposition of project information” White and Chapman (1996) introduced into this communication system both human (the person’s horizon of experience. 2. 2. dissemination. 6.2.1 Communication Principles: The following guidelines outline the preferred way that communication is developed and delivered. attention. attitudes. thoughts/feelings. 1996). Tailor communications to discreet audiences according to needs analysis. values. and beliefs) have been specified. and acknowledge same. the larger social context is not directly addressed in these approaches. the acts of encoding/decoding) and interpersonal feedback elements. storage.: an individual job will change). Ensure communications contain consistent core messages. knowledge. Consistently ask for feedback and involvement. as illustrated in Figure 1. Although the social context affects these human filters. an array of human filters that are influenced by the person’ horizon of experience (such as motive. Fig 1: Technical sender receiver model (White and Chapman. 1. Evaluate at pre-determined points to ensure message is understood.ensure timely and appropriate generation. 7.e. 4. They are assumptions that govern how communication activities take place. Since that time.

fax. and diffusion of innovations. It can also be sent via Email or the project management information system.8. such as the ability to communicate not only with voice but body language. 2002). 2011). McDonough et al. (Sosa et al. on the other hand.. While communication patterns in product development depend on the nature of the project and the organizational structure executing it. 2. The subtle nuances that can be communicated during verbal communication are not present during written communication. distance also plays an important role. adoption. 9. (Spanos et al. Pursue communication opportunities at involvement activities (focus groups. (1999) correlated team performance with the use of multiple communication mechanisms— what they called an “affiliated set. . training sessions. and company databases. and then give them a reason to want to read the rest of the communication. Moreover the authors categorised the two major factors for communication management system that are communication drivers and communication barriers as shown in the figure below. written and non-verbal.3 Factors involved in Communication management: There are many factors involved in communication management system. 2002). Oral communication is mainly utilized in face-to-face meetings or over the telephone as well as in group meetings and affords a lot more flexibility to the speaker. teleconferencing. . The key to making written communication more effective is to first grab people’s attention. etc). (Mehta. attitude and nuance. It can be sent through correspondence such as memos. Consult with Corporate Communications through various phases of the project to ensure communications related decisions meet with corporate approval and fit within company protocol and standards. letters or notices. The individuals of any organisation are responsible for communication in their organisation. BPT workshops. is usually more precise. Written communication. In their study of global new product development teams.2 Modes of communication: Communication during projects can be of many different types such as oral.” consisting of phone. 2.2. e-mail. Ghoshal and Bartlett (1990) reported findings from an empirical study of 66 North American and European multinationals indicating that subsidiaries with higher levels of inter unit communication was more effective in the creation. The barriers to technical communication management imposed by distance between team members have been studied so extensively as to be “accepted as an axiom in social theory”.

1 Committed Leadership: The leadership plays a vital role in communication management system and manage all the issues that are beneficial for the performance of organisation. Not many change interventions focus on the actual employee adding input into the organization and/or the change taking place. “… leaders do make a difference. and change efforts will be short-lived at best and will likely fizzle out. 2. . Kinicki and Williams (2008) believe this to be true because.2 Informed Stakeholders: Encouraging stakeholder participation and commitment to the change. especially in terms of organizational change” but they are only part of the process.3. This being said.3. “[Leadership] is usually associated with the behaviour of senior executives”. It is the individual employee that will have the most impact on if change will be effective.1. If the change vision is not clear or shared. 2002). Whereas individual needs are focused on “the extent to which one’s needs are met on the job”. one can achieve the most successful communication management system. so everyone has to affect change. they should also be the most important aspect of any change to the organization. 2. commitment is unlikely.3. Therefore we can split the factors in two categories which are communication drivers and communication barriers. Change affects everyone. As he also (2008) states. 2. These factors are the part of any organisation but with the help of these factors. According to Burke (2008). Stakeholders must be clear about their contribution to the desired improvement.1.Fig 2: Factors influencing communication management system (Sosa et al. by employing open and consultative communication approaches to create awareness and understanding of the change throughout the organisation. “…the people actually involved with the product or service are in the best position to detect opportunities for improvements”.1 Communication Drivers: Following are the factors that are helping to adopt different changes for improving the performance of any organisation..

