BY – Deepa Daam, MHA 2017-2019


Contents Of Communication

  • Introduction
  • Functions
  • Elements
  • Organizational communication
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Barriers to communication
  • Methods of overcoming communication Barriers


Communication is one of the most basic functions of management; the manager can make a good decision, think out well-conceived plans, establish a sound organization structure, and even be well linked by his associates.

Communication is essential for achieving managerial and organizational Effectiveness. Good communication helps employees become more involved in theirwork and helps them develop a better understanding of their jobs. Clear, precise and timely communication of information also prevents the occurrence of organizationalproblems. Without communication, employees will not be aware of what their coworkers are doing, will not have any idea about what their goals are, and will not be able to assess their performance. Managers will not be able to give instructions totheir subordinates and management will not receive the information it requires todevelop plans and take decisions, hence communication acts as nervous system for any organization.

Concept of communication the world communication has been derived from the Latin word “communis”, which means common. Communication, therefore, refers to the sharing of ideas, facts, opinions, information and understanding. It is the transfer or transmission of some information and understanding from one person to another. Although the word“communication” is used often, there is no consensus amongst communication experts regarding its definition. In general, it is defined as the process by which information is exchanged between individuals. The process uses written messages, spoken words and gestures. Communication can be defined as process oftransmitting information, thoughts, opinions, messages, facts, ideas or emotions and understanding from one person, place or things to another person, place or thing.

Functions of communication

  • The information function serves to provide knowledge to the individuals need for guidance in their actions. It also fulfills worker’s desires for awareness of things that affect them.
  • He command and instructive functions serve to make the employee aware of his Obligations to the formal organization and to provide him with additional guidance on how to perform his duties adequately.
  • The influence and persuasion function (also known as motivational function) encourages the appropriate individual to perform or to exhibit certain behavior. Messages communicated are used to convince individuals that their actions can be personally or organizationally beneficial.
  • The integrative function refers to the fact that the communication of Messages / ideas, if properly handled, should help to relate the activities of the workers to their efforts complement rather than detract from each other. Work efforts are unified rather than fragmented as a result of properly integrative communication. Employees can perform well and be involved in their work only when they understand their job duties and responsibilities. Unless the organization’s key goals, values and strategies are communicated to employees, they will not work in that direction.

Elements of communication

The two-way communication process involves the transmission of a message from a sender to a receiver and back. Communication may take place through speech, handsignals, or other form. All communication involves eight steps.

  • Encoding the message
  • Developing an idea
  • Transmitting the message
  • Reception of the message
  • Decoding the message
  • Acceptance/ rejection of the message
  • Using the information
  • Giving feedback

1. Encoding the message:
The sender codifies the message. He selects appropriate word, charts, or symbols in this step, to convey his idea as clearly as possible. He also decides on the medium of transmission so that the words and symbols constituting the message can be arranged in a suitable manner.

2. Developing an idea:
The sender should perceive that he has some important message to be conveyed to the receiver. The sender should have a clear idea about what he wants to communicate to the receiver.

3. Transmitting the message:
This step involves the transmission of the message using an appropriate medium of communication such as memo, phone call or personal interaction. While transmitting the message, the sender tries to ensure that the timing of the message is right. The sender also takes care that the transmission of the message doesn’t encounter any barriers or interference, which may impede the flow of communication. Ensuring that the communication channel is free from barriers or interference increases the chances of the message reaching the target audience and holding its attention.

4. Reception of the message:
In this step, the receiver, the person for whom the message was intended, receives the message. If the message was communicated orally, the receiver has to be a good listener to avoid loss of information during transmission of the message.
5. Decoding the message:
The message is decoded and understood by the receiver. The receiver has to understand the message exactly as intended by the sender. The communicator of a message can make the receiver listen to him, but understanding has to be achieved by the receiver alone. This aspect of understanding is referred to as “getting through” to a person.
6. Acceptance or rejection of the message:
The receiver is free to accept or reject the decoded message. The receiver can not only choose whether to accept a message, he can also choose whether to accept the message in toto or in part. The acceptance decision of the receiver is influenced by factors such as his perception regarding the accuracy of the message, the authority of the sender, and the implications of accepting the information.
7. Using the information:
This step involves the use of the information by the receiver. The receiver may use the information, discard it, or store it for future.

