Communication is one of the most frequently discussed dynamics in the entire field of
organizational behavior. In practice, effective communication is a basic prerequisite for the
attainment of organizational goals. Therefore, communication is considered to be the most
important and most effective ingredient of the management process. Interpersonal communication
is fundamental to all managerial activities. All other management functions involve
communication in some form of directions and feedback. Thus, effective management is a function
of effective communication.
DEFINITION OF COMMUNICATION
In modern society, the term communication is frequently and freely used by everyone,
including members of the general public, organizational behavior scholars, and management
Communication is the process of transmitting information from one person to another.
Broadly, it means who says what, to whom, through which channel and with what effect. It is a
way of reacting to the other person with ideas, facts, thoughts, feelings and values.
Communication experts emphasize the behavioral implications of communication by pointing out
that "the only means by which one person can influence another is by the behaviors he shows that
is, the communicative exchanges between people provide the sole method by which influence or
effects can be achieved". In other words, the behaviors that occur in an organization are vital to the
communication process. This personal and behavioral exchange view of communication takes
Objectives of Communication
Managements depend upon communication to achieve organizational objectives. Since managers
work with and through other people, all their acts, policies, rules, orders and procedures must
pass through some kind of communication channel. Also there must be channel of communication
for feedback. Accordingly, some of the purposes of communication are:
To discourage the spread of misinformation, ambiguity and rumors, which can cause
conflict and tension.
To foster any attitude, that is necessary for motivation, cooperation and job satisfaction.
To develop information and understanding among all workers. This is necessary for group
To prepare workers for a change in methods of environment by giving them necessary
information in advance.
To encourage subordinates to supply ideas and suggestions for improving the product or
work environment and taking these suggestions seriously.
To improve labor management relations by keeping the communications channels open
To improve social relations among workers by encouraging intercommunication. This
would satisfy the basic human need for a sense of belonging and friendship.
Importance of Communication
Interpersonal roles require managers to interact with supervisors, sub-ordinates, peers and others
outside the organization. Thus, for co-ordinated action, communication is necessary.
Communication transforms a group of unrelated individuals into a team that knows what its goals
are and how it will try to reach them.
Communication allows people to co-ordinate with each other by providing them with a
way to share information. The first type of information that needs to be shared is what the goals of
the organizations are. People need to know-where they are heading and why. They also need
directions for their specific tasks.
Communication is especially important for the task of decision-making. Decision-makers
must share their views on what the problem is and what the alternatives are. Once a decision has
been made, communication is necessary to implement the decision and to evaluate its results.
Changes in market or in customer preferences can lead to uncertainty about whether a
product Or a marketing strategy needs to be updated or overhauled. The uncertainty resulted
from the lack of information, can be reduced by communicating that information. Market
researchers, for example, can communicate with other groups about changes in the market place.
The greater the uncertainty about a task, the more important the communication of information
Communication also allows people to express their emotions. Communication of feelings
can be very important to employee morale and productivity. Employees who feel that they cannot
vent their anger or express their joy on the job may feel frustrated and repressed.
On any given day, a manager may communicate for all the purposes described above.
Communication goes up, down and across the levels of the hierarchy of an organization.
The figure 13.2 presents a general view of the communication process, as a loop between the
source and the receiver. In the simplest kind of communication, both the sender and the receiver
perform the encoding and decoding functions automatically.
Source or Sender
The communication cycle begins when one person called the sender wants to transmit a fact, idea,
opinion or other information to someone else. A manager, for instance, might call the research
department to send the latest information on a particular market.
The second step is to encode the message into a form appropriate to the situation. The encoding
might take the form of words, facial expressions, gestures, physical actions and symbols such as
numbers, pictures, graphs etc. Indeed, most communication involves a combination of these. The
encoding process is influenced by the content of the message, the familiarity of the sender and
receiver and other situational factors.
After the message has been encoded, it is transmitted through the appropriate channel or medium.
Common channels or media in organizations include face-to-face communication using the media
of sound waves, light, letters and reports.
The person to whom the message is sent, called the receiver interprets the meaning of the message
through the process of decoding. This process may be simple and automatic, but it can also be
quite complex. Even when you are just reading a letter, you may need to use all your knowledge
of the language, your experience with the letter-writer and so on. If the intended message and the
received message differ a great deal, there is a communication gap and misunderstanding is likely
The receiver can be an individual, a group, or an individual acting on behalf of a group. The
sender has generally little control over how the receiver will deal with the message. The receiver
may ignore it, decide not to try to decode, understand it or respond immediately. The
communication cycle continues when the receiver responds by the same steps back to the original
sender, which is called the feedback.
In the communication process, noise takes on a meaning slightly different from its usual one.
Noise refers to any type of disturbance that reduces the clearness of the message being
transmitted. Thus, it might be something that keeps the receiver from paying close attention such
as someone coughing, other people talking dosely, a car driving by etc. It can be a disruption such
as disturbance in a telephone line, weak signal due to bad weather etc. It can also be internal to the
receiver such as tiredness or hunger or minor ailments, which may affect the message.
TYPES OF COMMUNICATION
There are mainly three primary methods of communication in an organization, which are written,
oral, and non-verbal. These methods of communication are often combined. Considerations that
affect the choice of method include the audience whether it is physically present, the nature of the
message, and the lost of transmission. The figure 13.3 given below shows various forms each
method can take.
Typically organizations produce a great deal of written communication of many kinds. A
letter is a formal means of communication with an individual, generally someone outside the
organization. Probably the most common form of written communication in organizations is the
office memorandum, or a memo. Memos usually are addressed to a person or group inside the
organization. They tend to deal with a single topic and are more impersonal, but less formal than
letters. Other common forms of written communication include reports, manuals and forms.
Reports generally summarize the progress or results of a project and often provide information to
be used in decision-making. Manuals have various functions in organizations. Instruction manuals
tell employees how to operate machines; policy and procedure manuals inform them of
organizational rules; operations manual describe how to perform tasks and respond to workrelated problems. As such, they represent attempts to make communication more efficient and
information more accessible. A performance appraisal form is an example.
