Communication plays a critical role in our society and as a result facilitated flow of information among us for peaceful coexistence. Because of the magnitude of effective communication, management experts coined the term management communication in business world. Therefore, in organizational setting, management communication is the study of administrator’s stewardship of speaking and writing in order to get tasks done through and with people. The main aim here is to develop and facilitate flow of information and knowledge in institutions culture and setting .Consequently, this will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the top managers. According to Baack (2014), management of any organization views communication as means to an end and hence must be well utilized for the betterment of the organization. This should be done in line with the weighing of cost benefit analysis and most importantly organizational objectives. However, in the recent past, knowledge about managing business communication problems has been on the increase for the last 3 decades. According to Weill & Ross (2004), suggests that communicating effectively in this global business environment is necessary and there is an urgent need for business communicators to understand basic components of workers culture and appreciate their diversity. The aim of this research paper will explore, develop, and test several models of communication and their impact on managerial issues. In addition to that, I will canvass and measure organizational communication theoretical model to analyze this case (Hill & Rourke 2010).
Business communication therefore can be defined as flow of information, policies, and resources within a particular setting in order to enhance customer relations, service delivery and improve efficiency among the workers, this kind of activities entails sending and receiving of information through various chains of communication. This chain includes discussion of various issues and topics, messages systems from several layers of authority and group meetings in the company. In the past several communications research has been carried on about this thematic topic mainly in business management and communication area, however, most of these reports have little information on organizational communication, its functions and effects.
Many management gurus have been preaching on the need for proper and effective communication that will promote, enhance service delivery and promote proper working relationships .Efficient and proper communication can influence opinions, ideas, and perceptions about governments, persons, communities, and whole society. One of the core functions in administrative communication in management mainly deals on flow of ideas, policies, procedures, and information. Being of the tools of trade in management, communication is frequently expected to free flow of information with workers, reduce unnecessary managerial challenges and regulations, coordinate activities and finally improve company’s performance just to name a few. As far this kind of literature helps in forming the basis and proper understanding how the culture of organization aids in communication processes and nature of this information differentiates it from company’s behaviour, empirical and theoretical perspective, still one question remain unanswered on how this communication influences management issues and some of its outcomes (Baack 2014).
Several organizations have put a major focus on how to make lean and manageable structure on their institutions, make them responsiveness, promote accountability, and reduce operational costs but at the same time maiming on returns. One of the major challenges on most companies’ failures in their past has been attributed to poor management, communication breakdown from topmost echelons of management, workers and customers. Additionally, there has been another issue of complexity and several channels of communication hence putting on the way. Some of these bottlenecks complicate even matters worse as the relationship among top managers, fellow workers and clients are strained and therefore not working for a common purpose. Communication is very essential for any institution and organization and information plays a critical role in proper and effective communication. Indeed theory on how organization communication has evolved over the years from just a tool of designed that was initially meant to facilitate and work completion and hence meeting many organizational variables (Kitchen, 1999). Previously as a tool of management, flow of information is the heart by which individuals activities are coordinated in order to disseminate, devise and pursue set objectives of the organization. However, from scientific management point of view, communication is an asset of organizational design that is meant to operate and enable task completion and many theorists of management put a strong emphasis on how communication flows from top supervisors to juniors. When Taylor’s scientific management principles were put into good use, they were premised on chain of command and division of labor was explicitly in black and white. This management of all time came up with the principles that were based on work weight and standards and measurement of standards. As a result, from this guru point of view, communication can be seen as a device to increase effectiveness and ensure efficiency of chain of command, regulations, and rules.
On the other side, many scholars of communication and management view it as a centre of organizing and human behavior plays a leading role. It is therefore important for managers to create an enabling environment, which promotes cooperation, interpersonal relationships, and participation in a working environment as information issues have been known to have a critical bearing for organizing roles. In the past-civilized societies were attributed and known to have effective communication as it was a cornerstone of human behavior and hence many theorists have elucidated a strong emphasis on interactive communication among the workers to promote mutual understanding. It is also good to set out from the onset formal and non-communication plays a leading role in kind of setting. Consequently, this has provided an avenue on how communication among human beings as an organizing function of human interaction has led to formation of theoretical backgrounds from leading communication experts of our time. According to Tripathi, Tripathi & Reddy (2008), argues that interpersonal communication is the main function of an organization as it creates systems and structures that will form a basis on who said what and done by whom. These systems will create additional communication resources such as common tasks, hierarchical levels, negotiable instruments, and exchangeable issues. In additional to that Orlikowaski and Yates (2001) ventilate that communication should be viewed from the lens of essential social elements in the organizing process by which human beings converge for a common purpose and brainstorm on how to come up with proper structures on how to change for their well being. It is common knowledge therefore that, communication as an organizing process; it is not merely a tool for management but one of the most important elements that affect whole management.
