Communication in Organizational BehaviorThe role of communication in organizational behavior is a vital one, as miscommunication typicallyreduces productivity and increases error and waste. Accurate communication transmitted in asupportive manner often results in increased morale and may also lead to a greater sense ofcamaraderie among staff. Within organizations, having a more open communication policy may providea safety valve to vent problems before these issues impact productivity. Anotherrole communication plays in organizational behavior includes equipping stakeholders to clearlycommunicate the organizations mission. Maintaining an accurate record of the organizations activitiesand encouraging civil and positive engagement with customers and stakeholders are two otherimportant roles played by communication in organizational behavior.Failure to transmit accurate instructions may negatively impact communication. This may result in anincreased error rate, and diminished productivity in the workplace. If a supervisors instructions aremisunderstood, serious consequences may result. These may include injury to employees or offending ahighly valued client.Clear, consistent communication, on the other hand, often encourages more productiveworkplace behavior and increases morale. The role of this type of communication inorganizational behavior results in workers feeling more in control of their environment. Encouragingproductive communication between staff and clients has been demonstrated, in many cases, to increasecustomer satisfaction as well.Equipping stakeholders to accurately communicate an organizations values and mission is anotherimportant aspect of communication in organizational behavior. Sometimes companies take newemployees or board members through an orientation session in order to give them a historical andcurrent picture of the organization. This helps ensure that all of those associated with the organizationcommunicate similar messages about its mission and goals.Instituting an open-door policy for employees may also be a part of facilitating accuratecommunication about the organization to those outside it. This often supports public relationsinitiatives, as disgruntled employees or those who have unresolved issues may disseminate hostilereports, thus causing a public relations problem for the organization. From a proactive standpoint,equipping stakeholders with accurate information about the organization often facilities positive publicrelations.Maintaining an accurate record of corporate events is generally deemed critically important. In almostevery case, there are laws in place that require organizations to adhere to various reportingrequirements. Transmitting inaccurate information may incur criminal penalties as well. For example, ifthe organization is a corporation, certain internal communications, such as minutes of corporatemeetings, are required to be kept for a certain period of time.
Methods of Communication:Numerous new instruments have emerged over the years to help people communicate effectivelyOral Communication:Oral communication could be said to be the most used form of communication. Whether it is to presentsome important data to your colleagues or lead a boardroom meeting, these skills are vital.We are constantly using words verbally to inform our subordinates of a decision, provide information,and so on. This is done either by phone or face-to-face.The person on the receiving end would also need to exercise much caution to ensure that he/she clearlyunderstands what is being said this shows therefore, that you would need to cultivate both yourlistening and speaking skills, as you would have to carry out both roles in the workplace, with differentpeople.Written Communication:Writing is used when you have to provide detailed information such as figures and facts, even whilegiving a presentation.It is also generally used to send documents and other important material to stakeholders, which couldthen be stored for later use as it can be referred to easily as it is recorded. Other important documentssuch as contracts, memos, and minutes of meetings are also in written form for this purpose.It can be seen in recent years however, that verbal communication has been replaced to a great extentby a faster form of written communication, and that is email.You could also use videoconferencing and multiple way phone calls with several individualssimultaneously. Apart from a few glitches that could occur, these methods of communication havehelped organizations come a long way.Body Language:Although the most common methods of communication are carried out orally or in writing, when itcomes to management techniques, the power of non-verbal communication must never beunderestimated.Your smile, your gestures and several other body movements send out a message to the people aroundyou. You need to be mindful of this while dealing with your employees and customers.Always remember to maintain eye contact. This would show that you are serious and confident aboutwhat is being said.
Factors Affecting Communication in OrganizationOrganizational communication is influenced by many factors, look at this list of followingfactors:Formal channels of communicationAuthority StructureJob SpecializationInformation OwnershipBarriers to Organizational CommunicationEffective communication is needed for productivity. Open or effective communication is notalways obtained. Diwan (2000) asserts that, “the problem of effective communication is unfortunatelygreater than just the recognition of its scale and importance.” People may be unaware that theirattempts at communicating have not been successful. Koontz (2001) summarizes the barriers againstcommunication, saying that, “communication problems are often symptoms of more deep-rootedproblems. For example, poor planning may be the cause of uncertainty about the direction of theorganization.”Similarly, a poorly-designed organizational structure may not clearly communicateorganizational relationships. Vague performance standards may leave librarians uncertain about what isexpected.Onuoha (1991) notes the following barriers:Communication overloadBadly expressed messageInappropriate medium/LanguagePoor, listening/decode and premature evaluation arising from lack of understanding.Grapevine with informal organizations within organizations.Hostility between the participantsBureaucracyImproving Organizational CommunicationPeterson (1962) observes that, “communication can and does affect work adversely if notproperly handled. There are graduations of degrees of these effects, ranging from a slight drag againstthe progress of the enterprise to the causing of errors or misunderstanding of the philosophicalfoundation of the main organization, and thereby make the output of the system virtually impossible,”stating further that, “one ever-present cause of faulty communication is that, language, whether oral orwritten, is itself faulty or imperfection when the meaning of words and sentences and equally theemotional content is ambiguous.”
Barriers and other associated problems common with organizational communication climateaffect work productivity negatively especially where people and records are jointly managed together,such as the case of academic libraries. The extreme need to improve or find solutions to the highlightedproblems and barriers is imperatively necessary. Champoux (1996) recommends the under-listedimprovement techniques among the operators and participants:Champoux (1996) recommends the following techniques to improve communication:1. SenderUnderstanding of the background and culture of the receiver.Expectation of feedbackFormal training in oral and written communication2. ReceiverKnowing and understanding the senderMake the receivers level of understanding clear to the sender.Understand the language and practices of the organizational unit to improve listening andinterpretation.Feedback loop3. MessageClearBriefSimpleUnambiguous.4. MediumReduce noise by using multiple channels.5. The OrganizationOrganization Communication Audit to assess the current state of the communication system.6. TechnologyElectronic message systemVoice mailLocal Area NetworkingTeleconferencingGlobal Satellite Communication Mobile