BBA 2nd Semester Characteristics of Business Communication Notes
BBA 2nd Semester Characteristics of Business Communication Notes :-
Long Question Answer
Q. 1. Define the term communication and discuss its characterstics.
Ans. Communication : The word communication has been derived from the Latin word ‘communis’ which means to share. Communication may, therefore, be defined as sharing information, facts, opinions, emotions and idea, so as to create mutual understanding between people.”
According to Newman and Summers, “Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons.”
This definition indicates that communication is more than transferring information. It involves giving and receiving messages and the message may contain not only facts but opinions and emotions too. Communication may be defined as the process by which people exchange meaning through the use of a common set of symbols.
In the words of Allen, communication is “The total-sum of all the things one person does, he wants to create an understanding in the mind of another, it is a bridge Of meaning. It involves a systematic and continuing process of telling, listening and understanding.
This is a comprehensive definition suggesting that communication is an orderly and ongoing process.
According to Scott, “Administrative communication is a process which involves the transmissionand accurate replication of idea ensured by feedback for the purpose of eliciting action which will accomplish organisation goals.’
An analysis of these definitions will reveal the follbwing characteristics of communication :
1. communication is essentially a two-way process. Information has not only to be sent but has also to be received and understood. This process is incomplete until the response or reaction based on paper understanding is available.
2. Communication is an ongoing process. When communication is absent human activity ceases to exist.
3. Communication is essential in all types of organizations and at all levels of management. It pervades all human relationship.
4. The basic purpose of communication is to create mutual understanding by giving/seeking information, persuading/influencing others and eliciting actions.
5. Communication consists not only facts but also ideas and emotions too, Communication is much more than words. The tone and facial expressions often carry a greater meaning than words. We can communicate a lot through sign, symbols and gesture. For example : A victory sign made by two fingers. May a time communication is better than words.
6. Organization communication consists of a flow of messages through series of networks. These are network for problems solving, workflow, information sharing and socialising.
7. Complete communication is that there should be a sender and a receiver. For example : If a person shouts in a forest when no one present there is no communication.
8. Communication is a dynamic process. It incorporates the changing shape of the participants and the environments. Change in the mood and thinkings of the sender and receiver of the message influence the effectiveness of communication. The way a message is received depends upon which of the five sensory organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin) of the receiver are most active at that times.
9. Communication is a goal-oriented process. Communication can be effective, if the sender and receiver both are aware of the goal of communication and there is congruence of their goals.
10. Communication is an inter-disciplinary science. Knowledge derived from several sciences is used in communication. Anthropology (study of body language), psychology (study of perception and attitudes), sociology and political science (study of voting behaviour) have provided insights to make communication effective.
Q. 2. “The basic objective of all communication is to obtain an understanding response.” In the light of this statement, describe the objectives of communication.
Ans. Objectives of Communication : The basic purpose of communication is to convey information and ideas in such a manner that will produce a response as desired by the sender. The overall objective of business communication in organisations is to ensure effective functioning of the organisation. Communication may be used for any of the following purposes :
1. To Give and Receive Information : An individual often communicates with other individuals to give or receive information. In an organisation, the management uses communication to keep the employees well informed about the goals, policies and rules. When the employees are well informed about various aspects of the job, they can perform better. Meetings, telephone, notices, employees hand book and bulletins are used to convey necessary information to employees. Similarly, an organisation communicates with outsiders (investors, customers, suppliers, government, public etc.) to provide them information about its plans and contributions. This helps the organisation to improve its image in society.
Managers require accurate and up-to-date information for formulating plans and taking decisions. Such information may be collected from both inside and outside the organisation. Internal information consists of production and sales data, qualifications and potential of staff, labour absenteeism and turnover etc. It is available in the books and other records of the organisation. External information contains data relating to market conditions, government policies, supply of raw materials and power etc. It can be obtained through market surveys trade fairs and exhibitions, government and trade publications etc. The information may, be given or received orally or in writing, information should be accurate, reliable and up-to-date otherwise decision based on information are likely to be misleading.
