Saturday, 18 January 2014

Systems of Communication in Organizations

There are many systems of communication in every or any environment. Communication is the means of passing information, news, feelings, heat, motions, and so on from one person or channel to another. The topic
under discussion is on the system of communication in organizations. The system of communication in one area may not be the same with that in organization and that is why this topic is centred in organizational communication.

Communication in organization is referred to as organizational communication. Examples of organizations that are included in this category are governmental, business, voluntary, charitable, non-governmental and others. As far as these are organizations, the systems of communication that are to be discussed on this topic are applicable in all of them. These systems help all organization to make maximum profit and serve their customers well.

The Systems of Communication in Organization
Man in any way cannot do without communication. Even other animals that are not man communicate in their own way; though it is beyond human comprehension. It is only experts who really study animal communication can give clear explanation on how these other animals communicate to one another. On this topic, the systems of communication in organizations are external communication, internal communication, formal communication, and informal communication. Be informed that system of communication in management is quite different from channels of communication. These are two different concepts entirely.

Internal communication: You do not need to think too much before you find out the true meaning of this system of communication. The word ‘internal’ simply implies within. So, internal system of communication is the system of communication within an organization. It takes place inside the organization. As the opposite of internal is external; so is the opposite of internal communication called external communication. When any communication leaves the vicinity of the organization, it is no longer an internal communication.

Internal communication is communication between the organization and its members. This includes communication between shareholders, managers and employees working in any organization. Examples of this system of communication are those that are passed through internal telephone (intercom), instructions, orders, and memoranda. When anything is done wrongly in an organization and the manager decides to correct the error through calling of all the employees in that organization, it is an internal communication. Again, when someone enters an office to see the manager and the receptionist decides to communicate to the manager before allowing the person into the office, the kind of communication that exists between the receptionist and the manager is an internal one.

This kind of communication is experienced in banking halls in many parts of the world. This takes many forms in banking halls. When a manager is in need of something and decides to pick his phone and call a staff that will help him or her get the material needed, the kind of communication that exists is internal. Again, if a customer wants to open a new bank account with a bank and the customer support centre is in need of bank note to issue to the new customer, when he picks the bank’s telephone and call another staff in another location within the bank for the bank note, the system of communication that takes place between them is an internal communication.

External Communication: A communication is termed external when it takes place between the organization and the public or outside the world. It is the communication between the organization and its customers, suppliers, governments, government agencies and other organizations. This communication can be passed through the telephones, telegram, Annual Report of an organization that works under government, and so on.

When an organization is dependent on another establishment for the supply of raw materials which they work with, once the manager of the organization picks his mobile phone to call the establishment for supply, the communication that exist between the two is termed external communication. It is called external because it is no longer that which occurs within the organization; rather this one takes place outside the organization. If the supplier of the material picks his mobile phone in return to call the manager of the other organization that needs the material maybe to inform him when the supply will take place, the communication that also takes place is still external.

If you as a reader of this write-up buy a product from a particular company for example refrigerator. When you get to your destination and decided to connect the product to power source (electricity) and discovered that the product you bought from the company is not functioning well. Once you pick your mobile phone or paper to call or write to the company you bought the product from, the system of communication that exists between you and the company you called is an external one. Companies know how important communication is and that is why they provide phone numbers for their customers to call them at the point of their need.

Formal Communication: Whenever the word, formal, is mentioned, what comes to the minds of many persons is unfriendly. So, formal system of communication is an unfriendly one. Formal communication is the system of communication in organizations that follow the official laid down structure.

Formal communication takes many forms in many organizations. Let’s use the university as an organization to give an example of formal system of communication. When a student wants to go for a scholarship examination in a particular company and the company demanded a written letter from the Vice Chancellor of his or her university. The organizer of the scholarship examination needs the written letter as a proof that the student is a bona fide member of the university. In a case like this, the student is not meant to walk straight to the Vice Chancellor to demand for the later but should pass through the acceptable protocol. First, he has to write to his Head of Department to inform him about the scholarship and what the organizer of the scholarship examination demands from him. It is then that the Head of Department will make possible corrections on the letter and forward it to the dean of the faculty. The dean then checks the letter and finally forwards it to the Vice Chancellor who makes the final endorsement on the letter.

From the example in the above paragraph, the relationship between the student seeking for approval to attend the scholarship examination and the Vice Chancellor of his university is on formal basis. So the communication system between him and the Vice Chancellor is also a formal communication. The communication is formal because it follows the official laid down structure of the organization as defined before.

Informal Communication: An informal system of communication is an opposite of formal communication. In dictionary definition of the word, informal, it is synonymous to unofficial. So since formal is equals to official, and informal equals to unofficial, both are clear opposite to each other. An informal system of communication can be defined as the system of communication within an organization that does not follow the official laid down structure or procedures. This system of communication is also called the grapevine and it is associated with informal organizations, which exists side by side with formal organization. This is found when employers chat freely with the mates, supervisors and members of the top management.

Communication is needed in every organization for effective functioning of the organization. Man cannot be able to achieve anything in life without communication. It is very essential for all-round progress. Discussed in this write-up are systems of communication in organizations. The systems of communication as enumerated are internal, external, informal, and formal systems of communication.         


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