Communication is sending and receiving information between two or more people. The person sending the message is referred to as the sender, while the person receiving the information is called the receiver. The information conveyed can include facts, ideas, concepts, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, instructions and even emotions.
Communication can be defined as transmission or exchange of
ideas, views, message, information or instructions between two or more persons
by different means. The common means and ways of transmission of ideas are :
• (a) Spoken words
• (b) Written word
• (c) Diagrams ,pictures or graphs
• (d) Gestures
The communication is a two way process as it begins with sender
and end with feedback comes from receiver to sender. Minimum two parties are
involved in the process of communication i.e. the sender and the receiver.
Process/Elements of Communication :
The communication process begins when sender thinks of an
idea or message to be conveyed to other person. Then the sender encodes the
message i.e. plans out the words or language in which the message must be
conveyed to the other party. After encoding the message the sender transmits or
transfers the message by using different ways and means.
After transmission the message reaches to the receiver. The
receiver decodes the message to understand the message and gives his response or
feedback to the sender. When the feedback reaches back to sender then only the
communication process ends which means communication is a circular process
which starts with sender and ends with sender.
1.Sender : Sender is a person who conveys the message .The communication
process begins immediately when idea comes in the mind of the sender.
2. Message : The contents of ideas or message or suggestion which sender
wants to share with receiver is called message.
3. Encoding : Encoding receiver cannot read the mind of the sender ,so
sender converts the idea into a language or other communication symbols
such as pictures ,gestures etc., this is known as encoding.
4. Media : It is the way or means through which encoded message has to be
transmitted to receiver. The common ways of transmission are phone, letter,
internet, message etc.
5. Decoding : It refers to converting the encoded message into language and
understanding the message.
6. Receiver : Receiver is the person who receives the communication and
understands the message.
7.Feedback : After understanding the message the receiver sends his response on
that idea or message to the sender. When response reaches the sender then only
8. Noise : Noise is any element which results in disturbance, distraction or
interruption in the flow of information. The noise can be a loud sound made by any
vehicle, disturbance in telephone line, disconnection of line, losing of letter or
documents on the way, poor connectivity in the email or internet.
Due to noise the message is not conveyed to receiver and
receiver is not able to decode the message in the same manner as expected by the
Forms of Organizational Communication : There are two forms of
1. Formal communication
2. Informal communication
It refers to official communication taking
place in the organization .Whenever there is exchange of views or message or
information related to official matter such as assignment of task, fixing of
responsibilities, granting authority or setting up targets ,objectives etc. this is
known as formal communication.
Formal communication generally takes place in the written
form such as issue of notice, letter, memo, document etc. Verbal or oral channels
are avoided in formal communication as there is no record or proof of such
According to the direction of flow of communication formal
communication can be divided in four types:
1. Downward Communication
2. Upward Communication
3. Horizontal Communication
4. Diagonal Communication
1. Downward Communication :
The flow of communication from the top level or from the superiors to lower level
or subordinates is known as downward communication .In this communication the
manager passes instructions to the subordinates and the success of downward
communication depends upon communication skills of the manager .The common
way of having downward communication are:
2. Upward Communication:
When the subordinates inform or pass any information to superiors then it is
known as upward communication. This communication flows from subordinates to
superiors. Upward communication generally consists of work performance,
opinion, grievance or problems of the employees.
In the recent years upward communication is gaining more importance
because the subordinates prefer to involve themselves in the decision making and
they have started demanding a better working condition. The upward
communication may take place in the following manner:
3. Horizontal Communication :
Horizontal communication is the communication between the two or more persons
working at the same level of authority .Generally different departmental heads
discuss the policy of their department with each other. That will be considered as
horizontal communication. Discussion between two managers of same rank is
For example the marketing manager may discuss from time to
time. For example the marketing manager may discuss from time to time the
quality and packing of product with the
4. Diagonal Communication :
It is a flow of information between the persons working in different departments
and holding different levels of authority .For example the salesman may request the
production manager to modify the product design according to the needs of the
The diagonal communication prevents delay in flow of information
and helps in taking fast decisions as subordinates of one department can directly
communicate with the managers of other
The common networks of formal communication are :
1. Wheel Pattern :
It is the most centralized way of communication. Under
wheel pattern all the information flows from one person only
who is generally leader of the group. The other members
have no communication link with each other .It is a common
pattern of centralized organization.
2. Chain Pattern :
Under the chain pattern each gets the information from one person that is their
immediate boss and passes the information to
one person who is their immediate subordinate.
So, every member is attached to one person.
3. Circle Pattern :
In the circle pattern each person communicates with two more
persons in a group. The person may receive or give information
to two more persons in the organization. In this type of
organization every member participates equally in flow of
information. That is why it is more decentralized.
4. All Source (Channel Pattern) :
Under all channel pattern there is no fixed pattern of communication .All the
members in the organization are linked to each other and information can flow
from anywhere in the organization. It is most centralized organization.
5. Inverted V :
In this network a subordinate is allowed to communication
with his immediate superior and also with the superior of his
superior .However in the latter case only limited communication
can take place.
Informal communication between different
members of organization who are not officially attached to each other is known as
informal communication. Generally the social interactions, friendly talks and non-
official matters are discussed in the informal communication.
There is no fixed direction or path for the flow of information
under informal communication. The information moves in a very vague, confusing
and zig -zag manner.
That is why the network of informal communication is grapevine.
There is no fixed source of information under informal communication and
information can move in any direction. There are several types of informal systems
1.Gossip :Here all the persons in the communication network talk one another
informally. In this network someone stays in the center of
the system. He is the main or pivotal person.
2. Clusters :
Under this pattern or method the information is shared between two persons who
trust each other, then one of the persons from that group passes the information to
members of other group and one person from other group may pass
it to another and so on. So under cluster method one person tell
the information to selected other persons.
3. Single Strand :Single strand network is an information network where one
person will tell a message to another person and he will communicate it to another
one person. The third person also will tell the same message to another one person.
4. Probability : In probability network the individual communicates randomly with
other individuals. In this chain really not Interested to the persons to whom they
are passing some information. they just tell at Random.