2. To Provide Advice : Information tends to be factual and neutral whereas advice is subjective and opinionised. Advice may be given on personal or official matters. Parents advise their children and teachers advise the students. In business, supervisors advice workers in handling machines and equipment in factory or office. Managers need specialised advice from experts in matters like taxation, project finance, quality control, engineering etc. The need for expert advice has increased with the growing complexity of business.
Advice is most effective when given through face-to-face contact. Advice should be given in a confidential and informal manner with the purpose of helping the employee improve his performance, Tact and sympathetic tone are helpful and the employee should not be made to feel inferior or guilty.
3. To Provide Counselling : Counselling is an organised and specialised activity requiring professional expertise and an objective approach. Modern age is full of stress and strains. When an employee is facing some personal or family problems his morale and efficiency tend to decline. Therefore, professionally managed firms often employ psychologists, doctors, lawyers etc. to help employees overcome maladjustment, emotional and other problems. These experts hold counselling sessions with employees’ who require counselling and vocational guidance. Face-to-face conversation with counsellors helps workers to improve their physical and mental health,
4. To Issue Orders and Instructions : In order to getthings done, a manager issues orders and instructions to his subordinates. An order is a directive to do something whereas an instruction indicates how to carry out the order. Order involves assignment of task while instruction specifies the way the task is to be performed. An order is more formal and less detailed than an instruction. Orders and instructions are based on the supervisor’s authority and subordinates are expected to obey them. Orders and instructions may be oral or in writing. Oral orders are more quick and informal. On the other hand, written orders are more specific and provide a record for future reference.
An order must arouse an active and willing response. This is possible when the order is clear and complete and given in a friendly manner. Consultation with employees in planning the order may help them to understand it better. An instruction should state the situation with which it deals, the need for the instruction and the action required. Many organisations publish manuals or handbooks which contains orders, instructions and rules and procedures.
5. To Impart Education and Training : Education involves formal communication over a long period so as to widen knowledge and skills. It consists of both teaching and learning. Education and training of workers and executives, is necessary to keep them abreast of new developments, to improve their efficiency and potential and for orientation of new employees. Lectures, case studies, seminars, study tours and audio-visual aids are used for training. Education may be provided to customers and public also. For example, government agencies use mass media like television and newspapers to impart education in family planning, hygiene, road safety, pollution control etc.
6. To Receive Suggestions : Employees and customers are a useful source of new ideas for business as they are in direct touch with operations and procedures of banking. Suggestions flow upwards as feedback and represent a mild and subtle form of communication. Executives should set aside their ego and should have an open mind towards constructive suggestion from their subordinates. Progressive banks have formal suggestion schemes. Under such a scheme, suggestion boxes are installed at convenient places in the office/branch. Employees at all levels are encouraged to put their written suggestions in these boxes. At periodic intervals the suggestions are taken out from the boxes. These suggestions are scrutinised by a suggestion committee. Useful suggestions are implemented and employees who offered them are given awards.
In addition to suggestions, reports appeals, grievances etc. are also collected from employees through upward communication. Reports are written for descriptions of the progress of work. Appeals are made by employees to seek favours like leave, promotion etc. Demands and representations are usually made by groups of workers and are supported by arguments. Grievances and complaints are made against existing rules/regulations, systems and procedures and their implementation.
7. To Persuade People : Persuasion is the art of influencing the attitudes, opinions and actions of people. Managers try to persuade workers to put in their best efforts. Sales persons persuade customers to buy products and services. Politicians persuade public to vote for them. Persuasion is an important objective of communication and it requires the ability to speak and write effectively. Persuasion is more effective when face-to-face conversation is used with tact. Persuasion becomes all the more necessary to convince employees that changes are needed in existing rules, procedures, technology, working and service conditions in the organisation.
