Organizational Communication

By Prof. Medha Mehta

Success for YOU in the new global and diverse workplace requires excellent communication skills!

Organizational communication
 Organizational communication is the specific process through which information moves and is exchanged throughout an organization.  Complex and varied but important for organizational functioning and success  Variation across type and structure  Impact of communication technologies and capabilities on effective organizational forms and processes  Communication at micro, meso, and macro levels  Formals and informal communication practices  Externally directed communications

Organizational communication (contd..)
 Channel richness.
– The capacity of a communication channel to convey

information effectively.
– Richest channels — face-to-face communication. – Moderately rich channels — telephone, electronic chat

rooms, E-mail, written memos, and letters.
– Leanest channels — posted notices and bulletins.

information also passes through an organisation informally  Communication is not complete until feedback has been received .Channels of Communication  Channels between departments or functions involve lateral communication  As well as formal channels of communication.

and bargaining  Coordinating and regulation of production activities. directing. innovation . sense making.Key functions of communication  Basic function of communication is to effect receiver knowledge or behavior by informing. conflict management. and persuading. motivating. and influencing.  compliance gaining. regulating. socialization. socializing. and decision making. leading. negotiating.

organizational and cultural context Negotiated View: Looks at the overall body of communication. contextual. but on the larger context of communicationverbal and nonverbal cues. It seeks to exploit how the creation and maintenance of social relations materialize in talk. relational context between the sender and receiver within a larger social. and negotiated perspectives  Communication as Mechanistic system: How can an information source get a message to a destination with a minimum of distortion and errors?  Contextual approach: It focuses not just on content (accurate exchange of information or convey the meaning). . Three perspectives on communication: Technical.

. and use information to link with the environment.What forces influence communication in the high performance workplace?  The explosion of new communication technologies is one of the greatest contemporary challenges.  Advances in information technologies enable organizations to: – – – – – Distribute information much faster.  Everyone must stay current on information technologies and organizational communication issues. Allow broader and more immediate access to information.  Effective communication skills are essential for career success. Integrate systems and functions. Make more information available. Encourage participation in the sharing and use of information.

specialisation is possible  Matrix .decisions made centrally  Pyramid . individuals have responsibility  Independent .seen in professions where organisation provides support systems and little else .staff have a role.staff with specific skills join project teams.Forms of Business Structure  Entrepreneurial . shared decision making.

Illustrating Structures 1 The Pyramid Decisions pass down formal channels from managers to staff Traditional view of organisations Information flows up formal channels from staff to management .

Illustrating Structures 2 Key worker Entrepreneurial Quick to act but pressure on decision makers Decision maker Great reliance on key workers supporting decision makers Key worker Most small businesses have this structure Key worker One or two people make decisions Key worker .

Illustrating Structures 3 Matrix Marketing Project A Project teams created Project B Staff with specialist skills Production Finance .

Illustrating Structures 4 Independent Dr A Not suited to most businesses due to lack of control Support systems to professionals such as doctors Dr D Dr C Dr B .

More on Business Structure     Centralisation Managers keep control Decisions are made in the interests of the whole business Costs can be cut by standardising purchasing and so on Strong leadership     Decentralisation Empowering and motivating Freeing up senior managers’ time Better knowledge of those closer to customers Good staff development .

Channels of Communication  Communication in organisations follows paths or channels  Communication between managers and subordinates is known as vertical communication  This is because the information flows up or down the hierarchy .

policies Company goals Mission statements Horizontal Task coordination Information sharing Problem solving Conflict resolution Upward Employee feedback Progress reports Reports of customer interaction.Communication Flowing Through Formal Channels Downward Management directives Job plans. feedback Suggestions for improvement Anonymous hotline .

Forms of Communication Flowing Through Formal Channels Written Executive memos. letters Annual report Company newsletter Bulletin board postings Orientation manual Oral Telephone Face-to-face conversation Company meetings Team meetings Electronic E-mail Voicemail Instant Messaging Intranet Videoconferencing .

Type of communication in organisation  Formal communication – Vertical – Horizontal – Lateral/Diagonal  Informal communication – Grapevine .

Vertical/Lateral Communication Organisation chart shows vertical (black arrows) and lateral (green arrows) Board of Directors Finance Marketing Production Finance Officers Marketing Assistants Factory Operatives .

and diagonal : Hierarchical communication  Hierarchical Communication: exchange of information between managers and employees  Managers provide five types of information through downward communication      Job instructions Job rationale Organizational procedures and practices Feedback about performance Indoctrination of goals  Employees in turn communicate information about      Themselves Co-workers Problems Organizational practices and policies What needs to be done and how to do it .Vertical. horizontal.

suggestions.  Upward communication informs higher level personnel about lower level workers’: – – – – – Problems.Upward communication  The flow of information from lower to higher levels of the organization. grievance programmes and employee participation  Reasons for poor upward communication: Fear of appraisal Filters. Results. Needs  Enhanced through surveys.ideas/concerns get modified as they get transmitted upward Time. Suggestions.impression that managers don’t have time to listen . Questions.