Oral communication, also known as face-to-face communication is the most prevalent form of
organizational communication. It may be in the form of direct talk and conversation between the
speakers and listeners when they are physically present at one place or through telephone or
intercom system conversation. Where one-way communication is required, then oral
communication may include public address system. Informal rumour mill or grapevine is also a
popular form of oral communication. It is most effective for leaders to address the followers via
public address system or audio-visual media. Oral communication is particularly powerful
because the receiver not only hears the content of the message, but also observes the physical
gestures associated with it as well as the changes in tone, pitch, speed and volume of the spoken
word. The human voice can impart the message much more forcefully and effectively than the
written words and is an effective way of changing attitudes, beliefs and feelings, since faith, trust
and sincerity can be much better judged in a face-to-face conversation rather than in written
Some of the advantages of oral communication are:
It is direct, simple, time saving and least expensive form of communication.
It allows for feedback and spontaneous thinking, so that if the receiver js unsure of the
message, rapid feedback allows for early detection by the sender so that corrections can be
immediately made, if necessary.
Because the message is conveyed instantaneously, it helps in avoiding delays, red tape and
It conveys personal warmth and friendliness and it develops a sense of belonging because
of these personalized contacts.
There is no formal record of communication so that any misunderstood message cannot be
referred back to what was actually said.
If the verbal message is passed on,the long hierarchical chain of command, then some
distortions can occur during the process. The more people the message is to pass through,
the greater is the potential distortion.
Lengthy and distant communication cannot be conveyed verbally in an efficient way.
The receiver may receive the message in his own perception and thus misunderstand the
intent of the message.
Spontaneous responses may not be carefully thought about.
The spirit of authority cannot be transmitted effectively in verbal transactions.
More or less or a different meaning might be conveyed by manner of speaking, tone of
voice and facial expressions.
A written communication is put in writing and is generally in the form of instructions, letters,
memos, formal reports, rules and regulations, policy manuals, information bulletins and so on.
These areas have to be covered in writing for efficient functioning of the organization. It is most
effective when it is required to communicate information that requires action in the future arid
also in situations where communication is that of general informational nature. It also ensures that
everyone has the same information.
It serves as an evidence of events and proceedings.
It provides a permanency of record for future references. The message can be stored for an
indefinite period of time.
It reduces the likelihood of misunderstanding and misinterpretation. The written
communications are more likely to be well considered, logical and clear. The message can
be checked for accuracy before it is transmitted.
It can save time when many persons must be contacted at the same time.
It is more reliable for transmitting lengthy statistical data.
It appears formal and authoritative for action.
It can be very time-consuming, specially for lengthy reports.
There is no immediate feedback opportunity to be sure that the receiver has understood
Confidential written material may leak out before time, causing disruption in its
It leads to excessive formality in personal relations.
Some of the meaningful communication is conveyed through non-verbal ways. Even some of the
verbal messages are strengthened or diluted by non-verbal expressions. These non-verbal
expressions include facial expressions and physical movement. In addition, some of the
environmental elements such as building and office space can convey a message about the
authority of the person. According to Tipkins and Mc-Carter, facial expressions can be categorized
Physical movements or body language is known as "kinesics". A handshake is probably the
most common form of body language and tells a lot about a person's disposition. Other examples
of body language are tilting of head, folding of arms or sitting position in a chair.
Our facial expressions can show anger, frustration, arrogance, shyness, fear and other
characteristics that can never be adequately communicated through written word or through oral
communication itself. Some of the other body language symptoms are shrugging our shoulders
for indifference, wink an eye for mischief or intimacy, tap our fingers on the table for impatience
and we slap our forehead for forgetfulness. As far as environmental elements are concerned, a
large office with luxurious carpeting and expensive furniture conveys a message of status, power
and prestige such as that of a chief operating officer. On the other hand, a small metal desk on a
corner communicates the status of a low ranking officer in the organizational setting. Accordingly
non-verbal actions have considerable impact on the quality of communication.
FORMS OF ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION
Although interpersonal and group forms of communication pertain even at the broadest
organizational levels, they do not sufficiently describe the paths of all messages transmitted in
organizations. Individuals can send and receive messages across whole organizational levels and
departments by means of vertical communication or the informal communication network. Nonverbal communication is also important and can be a part of interpersonal, group and
Vertical communication is the communication that flows both up and down the organizational
hierarchy. This communication typically takes place between managers and their superiors or
Upward Communication consists of messages moving up the hierarchy from subordinates to
superiors. The content of upward communication usually includes requests, suggestions or
complaints and information the sub-ordinate thinks is of importance to the superior.
Downward Communication consists of messages moving down the hierarchy from superiors to
sub-ordinates. The content of downward communication often includes directives, assignments,
performance feedback and information that the superior thinks are of value to the sub-ordinate.
Wenburg and Wilmont suggest that instead of communication being "upward" or "downward"
which is inter-communication, it should be "transactional" communication, which is mutual and
reciprocal because, "all persons are engaged in sending and receiving messages simultaneously.
Each person is constantly sharing in the sending and receiving process and each person is
affecting the other". In the transactional process, the communication is not simply the flow of
information, but it develops a personal linkage between the superior and the subordinate.
Another term for informal communication network is the grapevine. Informal networks are found
in all organizations. It is in the form of gossip in which a person spreads a message to as many
other people as possible who may either keep the information to themselves or pass it on to
others. The content of gossip is likely to be personal information or the information about the
Managers should have some control over the informal network. For example, the
grapevine in an organization may be carrying harmful information, false information or politically
motivated information. When these kinds of rumors are being spread, managers may need to
intervene. They can hold open meetings and objectively discuss the issues that are being
informally discussed already. They may also issue a clearly worded memo or report stating the
facts and thereby help minimize the damage that the informal network can do.
Managers can also obtain valuable information from the grapevine and use it for decisionmaking.
Other Form's of Communication
One that has become especially popular is informally labelled as "management by wandering
around". The basic idea is that some managers keep in touch with what is going on by wandering
around and talking with people such as sub-ordinates, customers, dealers and any one else
involved with the company in any way. This will give managers, new ideas and a better feel for
the entire company.
GATE WAYS AND BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION
The communication must be interpreted and understood in the same manner as it was-meant to
be sent by the sender, otherwise it will not achieve the desired result and a communication
breakdown will occur. There is certain external roadblock to effective communication. In addition,
there are personal factors, which affect communication.
