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What is communication? Explain the process types and principles of Communication? What are the barriers to communication? removed ? How these barriers can be

Introduction Communication is the most important and most effective element of the management process, Interpersonal communication is essential for all managerial activities. Managerial functions involve some form of directions and feedback. Effective management is a function of effective communication. Many operations have failed on account of poor communication, misunderstood messages and unclear instructions. Definitions 1) 2) 3) Kazmier Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another. NewmanCommunication is an exchange of facts ideas, Opinions or emotions by two or more persons. Allen -- Communication is sum total of all the things one person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of another. It is a bridge of meaning. It involves systematic and continuing process of telling, listening and understanding. Koontz and ODonnel Communication is the transfer of information from one person to another whether or not it elicits confidence. But the information transferred must be understandable to the receiver.


Communication is much more than simply transformation of information as it involves interpretation and understanding of the message. It is an interchange of thoughts and information to create mutual understanding and confidence. It is the informational intercourse through words, letters, symbols or message. According to one survey an average Indian spends nearly 78 percent of his time in communicating. By communication we mean the flow of material information, perception and understanding between various parts and members of an organization, and all the methods, means and media of communication all channels of networks , the system of communication all the person to person interchange. It includes all aspects of communication up, down, lateral , speaking writing, listening, reading, methods, media, channels networks flow ; interpersonal , interorganizational intra organizational. Nature of Communication From the above definitions, the following features of communication may be identified. i) ii) Communication is a two way or reciprocal process involving exchange of ideas, facts and opinions. It provides feed back mechanism. It is a meeting of minds. Communication is a co-operative process involving two or more persons and the end result of communication is mutual understanding.


Communication is a continuous process. A manager has to be continuously in touch with his subordinates and superiors in order to get things get done it is a dynamic activity. Communication is a pervasive function as it applies to all levels of management and all phases of management. It travels up and down and also from side to side. The main purpose of communication is to motivate a response and to create mutual understanding. It aims at achieving organizational goals through creating right type of responses. It is the basis of action, co-operation and effective management. Communication includes all means by which meaning or message is conveyed from one party to another. These include written words spoken words, facial expressions, signs , gestures visual aids etc. Communication is a circular process. Every communication leads to reaction or feed back which may generate future communication.

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Objectives of communication i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) vii) To develop information and understanding among all employees. To foster an attitude which is necessary for motivation co-operation and job satisfaction. To discourage mis information, ambiguity and rumours. To prepare workers for a change in methods or environment by giving them necessary information in advance. To encourage subordinates to supply ideas and suggestions for improving upon the product or work environment and taking these suggestions seriously. To improve labour management relations by keeping the communication channels open. To encourage communication. social relations among workers by encouraging inter

Importance of Communication Modern period is characterized by communication explosion, communication is the precondition of civilization because without the ability to communicate it would be impossible to accumulate knowledge, and there will not be progress in human life. In case of business organizations, effective functioning is not possible without effective communication. The necessity of effective communication in management is widely recognized, hence its importance may be described as follows 1) Smooth and steady functioning of an Enterprise An effective system of communication is necessary for smooth and steady functioning of an organization of any type. Communication plays a major role in organizations. As instructions and information are passed continuously from are end to the other from superior to subordinate etc.


Quick decision making and implementation Communication helps the administration to take quick decisions and systematic implementation of them. It lubricates the organizational machinery by way of keeping the people working in accordance with the decisions of the top management.


Proper planning and co-operation Communication helps in planning by a wider participation which makes to accomplish the task easier and effective. As Niles has pointed out, Good communications are essential to co-ordination. They are necessary upward, downward and sideways through all the levels of authority and advice for the transmission, interpretation and adoption of policies for the sharing of knowledge and information and for the more subtle needs of good morale and mutual understanding.


Maximum productivity with Minimum cost Effective system of communication helps to attain maximum production at minimum cost by motivating employees through proper planning and explaining their roles, building up high morale in the organization. Communication then becomes a part of education, propaganda , leadership and guidance function of management.


Democratic Management and Morale Building Under an effective communication and system employees can express their grievances, attract attention of management toward their problems and get proper settlement. Thus it helps in morale building and democratic management.


