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The Meaning of Oral and Written Communication

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The purpose of this essay is to describe the meaning of oral and written communication and to explain ways in which you can use both oral and written communication to manage a business organization effectively. In this regard, the essay focuses on the theories of oral and written communication and ways in which you can use them to manage business organizations as described by authors like Shirley tayler (1999), Nkonde (2008), kreitner (2009) and Woollcott and Unwin (1983). The essay shows that although different authors have defined oral and written communication differently, they seem to have a common understanding. In discussing the meaning of oral and written communication, the essay draws examples from productive organizations. The first part of the essay describes oral communication and ways in which you can use it to manage a business organization effectively. The second part describes written communication and explains the ways in which you can use it to manage a business organization effectively. Firstly, communication can be in oral or spoken form. Communication can be defined as the exchange of information ideas (lecture’s notes 2012), therefore oral communication is communication by words of the mouth. Shirley taylor (1999), adds on that oral communication is the life-blood of our personal and business lives. Shirley taylor (1999) went further and said that oral communication can take a variety of forms. It can be over the telephone or face to face. It can be a private discussion, a gossip in the lift, an informal gathering of staff, a conversation over lunch, instructions to subordinates, dealing with clients, interviews, speeches, or presentations (lecturer’s notes 2012). Some of the advantages of oral communication could be that feedback is spontaneous, meaning that responses from the sender to receiver or vice versa are quick and effective. Apart from quick feedback, it is flexible to use oral communication because it is easy to withdraw the information in case of a mistake. Another would be that it is best used to transfer private and confidential information (lecturer’s notes 2012). On the other hand, oral communication has limitations, for example, it is not easy to maintain, requires attentiveness and good reception on the part of the receiver or audience. It consumes a lot of time and unproductive at some time, particularly in meetings. In addition to limitations, oral communication tends to be informal, as people do not really pay attention to what they hear. However, there are a number of ways you can use oral communication to manage business organizations effectively.

One of the ways you can use oral communication to manage your business effectively is through co-ordination in working places which done through decision-making and information sharing through meetings. Co-ordination is defined as integration of efforts of group members to provide unit of action in the pursuit of common goals. Nkonde (2008, p.9) says that co- ordination is needed to co-ordinate things at the work place. Nkonde (2008) adds on that, without co-ordination in work places, there would be confusion in some tasks or duties. The second way oral communication could be used is by providing leadership and motivation to people that may need it within the business organization (Nkonde 2008). Kreitner (2009, p.369) defines motivation as a psychological process that gives behavior and direction, and leadership as a social influence process of inspiring and guiding others in a common effort. Kreitner (2009), went further saying that by appealing to motivation, process managers can attempt to get individuals to pursue organizational objects willingly and persistently. Another way you can use oral communication for effective management of the business organization is through negotiations. Negotiations can either be used for convincing the customer to purchase at a given price level or negotiating for resources with owners of resources/suppliers (lecturer’s notes, 2012). In addition to negotiations, oral communication is also used to manage firms by building up public image and reputation through advertising and marketing (Unwin & Woollcott 1983, p.237). Unwin & Woollcott (1983), states that an organization can communicate to the public by providing it with employment and goods. Unwin & Woollcott (1983, p.237), goes further to say an organization does not only need to project an image which fulfills the essential functions of its responsibilities towards individuals as well as society in general. Secondly, communication can be in written form. Written communication involves putting messages in printed form on paper, electronically or any other form (lecturer’s notes, 2012). Written communication is mostly used in business organizations in the form of memos, business letters, presentation, notices, and record keeping. Shirley taylor (1999) adds on that written communication in the form of business letters are still very often the main means of establishing business relations with other organizations. Shirley taylor (1999), went further and said when writing a business letter or any other business communication, your aim should be to achieve a high standard in the four key areas, namely, printed stationery, presentation, structure, language and tone. Some of the advantages of written communication could be that it keeps permanent records of information. Apart from permanence in record keeping, it gives a chance for the receiver to read at a convenient time. Another would be that it is the most appropriate method for difficult or complicated messages that can be received and tends to be authentic. Written communication is more precise and explicit because messages can be drafted and edited before they are sent. On the other hand, written communication has limitations, as it does not save upon the costs. Apart from the costs, it requires great skills and competences in language, wrting skills, and vocabulary use. However, there are a number of ways you can use written communication to manage business organizations effectively. One of the ways in which you can use written communication to manage your business organization effectively is through advertising and marketing. Shirley taylor (1999, p.206) says that many companies advertise in newspapers, magazines or trade journals so as to reach out to a wide, and sometimes specific market. Shirley taylor (1999, p.206) went further and said that written communication can be used to advertise vacant posts, to promote products and services and to announce special events and functions. The second way written communication can be used is through expressing corporate strategies and ideology, for example, goals, vision, mission and many more (lecturer’s notes, 2012). Another important way in which you can use written communication for effective management of the business is with notices. Shirley taylor (1999) states that most organizations have notice boards posted around the offices which are used to bring special items to the attention of all staff. In addition to notices, written communication is also used for record keeping, for example, organizational manuals, or policies, procedures, reports and proposals (lecturer’s notes 2012). Shirley taylor (1999) adds on that an accurate written record of proposals made on meetings is essential not only for all those who attended the meeting but also for those who were unable to attend. In conclusion, oral and written communication can be used to manage business organizations effectively in different ways as discussed above. Key among them is coordination, leadership, and motivation, negotiations, advertising and marketing, corporate strategies, notices and record keeping. The combination of these ways enables for an effective management of the organization.

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