 Top managers should directly communicate with immediate supervisors  Immediate supervisors should communicate to lower level personnel about • • • • • Strategies. Feedback.  Communicate orally. Objectives. Policies.  On issues of importance top managers should then follow up by communicating with employees directly. then follow up in writing . Instructions.Downward Communication  The flow of information follows the chain of command from top to bottom.

Message Distortion Downward Communication Through Five Levels of Management Message written by board of directors Amount of message 100% .

Message Distortion Downward Communication Through Five Levels of Management Message written by board of directors received by vice-president Amount of message 100% 63% .

Message Distortion Downward Communication Through Five Levels of Management Message written by board of directors received by vice-president received by general supervisor Amount of message 100% 63% 56% .

Message Distortion Downward Communication Through Five Levels of Management Message written by board of directors received by vice-president received by general supervisor received by plant manager Amount of message 100% 63% 56% 40% .

Message Distortion Downward Communication Through Five Levels of Management Message Amount of message written by board of directors received by vice-president received by general supervisor 100% 63% 56% received by plant manager received by team leader 40% 30% .

Message Distortion Downward Communication Through Five Levels of Management Message Amount of message written by board of directors received by vice-president received by general supervisor 100% 63% 56% received by plant manager received by team leader received by worker 40% 30% 20% .

Advice.  Diagonal. • Serving internal customers. Feedback. • Serving external customers.Involves communication among persons who do not stand in hierarchical relation to one another  Lateral communication enables persons and work units to coordinate: – – – – Problems. Needs.refers to communication between managers and workers located in different functional divisions .  Organizational ecology.  Very important in high performance organizations.Lateral and Diagonal communication  Lateral. • The study of how building design may influence communication and productivity by improving lateral communication.

or rumor from person to person. Management Level Aware that grapevine exists Conditions associated with increased grapevine activity: Important subject Top 70% 60% Middle 81% 69% Lower 92% 92% Lack of formal management communication 54% 60% 88% .The informal transmission of information. gossip.Informal Communication  Grapevine.

Meso Mass Communication-Macro .Key Distinctions  Levels: Interpersonal communication-Micro Group level communication-Meso Organizational level communication-Meso Inter-organizational level communication.

and on the part of most persons to duck tough issues and avoid conflict ‘Flamming’ Effect of computer mediated communication.the tendency on the part of the professionals to preserve their reputation by not admitting what they don’t know. Topics include- Active non-evaluative listening-The skill to receive messages is as important as the skill associated with the messages Skill incompetence.Ignorance of social context and free expression as receivers don’t have nonverbal cues  Distinctions within interpersonal communication include: Sending /receiving (listening). oral/written/electronic.Interpersonal communication  Major form of communication  Focus on improving communication skill of members (speaking and writing). and verbal and nonverbal .

there is sufficient communication and management actions match their communication  High say low do.culture of informal and formal communication conflict .Meso level: Group. organizational and interorganizational level  Formal Vs Informal communication  Say.do matrix -managers say one thing but do another -Ideal is high say-do quadrant.

customers and the public. partnerships. participative management.  Done through organizational alliances. communication competencies of the organization become important. networks.Internally Vs. employee and stakeholder involvement . Externally directed communication  When organization increases the range and centrality of their interactions with suppliers.

Benefits of Email 1) 2) 3) Reduces the cost of distributing information to a large number of employees Increases teamwork Reduces the cost and time associated with print duplication and paper distribution Fosters flexibility 4) .

Benefits of Telecommuting 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) Reduction of capital costs Increased flexibility and autonomy for workers Competitive edge in recruitment Lower turnover Increased productivity Tapping nontraditional labor pools .

Some questions  What current communication needs and challenges are not being adequately addressed?  Do critical/formal communication conflicts exist?  What new communication needs and challenges are most likely to be faced by the organization?  How could communication technologies and computer aided communication rich environments enable and facilitate communication across boundaries and geographical distances?  Can new communication technology improve the effectiveness and efficiency? .

 Always solicit employees ideas.  Avoid sarcastic remarks.  Be honest with all employees.  Be specific. Share information and feelings. COMMUNICATION  Develop trust. .GUIDELINES FOR IMPROVING ORG.  Communicate openly. suggestions and reactions. cultivate it.  Supply background information.  Talk to an employee on one adult to another.

Factors •Reducing noise •Encouraging informal communication •Balancing information load and information processing capability .IMPROVING INTERPERSONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION Ind. Factors •Active listening •Providing feedback •Leveling Org.

non discriminatory words) . where and why of any message.  Concreteness (use of specific facts and figures and avoiding uncertainty).THE SEVEN Cs OF ORGANIZATONAL COMMUNICATION  Completeness (includes all five Ws: what.  Clarity (it requires short.  Consideration (Focus on positivity i.e.  Courtesy (thoughtfulness immediate reply etc). when. familiar conversational words.  Correctness (informal language. what can be done and on personal honor.  Conciseness (no repetition. truthfulness and sincerity). use of examples and illustrations). who. only relevant informations).

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