Organizational communication has been the most interesting topic to me in the business communication subject. Organizational communication encompasses all forms of communications that take place within firms. As Mumby (2012) explained, communication within firms occurs vertically and horizontally. Vertical communication occurs between leaders and employees. When the employees send grievances to the leaders, for instance, they engage in vertical communication. Horizontal communication takes place among the employees, between different working teams, and between leaders.
Miller and Barbour (2014) noted different types of communication take place within organizations. The most common type is the face-to-face communication. Leaders, for instance, engage in that kind of communication with employees in meetings and in the processes of evaluating job performance. Written communication is also very common, through the use of letters, emails, magazines, memo and posters, among other channels. Communication also takes place through telephones and mobile phones.
Technological development within the last two decades has led to the emergence of virtual communication (Sox, Crews, & Kline, 2014, p. 152). In virtual communication, leaders and employees exchange information in real-time within virtual settings. Internet technology development, for instance, facilitates organizational stakeholders to exchange information virtually within social media sites such as Twitter and FaceBook. In Cypress Media Group Company, for instance, employees can follow up meetings virtually even when they are away (Sox, Crews & Kline, 2014, p. 154). Other technologies that facilitate virtual communication within firms include webinars and shareware.
The effectiveness of communication within a firm has a major influence on its performance. As Miller and Barbour (2014) explained, effective communication enhances employee satisfaction and their understanding and commitment to organizational goals, vision, and objectives. Consequently, employee performance is ultimately facilitated. Conversely, ineffective communication reduces employee satisfaction, commitment, and morale. The eventual impact is a decline in their performance.
Before starting the topic on organizational communication, I thought that it simply described the types and channels of communications that are found within organizations. Consequently, I thought that it is a usual topic that is not thought-provoking. After studying the topic, however, I realized that there is much more to organizational communication than what I thought. I used effort to read extra sources about it, including books, journals, and internet sites. Eventually, the topic emerged as the most interesting to me.
The first most striking thing that triggered my interest towards the topic is the impact of technological development on organizational communication. I realized that despite the fact that face-to-face communication is still used in firms, virtual communication through the technologies that have emerged recently in becoming increasingly popular. Firm managers are increasingly engaging in meetings with subordinates from different subsidiaries in virtual contexts (Sox, Crews & Kline, 2014, p. 155). The technology mainly favors multinational firms since they operate in different geographical regions. Instead of managers traveling frequently to engage in face-to-face meetings, they are increasingly engaging in virtual meetings. In 2016, for instance, managers in companies such as HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Inc, and NVIDIA engaged employees in virtual-only meetings (Fontenot et al., 2016). Considering the fact that technology is still evolving, I felt that virtual communication will be more common than face-to-face communication within firms in the near future.
The second thing that aroused my interest in the topic is the potential effect of communication effectiveness. Before doing the topic, I had not estimated the possible effects of communication in organizations. After doing the topic, I realized that communication effectiveness is as important as the valuable assets of firms that influence performance. For instance, lack of a channel for the employees to send their grievances to leaders is enough reason to halt organizational operations and performance (Miller & Barbour, 2014, p. 33). Thus, I realized that facilitating effective communication should be given priority by firm managers.
I will apply the ideas learned in the organizational communication topic in many ways in my future career. As an employee, I will maintain effective communication with workmates within the same team. Effective communication with workmates will help improve the team’s coordination and overall performance (Miller & Barbour, 2014, p. 34). I will also maintain proper communication with members of other teams where necessary. For instance, I will inform employees from other departments about what the final users of products and services require. Doing so will help to ensure that all teams or departments contribute to the improvement in the quality of the final output (Miller & Barbour, 2014, p. 34).
As a manager, I will apply the topic in informing the employees about the organization's goals, vision, values, mission, and objectives. Doing so will facilitate employees’ performance and organizational commitment (Miller & Barbour, 2014, p. 34). I will use written and oral communication approaches to inform them. I will establish a channel for the employee communication to the management when they have grievances. I will use the most appropriate approaches to respond to the employee grievances in time. This will help to enhance employee satisfaction and to reduce the turnover rate (Miller & Barbour, 2014, p. 35). I will be communicating to employees and relevant managers about the decisions set to be made. I will be allowing them to give views toward those decisions. Doing so will be helpful in facilitating their support to management decisions (Miller & Barbour, 2014, p. 35). I will also apply the knowledge in organizational communication when dealing with problems such as employee conflicts.
I always determine whether or not to use technological devices to communicate. Virtual communication is beneficial since it saves costs related to traveling, venue preparation, and others. For instance, communication through Facebook incurs insignificant costs (Miller & Barbour, 2014, p. 33). In cases where the saving of costs will be required, I will be communicating with the employees virtually. However, I will always consider factors such as confidentiality of the message being communicated before choosing the communication approach to adopt. When there is are high risks involved, I will opt for face-to-face communication. Also, I will apply face-to-face communication when guidance employees to undertake different tasks. In the case of need, I will apply hybrid strategy, which involves combining different communication strategies. For instance, face-to-face communication can be augmented with virtual communication.
Fontenot L Dang L Gibson D & Crutcher 2016. “Annual Shareholder Meeting: Selected
Considerations for a Virtual-Only Meeting.” <https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2016/12/09/annual-shareholder-meeting-selected-considerations-for-a-virtual-only-meeting/?> Accessed May 20 2017.
Miller K & Barbour J 2014. Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes.
Stamford: Cengage Learning.
Mumby D K 2012. Organizational Communication: A Critical Approach. London: SAGE Publications.
Sox, C B Crews T B & Kline S F 2014. “Virtual and Hybrid Meetings for
Generation X: Using the Delphi Method to Determine Best Practices, Opportunities, and Barriers” Journal of Convention & Event Tourism, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 150-169.
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