Very Short Question and Answers
1. What is decoding?
Decoding refers to the process by which the receiver draws meaning from symbols encoded by the sender. One’s knowledge, attitude, cultural background, etc. influence the ability of a receiver to encode the message.
2. Give two examples of nonverbal communication.
The two examples of non-verbal communication are shaking hands and patting the back.
3. What is grapevine communication?
Grapevine is an informal channel of business communication that stretches throughout the organization in all directions irrespective of the authority levels. It exists more at lower levels of the organization.
4. Define communication.
Communication is the process by which a person, group, or organization (the sender) transmits some type of information (the message) to another person, group, or organization (the receiver). In other words, communication is the transmission and reception of ideas, feelings and attitudes, both verbally and non-verbally, which gives rise to a response.
5. Enlist the key features of communication.
The key features of communication are enlisted as follows:
- Communication is essential for managers to control subordinates’ behavior.
- Communication is often used by organizations to motivate workers to give their best performance:
- Communication provides an opportunity for employees to the emotional expression of their feelings.
6. What is oral communication?
Oral communication is the most popular method of communication. It is also known as verbal communication. Oral communication is done with the help of spoken words. Oral communication may be face to face or through mechanical devices like telephone or computer.
7. What is written communication?
When communication is conducted in written form such as letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, brochures, etc. It is known as written communication. Written communication is verifiable and tangible in nature hence, carries a major significance in today’s business world.
Short Question and Answers
1. Describe the process of communication and explain the methods of communication.
Communication is the process by which a person, group, or organization (the sender) transmits some type of information (the message) to another person, group, or organization (the receiver). In other words, communication is the transmission and reception of ideaș, feelings, and attitudes, both verbally and non-verbally, which gives rise to a response.
Methods of Communication
- Oral Communication: Oral communication expresses ideas or information through spoken words. Communication through face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, staff meetings, teleconferencing, and videoconferencing are examples of oral communication.
- Written Communication: Written communication expresses ideas through words that are meant to be read. Communication through memos, letters, reports, e-mail, and fax are examples of written communication. It is used to give, receive and record information.
- Nonverbal Communication: Nonverbal communication expresses information without words; rather through gesture and behavior. Nonverbal communication can be done through gestures, postures, facial expressions, eye movements, vocal cues (loud or quiet, fast or slow, voice modulated or not-modulated, etc.), touch, dress and personal grooming, etc.
- Formal Communication: Formal communication refers to communication that follows the official chain of command or is a part of the communication required to do one’s job. Formal communication can be written or oral; may follow different communication patterns or networks.
- Informal Communication: Informal communication refers to communication that is not defined by the organization’s structural hierarchy and is not officially sanctioned by the organization. Informal communication is generated through informal gatherings and through the personal interest of the people.
2. Explain the communication networks.
A communication network can be defined as the channel through which information flow. Different parts of organization are linked together through a communication network.
The common communication network is as follows:
- Star (Wheel) Network: The communication network in which all communication passes through central authority just like the hub of a wheel is known as star (wheel) network. In star network workers do not communicate with each other.
- Chain Network: The communication network that rigidly follows the formal chain of command is known as chain network. For example, when a senior manager communicates to manager who then communicates to assistant manager and management trainee.
- Circle Network: The communication network where each member can communicate to the adjoining member is known as circle network. In this network, information flows in a circle so that each member is in a position to communicate with two persons.
- Channel Network: When there is no restriction on the flow of communication among the member, such communication network is known as channel network. All channel network allows all group members to actively communicate with each other.
3. State the barriers to effective communication and explain the ways to overcome the barriers.
Barriers to Effective Communication
There are several barriers that distort the communication process. These barriers generate confusion and misunderstanding in the organizations by creating bottlenecks, delays, and distortions of the information. Several organizational problems relating to smooth working and human relations exist today due to these barriers.
Some of the key classifications of such barriers are explained below:
a) Human barriers: Barriers related to the human that is part of the communication process are termed human barriers. Also known as personal barriers they arise from social values, emotions, and judgments and lead to a psychological distance.
b) Semantic barriers: One of the most common communication barriers is semantic barriers. Semantic refers to that branch of science that deals with the study of communication symbols. In this regard, semantic barriers arise when there is a discrepancy in meanings that different people attach to different things. For example-, round: shaped like a ball round: related to tine, ‘as round the clock. Hence, a word round could be understood in two different ways which create distort.
c) Organizational barriers: In many cases, organizational systems and beliefs create problems in the flow of information.
Some of the key organizational barriers are listed as follows:
- Organizational policy.
- Organizational rules and regulations.
- Lengthy scalar chain.
- One-way communication system.
- Lack of confidence in subordinates.
d) Physical barriers: Internal structure of the organization and layout of machines create barriers in the communication process.