Giving feedback:
Feedback occurs when the receiver sends back some response to the sender or acknowledges receipt of the message. The communication loop is complete only after feedback has been provided. Feedback is essential for finding out whether the message has been properly received, decoded, accepted and used by the receiver.
As communication progresses, the sender adjusts his message according to the previous response of the receiver. Two-way communication leads to the accurate transmission of information and improves the quality of decisions and actions dependent on that information.

Organizational Communication

Organizational Communication can be broadly classified into formal and informal communication. Formal communications are those that are official, that are a part of the recognized communication system, which is involved in the operation of the organization. These communications may be oral or written. A formal communication can be from a superior to a subordinate, from a subordinate to a superior, intra administrative, or external. Formal communications take place externally to the organization i.e. with outside groups, such as suppliers, clients, unions, government agencies and community groups. Formal communications may be mandatory, indicative or explanatory. Mandatory communication implies an order or command to be followed and goes by various euphemistic names such as instructions, briefing, etc., this kind of communication is mostly vertical and usually one way from top to downward. The indicative or explanatory communication may exist between any level and may be vertical as well as horizontal. Informal communications grow out of the social interactions among people who work together. These are not bound by any chart on the wall but are bound by conventions, customs and culture. Such communication provides useful information for events to come.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication takes place directly between the superiors and juniors in organizations or two persons is often known as face-to-face communication. It takes the form of talks, a public address, verbal discussions, telephonic talks, telecommunications and other artificial media, such as audio-visual aids speeches and orders, holdings of meetings and conferences, lectures, social get-togethers, training sessions, public address systems, museums, exhibitions, counseling etc.

Verbal communication enjoys certain merits

I. It is the least time consuming, is more direct, simple and the least expensive.
II.  It is more communicative and effective and aids in avoiding delays, red-tape and formalities.
III.  It generates a friendly and co-operative spirit.
IV.  It provides an immediate feedback, as questions can be put and answers obtained about the information transmitted.
V.  Since every information cannot be put into writing, most of it is conveyed by means of oral instructions, mutual discussions and telephonic conversations.

However, verbal communication has certain demerits. These are:

I. Lengthy, distant and important information cannot be effectively conveyed verbally
II.  Verbal talks may often be distorted if there is some cause of indifference between the receiver and the sender.
III.  iii. It is inadequate where permanency and uniformity of form are required.
IV.  Due to various communication gaps, as a result of status and other physical or personal barriers communication is incomplete.
V.  Spontaneous responses may not be carefully thought.
VI.  The spoken words can be more easily misunderstood than the written words.
VII.  It presupposes expertise in the art of effective speaking.

Written communication:

A written communication is always put into writing and generally used when the audience is at a distance or when a permanency or record is required or where its preservation is essential in case it is needed as a evidence in cases of dispute. It is generally in the form of instruction, orders, rules and regulations, policies, procedures, posters, memos, reports information bulletins.
The merits of written communication are:
It serves as evidence of what has occurred or what was stated
It provides a permanent record for future use
It reduces the chances for misinterpretation and distortion of information
It is reliable when transmitting lengthy information on financial, production or other important data.
It provides an opportunity to the subordinates to put up their grievances in writing and get them supported by facts
However, a written communication also suffers from certain disadvantages.
It is generally an expensive and a time-consuming process.
Even though such communication has been transmitted, it is not certain whether the receiver has understood it.
Written materials not only get out of date but may also be leaked out before time.
It sometimes leads to excessive formality and rigidity in personal relations.