When management gurus like Jones and her colleagues carried out a research in 2004, on the micro level areas, several issues came under sharp focus. They include, subordinate superior communication in an organization, computer communication and conflict, performance feedback and negotiation tactics .In contrast, at the larger levels of management especially in organizational levels ,the tin line between organizations and its boundaries are more liquid as thus has influenced recent trends in working environment more especially interaction beyond organization boundaries. These areas include crisis management, network theory and strategic alliance and finally stakeholder’s views.
On the side of limb, relational kind of aspect, institution communication can be in two core areas: internal and external communication. According to Gold hair (2004), he defines organizational communication as a process of creating and exchanging information within an interdependent network that is subject to environmental uncertainties. This involves several aspects like characteristics of senders and receivers, messages, their relationships, environment and channel of communication. This kind of interaction explores two types and that is, internal and external communication and they relationship.
Several communication scholars have tried to offer some concepts on organizational communication within a one organization (2004).Depending on the flow of information, this kind of communication can be linearly represented into upward, onward, and horizontal form of communication and most importantly depending started the conversation and finally the receiver. When defining the supervisor –subordinate kind of flow, it can take the form of upward or downward communication and in many cases happens now and again in our communicative setting in any organization.
To start with, downward flow of communication is the flow of information from seniors to juniors and it is the most common form of communication in line with formal communication networks. Garnets (2002) identified and set out four main functions of downward communication and are, providing feedback from juniors’ performance and assignment of tasks, passing a vision, passing information to motivate the subordinates and finally conveying work related information. Also Katz and Kahn (1996) in their own scholarly writing provided five indicators of downward communication and are, job rationale, procedures and practices, feedback, setting out goals and finally job instructions. In many instances, work related messages like setting out goals for each worker, orders, discipline, directions, and policies are the most dominant. However (Weill & Ross 2004), suggests that in this kind of communication, senders should be cognizant of two issues and that is, filtering and information overload. It is important therefore during downward communication for managers to be very concise and to the point in order to avoid information overload, which in the end will threaten peaceful coexistence of workers, as they will feel threatened by their seniors. Many other scholars who have indeed shown that there is a relationship between informational overload and finally the companies’ performance have also proved this. In many cases the information overload is attributed lower performance and higher job satisfaction in any setting. However, on the other side, when it comes to filtering, chances are that information can be distorted and its meaning change considerably (Baack, 2014).
Another type of internal communication is upward communication within an institutional setting, which in many cases flows from juniors to their seniors. This kind of information is attributed with the fact the juniors are informing their supervisors on the progress of their work. This type of communication in most cases contains opportunities and threats, ideas on how they can improve their performance, consumer intelligence juniors gather when they interact with their customers and finally what their feel about their superior’s .And finally, horizontal communication involves a lateral exchange of information, which normally flows in line with functional principles on the same people. Here one thing that needs to be clear is that upward and downward communication is meant to encourage employee satisfaction. However, one thing that differentiates themes that, upward communication is very critical as it encourages employers to control and monitor subordinates (Hill & Rourke 2010).
Use of discourse
One of most important functions of managers is to make good use discourse interaction. According Couture and Rymer (2001) coined the term of discourse interaction to describe oral and written discussions on how documents are planned, drafted, and revised during channels of communication. These interactions are in most cases within groups, across and dyadic groups. Here, most writers discuss their communication drafts with supervising managers and mostly groups collaborate when writing and use of documents. Many researchers suggest that discourse interaction can enhance messages under discussion and this benefits group members in several ways. Discourse interaction in management contexts is very crucial when getting working done. As presents a perfect opportunity to guide the institution on what is to be said and done. In addition to that, it aids supervisors with information on timing and flow, level of detail that is required .genre use and appropriate of being self-reference. This is done mostly by use of memos by managers (Kitchen, 1999).