Sound Management As peter Drucker has pointed out, good communication is foundation of sound management. The functions of management like planning , integrating and controlling depend on communication. Any plan is based on information, which is not possible without communication. Adaptation of changing environment may not be possible without communication. While exercising functions of management there are interactions with the people that leads to communication. While exercising functions of management there are interactions with the people, that leads to communication. Thus communication is an important dimension of organizational life which determines the effectiveness and efficiency of management. Thus communication is important in organization as it ties people and structure together, it serves as a bridge of meaning between two or more people. It involves understanding and acceptance of the ideas to act in it. Effective communications is the substance of management. Process of communication The basic elements of communication are as follows 1) Sender or Source

The message originates from the sender, which may be an individual, a group, an institution, an organization or even a machine. He initiates the communication process because he has a need to communicate or has some idea or information, which he wants to communicate to the receiver for example, a manager communicates with other members, subordinates, superiors etc. People in production department communication with the people in marketing department etc each communicator has to transmit information to other person called receiver. 2) Encoding The communicators message or information may be coded in order to maintain secrecy or privacy, so it is put in the form symbols or privacy, so it is put in the form symbols or by language sometimes messages are encoded non verbally like gestures. This message has to be tranglated in simple language to explain the idea. This is known as encoding. Encoding should convey exact message either verbal or non verbal message. Communication Process Noise

Sender Or Source (1)











The Message The output of encoding process is the message sent by the sender the message is what a manager is communicating and the form of message whether verbal non verbal, depends upon the purpose of communication. It is necessary that the message sent by the sender should be clear and precise.


Channel Channel is a medium or carrier of message sent by the sender. It provides a bridge between the sender and the receiver of the message sight and sound are the common channels in the context of business organization the channel may be face to face meeting, written memos, telephonic talks, letters group meetings etc. Sometimes managers send their messages by their silence, facial expressions and tone of voice and

other body movements. The receive should understand what the communication wants to communicate. 5) Decoding Decoding element refers to the process by which the receiver translates the message into the terms that one meaningful to him. Some times staff professionals use symbol that are decoded by the people outside the group. The main purpose of communication is to transfer an idea from one person to another. When the idea is correctly transferred there is agreement in the process, otherwise distortion in decoding takes place, due to sever factors such as linguistic, or semantic difficulties, receivers past experience, his expectation etc. The gap arises between intended meaning and perceived meaning. 6) Receiver It is the most important element of communication process. The sender should take into account the receiver and his abilities his understanding capacity of the message being transmitted. Effective communication is always receiver oriented and not media oriented. 7) Feed back Feed back is essential for removing distortion between intended and the received message. One way communication lacks in feed back hence two way communication with feed back is said to be more effective feed back loop provides a channel for receiver response which enable the sender to know whether the message received is exactly the same as the message sent. Feed back may be direct or face to face or indirect in terms of actual results. Feed back provides a check to see how successfully the message has been transferred and interpreted by the receiver. Types of communication Organization is a network of communication channels. These channels may evolve on their own or may be deliberately designed. Various types of communications are as follows

Types of Communcation

Verbal (Oral) Or Written 1) Verbal or Oral Communication

Formal Or informal

Downward upward and Horizontal

It is also known as face to face communication and may be in the form of direct talk and conversation or the public address, telephone calls or talking on intercom system. It is more effective while setting a dispute among employees or reprimanding and worker. In one way communication. It is very effective for leaders to address the followers via public address system or audio visual media. The human voice can provide the message much more forcefully and effectively than written words and is an effective way of changing attitudes, beliefs and feelings as faith trust and sincerity can be much measured in a face to face conversation rather than written words advantages 1) It is direct, simple, time saving and cheaper form of communication. 2) It allows for feedback and spontaneous thinking. 3) It helps in avoiding delays, red tape and other formalities. 4) It conveys personal warmth and friendliness and develops a sense of belonging because of personal contacts. 5) Any misunderstanding can be cleared immediately. 6) It is more convenient to measure the effect of communication. 7) It is the only method to be used during periods of emergency. Disadvantages 1) There is no formal record of transaction. 2) If the verbal message is passed on along the hierarchical chain of command, then some distortion can occur during the process. 3) Lengthy and distant communications cannot be effectively conveyed verbally. 4) The receiver may receive the message in his own perception and thus misunderstand the intent of the message. 5) Spontaneous responses may not be carefully thought about. 6) The spirit of authority cannot be transmitted effectively in verbal transaction. 7) Many a times different meaning be conveyed by manner of speaking, tone of voice and facial expressions. 8) It may be taken casually 2) Written CommunicationIt is communication in writing and is mostly in the form of letters, instructions, memos, rules and regulations formal reports policy manuals etc. Written communication in organizations is necessary for efficient functioning of organization. It is effective where action is to be taken during certain future period. It is often used where communication of technical and lengthy information is necessary. It is more orderly and more binding subordinates.

