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Q1. If Hindustan Unilever straddles the Indian corporate world, it
is because of being single-minded in identifying itself it needs to
have good communication system, taking into account the
parameters given in the case study you are required to explain the
communication environment within the organization set up of
Hindustan Unilever ltd.

Answer - The communication environment means communicating

with various stakeholders of the company like consumers, employees,
shareholders, community. Business partner etc they believe in highest
standard of corporate behavior towards every one they work with, the
community they touch and the environment on which they have impact

Communicating with the consumers:

The company has developed deep roots in local cultures and markets
around the world which gives the company strong relationships with the
consumers and these relationships are the foundations of the future
growth. The company has brought its wealth of knowledge and
international expertise to the service of the local consumers, thus
making HUL a truly multi-local multinational.

The company has always tried to give exceptional standards of

performance and productivity. The mission of HUL is to ‘Add Vitality
to Life’. HUL meets every day needs for nutrition, hygiene, and
personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get
more out of life. HUL’s brands are household names across the country
and span many categories. HUL has traditionally been a company, which
incorporates latest technology in all its operations.

Unilever is committed to providing branded products and services

which consistently offer value in terms of price and quality, and which
are safe for their intended use.

Communicating with the community:

HUL believes that an organization’s worth is also the service it renders

to the community. HUL is focusing on health and hygiene education,
women empowerment, water management. It is also involved in the
education and rehabilitation of special or underprivileged children, care
for the destitute and the HIV-Positive, and rural development. HUL
has also responded in case of national calamities and contributes
through welfare measures like building of villages in earthquake
affected Gujarat and relief and rehabilitation after the tsunami cause
devastation in south India

HUL has also served the rural communities and thereby improving the
standard of living of the people staying the rural areas of the country,
with the help of various development programs like Shakti, Life boy
Swasthya Chetana. ‘Shakti’ is meant for creating woman entrepreneurs.
. It covers 15 states and has over 31000 women entrepreneurs
while the ‘Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetana’ endeavors to induce adoption of
hygienic practices among rural Indians and aims to bring down the
incidence of diarrhea .Shakti vani programme which include healthcare
and hygiene education and is shakti portal to create access to relevant
Unilever is committed to making continuous improvement in the mgt of
their environment impact and long term goal of developing sustainable

Unilever strives to be a trusted corporate citizen and, as an integral

part of the society, tries to fulfill its responsibilities to the societies
and the communities in which it operates.
Communicating with the Employees:
HUL group of companies have about 16000 employees including 1200
managers. it gives managers speed and flexibility in decision making and
its implementation it conducts its operations with honesty, integrity
and openness, and with respect for the human rights and interests of
its employees. Unilever is committed to diversity in a working
environment where there is mutual trust and respect and where
everyone feels responsible for the performance and reputation of the
company. Unilever recruits, employs and promotes employees on the
sole basis of qualifications and the abilities needed for the work to be

Unilever is also committed to safe and healthy working conditions for

all employees and does not use any kind of forced, compulsory or child
labor. HUL is committed to working with employees to develop and
enhance each individual’s skills and capabilities. It respects the dignity
of individuals and the right of employees to freedom of association.

In return, all the Unilever employees are expected to avoid personal

activities and financial interests which would conflict with their
responsibilities to the company. Unilever is also strictly against the
accepting of bribes and encourage the employees not to take any
bribes and to report any such incident to the management.

Communicating with the Business Partners:

Unilever is committed to establishing mutually beneficial relations with
suppliers and business partners. In their business dealings, Unilever
expects its partners to adhere to business principles consistent with
their own.

Communicating with the Shareholders:

Unilever’s first priority is to be a successful business and that means
investing for growth and balancing short-term and long-term interests.
It also means caring about its shareholders. Unilever conducts its
operations in accordance with internationally accepted principles of
good corporate governance. HUL provides timely, regular and reliable
information on its activities, structure, financial situation and
performance to all.

Q-2. Based on the details given with reference to Hindustan

Unilever Ltd. You are required to prepare a speech for the
Chairman Of Hindustan Unilever Ltd. On ‘every employee needs to
be an effective communicator’

Mr. Harin Manwani.
Unilever has earned a reputation for conducting its business with
integrity and with respect for the interests of those our activities can
affect. This reputation is an asset and our first priority is to be a
successful business by caring about our employees, consumers,
shareholders, our business partners and the world in which we live.
“We are committed to working with employees to develop and enhance
each individual’s skills and capabilities and we will maintain good
communications with employees through company based information
and consultation procedures.