Even if the change is non-negotiable. and  Developing the change plan. change is successful when it becomes institutionalised and part of "the way we do things around here.  Setting a clear vision for the change which is aligned with the organisation’s vision and mission  Documenting the case for change. 2.2.1. Accordingly.3.3 Aligned Workforce: Identifying the human impacts of the change.3.3.1. To do that. 2. stakeholders need to understand the reasons why the change is happening and its benefits. cooperation and collaboration to achieve the change is more likely if stakeholders are involved and kept informed.6 Communication Context: Fundamentally it is people who make change happen . They also need to have an opportunity to express their views and contribute their own ideas about how it might be implemented. vendors.1. In the final analysis.3. motivated stakeholders. Experience shows that approaching change in an open and consultative manner assists in more effective implementation.nothing moves forward without engaged.4 Planning: Developing and documenting the objectives to be achieved by the change and the means to achieve it. in order to implement changes effectively. and developing plans to align the workforce to support the changing organisation. or the public. Typically they are the organisation’s workforce or those whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the change including other agencies with whom the changing organisation partners. and responsibilities for the change that engage stakeholders and support the change effort. An organisation needs to engage its stakeholders. 2." and like other processes. benefits from ongoing monitoring to ensure continuous improvement and relevance. roles.5 Defined governance: Establishing appropriate organisational structures. service providers. Stakeholders are the people that are directly involved in and affected by the change project. it is important that everyone in the organisation and those interacting with .1.

Confusion will also occur if the superior manager is incompetent and issues instructions. because he wants to hide his own errors on the errors of a fellow worker. are kept informed and provided with messages and information that allow them to feel engaged. level of awareness.3 Upward Communication: Communications upward (from subordinate to superior) may breakdown for the same reasons. 2. 2. between people on the same hierarchical levels.3.3. These barriers can be categorised into four major communications and issues during these types of communication are as follow. from superiors to subordinates) may breakdown because of poor organization. may give incorrect information for his superior to act on (BPP. (Weihrich et al. which cannot be understood because they do not make sense. perhaps in different department) may cause breakdown of communication because departments are geographically separated with inadequate communication links. or because he does not want to bother his boss with a problem he thinks he can handle himself.2 Communication barriers: There are many barriers in communication management system that may be due to many reasons such as cultural differences.3. listening abilities.e. If the channels of communication are inefficient or insufficient.2.e. confusion about the message being transmitted or for personal reasons. An additional consideration is that the subordinate. 2005). both internal and external stakeholders. the organization is at fault. 2.3.2. Poor personal relations between superior and subordinate will cause a breakdown in communications because of mutual suspicion or because of their different backgrounds.2. There is no formal organization for the cross-fertilization of ideas and opinions between departments.2 Downward Communication: Communication downward (i. 2. the . 2.the organisation. 2000).4 Horizontal communication: Horizontal communication (i. conflicts and technological issues.1 Listening barrier: Employees should learn the techniques of better listening in order to maintain good relation with those who deal with the organization.2. thus paving the way for involvement and adoption. Poor listening is perhaps one of the most serious barriers to effective communication. language differences.3. Poor listening can generate costly accidents and cause misunderstanding and rumours in an organization.

1 Communication skills to resolve conflicts: It is crucial for project managers to identify and resolve any kind of conflicts in projects.4 Improving Project Communications: You’ve seen how a good communication is vital to the management and success of information technology projects. It is a win-win situation mode and is the most favoured mode used for conflict resolution. the project manager uses a give and take approach to resolve the conflicts. or/ and because there is a poor informal communication structure. 2. Successful project managers are less likely to use the other 3 modes for conflict resolution. project managers will withdraw from a disagreement. 2. project issues. technical issues. Forcing Mode: With the forcing mode. There are five basic modes for handling conflicts as mentioned below: Confrontation Mode: When using confrontation mode. Some of the areas to be considered for improving project communications are: • • • • Communication skills to resolve conflicts Developing better communication skills Using templates for project communications Developing communication infrastructure (Goudar.organization is too centralized and insists on all such negotiations being made at top management level. In this both the parties will bargain and search for solutions that brings satisfaction to some extent. Conflicts could be due to project priorities. staffing. Smoothing Mode: With the smoothing mode. Compromise Mode: With the compromise mode. which can ensure that the essential information reaches the right people at the right time. This approach is also called as problem-solving mode. It is also explained above the importance of project communication management. the project manager will directly face a conflict using a problem-solving approach that allows them to work through the disagreements. It is a win-lose situation and managers who are autocratic in nature favour this mode.4. procedures and process. This approach is least desired. 2008). . project managers will place emphasize on areas of agreement and avoid areas of disagreement. project managers will force their viewpoint. Research has indicated that confrontation mode is most widely used for conflict resolution followed by compromise mode. Withdrawal Mode: With the withdrawal mode. personalities.