Advantages i) ii) iii) ii) iii) iv) v) Written communication provides permanent record for future reference. It serves as evidence of events and proceedings. It reduces possibility of misunderstanding and misrepresentation. It can save time when many persons scattered over area are to be connected at the same time. It is useful for lengthy and statistical information for its communication. It appears formal and authoritative for action. It can be checked for accuracy.

Disadvantages i) ii) iii) iv) i) B) It tends to be time consuming and lengthy reports difficult to remember in full. There is no feed back opportunity to be sure that the receiver has understood the message. Written material may leak out before time causing problems. Secrecy cannot be maintained. It leads to excessive formality in personal relations.

Formal Communication -Formal communication refers to the flow of information and ideas through the formally established channels. Formal communications is official or institutional channel, deliberately created by the management. It is established by formal structure of authority relationships through delegation. It is associated with the status or position of the sender and receiver i.e. superior subordinate relationships. It is hierarchical in nature. It is usually in writing in the form of policy manuals, hand books order, memos , company bulletins etc. Formal communication deals with work related matters. All orders and instructions , decision etc are communicated to subordinates. It is authentic in nature. It is a systematic, timely and orderly flow of information and ideas. It supports executive authority and control and helps in fixing responsibility for results. Formal communication tends to be slow and inflexible as it has to flow through the scalar chain. Formal channels do not satisfy all the needs of employees. It may be resisted and distorted. It results in filtering of information at various points. In order to overcome such problems a system of multiple channels linking one position with various other positions may be used. But unlimited use of it may lead to confusion and may undermine superiors authority.

Informal Communication (Grape Vine) It is the communication-taking place among employees through informal contacts. It is structuraless unofficial channel, unplanned communication. It is spontaneous network of personal contacts. It originates on account of informal work groups that are present in all types of organizations informal communication arises due to the natural human tendency to communicate to each other. It is crated by people on their own. Informal channel includes all non formal communications. Employees want to know what is going on in the organization and when they do not get required information through formal channels, they adopt informal channels. Similarly, a manager may seek some information about workers through grapevine, personal information about superiors is not communicated through formal channels, so employees try to get it through grapevine. Informal communication fills up gaps in the formal communication system. It is flexible & fast flow of ideas and information it is multidimensional and dynamic in nature as it does not follow any chain of command grapevine is useful for motivating employees building team work and creating loyalty to the organization. It may be used to supplement formal channel to clarify managements views it helps in providing feed back to managers and helps him in meeting social needs of employees. The main limitation with grape vine is that it often carries incomplete information, and rumors, which may misled employees. Hence managers should see that grapevine in the organization in a desired way by supplying necessary information to the employees in time informal leaders may help in stopping a rumor. When true facts are told to them. Formal and Informal channels exist simultaneously. These may help to promote interaction between the functional and social systems of an organization. They can play complementary role. Downward, Upward and Horizontal Communication Formal communication may have downward ,upward and horizontal channels of both oral and written communication. a) Downward Communication -Downward communication originates from superior in scalar chain. It is used to control and influence subordinates. It initiates activity and has high degree of acceptance. Sometimes downward communication may be resisted, distorted or difficult for co-coordinating purposes. However it is through downward communication a manager defines goals, direct the subordinates, tells them what is expected of them. He administers rewards for better performance and punishes for undesirable activities. The examples of downward communication are given below



Instructions Lectures, meetings Counseling Grapevine, Rumors b) Upward Communication --

Orders, instructions Policy statements Company manuals Union Circulars Bulletins etc.

It includes transmission of messages from subordinates to superiors. It serves as a feed back which enables management to know about how far downward communication is understood and implemented. The upward communication is useful for knowing about suggestions, attitudes and grievances of employees. Upward communication provides an opportunity to subordinates to participate and satisfy their egoistic needs. But this communication is hampered by status gaps, lack of trust, lack of support by management etc. Upward communication may take following forms. Oral Face to Face communication Grape vine, remour Meetings/Conferences Interviews Social and Cultural activities c) Horizontal Communication-It is communication between persons at the same level in organizational hierarchy. Formal Communication allows horizontal communication or interaction. It is a mechanism of co-ordination, and supports parties emotionally and socially. It helps in co-coordinating activities of different departments or divisions of an organization. However it may be hampered by functional departmentation, specialized thinking and narrow outlook. Horizontal communication is also known as lateral or crosswise communication. In the context formal communication it is necessary that a proper balance should be achieved between various flows of communication. Upward, downward and horizontal communication are complementary to each other. A three way communication system tends to be more effective than one way communication especially downward communication. Principles of Communiction In order to make communication more effective the following principles may be followed i) Principle of clarityThe idea or message to be transmitted should be clear so that it can be properly understood by the receiver. The idea must be interpreted in the same sense and spirit. The words do not speak themselves but the speaker gives meaning to them. Written Reports Grievances Suggestions Complaints Attitude/morale surveys.


