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MCM301-Communication Skills Lecture No: 4“Communication in the Organization “Interpersonal Communication” Problems Discussions and Solutions Fall 2013

Communication in the Organization

Guiding Principles

1. People are not mind readers. They judge you by their behavior & not by your intent

2. A word is like an arrow, once out of the bow never returns

3. We don’t exchange ideas; we exchange symbols that stand for ideas

Mediated communication

Person-to-Group Communication

Mass Communication


Downward Communication

Why is this needed?

Upward Communication

Lateral Communication

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Replies to This Discussion

Communication in the Organization
Guiding Principles
1. People are not mind readers. They judge you by their behavior & not by your intent
We cannot communicate. The very attempt not to communicate communicates something. Through not
only words, but through tone of voice and through gesture, posture, facial expression, etc., we constantly
communicate to those around us. Through these channels, we constantly receive communication from
2. A word is like an arrow, once out of the bow never returns
You can't really take back something once it has been said. The effect must inevitably remain. Despite the
instructions from a judge to a jury to "disregard that last statement the witness made," the lawyer knows
that it can't help but make an impression on the jury.
3. We don’t exchange ideas; we exchange symbols that stand for ideas
Words (symbols) do not have inherent meaning; we simply use them in certain ways, and no two people
use the same word exactly alike.

Mediated communication
This level of communication occurs when two (or a few) people use some intermediate means for
carrying their messages. They do not communicate face to face and thus do not have direct feedback.
Mediated communication often uses a mechanical or electrical device to transmit or receive messages.
Examples include the telephone, closed-circuit television, radio, radar, and the communication satellite.
Mediated communication also occurs through letters, reports, forms, and interoffice memoranda.

Person-to-Group Communication
The person-to-group level involves one speaker and audience. The speaker usually faces the audience,
and the audience usually contains people with similar interests. A small, private person-to-group situation
often has some of the characteristics of interpersonal communication. However, for large public groups,
the person-to-group level lacks the benefits provided by interpersonal exchanges.
The traditional speaker and audience setting may include microphones, projectors, and tape player.

Mass Communication
Mass communication includes messages sent to large, public, dissimilar, anonymous, distant audiences
using some intermediate instrument of transfer. The instruments include electronic (for example, radio,
television, tape, and film) and print (for example, newspaper, magazine, book, pamphlet, brochure, directmail
campaign). The restricted opportunity for feedback is the most serious barrier to effective mass
The "mass media," as they are often called, have grown to include the print media of books, newspapers
and magazines, the electronic media of television, radio, and audio/video recording, and the new media of
computers and computer networks. While these media differ in many ways, they all share the
characteristics by which scholars define mass communication.

Communication is used extensively in the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing,
directing and controlling. Virtually every task that a manager performs requires the use of communication
in one form or another.
The nature of communication in the modern organization can be studied by examining the direction of
communication flow and the destination of the communication. While communication in the modern
organization flows downward, upward, and the horizontal, its destination can be either internal or

Upward Communication
Upward communication travels from subordinates to superiors and continues up the organizational ladder.
Upward communication is extremely important, as upper management needs to know specifically about:
Production performance, marketing information, financial data, what lower-level employees are thinking,
and so on.
The better the quality of information they receive, the more useful and effective it will be in their
decision-making efforts.
Unfortunately, this flow is often hindered by people in the communication link who filter the messages
and do not transmit all the information, especially unfavorable news to their bosses.
Types of media used to direct information upward are reports, interoffice memos, supervisor subordinate
conferences, suggestion systems, and grievance procedures.

Lateral Communication
It includes horizontal flow of information, with people on the same or similar organizational levels, and
diagonal flow, with people at different levels who have no direct reporting relationships. The lateral
communication is used to speed up information flow, to improve understanding, and to coordinate efforts
for the achievement of organizational objectives.
Effective lateral communication between peers is essential in organizations to solve problems, perform
job duties, prepare for meetings, listening to and making requests, writing notes and memos, and
discussing and writing about projects.

Feel free to ask in case of any ambiguity.


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