Timely, Continuous & Credible Communication & Perceived Organizational Effectiveness

By Raina, Reeta | Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, October 2010 | Go to article overview

Timely, Continuous & Credible Communication & Perceived Organizational Effectiveness


Raina, Reeta, Indian Journal of Industrial Relations


Organizational Communication

Internal communication activities are a determinant of how effectively organizations meet their goals (Farace et. al.1977, Goldhaber & Rogers 1979, Danowski 1980). Coordination and integration of various human activities are possible only if there is an effective system of communication in the organization which provides for exchange of information and sharing of various ideas. Managers typically spend between 60 % and 80% of their time communicating. It is through managerial communication that the employees get their job instructions, come to know about their job expectations, rationale behind the job, their contributions, performance feedback etc (Luthans & Larsen 1986, Kanter 1991). Inability to communicate effectively and efficiently can jeopardize the business interest related managerial functions, especially controlling and organizing (Koul 2000)

Communication is the process most central to the success or failure of an organization. Many of the problems that occur in an organization may be attributed to failure of communication. Research suggests that poor communication alone is a major contributor for most business and industrial organizations running at less than 12% efficiency. If employees are not given adequate information nor allowed to contribute to the solution of problems, they may revert to being the cause of them, resulting in increased absenteeism, lower productivity and grievances and so on (Hubbards1999, Hargie et al. 1999, Armour 1998). Managers, therefore, clearly have the main responsibility of facilitating and encouraging open communication, reducing barriers to communication and eliminating boundaries, which hinder the understanding of end-to-end workflows so that it helps in achieving overall mission of the firm. Creating and using symbolic behavior -walking the talk-is a key (Kotter 2007). What leaders do and how they direct their attention allows followers to trust and understand (Buckingham & Coffman 1999, Miller 1997). In "a key-perhaps the key-to leadership ... is the effective communication of a story" (Harris & Nelson 2008). Effective interpersonal communication skills allow various symbols -language, strong images, metaphors, physical settings-to influence the way people see their worlds; the leader " manages their meanings" (Gabriel, Fineman 8Sims 2000 :321). Leaders use symbolic activities to direct their followers.

Managers are also expected to develop communication systems that are characterized by effective listening, feedback, two-way process, and recognition (Domerer 1998). Inadequate information is the major cause of more than half of all problems with human performance. By improving the quality and timeliness of the information people receive, you can improve performance by as much as 20 to 50% (Boyett & Boyett 1998:288). Traditional hierarchies created and maintained a power structure where managers made decisions; passed judgments, gave assignments, and determined success or failures (French Bell & Zawacki 2000). Bureaucracy, structure and Tayloristic work practices produced powerlessness in subordinates because superiors make the major decisions. Establishing rules also to achieve predictability also means imposing control using power, and rewarding or punishing. The consequence is a loss of critical employee input, commitment. and motivation especially given the changing workforce (Chambers 1998). The more your co-workers can depend on you, the greater the trust and comfort among the staff. Thus, creating an effective communication system also involves integrating communication as a fundamental component of the management role, obtaining the commitment of top management, and evaluating the communication process of all its members on a regular basis. Cooperation over work or relationship could not occur at all without communication and social interaction (Bovee 2005, Smith 1990, Argyle1991).

It has been established that communication is central to successful leadership activities (Bennis & Naus 1997, Clemes & Mayer 1987, Drucker 1998, Hackman & Johnson 2000, Miller 1997). …

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