Principle of Attention-In order to making communication effective it is necessary that the attention of the recipient has to be drawn to the message communicated to him.


Principle of Consistency -The communication to be effective has to be consistent with the plans, objectives, policies and programs of the organization. Because in consistent messages tend to create Chaos and confusion in the minds of the employees which is not desirable for the organization.


Principle of Adequacy-To make communication effective the information should be adequate and complete in all respects. If it is inadequate then it delays action and destroys understanding and relations the purpose of communication may not be served.


Principle of Timeliness The ideas or information should be communicated at proper time because any delay in communicating the message fails to serve the purpose of communication and its effectiveness also decreases significantly.


Principle of Integration Communication must aim at integrating individual objectives with the organizational objectives so that it will promote cooperation among the employees.


Principle of informality Although formal communication is important in the formal organization still informal communication is equally important it is desirable that the executives in the organization should behave as informally as possible. It may make them efficient and effective.


Principle of feedbackThe communication must be confirmed through feedback, in order to know whether the recipient has understood properly or not and to know whether the recipient has agreed or not to the proposal. It is essential to understand the people.


Principle of communication networkCommunication network means the routes through which the flow of communication takes place so as to reach at the particular recipient as desired by the sender. A manager should select that network which is most suitable and effective.

When these principle are followed communication becomes more effective and it will help in promoting co-operative spirit in the organization. Barriers of communication The communication must be interpreted and understood in the same manner and in the same since as it was meant to be sent by the sender, otherwise it cannot achieve the desired results and a communication breakdown may take place. There are several roadblocks to effective communication breakdown may take place. There are several roadblocks to effective communication, which may affect the proper reception of communication. In addition there are personal factors, which may be responsible for misinterpretation of communication. These of communication. These barriers may be discussed as follow (see table ) 1) Physical Barriers These are environmental factors, which obstruct smooth flow of communication. This includes noises and other interferences. As physical distance increases communication of message becomes more difficult. Sometimes equipments to be used may be defective. 2) Personal or Socio-Psychological Barriers Personal barriers may arise from motives attitudes, judgment, emotions, social values of persons which may create psychological distance. When people with different perceptions communicate they find it difficult to arrive at proper meaning, they find it difficult to arrive at proper meaning, as everyone perceives the message from his own viewpoint. Effective communication requires mutual trust and confidence. Differences in value judgments and reference frames may inhibit communication. Sometimes cognitive dissonance may create problems, as people tend to be selective in receiving and reacting to the communication in the organization. A person tends to hear only those messages which confirm and endorse his beliefs, opinions, attitudes and judgments. People tend to ignore the counter points or views thinking that these are hostile or unfriendly. Many a times a person is pre occupied and hence he may not be able to pay proper attention. Notices circulars, bulletins etc fail to activate him. Poor retention and improper timings may affect communication process adversely. 3) Organizational Barriers-Organization is intentionally created mechanism to achieve certain goals. It provides a formal framework through which communication is designed to flow, but the structuring of flow itself may impede the communication. Organizational policies, rules and regulations, superior subordinate relationship and complex structure of organization may affect communication. 2) Semantic Barriers Semantics means the meaning attached to a word or symbol. It has been rated that about 80% of English words have more than one meaning. Semantic difference exist between the vocabularies of old people and young people, and among people in different areas, jobs, careers etc. These differences lead to a great deal of distortion. Sometimes body language may be inconsistent with

verbal communication or tone of the speech may lend another meaning to an innocent sentence. Similarly symbols may have many meanings and we have to choose any of them according to the extent of the text of communication. Pictures are visual aids worth thousand words. An organization us pictures like blueprints, charts, maps films etc. But sometimes these pictures may create maps, films etc. But sometimes these pictures may create confusion, so selected words are attached to make them more meaningful.


