What is Communication? (Organizational Communication)
Communication is the transformation of information from one person to another person to fulfill common interests. It is the exchange of facts, opinions, ideas, suggestions, emotions, and other information from one person to another. The exchange of information can be done from person to person, one place to another, one group to another, one organization to another.
Communication can be verbal or non-verbal. To complete the communication at least there must be a sender, a piece of information, and a receiver.
Communication is essential to impart an understanding of the subject matter of the information. In other words, it is the transfer of meaning and understanding between people through verbal and non-verbal means in order to affect behavior and achieve results.
It is one of the important functions of management. It is the function of every manager. A manager would have to make necessary communication to his subordinates to implement a plan and to get feedback on the achievement of works.
Many scholars defined communication in their own ways, some of the important definitions are:
Newman and Summer – Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions by two or more persons.
Rickey W. Griffin – Communication is the process of transmitting information from one person to another.
Koontz and Weihrich – Communication is the transfer of information from a sender to receiver with the information being understood by the receiver.
Communication is continuous till the existence of the organization. It is the basis for organizational function. It has been playing an important role to implement managerial functions. Managers provide instructions, guidance, and suggestions to subordinates to implement plans and policies. And subordinates provide information of achievement of work and problems faced in the process of performing work to the management through the means of communication.
Thus, communication is the process of transmitting information from one person to another in a clear and meaningful manner. In business organizations, it is essential to maintain coordination among the group force and their efforts. Ultimately, it helps to achieve organizational goals and objectives.
8 Characteristics of a Good Communication
It is the exchange of information from one person to another. It helps to maintain coordination among all the mechanisms of the organization and gain common goals.
Following are the important characteristics of communication:
#1 Minimum Two Persons
In communication, there must be at least two persons. One is the sender and another is a receiver. The sender delivers messages and the receiver receives the messages. They exchange information of common interest with each other. However, in mass communication, there may be more than two persons.
#2 Two Way Process
For the effectiveness of the information, there must be a two-way process in the communication. Where the sender sends messages to the receiver, there must the provision of feedback from the receiver.
In the management hierarchy, the information of direction, guidance, and instruction is communicated from the top level to the subordinate level. The subordinates communicate the information of achievement of works and difficulty in the performance to the upper level. It is essential to get feedback on the direction.
#3 Pervasive Function
Communication is a pervasive managerial function. It is the function of every manager. The top-level manager communicates to the middle-level managers, the middle-level manager communicates to lower-level managers, the lower-level manager communicates to operating level employees, and vice versa. It is essential to get feedback on performance to be achieved.
#4 Complete and Rational Process
It is a rational and complete process. It is a transmission of understanding from the sender to the receiver. A receiver processes for a response only when he is able to understand the subject of the message.
An effective communication system must be clear, complete, and rational. An unclear and incomplete message becomes worthless and confuses the receiver. Therefore, complete and rational communication is an important need from the human relation perspective.
#5 Continuous Function
It is the continuous function up to the existence of an organization and its performance. It is also said that “if there is no communication, there is no functioning of an organization”.
A manager communicates to subordinates and other authorities of the organization in a continuous way to know about the problems and achievement of works. In this way, the connection among workgroups is essential to maintain continuity in the regular functions of the organization.
#6 Oral or Written
It is maybe in oral and in written form. Generally, managers are communicated either orally or in writing. When messages are important and carry evidential or formal information, it is appropriate to use written means. And, for general and regular information, it is sufficient to use oral means.
In addition, the use of signs, hints, and symbols are also means of communication. These means are used in exceptional situations.
#7 Formal or Informal Communication
On the basis of nature and system, it may be either formal or informal. Formal communication flows through formal channels of the organization. These means are used to communicate official information within and outside of an organization.
Informal communication flows through informal channels, which is not defined by the management. The informal groups on the basis of their mutual relation, interest, like, and purpose develop these means.
#8 Basis of Action and Coordination
It is the most important element of action and coordination. Managers provide direction to subordinates through the use of communications means. It helps to implement plans and policies in practical operation.
Besides, it contributes to maintaining coordination among workgroups to develop the concept of team spirit. In conclusion, it is one of the most important means for effective implementation of plans, maintaining coordination, and attaining organizational goals.