There is a large volume of communication within the organization.The flow of communication within an organization forms a complicated pattern.The volume & the direction are usually determined by the pattern of the hierarchy the level of authority & also by the requirements of tasks.
- Formal Channels-
Formal channels are those which carry the official messages in the organization. The efficiency of an organization depends on a regular flow of messages.The flow of messages needs to be organized into well- ordered network to ensure that communication flows easily & reaches the persons who need the information. If communication bypasses the channels someone who needs the information may not get it. These can leads to gaps in information & it may fail to take the required action.
Information has to go through proper channels for eg Clerks from one department are not supposed to exchange official papers directly with clerks from another department, the papers must move through the supervisors or section heads
Formal communication is again subdivided into two types
- Vertical communication:-
This includes all the messages that move between subordinates & their supervisors.Messages sent from superiors to subordinates are downward communication .messages sent from subordinates to superiors are upward communication. Vertical communication is classified into two types
a ) Downward Communication:-
Messages going from the higher authority levels to the lower level may be written, oral.Written messages are notes, circulars, notices, emails.Oral messages may be face-to-face or by telecom or telephone .announcement over the public address system
The common purpose of downward communication is as follows
- Instruction about a specific task
- Information about the practices& Procedures followed by organization
- Information which creates understanding of the task in relation to other tasks of the organization
- Feedback about subordinates performance
- Information about the ideology & the goals of the organization which would help them to develop a sense of belonging to the organization
Downward communication must be simple & carefully explained persons at the lower level of the hierarchy may not have sufficient knowledge or understanding of the organizations work hence they need explanation.Long circulars, written in an official & legal style are not easy to follow. Instruction sheets & employees manuals should be written in a simple style.
A great deal of information is lost as messages move downward. When a message is passed from a senior to a subordinate down the line of command in a chain, It passes through many levels of authority.There is a delay in the movement of the message also the message gets changed and modified & there is a distortion of the message it& simplifies it for the understanding & needs of the understanding & needs of the person who is to receive it.If the chain of communication is very long there may be much change &distortion in the message.
Many organizations avoid long channels to ensure that information must move fast to keep up the efficiency of the organization passing messages down the line in a chain causes the greatest loss of information. It is more effective to communication downward in the cluster as in a meeting as everyone receives it at the time in the same environment. The recipients of the information may be of different levels of hierarchy.This method gives the opportunity to everyone to seek clarification, loss of information is avoided. Organisations that have linked & networked computers are able to send messages at once to all concerned persons the flow of information is more easy & efficient.
Messages which go from subordinates to supervisors & to higher levels of authority are upward communication.These may be written or oral. Written messages are in the form of reports, letters, presentation, notes & email messages.Oral messages may be face to face or by intercom or telephone
The common purposes of upward communication are
- Give information to the management
- Enable the management to learn & understand the concerns of the subordinates
- To enable all the employees to contribute ideas & make suggestions
Open & free upward communication also helps to maintain good staff relations.Employees work better when the managers listen to their ideas.Persons at any level in an organization may have good ideas & suggestions for the improvement of the organization.These ideas are encouraged when the organization has good upward communication channels.
- Horizontal or Lateral Channel
Messages that flow between persons of equal status or the same level of authority in the organization is called horizontal or lateral communication. A large amount of communication flows laterally in an organization.
Horizontal communication can be oral or written. Written communication may be in form of letters, memoranda, notes, reports. copies of the document, oral communication may be in the form of face-to-face talk, intercom, meetings, committee work or conferences
There is more horizontal communication at higher levels of authority.The clerks in one department may have no direct contact with the clerks in another department, but section heads and managers have closer contacts.The higher level managers have to be in consultation & communication with one another.Horizontal communication is more interactive than vertical communication
Horizontal communication is needed for several purposes in an organization.It includes both information & persuasion & even for discussion, plans, solving problems, resolving conflicts, negotiation & coordination of work .it serves an important function of providing emotional & social support to one another
B)Informal Channels /Grapevine Communication
In addition to the imposed organizational arrangement, members of groups that work together construct their own communication networks.These informal networks have two basic purposes
- They compensate for inadequacies in the formal network by establishing new links which bypass obstacles that come up in the formal structure. In many groups, there is someone who can expedite the matter at hand often the expeditor is not the person holding official responsibility for locating the right person.
- They serve the needs of individuals involved these needs may or may not be the same as the goals of the organization. These informal networks link persons with similar interests & experiences & those who simply like one other
The informal network serves a valuable organizational function they protect the individual from becoming isolated from professional colleagues by stimulating him/her to more creative thinking & by supplying a psychological support group.Quite often an informal work relationship completely obscures the formal organizational structure.
Following are types of informal communication
1 Single Strand Chain: The single strand chain involves the passing of information through a line of persons to the recipient. In the
For Eg, the person A tells B, who tells C, who tells D, and so on, till the information has reached most of the persons involved or concerned
2 Gossip Chain: In the gossip chain, one person receives and tells the information to others. In the following figure, A is at the center and passes the information to others staying on the rim of the wheel.
3. Probability Chain: The probability chain is a random process in which someone transmits the information to others and then these to others in a similar way. This chain may also be called random process.
4 Cluster Chain: In the cluster chain, a person tells the information to the selected persons who may in turn relay (pass) the information to other selected persons. Most of the information communication follows this chain. Cluster chain is shown in the following
B. External Communication
In the organization, there will be a continuous flow of communication. There will be a continuous communication with the surrounding outside the organization i.e with Customers, Suppliers, Bankers etc. An organization has office procedure & system for handling external communication, both the incoming & the outgoing messages are recorded & filled.External communication is divided into following two type
Messages are sent out of organization customers, suppliers, banks, insurance companies, government departments, the mass media & general public they may be in the form of letters, faxes, telephone calls telegrams, reports advertisement, press handouts speeches visit & so on.The style format & tone of companies outgoing communication affect the goodwill & public relations.Therefore most organizations have a policy about the style & appearance of the companies messages that go out.Copies of outgaining written documents are filed for reference.
An organization receives letters, telegram, fax, telex messages, reports, brochure circulars, journals magazines, telephonic calls, personal visits these may be formed customers, suppliers, other organization government departments & so on.These inward communication messages are filed for recorded for reference.A written note or summary of visits meeting, telephonic talks may also be filled.