Some of the key physical barriers are enlisted as follows.
- Physical distance
- Hierarchy structure
- Office design
e) Technological barriers: Technological barriers occur due to defects in technology used and overload in information. In these cases, the receiver cannot respond leading to communication problems.
Some of the common technological barriers are listed as follows:
- Mechanical barriers
- Loss of transmission
- Information overload
- The insufficient period allowed.
4. Ways to Overcome the Communication Barriers
The key ways to overcome the communication barriers are discussed as follows:
- Use of simple language: Experience suggests that complex language, technical terms, and jargon make communication difficult to understand and frustrating to the listener. It is not true that complex ideas require complex words to explain them. Hence, while preparing the communication message, its language should be relatively simple. and the ability of the receiver to interpret the message accurately should be kept in view. Efforts should be made to explain abstract ideas and avoid vague expressions.
- Regulating the Flow of Communication: The priority of messages to be communicated should be determined so that the managers may concentrate on more important messages of high priority. Similarly, the messages received should be edited and condensed, to the extent possible, to reduce the chances of overlooking or ignoring important messages.
- Give constructive feedback: Communication is complete when it receives feedback. Feedback may include the receiver’s response in terms of acceptance and understanding of the message, his/her action, and the result achieved. Thus a mechanism of providing constructive feedback helps to overcome communication barriers.
- Repetition: Repetition of messages helps improve the effectiveness of communication. It helps the listener interpret messages that are ambiguous, unclear, or too difficult to understand the first time they are heard. Repetition also helps avoid the problem of forgetting. A popular strategy to help the managers remember the main points is “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them what you’ve told them.”
- Restraint over emotions: Strong feelings and emotions on the part of either the sender or receiver of the message distort the meaning of the message. One may, therefore, defer the communication for some time. He/she should respond to communication with a composed mind only.
- Mutual trust and faith: Communication becomes effective by having mutual faith between the sender and receiver of the message. The honesty of the purpose is the best means of breeding trust and faith between the two parties, i.e. sender and receiver.
- Active listening: Misunderstanding and confusion are often caused by the half-hearted attention to the communication. Therefore, a receiver listener needs to be patient mentally and well-composed, and avoid distractions while receiving the message. He/she should seek clarification, if necessary, on the message. At the same time, the sender of the message must also not be prepared to listen to what the receiver has to say, and respond to his questions if any.
5. Define communication and describe its purposes and functions.
Communication is the exchange of facts, opinions, ideas, and other information from one person to another of common interest. It is essential to impart a complete understanding of the subject matter of information. According to Keith Davis, “Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another.”
The purpose and functions of organizational communication can be described as follows:
a) Achieve coordinated action: Like the human nervous system coordinates responses by sending messages to the various parts of the body, communications coordinate the actions of the parts of an organization.
b) Information sharing: It is the second purpose of organizational communication. It works in two ways: (i) first, it gives organizational members a sense of purpose and direction towards organizational goals, and (ii) second, it gives a specific task direction to individuals.
c) Expression of feelings and emotions: People in organizations use communication to exchange emotions (e.g., happiness, anger, displeasure, confidence, fear, etc.).
d) Control: Communication helps to control the behavior of members in many ways. It is done by using authority, formal guidelines, job descriptions,s, etc. Both formal and informal communication helps to control employee behavior.
e) Motivation: Proper communication helps employees to understand expected behavior, performance standards, new goals/policies, etc. All these activities (a core function of communication) ultimately help to increase employee motivation because it eliminates confusion and misunderstanding.
6. Point out the major elements of the Communication Process.
The key elements of the communication process are explained briefly.
- Source (Sender): The process of communication begins with the source (sender). A source could be anyone such as an individual, group, or organization that is interested in communicating something.
- Encoding: Encoding is the process of converting a communication message into symbols that can be transmitted. The transmitted symbols could be sounds, words, numbers, pictures, etc.
- Transmission: Transmission refers to the process that sends the transmittable symbol from the source to the receiver. The medium of transmission connects the sender with the receiver. Face-to-face verbal communication, use of mass media, etc. are some of the widely used mediums.
- Decoding: Decoding refers to the process by which the receiver draws meaning from symbols encoded by the receiver. One’s knowledge, attitude, cultural background, etc. influence the ability of a receiver to encode the message.
- Receiver: The receiver refers to any individual group or organization that receives the encoded symbols and decodes them.
- Feedback: The response of the receiver to the message communicated to him is known as feedback. Feedback enables the sender to check if the message received has been properly understood or not.
- Noise: Any kind of internal or external disturbance that interferes with the communication process is known as noise.