4. and leadership from senior management.2 Developing better communication skills: Most companies spend a lot of money in conducting technical trainings and give less importance on soft skills training like communication training. Meetings conducted with the team or client can be made effective by following some simple guidelines as listed below: • Define the purpose and outcome of the meeting • Determine who should attend the meeting • Provide an agenda to the participants before the meeting • Prepare handouts.4. visual aids related to the discussion if required before in hand and distribute to the participants • Execute the meeting professionally • Build relationships (Goudar. Communication skills are the key to advancing their careers especially if one wants to be a good and successful project manager. To make it even more convenient to use templates. 2. give horrible presentations or conduct meetings with no proper agenda/objective. Senior management shouldn’t let their employees write bad documents. communication can be developed better and improved with proper planning. It takes leadership to help improve communication in employees. Like any other goal.3 Using templates for project communications: It is important to prepare and store project related templates and guidelines for common project communication items such as project charter. Organizations should allocate time and budget for conducting trainings. Hence . project description. or stake holder’s or customer’s documentation expectation for each particular project. It is quite rare to find information technical professionals with the ability to apply both good technical and communication skills. Senior management should expect high expectations and be a role model. 2008). Often people complain about the time they waste in unnecessary or poorly planned and poorly executed meetings. It will be helpful to people who are not experienced and new to projects and also for people who are not good at documenting. the organization should provide the facility of templates being available online. The team should understand the senior management’s. status reports and so on. Good documentation from previous projects could be a good source. Communications skills training include role-playing activities in which participants learn concepts such as building rapport. sloppy reports.2. provide staff to assist in relationship management and include time in projects to have informal meetings with clients to help develop relationships. support.

but to stay in control he or she must be able to tap in to these flows. and this highlights the need to actually see team members. recipients and regularity. techniques and principles that provide a foundation for the effective transfer of information among people. It's not essential that all the information pass through the PM. Seriously. especially when working across time zones. The vital job has to be planned meticulously to be efficient enough for the short time. document management software and so on. If the project team is not co-located (which is increasingly common) video conferencing is good. teleconferencing systems.if required. meaning that it works in one direction at a time.4. emailing guidelines decision-making processes. Listening and observing nonverbal cues is at least as important as talking. and the PM needs to ensure that traffic flows freely in both directions. to mention it is challenging at times to install a well coordinated and effective project communication system. specially those on the critical path. goals. Principles include providing an environment for open dialogue using straight talk and following an agreed upon work ethic. and root cause analysis. project management software. fax. the PM should monitor the status of each activity. videoconferencing systems. 2. Tools include e-mail. As the project progresses. it should not be the primary communication method. session should be given to the team to provide awareness about the templates. in fact to avoid delays it's probably best that it doesn't. followed by phone calls. telephones. Communication is a two way street. Better communication capabilities are necessary for successful results of the project.4 Developing Communication Infrastructure: A communication infrastructure is a set of tools. which is easily achieved while "Managing By Walking About" (MBWA). conflict resolution techniques. the documentation standard’s to be used and the availability of documentation guidelines. and then comes email. online chat. medium. The best way to learn about problems is through informal face-to-face conversation. Lastly. templates. Instant Messaging (IM) has its place. Email is asynchronous. problem solving approaches. Particularly at launch. and whilst it has its place. . it's a good idea to get everyone together. Personal contact helps build relationships that lubricate the flow of information. the PM should make a point of walking through the team office on a daily basis and chatting with everyone to ask how things are going. responsibility. After that. meeting ground rules and procedures. Make sure to give due attention to communication tool. It's essential that he get early notice of any possible problems so that he has the opportunity to take corrective action before the situation deteriorates any further. Techniques include reporting guidelines.

and Koontz. 4. H. 3. Role of Corporate website Role of Social media Role of other technologies Implementation issues Critical evaluation of data conclusion References: 1. H. 6. 2.Remaining Topics to be covered: 1. Weihrch. (2005). 5. Management. A Global .

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