If there is a lack of communication amongst the employees in our

organization then some problems such as :-

• increased employee turnover

• increased absenteeism
• dissatisfied customers from poor customer service
• higher product defect rates
• lack of focus on business objectives
• stifled innovation
Would have been raised.

Employees will put in that extra "discretionary effort" when they are
kept informed openly and honestly on aspects of their job and the
business and they feel that they are being listened to with empathy.

Communication in our workplace should satisfy the three key employee

needs before they can be engaged and highly productive. Each and
every employee needs to:

1. Know that –included here are facts about your organization and
their specific job – what business you are in, who your customers
are, specific details about your product or service, where forms
are located, who to see when there is a problem ...

2. Master that –included here are the practical skills required to do

their job well – repairing a machine, filling out an invoice,
designing a building, writing a software program...

3. Feel that –included here are the interactions that give them a
sense of belonging and self-worth – being listened to, respected,
trusted, valued...

Open and honest communication can help employees resolve

performance issues. Have systems in place that promote communication
between managers and staff.

It is the manager’s job to evaluate the performance of each employee.

No doubt there will be times when an employee is not meeting the
expectations of the job. As a result a poor performance appraisal will
need to be written and given to the employee. It can be an
uncomfortable and upsetting situation for both the employee and the
The truth is that if the employee receiving the poor performance
appraisal is surprised, then the manager has failed. An employee should
not learn of their short comings for the first time via a performance
appraisal. Instead, look at it as a summary of communication that must
occur before the evaluation is done.

By providing employees with ongoing communication regarding their

performance they will know what to expect when receiving an appraisal.
They understand where they stand in regards to salary increases and
promotions. The employee will also have the opportunity to resolve
performance issues and show improvement before the final assessment
is written.

In conclusion, I wish to reiterate that we remain committed to

competitive, profitable and sustainable growth. We also believe that
the significant longer term opportunity in India will result in a
substantial step-up in competitive intensity.
I wish the upward and the downward communication works parallel in
our business procedures to run the business smoothly.
I take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and
look forward to the same in the future.

With warm regards,

Harish Manwani.
Q-3. Prepare a diagrammatic representation of Organization
structure and explain it with relevance to Formal communication



In the above diagram there is a downward; upward; lateral or

horizontal; and diagonal communication.
Downward communication involves communication from higher to lower
levels so that leadership can communicate goals, strategies or role
Upward communication flows from lower levels to higher levels of the
organization, for example, when there is a need to communicate
problems, results or suggestions.
Horizontal communication occurs across the same level and involves for
example, coordination of activities with peers (teams, committees),
dissemination of useful information from one department to another
(for example sales forecasts from the sales department to production,
and problems such as a problem with product design from the
production department to research and development). Horizontal
communication facilitates the l inking of different areas of expertise
and this may encourage innovation.
Diagonal channels may potentially cause conflict as they involve
communication between the lower levels of one department to a higher
level in another. In the diagram above, this may cause friction between
the employee in accounting department C and the Vice-President (VP)
of Accounting as the employee has gone around his or her own superior.
Nevertheless this type of communication may be useful as it may
simply be information relevant to the Marketing Department and the
VP Accounting does not need to be involved.

Formal communication networks also occur within the hierarchy of the

organization and reflect how groups of employees, for example those in
a department, work together. Networking or mapping the flow of
communication in an organization can be a useful device. This can
identify who is communicating with whom and whether the lines of
communication are effective and efficient, or whether there is
potential for destructive conflict or tension arising from the
communication channels (for example, inappropriate diagonal
Characteristics of a formal organization

 Well defined rules and regulation

 Arbitrary structure
 Determined objectives and policies
 Status symbol
 Limitation on the activities of the individual
 Strict observance of the principle of co-ordination
 Messages are communicated through scalar chain

Q4. Explain the relevance of informal communication network and how

to use for the benefit of a multi product company like Hindustan
Unilever Ltd.

Answer- Usefulness of informal communication

• The speed of comm. Is quite high
• Free comm. Irrespective of hierarchy
• Easy to get feedback about a policy
• The info that can’t be passed through formal channel can be
passed through informal one
Disadvantage of informal communication
• Rumors spread like wild fire
• Difficult to maintain secrecy
• The source of communication cannot be located.