• Class/Group: Group A
• Module Title: Contemporary Organisational Behaviour
• Assignment Title: Final Essay
• Assignment Title: Communication in the workplace
• Tutor Name: Frenie Antony
• Student ID Number: 2059591
• Date of Submission: 21st Match 2013
Communication in the workplace
The definition of communication is ‘a process in which information and its meaning (common understanding) is conveyed by a sender to receiver (s)’ (Rollinson and Broadfield, 2002:612, and Jones and George, 2011, cited in Antony and Macvicar, 2011:146). In Rollinson and Broadfield’s theory ‘meaning’ was more important than ‘information’, as long as both sender and receiver can understand the meaning of information, even the feedback is not necessarily in the communication ptocess. In addition, ‘The exchange of ideas and information is the lifeblood of any organization.’ (Hodge and Johnson, 1970: 93). In the other words, communication for an organization is the same as the blood flow for human being. (Conrad and Poole, 2012:5). Furthermore, according to Hodge and Johnson (1970) and O’Reilly and Pondy (1979), Dekay (2012) communication shaped the organization by interaction the organization and its environment, as the result, communication maybe the only connection between the organization and outside world. Besides, The majority aim of communication was enhance the connection between different roles in the company and smooth the working processes (Smith and Davidson, 1991, cited in Smith 1991:22). Therefore, Williams’s and Smith and Davidson’s ideas might argue that the purpose of communication in the workplace was improving the work efficiency and finally increasing the profit.
This essay will argue that barrier to communication in the organization may not only influence the further market expansion of company, but also push the company to the edge of bankrupt, as its can distortion the meaning of information during the communication process. Furthermore, this essay will mainly divided into two parts, first, indicate the communication processes in the organization and verify some barriers (power difference barrier, cultural diversity barrier, individual perception barrier and so on) during the communication processes, second, inspect three case study of different companies (Bernard Matthew farms, The Luxor Company, Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell and ChevronTexaco) which had conquered the communication barriers.
Normally, there were three directions of communication in the workplace: ‘vertically’ (superior and subordinate), ‘laterally’ (horizontal), and ‘diagonally’ (Rollinson and Broadfield, 2002:627). Furthermore, the communication processes unsurely consisted of two parts, the sender and receiver (Williams 1991, cited Smith, 1991:120 and Hodge and Johnson, 1970:150, Rollinson and Broadfield, 2002:612). On one hand, sender wanted to transfer an idea, the idea needed to be ‘Encoded’, which means translated the message into general language. Then choosing a ‘Channel’, for instance, by e-mail, by telephone, put an advertisement and so on. After that, receiver received the massage from sender and they should try to ‘Decoded’ the message, which means the receiver should try to understand what sender’s meaning, at last gave respond (feedback) to the sender (Rollinson and Broadfield, 2002:617 and Buelens et al, 2011, cited in Antony and MacVicar, 2011:109).
On the other hand, the barriers, which called ‘Noise’, existed during these six processes, and might lead to organization ‘communication collapses’, even worse, the bankrupt of company (Hodge and Johnson, 1970: 151). The barriers of communication often separated into two parts: ‘external barriers to the communication’ and ‘internal barriers to the communication’ (Williams 1991, cited in Smith, 1991:117, and Coulson-Thomas and Coulson-Thomas, 1997:267). To be more specific, first, external...