Some of the organizational barriers and some of the interpersonal barriers to effective
communication are discussed below:
Noise is any external f actor, which interferes with the effectiveness of communication. The term is
derived from noise or static effects in telephone conversation or radio wave transmission. It may
cause interference in the process of communication by distraction or by blocking a part of the
message or by diluting the strength of the communication. Some of the sources contributing
towards noise factor are:
A message sent on poor timing acts as a barrier. For instance, a last minute communication with a
deadline may put too much pressure on the receiver and may result in resentment. A message
must be sent at an appropriate time to avoid these problems. Hence the manager must know when
Poor choice of channel of communication can also be contributory to the misunderstanding of the
message. The manager must decide whether the communication would be most effective if it is in
writing or by a telephone call or a face-to-face conversation or a combination of these modes.
Improper or Inadequate Information
Information must be meaningful to the employee and should be precise or to the point. Too little
or too much information endangers effective communication. Ambiguity in use of words will lead
to different interpretations.
Any physical distractions such as telephone interruptions or walk-in visitors can interfere with the
effective face-to-face communication process.
Communication may be blocked, chaotic or distorted if the channels are not clear or if there are
bottlenecks. Hence the organization structure should be such that the chain of command and
channels of communication are clearly established and ithe responsibility and authority are clearly
assigned and are traceable.
Overload occurs when individuals receive more information than they are capable of processing.
The result could be confusion or some important information may be laid aside for the purpose of
Network breakdown may be intentional or due to information overload and time pressures under
which a communication has to be acted upon. Some factors contributing to such disruptions are:
The managers may withhold important negative information.
The secretary may forget to forward a memo.
There may be professional jealousy resulting in closed channels.
There are many interpersonal barriers that disrupt the effectiveness of the communication process
and generally involve such characteristics that either the sender or the receiver can cause
communication problems. Some of these are:
Filtering refers to intentionally withholding or deliberate manipulation of information by the
sender, either because the sender believes that the receiver does not need all the information or
that the receiver is better off not knowing all aspects of a given situation. It could also be that the
receiver is simply told what he wants to hear.
These barriers occur due to differences in individual interpretations of words and symbols. The
words and paragraphs must be interpreted with the same meaning as was intended. The choice of
a wrong word or a comma at a wrong place in a sentence can sometimes alter the meaning of the
intended message. For example, a nightclub advertisement sign, "clean and decent dancing every
night except Sunday", could lead to two interpretations. First, that there is no dancing on Sundays
and second, that there is dancing on Sundays, but it not clean and decent.
Perception relates to the process through which we receive and interpret information from our
environment and create a meaningful word out of it. Different people may perceive the same
situation differently. Hearing what we want to hear and ignoring information that conflicts with
what we know can totally distort the intent or the content of the message. Some of the perceptual
situations that may distort a manager's assessment of people resulting in reduced effectiveness of
the communication are:
A manager may perceive people to belong to one category or another as stereotypes, rather
than unique and distinct individuals. For example, he may perceive women to be less
A manager may make total assessment of a person based on a single trait. A pleasant smile
may make a positive first impression.
A manager may assume that his subordinate's perception about things and situations are
similar to his own.
This perception limits the manager's ability to effectively respond to and deal with individual
differences and differing views of work situations.
The cultural differences can adversely affect the communication effectiveness, specially for multinational companies and enterprises.
When the sender of the communication has high credibility in the eyes of the receiver, the message
is taken much more seriously and accepted at face value. If the receiver has confidence, trust and
respect for the sender, then the decoding and the interpretation of the message will lead to a
meaning of the sender. Conversely, if the sender is not trusted, then the receiver will scrutinize the
message heavily and deliberately look for hidden meanings or tricks and may end up distorting
the entire message. Similarly, if the source is believed to be an expert in a particular field then the
listener may pay close attention to the message, and believe it specially if the message is related to
the field of expertise.
The interpretation of a communication also depends upon the state of the receiver at the time
when message is received. The same message received when the receiver is angry, frustrated or
depressed may be interpreted differently than when he is happy. Extreme emotions are most
likely to hinder effective communication because rational judgments are replaced by emotional
Many words in English language have different meanings when used in different situations.
Accordingly, a manager must not assume that a particular word means the same thing to all
people who use it. Hence, the managers must make sure that they use the word in the same
manner as the receiver is expected to understand it, otherwise it will create a barrier to proper
understanding of the message.
The final source of communication barrier is the feedback or lack of it. Feedback is the only way to
ascertain as to how the message was interpreted.
Overcoming Communication Barriers
It is very important for the management to recognize and overcome barriers to effective
communication for operational optimization and this would involve diagnosing and analyzing
situations, designing proper messages, selecting appropriate channels for communicating these
messages, assisting receivers of messages in correct decoding and interpretation and providing an
efficient and effective feedback system. Some of the steps that can be taken in this respect are as
Feedback: Feedback helps to reduce misunderstandings. The information is transferred
more accurately when the receiver is given the opportunity to ask for clarifications and
answer to any questions about the message. Two-way communication, even though
more time-consuming, avoids distrust and leads to trust and openness, which helps
in building a healthy relationship contributing to communication effectiveness.
Improve Listening Skills: Good listening habits lead to better understanding and good
relationships with each other. Some guidelines for effective listening are:
Listening requires full attention to the speaker. Do not let your mind wander or be
preoccupied with something else, otherwise you will not be able to grasp the
meaning of the message in its entirety.
The language used tone of the voice and emotions should receive proper attention.
Listen for feelings in (he message content and respond positively to these feelings.
Ask questions to clarify any points that you do not understand clearly and reflect
back to the speaker, your understanding of what has been said.
Make sure that there are no outside interruptions and interference during the
course of conversation.
Do not prejudice or value the importance of the message due to your previous
dealings and experiences with the sender or your perceptions about him, positive
Do not jump to conclusions before the message is over and is clearly understood.
Summarize and restate the message after it is over to make sure about the content
and the intent of the message.
Develop Writing Skills: Clearly written messages can help avoid semantic and
perception barriers. A well-written communication eliminates the possibility of
misunderstanding and misinterpretation. When writing message it is necessary to be
precise thus making the meaning as clear as possible so that it accomplishes the desired
purpose. Some helpful hints in written communication are suggested by Robert Degise
Keep words simple: This will reduce your thoughts to essentials and the message
will be easier to understand for the receiver. The message will be lost if the
words are complex and do not lend to a clear single meaning.
