Introduction; Communication is important from the point of view of understanding it in terms of a process, system, interactional base, and structuring. There are various objectives of communication in business organizations. We are living in a world which is totally networked with communication. With the advent of fast technology, the world has become a global village.
Discussion the topic Communication; Introduction, Meaning, and Definition.
The information sharing among various groups in society at national and international levels has become very smooth, effective and efficient. With the click of the small button on a computer, you can easily get any information according to your needs and choice. You cannot just think of a world or situation where there is no exchange of ideas, feelings, emotions, reactions, propositions, facts and figures.
From time immemorial, they have been the most important activities of human lives. The integration of the world economy has been made possible with a strong and efficient channel of communication. The nature of communication has gone a significant change during the last dealers. Now the economic power lies in the hands of the countries having very sound information technology network.
Meaning and Definition of Communication:
There are various definitions and meaning interpreted by different scholars. T.S. Matthews says that Communication is something so difficult that we can never put it in simple words. But we do need a definition to understand the concept. In his book Communication in Business, Peter Little defines communication as the process by which information is transmitted between individuals and/ or organizations so that an understandable response results. W.H. Newman and C.F. Summer Jr. define communication as, “Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions by two or more persons”.
“Administrative communication is a process which involves the transmission and accurate replication of ideas ensured by feedback for the purpose of eliciting actions which will accomplish organizational goals.”
Obviously, “information” is the keyword in the first definition. But this definition does not indicate the objects about which information is to be transmitted. This is precisely what is provided in the second definition. They transmit information not only about tangible facts and determinable ideas and opinions but also about emotions. When a communicator passes on or transmits some information, he may also, either intentionally or unconsciously, be communicating his attitude or the frame of his mind. And sometimes the latter may be more relevant to the reality that is being communicated.
The following definition offered by William Scott in his book “Organisation Theory” should appear comprehensive and especially satisfying to the students of “business communication” since it touches all aspects of the communication process:
According to McFarland communication is,
“a process of meaningful interaction among human beings. More specifically, it is the process by which meanings are perceived and understandings are reached among human beings.”
Newman and summer defined as,
“an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons.”
This definition emphasizes four important points:
- The process of communication involves the communication of ideas.
- The ideas should be accurately replicated (reproduced) in the receiver’s mind, i.e., the receiver should get exactly the same ideas as were transmitted. If the process of communications perfect, there will be no dilution, exaggeration or distortion of the ideas.
- The transmitter is assured of the accurate replication of the ideas by feedback, i.e., by the receiver’s response which is communicated back to the transmitter. Here it is suggested that communications a two-way process including the transmission of feedback.
- The purpose of all communications to elicit action.
It is a quite comprehensive definition and covers almost all aspects of communication. But two comments can be made on it:
- The concept of ideas should be adequately enlarged to include emotions also.
- Even in administrative communication, the purpose may not always be to elicit action. Seeking information or persuading others to a certain point of view can be equally important objectives of communication.
Nature of Communication:
The exchange of information or passing of information, ideas or thought from one person to the other or from one end to the other is communication. Communication is the process of passing information from one person to another. The purpose of communication understands information. Whatever one wants to say to someone should be clearly understood by him else the very purpose of the communication would be defeated. In an organization, communication facilitates the flow of information and understanding between different people and departments through different media using all the channels and networks.
This flow of information is vital for managerial effectiveness and decision making in general and for human resource manager in particular as he has to be in contact with the managers of various departments, employees and workers and trade union leaders. Communication thus helps understand people better removing misunderstanding and creating clarity of thoughts and expression. It also educates people.
They may be written or oral, formal, informal, and upward, downward, horizontal, diagonal, interpersonal, intrapersonal, interdepartmental, intra-organisational. Communication brings people together, closer to each other. Communications an important management function closely associated with all other managerial functions.
It bridges the gap between individuals and groups through the flow of information and understanding between them. Information is the most vital aspect of communication. It is the information which is transmitted, studied, analyzed and interpreted and stored. The manager, therefore, has to spare time to collect, analyze and store the information for decision-making and routine day to day business.
Principles of Communication:
In order to be effective and meaningful, the managerial function of communication must be guided by the following principles:
It must be such, as transmits the understanding of their message to the recipient as per the intentions of the sender. A practical application of this principle requires that the message must be clearly expressed whether made orally or in writing. Further, the message must be complete – leaving no scope for any doubts likely to confuse the recipient and compel him towards a misinterpretation of the message.
They must be made in such a manner, that it invites the attention of the recipient to it. For a practical application of this principle, it is imperative that not only must the message be expressed in a pleasant and sound manner; but also the purpose of the sender in making communication, must be absolutely clarified.
The message to be communicated must be brief; as usually the recipient, especially an executive, would not have much time to devote to a single piece of communication. However, the brevity of the message must not be sought at the cost of clarity or completeness of the message. The sender must strike a balance among these three factors -brevity, clarity, and completeness.
They must be timely i.e. it must be made at the high time when needed to be communicated to the recipient. An advanced communication carries with it the danger of “forgetting”, on the part of the recipient; while a delayed communication loses its purpose and charm, and becomes meaningless when the right time for action on it has expired.
The Appropriateness or Rationality:
It must be appropriate or rational, in the context of the realization of organizational objectives. They must be neither impracticable to act upon; nor irrational, making no contribution to common objectives.
They must be a two-way process. The feedback (or reaction or response) of the recipient to the message, must be as easily transferable to the sender, as the original communication made by the sender. The idea behind emphasizing on the feedback aspect of communications that it helps the sender to modify his subsequent communications in view of the reactions of the recipient – making for better and improved human relations.
The Constructive and Strategic Use of Informal Groups:
The management must not hesitate in making constructive and strategic use of informal groups, for ensuring and facilitating speedier communication in emergency situations. Such use of informal groups would also help develop good human relations by upgrading the status of informal groups and their leaders. However, management must assure itself that rumors are not spread by informal groups and for this, a guard over the manner of functioning of informal groups, while transmitting a formal exchange, is but imperative.