Organizational communication 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
Key functions of communication Basic function of communication is to effect receiver knowledge or behavior by informing, directing, regulating, socializing, and persuading. compliance gaining, leading, motivating, and influencing, sense making, and decision making, conflict management, negotiating, and bargaining Coordinating and regulation of production activities; socialization; innovation
Three perspectives on communication: Technical, contextual, 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), but on the larger context of communication- verbal and nonverbal cues, relational context between the sender and receiver within a larger social, organizational and cultural context Negotiated View: Looks at the overall body of communication. It seeks to exploit how the creation and maintenance of social relations materialize in talk.
Key Distinctions Levels: Interpersonal communication-Micro Group level communication-Meso Organizational level communication-Meso Inter-organizational level communication- Meso Mass Communication-Macro
Interpersonal communication Major form of communication Focus on improving communication skill of members (speaking and writing). Topics include- Active non-evaluative listening-The skill to receive messages is as important as the skill associated with the messages Skill incompetence- the tendency on the part of the professionals to preserve their reputation by not admitting what they don’t know, and on the part of most persons to duck tough issues and avoid conflict ‘Flamming’ Effect of computer mediated communication- 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, and verbal and nonverbal
Meso level: Group, organizational and inter-organizational level Formal Vs Informal communication Say- do matrix -managers say one thing but do another -Ideal is high say-do quadrant- there is sufficient communication and management actions match their communication High say low do- culture of informal and formal communication conflict
Vertical, horizontal, 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
Downward Communication Top managers should directly communicate with immediate supervisors Immediate supervisors should communicate with direct reports On issues of importance top managers should then follow up by communicating with employees directly. Communicate orally, then follow up in writing
Upward communication Enhanced through surveys, suggestions, grievance programmes and employee participation Reasons for poor upward communication: Fear of appraisal Filters- ideas/concerns get modified as they get transmitted upward Time- impression that managers don’t have time to listen
Lateral and Diagonalcommunication Lateral- Involves communication among persons who do not stand in hierarchical relation to one another Diagonal- refers to communication between managers and workers located in different functional divisions
Internally Vs. Externally directed communication When organization increases the range and centrality of their interactions with suppliers, customers and the public, communication competencies of the organization become important. Done through organizational alliances, partnerships, networks, participative management, employee and stakeholder involvement
Communication Technologies Groupware or computer facilitated group communication technologies- Temporal- synchronous/asynchronous Spatial- distributed/ co- located (figure 5)
Benefits of Email1) Reduces the cost of distributing information to a large number of employees2) Increases teamwork3) Reduces the cost and time associated with print duplication and paper distribution4) Fosters flexibility
Benefits of Telecommuting1) Reduction of capital costs2) Increased flexibility and autonomy for workers3) Competitive edge in recruitment4) Lower turnover5) Increased productivity6) 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?