Do not be boggart down by rules of composition: While the rules of grammar
and composition must be respected, they should not take priority over the
ultimate purpose of the communication.
Write concisely: Use as few words as possible. Do not be brief at the cost of
completeness, but express your thoughts, opinions and ideas in the fewest
number of words possible.
Be specific: Vagueness destroys accuracy, which leads to misunderstanding of
the meaning or intent of the message. Accordingly, be specific and to the point.
Avoid Credibility Gaps: Communication is a continuing process and the goal of the
communication is complete understanding of the message as well as the creation of trust
among all members of. the organization. Accordingly, the management must be sincere
and should earn the trust of the subordinates. Management should not only be sensitive
to the needs and feelings of workers but also its promises should be supported by
actions. According to the studies conducted by J. Luft, openness and an atmosphere of
trust builds healthy relationship and closes credibility gaps, thus contributing to
COMMUNICATION AS A TOOL FOR IMPROVING INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS.
These guidelines are designed to help management improve their skills in communicating so as
not only avoid any barriers to effective communication, but also to strengthen the basis for
optimum results which depend upon the clear understanding of the desired communication.
The Ideas and Messages should be Clear, Brief and Precise
The ideas to be communicated must be well planned and clearly identified. This will eliminate
ambiguity so that the message will not be subject to more than one interpretation. The message
must be clear, precise and to the point and free from distortions and noise. It should also be brief
so that only necessary and sufficient meanings are provided.
Sense of Timing
The message should not only be timely so that the decisions and actions can be taken in tie and
when necessary, but also the timing of the message and the environmental setting in which the
message is delivered and received is equally important.
The communication must pass through the proper channels to reach the intended receiver.
The communication flow and its spread must avoid bypassing levels or people. When these
concerned levels are omitted or bypassed, it creates bickering, distrust, confusion and conflict.
Accordingly, the established channels must be used as required.
Consult with others who are involved in Planning the Communication
If people have participated in the planning process, they would be highly motivated to give
active support to such communication. The people who are concerned must know exactly what
they need and when they need the communication.
Consider the Receiver's Interest
Take the receivers interests into account, and then the receiver will be more responsive to the
communication. The management must clarify any part of the communication that may be
necessary and must encourage comments, questions, and feedback. The management must always
be helpful in carrying out the intended message of the communication.
Mode of Delivery
While delivering the communication, avoid negative statements like, "I am not sure it will work",
but be confident and definitive. The success of the communication also depends upon the tone of
the voice if the communication is verbal, expressions and emotions exhibited, attentiveness to the
receiver and so on. The written communication should be polite and unambiguous.
Use proper Follow-up
All communications need a follow-up to ensure that these were properly understood and carried
out. The response and feedback to the communication should determine whether the action to the
communication has been prompt, appropriate and accurate.
Communication should be Comprehensive
Communication should be complete so as not only to meet the present demands. It should also fee
based on future needs of the organization as well as individuals.
Recently, the nature of managerial and organizational communication has changed
dramatically, mainly because of break through of the electronic technology and advent of
computers. Now cellular phones, E-Mail and Internet have made the communication quick and
convenient. It is now even possible for managers from different cities to meet by teleconferencing
method without leaving their offices. At the same time, psychologists are beginning to discover
some problems associates with these new advances in communication.
“Two or more individuals interacting with each other in order to accomplish a common goal”
Group and have come together to achieve particular objectives. A group is effective when it satisfies three
Production output: the product of the group’s work must meet or exceed standards of quality and
Member satisfaction: membership in the group must provide people with short-term satisfaction
and facilitate their long-term growth and development
Capacity for continued cooperation: how the group completes a task should maintain or enhance
the group’s ability to work together; groups that don’t cooperate cannot survive
“A small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common mission,
performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable”
A group consists of a number of individuals working together for a common objective. Groups have
significant influence on an organization and are inseparable from an organization. They are useful for the
organization as they form foundation of human resources.
The study of group behavior is essential for an organization to achieve its goals. Individual and
group behavior vary from each other. In 1920, Elton Mayo and his associates conducted the Hawthorne
experiments and came to know that the group behavior has great impact on productivity. The importance of
group behavior has been realized from time to time.
Human behavior consists of individuals, who move in groups. The knowledge of group behavior as
well as individual behavior is necessary for a manager. He must understand group psychology and should
also understand individual behavior in the context of group behavior. The group in which he moves
influences individual work, job satisfaction and effective performance.
DEFINITION OF A GROUP
A group is a two or more individual who interact regularly with each other to accomplish a common purpose
According to Marvin Shaw, "a group comprises, of two or more persons who interact with one
another in such a manner that each person influences and is influenced by each other person'.
The key parts of this definition are the concepts of interaction and influence, which also limit the size
of the group. It is difficult for members to interact sufficiently in a large group.
Groups or work teams are the primary tools used by managers. Managers need groups to coordinate individual behavior in order to reach the organizational goals. Groups can make a manager's job
easier because by forming a group, he need not explain the task to each and every individual. A manager
can easily coordinate with the work of an individual by giving the group a task and allow them to co-ordinate
with each other. But for a group to work effectively, the interactions between its members should be
productive. Therefore, managers must pay attention to the needs of individuals.
Need for a Group
The reasons for the need, of groups are as follows:
Management of modern organizations make mutual efforts to introduce industrial democracy at
workplace. They use project teams and work committees where workers get due recognition. They
willingly participate in decision-making.
The tasks in modern industries are becoming more complex, tedious arid of repetitive nature. Work
committees, work groups and teams are formed to monitor the work. They also make the
environment at workplace more lively.
Groups help in making participative management more effective.
Groups of all kinds and types help by cooperating in all the matters related to production and human
relations to work effectively in the organization.
An individual cannot perform each and every task. Group efforts are required for its completion. For
example, building a ship, making of a movie, construction of a fly-over, etc. All these require
coordinated and unified efforts of many individuals, working in a group.
A group can judge in a better way as compared to an individual.
While accomplishing tasks, all members of a group together use their creative and innovative ideas
than a single individual.