Nonverbal Communication:

A message can be sometimes expressed without the help of words. Nonverbal communication is the process of communicating without the use of words. It is defined as non-word human responses like facial expressions and gestures and the perceived characteristics of the environment through which the human verbal and nonverbal messages are transmitted. Nonverbal communication is also known as “silent language.” It involves the use of cues, gestures, vocal characteristics, facial expressions, and spatial relationship between the sender and the receiver to conveya message. For example, a smile, glance, stare or a frown convey different meanings.

Barriers to communication

Communication is complete and perfect when the receiver understands the message in the same sense and spirit as the communicator intends to convey. In communication, ideas and information reached to and responded by receiver remain unaltered and undistorted. But practically it has been noticed that such 7 perfect and complete communication does not take place because of certain obstacles or other factors known as communication barriers.

Communication barriers may be classified as follows:

  • Physical and external barriers
  • Semantic barriers
  • Psychological barriers
  • Corporate communication barriers

Semantic and Language Barriers

Difficulties in communication arise when the receiver of the message use words symbols in different senses. The meaning intended by the sender may be quite different from the meaning followed by the receiver. Semantic barriers are concerned with problems and obstructions in the process of encoding and decoding the message into words or other impressions.

Symbols with different meanings :

Communication symbols usually have a variety of meanings and we have to choose one meaning from many. In verbal communication, a particular word may have a variety of meanings.

Faulty Translation:

The message has to be put into words appropriate to the framework in which the receiver operates or it must be accompanied by an interpretation which will be understood by the receiver. Any faulty translation of the message is likely to hamper free flow of communication.

Badly Exposed Message :

Due to lack of clarity and precision, lack of coherence, awkward structure, jargons etc. messages are badly expressed. Sentences can convey entirely different meanings depending on how they are spoken.

Unqualified Assumptions

Though a message appears to be specific, its underlying assumptions may not be clear to the receiver.Sometimes in our conversation we use several words, which have some pronunciations, but are having many meanings. Some words like present, transfer, record, are used as verbs and as noun with a difference in pronunciation, but no difference is in the spelling. Similar sounding words like access, excess, flour, flower, cite, site and sight can cause misunderstanding in speech. Besides, adjectives and adverbs like fan, fast, few, early, easy, convey different meanings to different persons depending on their daily activities and way of life.

Psychological Barriers

Problems of understanding, interpretation and response to communication arise partly from our socially-learnt attributes and partly from our personal attributes. These are called socio-psychological barriers.

Premature Evaluation

Some people have the tendency to form a judgment before listening to the entire message. This is known as premature evaluation. It is a human tendency that we try to evaluate quickly. We do not listen or the whole, but try to infer from certain part of the message. The moment we try to evaluate, we stop further message visible to our sensory receptors. As a result, effective communication does not take place because of premature evaluations. This barrier can be overcome by emphatic listening or suspending judgment for the time being.

Organizational Barriers

This is a type of barrier, which occurs in an organizational when there is communication between the members of the organization. This is usually attempted through a variety of official measures such as designing the organizational arrangements for performance of various activities, prescribing various policies, rules, regulations and procedures, laying down the norms of behavior, instituting a reward and punishment system.

Organizational Rules and Regulation

Organizational rules and regulations, prescribing the different sub-matter along formal pronunciation may restrict the flow of messages and act as hindrance in the communication process. Sometimes, it happens that important messages are omitted or manipulated. Observance of rigid rules and regulation relating to communication causes delay of message and discouragement to employee in conveying their creative and innovative ideas.

Hierarchical Relationship

Hierarchical, formal boss-subordinate relationship in organization structure also restricts the free flow of communication especially in upward direction. The greater the difference in hierarchical position, the greater is the communication gap between employees and executives. The employees are expected to contact executive through their immediate bosses.In such types of cases it has been noticed that upward communication is intentionally distorted and designed either with exaggeration or understatements, sometimes with false and fabricated stories, to suit the purpose of middle level bosses. This leads to distrust and disappointment among employees and disruption of the congenial communication environment.