8. To Issue Warning and Notice : Warning and notice are generally given only after milder methods like advice and appeal fail to achieve results. Warning implies a notice to caution peoplein special situations. Warning may be given orally or in writing but it should be confidential. A written’ warning is known as memo. For example, management must issue a notice in writing before suspending an employee. Similarly, a trade union may give a written warning before calling a strike. Warning and legal notice may be sent to customers who fail to make payment in time. A notice ‘No Smoking’ may be written on the main gate of the factory.
Warning is a forceful form of communication because it carries with it a sense of urgency, It demands immediate action and in case of default it may lead to punishment. Need for warning arises when employees violate the rules and regulations. Negligence, lack of punctuality, misuse of machinery, pilferage of office stationary are situations that may require warning. Warning and reprimand should be issued in private and should not be the result of prejudice. There should be no display of rage or loss of temper. Warning should be used after the charge against an employee is found to be true. The purpose of warning should be to improve behaviour rather than to punish or humiliate the person.
9. To Improve Morale : Morale reflects the mental health of people. High morale is necessary to improve efficiency and performance. Communication about the policies and programmes of the organisation helps to improve the attitudes and morale of employees. Notices, bulletins and meetings are used to prevent/remove rumors and fears among employees. Upward communication in the form of suggestions and grievances is used to raise morale. Attitude surveys and joint consultation may be used to judge employee morale. Free flow of communication helps to realise pent-up emotions and provide a feeling of reassurance to staff.
10. To Motivate People : Motivation is the process of inducing people to work hard for achieving organisational goals. An atmosphere security and mutual cooperation and trust is essential for this purpose. Communication is a very effective means of building friendly and trustful environment. The contents, tone and timing of communication exercise a significant influence on motivation. Employees need to be kept well informed about the organisation and its progress. Face-to-face talks and company magazines are used to create a sense of mutual understanding. Suggestion schemes and consultations with staff, praise for outstanding effort etc. also help to improve motivation.
11. To Improve Discipline : Rules and regulations are made known to employees through written and oral communications. Suggestions and grievances from employees help managers to make necessary changes in disciplinary rules and procedures. Action taken to enforce discipline become more acceptable to employees when the actions are properly explained. Communication is also used to create safety consciousness among people. Training given to prevent accidents also involves comunication.
Q. 3. “Communication is an essential part of a business.” Explain this statement.
Discuss the importance of communication.
Ans. Importance of Communication : Human beings have an inborn desire to communicate with each other. Man is a social animal and in order to socialise he makes use of language and body movements. Communication has become indispensable to the success and well-being of people everywhere. Communication is equally essential to organised activity. An organisation is a goal-oriented group of people who must remain in continuous touch with each other in order to function together as a team. According to Herbert Simon, “Without communication there can be no organisation for there is no possibility then of the group influencing the behaviour of the individual.”
Communication is the vehicle through which basic management functions are carried out, Managers cannot plan, organised, direct and control without communication. It is no exaggeration to say that communication is the means by which organisational activity is unified, behavour is modified, change is affected and goals are achieved. A manager typically spends three-fourth of his working day on communication and his success depends largely on his communication skills.
Sound communication plays a vital role in organisations in the following ways :
1. Efficient Planning: Accurate and up-to-date information concerning the external environment and internal conditions is necessary for taking right decisions at the right time. The quality of managerial decisions and plans depends largely on the quality of information and its
effective transmission. Such information becomes available to managers through a proper system of reporting and consultations.
2. Training and Development : Communication is essential for the orientation and on-going training of both workers and executives. Communication provide knowledge and the degree of learning depends to a great extent on the communication skills of the trainer. Communication facilitates delegation of authority which is essential for developing executive skills.
3. Motivation and Morale : Communication plays an important role in inspiring people to work hard and in fostering positive attitudes. Managers can increase the selfconfidence and job satisfaction of employees by keeping in close touch with them.
