Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Communication

Types of Communication

   Posted On :  18.05.2018 06:43 am

We spend a great deal of our time in communication. No one can afford to waste time be indulging in unnecessary communication.

Types of Communication
 
 
We spend a great deal of our time in communication. No one can afford to waste time be indulging in unnecessary communication. It is often very difficult to determine which communication is necessary and which is not necessary. Again it is difficult to determine the extent of information to be passed on. The method of presentation is also to be decided - narrative, statistical or graphical form. The following are some of the types of communication.
 

Verbal or Oral Communication

 
 
In this method of communication the two parties exchange their ideas or the message with the help of word of mouth. The message, instruction, order, directive etc., is conveyed through spoken words. Examples of verbal communications are – telephone talk, oral orders, face to face talks, counseling etc. Some of the advantages of verbal communication are as follows:
 
--  It saves time and money. No other device is so short, simple and quick.
-- Because of the face contact or personal touch, it is effective. 
-- Oral communication is easily understood. Even when there are doubts they can be cleared on the spot.
-- The effect of communication or response to the communication can be easily measured. Suitable change can also be done immediately.
-- During periods of emergency, oral communication is the best method.

 However, oral communication is not suitable in the following cases:

--  When the communicator and the recipient are far off, (beyond the telephone range) oral communication will not serve the purpose.
--   If the message to be transmitted is lengthy and requires a thorough clarification, oral communication will not be suitable.
--   Oral communication does not serve as a record or as evidence. It cannot be made use of in future.
--   There are chances of misunderstanding and mis-interpreting the communication.
 

Written Communication

 
 
A written communication is conveyed through a letter, report, circular notes, memoranda, notice and communiqué. It is a very common form of communication in most of the organisations and is suitable for many situations.

The usual forms of written communication are:
 
Orders – given by the superiors to the sub- ordinates. These can be of three types.
            
1. General
 
2. Specific
 
3. Definite
 
 
General orders are given by the top management, specific orders by the middle level management to lower level managers and definite orders by the supervisor to workers.
 
--   Instructions given by the departmental heads to supervisors and by the supervisors to their sub-ordinates.
--   Reports submitted by the authorized persons. These are of three types.
 
(a)Routine reports- which are prepared periodically and are a regular feature.
 
(b)Commission reports- which are of a non-routine nature and are prepared under special orders.
 
(c)Special circumstances reports.

Written communications have the following advantages.

 
 
--   They serve as permanent record and as a source or reference.
-- More care is taken in drafting written communication (than is in the case of oral communications) and this saves the subsequent loss of time and money.
-- When  the  communicator and  recipient  are  far  off,  written communication is the best method.
--   The recipient can ponder over the communication and request for changes, if necessary.
 

The disadvantages are listed below:

 
 
--   As everything is to be translated into black and white, it consumes a lot of time and money.
--   People do not care at all to pass the appropriate message. Consequently, poor messages are to be followed by clarifications and explanations.
--   Sometimes it may not be possible to reduce everything into writing. Any omission will call for additional communication.
--   Written communication is subject to delay and red tapism.
--   It is very difficult to keep some communications up to date.
 

Formal and Informal Communication

 
 
The formal organisation chart describes the formal lines of authority, power, responsibility and accountability of the organizational members. All these relationships involve communication. For instance, the delegation of authority involves the flow information from a superior to his subordinate. Formal communications are in black and white.
 
On the other hand, informal communication is free from all the formalities of formal communication. Informal communication is based on the informal relationship among the organisation members. It is conveyed by a simple gesture, glance, nod, smile or mere silence. For instance, when the worker approaches the manager and informs about the completion of the job entrusted to him, and if the manger simply nods his head or gives an approving smile, then it amounts to informal communication.

 The informal communication which supplements the formal organizational relationship is referred to as the “Grapevine”. Though this relationship is structureless, it comes into existence when formal organizational members who know each other pass on information relating to the enterprise. It thrives on information not openly available to the entire work group. This may be due to the fact that information is regarded as confidential. The Grapevine may flourish, if formal lines of communication are inadequate. The Grape vine is inevitable and valuable, because all forms of informal organisation serve essential human communication needs. It is very effective for quick communication.
 

Downward, Upward or Horizontal Communication

 
 
Communications are classified as downward, upward or horizontal. Communication is said to be downward when it flows from the top to the bottom, it is upward when it flows from the sub-ordinates to the top management. It is horizontal when it flows between individuals at the same level (e.g. between two depar tmental or section heads). All these three kinds of communications may be either oral or written. The Classical theorists emphasized downward communication. Downward Communication is used by the superiors to convey their orders and directions to their sub-ordinates. The purposes of downward communication are:
 
1. To give job instructions
2. To create an understanding of the work and its relations with other tasks.
3. To inform about procedures.
4. To inform sub-ordinates about their performance.
5. To indoctrinate the workers to organizational goals.
 

 


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