In a group, individuals communicate with each oilier, discuss their work performances and take
suggestions from each other to make it better.
Group efforts affect an individual, his attitude and behavior.
Group has the ability to satisfy the needs of its members.
Types of Groups
In an organization, there are three types of groups, which are as follows:
Functional or formal groups
Functional groups are the groups formed by the organization to accomplish different organizational
purposes. According to A L Stencombe, "a formal group is said to be any social arrangement in
which the activities of some persons are planned by others to achieve a common purpose". These
groups are permanent in nature. They have to follow rules, regulations and policy of the
organization. A formal organizational group includes departments such as the personnel
department, the advertising department, the quality control department and the public relations
Tasks groups are the groups formed by an organization to accomplish a narrow range of purposes
within a specified time. These groups are temporary in nature. They also develop a solution to a problem or
complete its purpose. Informal committees, task forces and work teams are included in task groups. The
organization after specifying a group membership, assigns a narrow set of purposes such as developing a
new product, evaluating a proposed grievance procedure, etc.
Informal groups are the groups formed for the purposes other than the organizational goals. Informal
groups form when individuals are drawn together by friendship, by mutual interests or both. These
groups are spontaneous. According to Keith David, "the network of persons and social relations
which is not established or required form an informal organization". These are the groups formed by
the employees themselves at the workplace while working together. The organization does not take
any active interest in their formation.
Informal groups are very effective and powerful. These groups work as an informal communication
network forming a part of the grapevine to the organizations. They are also like a powerful force,
which an organization cannot avoid. Some managers consider them to be harmful to the interest of
an organization. They suspect their integrity and consider as a virtual threat. Some managers do not
consider them as threat and seek the help of group members in getting the organizational task
accomplished. Informal groups are of following types:
Interest group: Interest groups are the groups formed to attain a common purpose.
Employees coming together for payment of bonus, increase in salary, medical benefit and
other facilities are the examples of interest groups
Membership group: Membership groups are the groups of individuals' belonging to the
same profession and knowing each other. For example, teachers of the same faculty in a
Friendship group: Friendship groups are the groups of individuals belonging to same age
group, having similar views, tastes and opinions. These groups can also be formed outside
the plant or office and can be in the form of clubs and associations.
Reference group: Reference groups are the group where individuals shape their ideas,
beliefs, values etc. They want support from the group.
GROUP FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Groups can form when individuals with similar goals and motives come, together. Groups are formed
voluntarily. The individuals of a group can join and leave the group any time and they can also change their
tasks. Hence, understanding how groups form and develop is important for managers. There are certain
motives because of which, the individuals join a group, which are as follows:
Organizational motives to join groups: Organizations form functional and task groups because
such groups help the organization in structuring and grouping the organizational activities logically
Personal motives to join groups: Individuals also choose to join informal or interest groups for
unimportant reasons. Since joining these groups is voluntary, various personal motives affect
membership. Some of these are shown in the figure 11.1:
Interpersonal attraction: Individuals conic together to form informal or interest group, as they arc
also attracted to each other. The factors that contribute to interpersonal attraction are sex, similar
attitudes, personality and economic standing. The closeness of group members may also be an
Interest in-group activities: Individuals may also be motivated to join an informal or interest group
because the activities of the group appeal to them. Playing tennis, discussing current events or
contemporary literature, all these are group activities that individuals enjoy.
Support for group goals: The individuals may also be motivated goals by the other group
members to join. For example, a club, which is dedicated to environmental conservation, may
motivate individuals to join. Individuals join groups, such as these in order to donate their money
and time to attain the goals they believe in and to meet other individuals with similar values.
Need for affiliation: Another reason for individuals to join groups is to satisfy their need for
attachment. Retired/old aged individuals join groups to enjoy the companionship of other individuals
in similar situation.
Instrumental benefits: Group membership sometimes also helpful in providing other benefits to an
individual. For example, a manager might join a Rotary/ Lions club if he feels that being a member of
this club will lead to important and useful business contacts.
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
Members of new group are unfamiliar with one another's personalities and : hesitant in their interactions.
The new group must pass s of development, which are depicted in the figure 11.2.
Testing Each Other
Slow Evolution to Next Stage
Communication and Decision-Making
Openly Discussing Tasks
Burst of Activities to Next Stage
Motivation and Productivity
Working Actively on Tasks
Slow Evolution to Next Stage
Control and Organization
Assigning Tasks Based on Ability
These different stages of group development are explained as follows:
The very first stage of a group development is called "Mutual Acceptance". During this stage, the
members of the group get familiar with one another and check, which inter-personal behavior is
acceptable and which is unacceptable by the other members of the group. This helps all the
members of a group to know each other better and helps the group to move to the next stage easily.
Communication and Decision-making
The second stage of group development is "Communication and Decision-making''. During this
stage, group members share their opinions and formulate the group's goals. Through
communication and decision-making, the structure becomes clear and the group moves to the third
Motivation and Productivity
The third stage is "Motivation and Productivity", which is characterized by a shared acceptance
among members of what the group is trying to do. Each person recognizes and accepts his role as
well as to accept and to understand the roles to others. Members also become more comfortable
with each other and develop a sense of group identity and unity.
Control and Organization
The fourth stage is "Control and Organization", in which the members perform the roles they have
accepted and direct their group efforts toward goal attainment. In reality, this developmental
sequence varies from group to group, depending on the time, personal characteristics of group
members and frequency of interaction.
CHARACTERISTICS OF MATURE GROUPS
As groups pass through the stages of development to maturity, they begin show signs of the following four
characteristics: a role structure, behavioral norms, cohesiveness and informal leadership.
A role is the part that an individual plays in a group to reach its goals. Some individuals are leaders,
some focus on the group's task; some interact with other groups and so on. Role structure is the set
of defined roles and interrelationships among those roles that the group members define and
accept. The failure in role development result in role ambiguity, role conflict and role overload.
Managers have to take steps to avoid role ambiguity, role conflict and role overload.
Although informal groups do not have any specific goals to accomplish, but they must have some
goals over a period of time. These goals are temporary and can be changed in accordance with the
needs of the group members. The goals can be achieved effectively depending on the following
o The extent of cooperation with management.
o Maintenance of an efficient communication system.
o Satisfaction of the needs of group members.