External communications is the process of linking multiple variables and connect the dots with other business organizations in an environment. Many business organizations exist in a cobweb and competitive business environment among the multiple business audiences. This environment contains the following factors, allocation of authority, functional sectors and a diffused sector. Consequently, it can be said that the interorganizational kind of external communication is therefore a big network of relationships. According to Russell (2004), this network involves the frequencies and length of interaction among the linked individuals. Therefore, strong links are able to communicate frequently than weak links and in most cases have longer periods of interaction (Kitchen, 1999).
External communication is divided into several branches and the target audience. An example is, when external communication involves, private companies and public companies. In this regard, external communication is possible through workers of the organization .However a thick line of boundary should be drawn to serve as a link between organization, transfer of information and environment within which this company exists. This will play a competing role for the benefit the organization and external businesses, clients and other stakeholders. Aldrich and Herker (2003) noted two important functions of the boundary issues, which is information processing and external linkages. These boundaries in many cases can be facilitators and filters by which means of selecting, transmitting and interpreting of the information in chain command. It is therefore important for managers for managers to regularly contact their customers and clients, exchange crucial information, answer their pending requests, collect some important feedback, and finally send this information to relevant departments for action and quick decision-making.
Miller (2000) also attempts to explore three core functions of external communication, which are creating and maintaining organization reputation and image, providing customer supportive services and coordinating and creating useful linkages with other business competitors. This boundary ,can therefore be viewed on light of activities which are centred on client communication (Cheeseman, 2003). This sometimes varies from one institution to another and hence managers should strive as much as possible to be the cornerstone of responding to external environments and make it a culture of building and sustaining very adaptive plans for this instances. These areas curtails the following areas like ,managers becoming innovative, being vigorous and must be relatively responsive .In light of these, managers should cultivate a norm of communicating with clients premised on the boundary of the organization as they are the gatekeepers of the business. Although in many cases, they might tend to think as if they are overwhelmed with this task, striving, and maintaining this communication is non-negotiable.
Managing communication problems in work
This section will try to examine several management tools to deal with communication problems in organizations .Again I will make good use of practical guidelines from best management gurus and practitioners in order to come up with a model that will ensure a conducive working environment (Baack 2012).
Guidelines for employees
The management should strive and create employees’ awareness of intercultural differences by first demonstrating how such diversity can work for the good of the company . This kind of awareness should include the following, employees should demonstrate openness, positive attitude, willingness to accommodate divergent views, showing respect for other employees, room for communicating different opinions and finally managers being good role models. In addition to that, the management should provide an enabling that promotes politeness, open mindness, friendly and hardworking culture. If these attributes thrives in working place then result will be good results and innovativeness will be order of day. One of the single important things all managers should strive and avoid ethnocentrism in order to manage these problems effectively. Borrowing from Hill (1997), communication should be a tool of always attempting to control change by either causing or preventing it. According to Hanna and Wilson (2002), found that in one of challenging scenario involved in the conflict of persuading someone in business. Several theories of compliance and persuasion have in past applied in management activities. Again, the line of arguments anchored on premises of the claims, data, warrant, qualification, and rebuttal in these cases. Business manager therefore should observe the following six principle of persuasion:
Finally in conflict resolution and crisis management, the managers should also understand the corporate politics, test the logical fallacies and tests of evidence (Kitchen, 1999).
The field of management communication is relative new than in than any other professional communication areas. These shares with corporate communication and businesses with a strong interest in effective speaking, writing, and communicating within a business setting . In many cases, it differs from other professional areas as it focuses on the premises of oral, written messages that managers create, receive, and are responsible for managing to get the work done through people. The manager’s functions requires some ability and predict on how various audiences will consume and respond to word choices, develop language options to employ and use strategies when working with workers during certain times. This will involve using of and shaping genres, diagnose and control communication effectiveness messages and employees, controlling recurring events, making good use of discourse interaction in consensus building and learning, managing information so that it gets understood and remembered, be good in persuading in order to cause and finally prevent changes in organization. In this research work, I have provided a proper framework and tools of trade that can be used to aid managers with this work.
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