4. Coordination : Communication is the most effective means for unifying and integrating the efforts of individuals towards the common goals. It serves as a cementing force in the face of narrow specialisation and facilitates team work. According to Gellerman, “An organisation can be more efficient than the system by which it transforms its members of what is expected of them so that their effort will reinforce each other and create a momentum towards the attainment of the organisation’S
5. Leadership: A leader can modify the behaviour of his people through tact and persuasi0n• For this purpose the leader needs to be a good orator and patient listener. He can sell his ideas and overcome resistance to Change through a two-vvay flow Of communication. By keeping himself close to his people, the leader can continuously win their support and loyalty. Leadership becomes inspiring and effective when the leader remains in close touch with his subordinates.
6. Effective Control : Communication from the boss serves as the basis on which employees regulate their work and know how well’ they are doing. A manager can correctly judge the performance of his subordinates and take suitable remedial actions on the basis of feedback
7. sound Industrial Relations : Communication creates a meeting of minds and a meeting Of hearts. It can bring people closer to each other. Sound and open communication helps to improve relations between employer and employees and between employer and the trade unions, It helps to develop mutual co-operation and understanding thereby improving industrial harmony and industrial productivity.
8. corporate Image : Communication is indispensable for every organisation to develop and maintain reputation or goodwill in society. A business concern can keep itself in close touch with its customers, investors, dealers, suppliers and other sections of society through various forms Of communication.
Thus, effective communication is the foundation of sound management. A free flow of information and ideas throughout the organisation is as essential for corporate health as proper
circulation of blood in human body. In fact no interpersonal or group activity is possible without communication. Communication is the number one problem of management and every manager should develop an effective communication system. An executive’s life revolves mainly around reading and writing letters and reports, telephoning and meeting people inside and outside the organisation.
Q. 4. Write a detailed note on “principles of communication”.
Ans. Principles of Communication : In order to make your letters, memoranda, reports, representations and other forms of communication effective, you should follow certain scientific principles. The principles discussed in this question are of fundamental importance and relevant to all media but they are most important to written communication.
The principles of communication are :
(a) Clarity of thought : The communication cycle begins with the generation of an idea in the mind of the transmitter. A great deal of clarity is needed at this stage, for its beginning is fuddled, it is likely to move the entire communication process. The communicator must be clear about three points :
(i) What is the objective of communications?
(ii) What is to be communicated?
(iii) Which medium will prove to be the most suitable for this purpose?
Let us suppose that some in flamable material is stored at a particular place in the factory and the manager wants to prohibit smoking there. The objective of communication is to give a warning. The message to be communicated is just this : Please do not smoke here. The most suitable medium for this communication should be a visual one : a poster showing a cross mark on lighted cigarette.
(b) Clarity of expression : The receiver learns about the idea in the transmitters mind through
the coded message. If encoding is faulty, the message may be misinterpreted. So it is important to be careful while encoding the message. Since most of the messages are transmitted with the help of words, the transmitter should be careful about the meanings and organisation of words.
In business communication, completeness of facts is absolutely necessary. Incomplete communication irritates the reader, for it leaves him baffled. If wrong actions follow an incomplete message, they may also prove expensive. e.g., you are ordering jeans and shirts by mail. Your communication must include all the relevant facts-size, colour, catalogue number, quantity, mode of payment, mode of despatch, the date by which you need the jeans and shirts etc. In the absence of any of these details, your order may not be filled to your satisfaction. You should organ:se your message in such a way that the receiver has no doubts about anything contained in it. 3. Conciseness
A reader’s time is invaluable. Do not make him feel that he is wasting his time in going through your unnecessarily lengthy letter. Be as brief as possible. Brevity in expression effectively win the attention of the reader. However, brevity should not be affected at the cost of appropriateness, clarity correctness, completeness or courtesy. The following four simple rules will help ‘to achieve conciseness in the given message :
(a) Include only relevant facts.