Each informal group has one or more leaders. These leaders come forward on the basis of acceptance of all
the group members. Every informal group has one primary leader apart from the secondary leaders. The
primary leader has more influence on the group members than the secondary leaders.
Cohesiveness is defined as the attractiveness of group members towards the group. It also
emphasizes on the group's ability to satisfy its members needs. It, therefore, helps the group
members to work more consistently and make greater contribution to the achievement of the
organizational goals. It is also psychologically more satisfying to all of its members.
According to Cartwright there are four principal consequences of cohesiveness, which are as
Ability of a group to retain its members.
Power of the group to influence its members.
Degree of participation and loyalty of members.
Feeling of security on the part of the members.
Norms refer to group behavior standard, beliefs, attitudes, traditions and expectations shared by group
members. According to Michael Argyle, "Group norms are rules or guidelines of accepted behavior which
are established by a group and used to monitor the behavior of its members". They are framed to achieve
objectives of the group. They can be social and fair in nature. Norms define boundaries between acceptable
and unacceptable behavior. They make the members to identify themselves with the group. Norms play a
significant role in disciplining the members of a group to make them to work regularly and properly. This
reduces absenteeism and employee turnover. The members of the group are expected follow the norms
strictly. This will make the group more organized
Types of Group Norms
There are two types of group norms, which arc as follows:
Behavior norms: Behavior norms are rules that standardise how individuals act while working on a
day-to-day basis. Examples are. "do not come to committee meetings unless you have read the
reports to be '"discussed"', "greet every customer with a smile'', etc. These norms tend to reflect
motivation, commitment to the organization and therefore result in high level of performance.
Performance norms: Performance norms are rules that standardize employee output and
number of hours worked.
Reasons for Strong Enforcement of Norms
Groups don't have the time or energy, to regulate each and every action of the group members. Only those
behaviors that sound to-be important by group members should be brought under control.
Groups, like individuals, try to operate in such a way that they maximize their chances of task
success and minimize (heir chances of task failure. Groups want to facilitate their performance and
overcome barriers to reach their goals. Moreover, groups want to increase morale and prevent any
interpersonal discomfort to their members. Norms that will help groups meet these aims of performing
successfully and keeping morale high are likely to be strongly enforced.
Conditions where group norms will be strongly enforced are as follows:
If the norms facilitate group success or ensure group survival,
If the norms simplify or predict regarding the behavior which is expected from group members.
If the norms emphasize the roles of specific members within a group and
If the norms help the group to solve the inter-personal problems themselves.
Uniqueness of Group Norms
The norms of one group cannot be easily mixed with another group. Some differences are primarily due to
the difference in structure of the groups. However, even very similar work groups may develop different
norms-. The members of one group may be friendly with their supervisor whereas those of another group
Norms have the power to force a certain degree of conformity. There are several factors consist of norm
conformity, which are as follows:
Some groups may exert more pressure for conformity than others because of the personalities of
the group members.
The history of the group and its members also plays a part in conformity. For example, if the group
has always been successful by following certain behaviors, new group members are also asked to
follow the same. If the group was not successful in the past, a new group member may have greater
freedom to exhibit other behaviors.
According to Rcnsis Likert, "cohesiveness is the attractiveness of the members towards the group or
resistance of the members leaving it". It refers to the attachment of members with the group.
According lo K. Aswalhappa, "cohesiveness is understood as the extent of liking each member has
towards others and how far everyone wants to remain as the member of the group". Attractiveness is the
key to cohesiveness. Cohesiveness is the extent to which group members are loyal and committed lo the
group and to each other. In a highly cohesive group, the members work well together, support and trust one
another and are generally effective at achieving their chosen goals.
A group that lacks cohesiveness will not be very much coordinated. Its members will not support one
another and they may face difficulty in reaching their goals.
Managers should develop an understanding of the factors that increase and reduce group
Advantages of Group Cohesiveness
The advantages of group cohesiveness are as follows:
The members of cohesive groups have high morale.
The members don't have conflicting views, which decreases the chances of in clash among the
views of group members at the workplace or elsewhere.
Individuals of cohesive groups have no anxiety at the workplace.
Members of cohesive groups are regular at their work.
Cohesiveness increases productivity.
Organizations gain from the members of cohesive group because they communicate better they
share ideologies and respect opinions of fellow employees.
The following factors can increase group cohesiveness:
Competitiveness with other groups.
Favourable evaluation from outsiders.
Agreement on goals.
Frequent interaction. The following factors decrease cohesiveness:
Large group size.
Disagreement on goals.
Competitiveness within group.
Domination by one or more members.
Definition and Meaning of leadership
Leadership is the ability to influence individuals or groups toward the
achievement of goals.
Leadership, as a process, shapes the goals of a group or organization, motivates
behavior toward the achievement of those goals, and helps define group or
organizational culture. It is primarily a process of influence.
Leader ship versus Management: Although some managers are able to
influence followers to work toward the achievement of organizational goals, the
conferring of formal authority upon a manager does not necessarily make that
individual a leader. Yes, that individual has authority, but whether or not they
are able to influence their subordinates may depend on more than just that
authority. Not all leaders are managers, and similarly, not all managers are
leaders. Within a team environment, manager and leader are simply roles
taken on by members of the team. Most teams require a manager to "manage" - coordinate, schedule, liaise, contact, organize, procure -- their affairs. The
functions of this role may well be quite different from those of the leader (to
motivate followers towards the achievement of team goals). Management roles
need not presuppose any ability to influence. A leader, on the other hand, must
have the ability to influence other team members.
The fundamental difference between a manager and a leader:
A manager administers, but a leader innovates
A manager maintains, while a leader develops
A manager focuses on systems and structures, whereas a leader’s focus is on
A manager relies on control, but a leader inspires trust
A manager keeps an eye on the bottom line, while a leader has an eye on the
A manager does things right, a leader does the right thing.
Leadership is the art of influencing and inspiring subordinates to perform their
duties willingly, competently and enthusiastically for achievement of groups
According to Wendell French, "Leadership is the process of influencing the
behavior of others in the direction of a goal or set of goals or, more broadly,
toward a vision of the future”,
According to Keith Davis, “Leadership is the process of encouraging and
helping others to work enthusiastically towards objectives”.
