“ A number of writers on both communication and organisation theory many years ago stated the postulate that communication and organisation are inextricably linked. (Bavelas and Barrett, 1951: Cherry 1957)” Communication Yearbook 3 Dan Nimmo Brent D Ruben, Ruben, International Communication Association
1953 Economist Kenneth Boulding states “organisation consists of a system of communication” Wikipedia
Organisation communication is fundamental to the success of a business or organisation.
“ Organizational Communication, broadly speaking is: people working together to achieve individual or collective goals”. - Wikipedia
Organisation and Communication cannot exist without one another
There are many different types of communication that take place across an organisation as well as different processes, flows of information and channels.
“ As interaction patterns stabilize in an organization, they develop into structures called communication networks”
Networks of communication describe how information flows throughout a organisation or business.
Groups are influenced by the way by that information is transferred.
Depending on the organisations culture different patterns can be identified. An organisation or business may have a number of patterns present depending on the work being conducted or the information that is being transferred.
The chain pattern is hierarchical and represents formal information flow from the top to the bottom. This is commonly associated with a military style of communication. E.g. When organisational changes are made at director level within BAES this information is emailed from the top down to executives and then from executives to professional grades to ensure that the higher executives know first. This theory is highlighted in classical management theory.
“ Classical management theory generally proposed that organizations could be efficient and successful through hierarchical structures, downward flow of task information from managers to workers” Organizational Theories and the Role of Communication
This is where direction is passed from one individual to all others.
The star pattern is features in most businesses. Groups or participants are all related to one group/participant who handles the transfer of information but are often independent of each other.
All Channel Network
This communication network involves information being freely distributed. “it suggests democracy and sharing, the free and complete flow of information” School Leadership and Complexity Theory, Keith Morrison (2002)
The circle network has equality amongst participants. Communication is flowed from immediate neighbour to neighbour. Information can be subject to ‘Chinese Whispers’.
Computing Technology aiding communication in Organisations
Computing and networking Technology is utilized in businesses and organisations to send/ receive information in many forms
Email can be used to provide information to a singular person or to strategically distribute information to any number of employee’s or members of an organisation.
Video Conferencing means that face to face communication can be simulated and synchronous communication can take place. This can provide opportunities for interpersonal communication with the removal of geographical constraints.
Intranets allow for the distribution of important information which effect everyone within the organisation. This could include share price or communicating positive success within the business/ organisation to promote a feeling of belonging.
Webpage's on the internet for organisations are particularly important for communication to external stakeholders. This could include shareholders. E.g. http://www.baesystems.com/Newsroom/index.htm
describes the sending and receiving of messages between individuals.
Often involve verbal messages, body language and gestures. These different methods of communication allow for the context of a message to be understood by the receiver.
“ The words we say can mean very different things depending on how they are said or in what context.” Functions of Interpersonal Communication, 1999 Allyn & Bacon
Interpersonal communication is important in businesses and organisations in particular when dealing with suppliers as it aids an understanding between the two parties involved.
Interpersonal communication in business is also important when identifying the needs of employee’s for development and discussing future career aspirations.
Helps establish the role that employees/member of the organisation.
Interpersonal communication occurs often, and for many people such as managers it represents their most frequent workplace activity. Questionnaire data and observational data produce estimates of between 35% and 75% of time being spent in face-to-face interaction - Steve Whittaker, Lotus Development Corporation
In conclusion communication is fundamental to the success of a organization.
“ Communication is not only an essential aspect of these recent organizational changes, but effective communication can be seen as the foundation of modern organizations“ ( Grenier and Metes 1992; D’Aprix 1996; Witherspoon 1997; von Krogh et al. 2000).
Interpersonal communication occurs often in the organisational workplaces.
There are many forms that Organizational Communication can take.