Communication in the Organisation

Shockley-Zalabak (2012:15) defines organisation as the “result of the process of organising; [a] dynamic system in which individuals engage in collective efforts for goal accomplishments”. Simply put, an organisation is made up of individuals who work together in a collective effort to achieve set objectives. The two key elements of the definition are goal attainment and individuals. The goals of an organisation are manifested in its vision and mission, and communication is the glue that binds the individuals of the organisation together in their collective effort to realise the organisational objectives.

Organisations that are important to you may include a bank, a university, a grocery shop, and others. You need to explain the reasons why they are important to you. A non-governmental organisation is an organisation that does not form part of government and does not seek profit.

Organisational structure
The organisational design/structure is a framework for determining short-term goals, tactics, policies and resource allocation. The organisational design is like a human skeleton, because it provides the backbone for the organisation’s formal reporting relationships, procedures, controls, authority, systems and decision-making processes.
A functional structure is an organisational structure in which control and decision-making are centralised, while a divisional structure is a structure in which decision-making is decentralised.

Organisational communication processes
Communication inputs can be defined as information from the external environment that may influence the decision-making of the organisation.

Technologies have had a large impact on how organisations communicate, communication having become largely a dialogue. This means that communication has become interactive, and that, with the emergence of the World Wide Web and social media in particular, it has become even more interactive. Thus, organisations’ stakeholders have become active participants in the communication process.

Strategy communication refers to the role a communicator or a public relations practitioner plays in the strategy-making process (development and implementation) and is a dynamic approach to strategic management.

Communication strategy is a functional strategy – strategy developed by the communication function (division, department) itself.

Communication of strategy is the communication that occurs in order to ensure that people in the organisation are aware of the strategy and direct their endeavours towards the attainment of that strategy (Angelopulo & Barker 2013).

Types of Communication Networks:

  • Formal networks are networks that are prescribed by the organisation and function through rules, regulation and procedures (e.g. personal instructions, interviews, training programmes, memoranda and annual reports), whereas informal networks refer to the exchange of unofficial or informal information (e.g. the grapevine or the rumour mill).
  • External networks are those that carry information from within to outside the organisation or vice versa, for example advertising and public messages.
  • Internal networks, on the other hand, carry information within the organisation along interdepartmental channels, that is, all types of internal communication used for the functioning of organisation.
  • Upward networks are used by employees to provide feedback on policies and practices to managers, for example memoranda, verbal or written reports and meetings.
  • Downward networks are used by managers to communicate with employees.

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