Mechanical Barriers Inadequate arrangement for transmission of news, facts and figures, poor office layout, defective procedures and practices and the use of wrong media etc. tend to be the barriers in effective communication of messages. On account of these barriers the message may not be properly communicated and it may result in distortion, filtering and omission. Distortion means changing the context of the message or the meaning of the message. Filtering means reducing the message only to a few basic details. Omission means deletion or excluding all or the part of the message. Hence it is necessary to be careful about these barriers to communication and attempts should be made to overcome them. Barriers of communication

Physical Barriers

Personal Or-Organizational SocioBarriers Psychological Barriers

Semantic Barriers

Mechanical Barriers

1) Noise 1) Cultural 1) Status & Position 2) Distance 2) Perception 2) Poor supervision 3) Equipment 3) in attention 3) Inadequate & media used 4) poor retention Information 4) Information overload Practices

1. Inferences 1. Inadequate 2. Symbols Network a) Languages 2. Poor office b) Pictures Layout c) Actions 3. Defective d) Body language procedures &

5) Resistance to 5) Network breakdown 3. Multimeaning to change words 6) Selection of 6) Organizational 4. unclarified improper Policy assumption channel 7) Organizational 5. Faculty Translation 7) Poor timing structure 6. Bodly expressed Results message i. Distoration ii. Filtering iii. Omission Overcoming Communication Barriers

Effective communication is necessary for efficient management. Breakdowns in communication are not only expensive and time consuming but are also injudicious to teamwork, motivation and morale of employees. Hence it is essential to take necessary steps to ensure that the process of communication takes place effectively. Although it may be difficult to eliminate all these barriers, efforts have to be made to have adequate communication stystem in the organization. The following measures can be suggested to make communication effective. 1) Clarification of the idea-The idea or message should be clear about what the communicator wants to communicate and he should be clear about the objective of the communication. He should select a suitable medium and form of communication carefully. The message should be concrete, and correct. Technical terms should be avoided and language suitable to the listener be used.


Completeness of message The message should be complete, timely and adequate in all respects in order to avoid any misunderstanding. All the important details should be included and underlying assumption also should be clarified. If the detailed information is not supplied, people may make assumptions about missing information. This results in distortion of the meaning. Incomplete communication tends to delay action and spoils relations and also increases costs. The message has to be relevant to the nature and purpose of communication.


Understanding the Receiver The communicators must take into consideration the physical and mental abilities of the receiver of the message. He must find out needs, feelings reception capacity, perceptions and understanding levels of person receiving the message, and then communicate the message. The message should be designed from the view point of the receiver. Thus the sender of the message must concentrate on the problems from the receivers point of view, or the message must be receiver oriented which is known as an empathy in communications.


Using Appriate Channels The channels and media used for communication must be suitable to the message, the receiver and the purpose of communication. A judicious combination of formal and informal channels, written and oral media may help in improving the effectiveness of communication.


Consistency in communication The message should be consistent with the objectives, policies programs and philosophy of the organization. This is necessary to avoid confusion and chaos in the organization. Different messages have to be consistent. Communications need to be supported by proper actions and behaviour to ensure creditability in communications. As action and deeds speak louder than words, Adequate facilities should be provided for promoting communication.


Feed back system

In order to be effective, communication should be a two way process and attempts should be made to know the reactions of the receiver. The use of feedback mechanism helps in promoting participation of subordinates and is useful in making future communications more effective. An ideal feed back system helps in building up of mutual understanding and in avoiding distortions in messages. Feed back indicates the return flow of communication. 7) Simplified StructureThe communication system can be made more effective by simplifying the procedures, reducing the layers, making constructive use of grapevine or informal communication and regulating information flow. The lines of communication should be direct and short and the number of levels should be minimized as far as possible. Regulation of the flow of information eliminates communication overload and ensures optimum flow information to members of the organization. Filtering of information should be discouraged. It is desirable that the communication system should be tailor made to the needs of the organization.


Improving Listening The sender and the receiver of the message must be able to listen with attention, patience and empathy. Generally top executives suffer from bad listening and they need to avoid value judgments. They should be aware of actions and their impact on others.


Mutual Trust and Confidence Communication is basically an interpersonal process and in order to make it more effective, it is necessary to develop mutual trust, respect and confidence among the members of the organization. The organizational climate should be made more personal and intimate. Attitudes and behaviour of the people are necessary to be modified to overcome barriers of status and class distinctions. The executives should be provided adequate training for improving their communication skills. These steps may help in minimizing barriers in communication in organizations.