According to Koontz and O'Donnell, "Leadership is the art or process of
influencing people so that they will strive willingly towards the achievement of
According to Peter Drucker, "Leadership means the lifting of man's visions to
higher sights, the raising of man's performance to higher standard, the building
of man's personality beyond its normal limitations".
Leadership & Followership
• Leadership - the process of guiding & directing the behavior of people in the work environment
• Formal leadership - the officially sanctioned leader-ship based on the authority of a formal position.
Formal leaders are members of an organization with authority to influence other members to achieve
• Informal leadership - the unofficial leadership accorded to a person by other members of the
organization. Informal leaders lack formal authority, but sometimes exert just as much influence as formal
leaders—and sometimes more. Informal leaders influence others, based on special skills or talents that help
achieve group goals..
• Followers-hip - the process of being guided & directed by a leader in the work environment
Followers Can Make a Bigger Contribution By:
• Power is the capacity of a leader to influence work actions or decisions.
• Being more proactive in solving organizational problems.
• Becoming better skilled at “influencing upward.”
• Staying flexible and open to opportunities.
How Leaders Interact with Followers
• Create environments where followers’ innovations and creative contributions are welcome.
Encourage growth and development in followers.
• Interested in the big picture of followers’ work.
• Motivate followers through more personal and intangible factors.
• Redefine the parameters of tasks and responsibilities.
• Change situations rather than just optimize their group’s adaptation to it.
Theories of Leadership
Trait Theories of Leadership
Early studies identified during personal characteristics and traits that distinguish leaders from followers and
effective from ineffective leaders. They were concerned with leaders’ traits, the particular tendencies a
person has to feel, think, and act in certain ways. Results from nearly 300 studies suggested that the
following traits have the strongest relationship to effective leadership:
_ Task-relevant knowledge
_ Dominance (the need to exert influence and control over others)
_ Energy/activity levels
_ Tolerance for stress
_ Integrity and honesty
_ Emotional maturity
Although understanding leader characteristics is helpful, the trait approach is limited. Whether these traits
are key for becoming a leader or result from being a leader is unclear. The trait approach provides little
guidance as to how to train or help leaders. Because traits are stable, individuals cannot change traits
associated with leadership.
The trait approach fails to explain why or how effective leadership occurs. Many individuals who possess
these traits never become leaders, and many leaders who possess them are ineffective. Researchers then
considered other factors affecting leadership, such as leader behaviors.
• The media has long been a believer in trait theories of leadership. They identify leaders by focusing on
personal qualities and characteristics such as charismatic, enthusiastic, and courageous.
• The search for attributes that describe leaders and differentiate them goes back to the 1930s.
• Research efforts at isolating leadership traits resulted in a number of dead ends. A review of 20 different
studies identified nearly 80 leadership traits, but only five of these traits were common to four or more of the
• A search to identify traits that were consistently associated with leadership has better results.
Theories that attempt to isolate characteristics that differentiate leaders from non-leaders
• Attempts to identify traits that always differentiate leaders from followers and effective leaders from
ineffective leaders have failed.
• Attempts to identify traits consistently associated with leadership have been more successful.
The Behavior theory
The behavioral theory assumed that effective leaders behaved differently from
ineffective leaders. It also identified the need of consistency of behavior of good
leaders. This theory can be more clearly understood with the help of following case
Researchers using the behavior approach identified specific behaviors that contribute to leaders’
effectiveness at helping individuals, groups, and or organizations achieve goals.
The Ohio State researchers developed scales to measure over 1800 leader behaviors and asked workers to
indicate how much their leaders engaged in them. Researchers found that leader behaviors involved either
consideration or initiating structure. Consideration is a behavior indicating that a leader trusts, respects,
and values good relationships with followers. A considerate leader might be friendly, treat others as equals,
give explanations, and show concern for workers’ well-being and their opinions.
Initiating structure refers to a leader’s behavior that assures that work is completed and subordinates
perform their jobs. This structure includes assigning tasks, planning, setting goals, deciding how tasks are
accomplished, and encouraging followers to accomplish them.
Consideration and initiating structures are complementary because leaders can engage in both. They are
independent because describing a leader’s consideration does not describe the initiating structure.
Researchers using the behavior approach to leadership have identified behaviors similar to consideration and
initiating structure. Researchers at the University of Michigan identified two behaviors corresponding to
consideration and initiating structure: employee-oriented and job-centered behaviors. An approach to
organizational change, called the Managerial Grid, makes managers effective leaders by focusing how much
they show concern for people and production. The Hersey and Blanchard model focuses on consideration
and initiating structure behaviors.
Studies show no consistent relationship between consideration and high job satisfaction or between initiating
structure and subordinates’ performance. Other factors in leader behaviors may have brought about these
(c) Contingency Theory
The main assumption of contingency theory is that the behavior of an appropriate
leader varies from one situation to another. The motive of a contingency theory is to
identify key situational factors and to specify how they interact to determine
appropriate behavior of a leader The three most important and widely accepted
contingency theories of leadership are as follows:
The LPC theory: The first contingency theory of leadership is Fred Fielder's
Least Preferred Co-worker (LPC) Model. Fielder identified two types of
leadership: task-oriented and relationship-oriented. Fielder believes that a
leader's tendency to be task-oriented or relationship oriented remains constant.
In- other words, a leader is either task-oriented or relationship-oriented while
leading his group members. Fielder used the Least Preferred Coworker (LPC)
scale to measure the type of leadership. A leader is asked to describe
characteristics of the person with whom he or she is least comfortable while
working. They can do this by marking in a set of sixteen scales at each end, by a
positive or negative adjective.
For example, three of the scales Fielder uses in the LPC are:
Helpful -------------------- Frustrating 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Tense ------------------- Relaxed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Boring ------------------- Interesting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
The leader's LPC score is (hen calculated by adding up the numbers below the
line checked on each scale. A high total score is assumed to reflect a relationship
orientation and a low score, a task orientation by the leader.
The Path-Goal theory
The path-goal model of leadership was introduced by Martin Evans and Robert House.