Complexity in organization Structure:

In an organization where there are a number of managerial levels, communication structure also blocks the flow of communication and more particularly in upward direction

Status Block:

A boss who is conscious of his status finds it difficult to receive any suggestions from subordinates. People in senior positions often develop the feeling that they know everything about how to run the business. They do not agree that a junior may have a good idea. Suggestion schemes are meant to overcome this status block. Good managers personally to overcome it by developing friendly contact with their subordinates or by maintaining on office which does not frighten them by its status symbols of expensive décor and furnishing or by following an open door policy.

Corporate Communication Barrier

In corporate set up, barriers in communication may arise primarily due to superiors of the subordinates. Reviews evidence to support the view that improved internal communication facilitates business success. Details the content of what have been identified as successful internal communications programmers. Focuses on those behaviors which produce improved interpersonal relationships in the workplace, and which could be widely emulated by managers seeking to promote good practice in their own organizations considers attitudinal barriers to the implementation of such approaches. Fear of Challenge of Authority In the organization a person always tries to get a higher position and prestige to satisfy his needs. So he never communicates freely with his superiors.

Lack of confidence in subordinates

Superior generally perceives or otherwise that their subordinates are less competent and capable, they are not able to advice superiors are they may not have some information coming downwards.

Ignoring communication

This works against the willingness of subordinates to communicate. Most people fall into one of four basic default communication styles: Intuitive, Functional Analytical and Personal. These are not personality types, but rather deal specifically with how people liketo give and get information. And that‘s important because we can‘t just take the same piece of information and twist it around and call ourselves great communicators. We actually need to present these very different types of communicators with very distinct kinds of information. And that‘s where things start to get a bit tricky.

Lack of Proper Incentive

The reward and punishment system of the organization is more responsible for this. If a novel suggestion by a subordinate does not evoke any attention from the organization, he would not convey it.

Methods of Overcoming Communication Barriers

Effective communication is a good business and very essential for the success of on organization. Communication takes place when one person transfers information and understanding to another person. An effective communication is one which is 10 followed by the receiver of the message and his reaction or response is known to the sender the following steps may be taken to minimize barriers to communication and making it more effective.

Clarity of Ideas

The sender of the message should be clear in his mind about the message that he wants to communicate. The purpose of the message and the sequence of the ideas to be conveyed should be clear in his mind. As far as possible the message should be brief and priority should be given to the language of the level of the receiver. Instead of using technical words, attempt should be made to use commonly understandable words and sentences.

Active Listening

Active or participative ‘listening is as important as any other element in the process of communication. It shows that communication is a joint responsibility of both the sender and the receiver.

Free Flow of Information

The system of communication should be so designed that shorter lines of information flow are there. The information can be vertically and horizontally flowed. To speed up communication proper delegation and decentralization of authority should be encouraged.

Completeness of Message

The message should be complete in every respect. The message should be sent in time; otherwise it would lose its significance. While sending the message it should be checked that no important thing is left out, otherwise the message can be misunderstood. Incomplete message delays work performance and increases cost.

Eliminate Noise

Every possible effort must be made to eliminate the elements of noise that distortscommunication at the transmission stage. It becomes especially important in the wake of modern technological advancement. Anything going wrong with the equipment or any disturbance in the transmission line is bound to defeat the very purpose of communication.


It means making efforts to know whether the receiver has properly understood the message or not. The feedback information can be flowed upward and downward. The reaction of the sender can be understood better in face to face communication. But in respect of the written or some other form of communication the sender should adopt some appropriate method of getting the feedback.

Proper use of Body Language

Proper use of body language is of paramount importance, especially in oral communication. No oral communication can be successful if we do not take care of our body language. There should be proper eye contact with the person to whom we are speaking. The movement of our hand and feet must be graceful. Every listener observes carefully how we walk and how we talk. Holding head straight on our shoulders shows confidence. In fact, our overall appearance can really make our communication effective.


A good system should be flexible enough to adjust to the changing requirements. The new techniques should be absorbed without much resistance. Use of wide range of media such as oral and written messages, face-to-face contacts, telephonic calls, group meetings, etc., should be encouraged without any hesitation.