Long Question and Answers
1. Show your acquaintance with the concept of communication networks. Give a short explanation of current issue in communication that are very common in Nepalese organizations.
A communication network can be defined as the channel through which information flow. Different parts of the organization are linked together through a communication network.
The common communication network is as follows:
- Star (Wheel) Network: The communication network in which all communication passes through central authority just like the hub of a wheel is known as the star (wheel) network. Instar network workers do not communicate with each other.
- Chain Network: The communication network that rigidly follows the formal chain of command is known as a chain network. For example, when a senior manager communicates to the manager who then communicates to the assistant manager and management trainee.
- Circle Network: The communication network where each member can communicate with the adjoining member is known as the circle network. In this network, information flows in a circle so that each member is in a position to communicate with two persons.
- Channel Network: When there is no restriction on the flow of communication among the member, such a communication network is known as a channel network. All channel network allows all group members to actively communicate with each other.
Issues Confronted by Organizations in Communication
The key issues confronted by organizations in communication are explained briefly.
a) Communication barriers between men and women
According to Tannin’s research, men use talk to emphasize status, while women use it to create connections. Men are often more direct than women. Men frequently complain that women talk on and on about their problems, while women criticize men for not listening. When men hear about a problem, they frequently assert their desire for independence and control by offering solutions. Women usually present the problem to gain support and connection, to promote closeness with men but not take his advice this creates a distancing between them.
b) Politically correct communication
There are many words when used directly give a different meaning and insult others. Thus, over a period of time, there has been the development of politically correct words and sentences. One must be sensitive about the choices of words. Having said that, one must be aware of the demerits of misinterpretation using politically correct words.
- Traditional word
- Politically correct word
- Vertically challenged
c) Cross-cultural communication
Cross-cultural communication has been another current issue in communication. Languages differ as per culture. The same word means different things to different people. A gesture that is understood and acceptable in one culture may be meaningless and disgusting in another culture. The tone of languages also differs in a different cultures. In some cultures, more formal languages are used, while in some cultures, frequently in formal languages are used. This is due to the cross-cultural effect. People from different cultures also view the world in different ways. Thus due to cross-cultural effects, there may cause barriers to communication.
d) Electronic communication
Organizational boundaries become less relevant as a result of electronic communication. Electronic communication such mediums as cellular phones, email, etc. now allow accessing the desired person at any time and at any place in the world. The line between an employee’s work and non-work life is no longer distinct. Networked computers in an office allow the employees to share the files and jump vertical levels within the organization.
Electronic communications have revolutionized both the ability to access other people and to reach them almost instantaneously. Unfortunately, this access and speed have come with some costs. Electronic mail, for instance, does not provide the non-verbal communication components that face-to-face meeting does.
2. Why is communication important?
The importance of communication in an organization is explained through the following points.
- Basis of decision-making: Communication is essential for decision-making and planning. The quality of managerial decisions depends on the quality of communication. At the same time, the decisions and plans of management need to be communicated to the subordinates. Effective communication is also helpful in the proper implementation of plans and policies of the management. It is the basis of effective leadership because it makes the leader’s ideas and opinions known to the subordinates.
- Facilitates coordination: Communication is the most effective means of creating cooperation and coordination among individual efforts. The exchange of ideas and information helps to bring about unity of action in the pursuit of a common purpose. Communication binds people together.
- Sound industrial relations: Effective communication helps to create mutual understanding and trust between the employer and the employees. It enables the management to come into close contact with workers. It serves as a bridge between management and labor and creates team spirit in the organization. Thus, an effective communication system is a prerequisite for good labor-management relations.
- Smooth and efficient operations: An effective communication system serves as a lubricant, fostering the smooth and efficient functioning of the enterprise. The achievement of enterprise goals is of paramount importance and communication is one of the important tools available to the manager seeking to attain them. It is through communication that a manager changes and regulates the behavior of subordinates in the desired direction. Effective communication promotes managerial efficiency.
- Industrial democracy: Communication is essential for workers’ participation in management. It is helpful in delegation and decentralization of authority. Effective communication is the basis of the training and development of managerial personnel. The process of leadership itself depends upon effective communication.
- Employee motivation and morale: Through communication, management can keep the employees fully informed of plans, job changes, etc. The motivation and morale of employees tend to be high when they clearly understand what they are supposed to do. Communication is the means by which employees can bring their suggestions, difficulties, and grievances to the notice of the management. Upward communication ensures greater job satisfaction and stimulates workers’ enthusiasm and loyalty to the enterprise. Effective communication satisfies the personal and social needs of employees.
- Public relations: In today’s time, every business enterprise must create and maintain a good corporate image in society. Communication is an indispensable means of developing a favorable public opinion. It is through communication that management can keep cordial relations with the government, trade unions, customers,s, and the community.