Path-goal theory says that a leader can motivate subordinates by influencing their
expectations. Leaders can motivate sub-ordinates by making clear what they have to
do to get the reward they desire. The path goal model assumes that leaders can
change their style or behavior to meet the demands of a particular situation. This
model identifies four kinds of leader behavior: directive, supportive, participative and
achievement-oriented. According to this model managers can adjust their behavior to
include any four kinds of leadership behavior mentioned above. For instance, while
leading a new group of sub-ordinates, the leader may be directive in giving guidance
and instructions to them. He may also adopt supportive behavior to encourage group
cohesiveness, to look after their needs and ensuring that they get the rewards and
As the group becomes more familiar with the task and as new problems are taken into
consideration, the leader may use participative behavior by which he can participate
with employees in making decisions and take their suggestions as well. Finally, the
leader may use achievement-oriented behavior to encourage continued high
performance of subordinates.
The Vroom-Yetton-Jago Theory (VYJ)
The Vroom-Yetton-Jago model was first introduced by Vroom and Yetton in 1973 and
was revised by Vroom and Jago in 1988, this model has a much less focus than the
path-goal theory. It helps a leader to determine the extent, to which employees should
participate in the decision-making processes, The VYJ theory argues that decisioneffectiveness is best judged by the quality of decision and by the acceptance of that
decision on the part of employees. Decision acceptance is the extent to which
Employees accept and are loyal to their decisions.
Leadership plays a central part in understanding group behavior, for it is the leader who
usually provides the direction toward goal attainment. Therefore, a more accurate predictive
capability should be valuable in improving group performance.
“Leadership is an interpersonal process in which influence is exercised in a social system
for the achievement of organizational goals by others”.
A Leader helps others achieve organizational goals and influences perceptions and
behaviors, including attitudes, learning, motivation, stress, performance, decision-making quality,
turnover, and absenteeism.
Leader effectiveness is the extent to which a leader helps a group or organization achieves
Leadership & Management
“All Leaders are Managers…. But not all Managers are Leaders”
1. John Kotter feels that management is about coping with complexity.
• Good management brings about order and consistency by drawing up formal plans, designing rigid
organization structures, and monitoring results against the plans.
• Leadership is about coping with change.
• Leaders establish direction by developing a vision of the future; then they align people by communicating
this vision and inspiring them to overcome hurdles.
2. Robert House of Wharton basically concurs:
• Managers use the authority inherent in their designated formal rank to obtain compliance.
• Management consists of implementing vision and strategy, coordinating and staffing, and handling day-today problems.
3. We define leadership as “the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of goals.”
• The source of this influence may be formal. A person may assume a leadership role simply because of
• Not all leaders are managers, nor, for that matter, are all managers leaders.
• Non-sanctioned leadership—the ability to influence that arises outside the formal structure of the
organization—is often as important as or more important than formal influence.
• Leaders can emerge from within a group as well as by formal appointment to lead a group.
4. Organizations need strong leadership and strong management for optimum effectiveness. Leaders must
challenge the status quo, create visions of the future, and inspire organizational members.
Why Study Leadership?
• Understanding leadership helps organizations:
– select the right people for leadership positions
– train people in leadership positions to improve
Distinctions Between Managers and Leaders
– Take the long-term view
� Have a short-term view
– Ask what and why
� Ask how and when
� Accept the status quo
– Challenge the status quo.
Part of my job is to keep the five guys who hate me away from the five guys who are undecided.
We define conflict to be a process in which an effort is purposely made by A to offset the efforts of B by some
form of blocking that will result in frustrating B in attaining his goals or furthering his interests.
Conflict: An Inevitable Product of Change
In its simplest term, conflict is no more than a by – product of growth, change, or innovation. And like
change itself, it‟s practically inevitable. But it‟s also something that, when handled correctly can actually
promote better communication, guarantee achieving desired results, and improve employee morale and
Conflict can be defined as: “Conflict is a set of divergent behaviours, aims, or methods.”
Conflict due to Frustration
Frustration occurs when a motivated drive is blocked before a person reaches a desired goal. The barrier may be
overt (outward, or physical) or covert (inward, or mental – sociopsychological). Traditionally, psychologists felt
that frustration always led to the defense mechanism of aggression. Frustration may lead to any of the defense
mechanism used by the human organism. Although there are many such mechanism, they can be grouped
according to four broad categories: aggression, withdrawal, fixation and compromise. The frustration model can
be useful in the analysis not only of behaviour in general but also the specific aspects of on – the – job
A „transaction‟ is a communication or interaction, verbal or nonverbal. Any interpersonal transaction implies
interaction between the minds, or mental states, of individuals involved in the transaction. There are different
mental states that a person experiences, or passes through, during any interaction. These are classified into three
„ego states,‟ namely the super ego, the ego and the id, or the parent, adult, and child, respectively. Each ego state
represents a particular state of mind, intention, or mood. The „adult‟ state is an information-giving or receiving
one where no opinions or emotions are transacted. The „child‟ state is the emotional one, like that of a child.
The „parent‟ tends to be judgmental and punishing with frequent use of words such as „should‟, „ought‟ and
„mustn‟t.‟ Each one of us, however old we may, still have elements of our „childhood‟ within us. Finally, you
have strong imprints in your mind, called a „script‟ as in terms of TA, which are experiences and interactions
with parents, including kind, caring, and nurturing ones, as well as judgmental, controlling and critical ones.
The relevance of TA, in the context of managing negative emotions, is that the ego state from which you are
likely to operate depends, to a great extent, upon the „life position‟ you have adopted. In broad terms, there are
four possible life positions that you can adopt, while interacting with another person:
1. “I‟m OK, you‟re OK” - confident: This is a constructive, healthy position, which indicates a basic
acceptance of oneself, and a basic acceptance of others.
2. “I‟m OK, you‟re not OK” – archaic: People operating from this life position blame and accuse others, and
refuse to see their own problems and weaknesses.
3. “I‟m not OK, you‟re OK” – superior: People operating from this life position blame and accuse themselves,
and consider others as better.
4. I‟m not OK, you‟re not OK” – hopeless: In this position the sense of not-OKness becomes all-pervading;
they see no hope in themselves nor in others; life loses all interest and meaning for them and they can
become hurtful to themselves and others.
Transactional Analysis has been used in analyzing interpersonal skills. It provides an insight in analyzing
interactions with others in terms of ego states being expressed.