(b) Avoid repetition.(c) Avoid trite and wordy expression. (d) Proper organisation of the message.
In our letters, we must show consideration for the reader. This Can be done in the following ways :
(a) Adopt the you-attitude : We know that we are primarily interested in ourselves. Naturally, every other person is interested more in himself then in a third party. It follows, therefore, that when we write letters to other’s, they are effective and the reader’s respond to our letters well only when we write from their point of view, so to make our letters more effective, we must avoid I’s and we’s and have as many you’s as possible. In any case we should not forget the reader’s point of view in the whole of our letter.
(b) Avoid gender bias : Now that the business world is no longer dominated by men, it is extremely important to avoid gender bias. Using he when a message is going to a lady will certainly cause offence. So take timely precautions
(i) Use words free from gender bais: The chairperson handled the situation tactfully (and not chairman) the police was deputed (and not policemen).
(ii) Use a slash to include both the alternatives :
Dear Sir/Madam Gentlemen/Ladies
(c) Emphasise positive, pleasant facts : On many occasions you may have to refuse, say ‘no’, regret, disagree, complain or say ‘sorry’. To say this in plain words and a straightforward style is not difficult but its affect on the reader’s mind and repercussions on the firm are bad and far-reaching. We swallow sugar-coated pill without grumble. Similarly in a business letter, the reader accepts calmly and coolly all the no’s, regret and sorry’s if they are expressed in a positive manner.
Courtesy means a friendly and helpful behaviour towards’ others. Politeness begets politeness and encourages participative communication. This will make communication acceptable without irritation and the feedback will also be graceful.
For effective communication, the sender should not transmit any message unless he is sure Of its correctness. If the message is concerned with legal matter the sender should know the correct legal position before he commits anything, moreover, the sender should send his message at the correct time and in correct style.
Q. 5. Discuss the importance and limitations of downward and upward communications.
Ans. Downward Communication
Downward communications flow from a higher authority to a lower authority. For example the message of a branch may communicate next year’s deposit targets of the branch to his employee S’ orders, instructions policy statements; notices, circulars, job sheets and employee handbooks are the main form of downward communication.
Downward communication is very common. It is based on the assumptions that at high level individual has the authority to communicate to lower level persons. It is also known as “down stream” communication. Both oral and written media are used for downward communication. Face-to-face talks, telephone and public address are the main sources of oral message.
Importance of downward communication are as follows :
1. To give specific instructions and directions about the job entrusted to a subordinate so that the job is performed efficiently.
2. To explain the policies, procedure and programmes of the organisation to employees,
3. To educate and train employees so as to improve their knowledge and skills.
4. To explain the subordinates the rationals of their jobs so that they understand the significance of their works in relation to organisation goals.
5. To inform the employees about their performance and achievements,
6. To strengthen the authorization structure of the organisation.
Downward communication suffers from the following problems :
1. Delay : As the line of communication is very longer downward communication is time-consuming process. A message sent by the chief executives might reach the clerical staff when it is no longer significant or relevant.
2. Too much or too less Information : Some superiors talk too much while others talk too less. When a manager transmits too much information to his subordinates, he may create confusion or may leak confidential informations .
3. Filtering : Most of the downward communication is oral. A large part of the information is lost during transit because some of it being retained at every level. Research reveals that 80 per cent of the information is lost when transmitted downward through five level of management hierarchy. The lowest level worker does not receive the complete message sent by chief manager.
4. Distortion : In downward communication line of communication are often long. The message is screened at every successive level. Frequent twisting distorts the message and by the time it reaches its destination, its meaning may not be what the sender intends.
5. Built-in-Resistance : Downward communication often require change in the work routine
attitudes of subordinates. It is also authoritarian in nature as subordinates do not participate in deciding it. Therefore, downward communication generally causes resentment and faces resistance from employees.
Upward or upstream communication means the flow of information and ideas from lower level of authority (subordinates) to higher level (superiors).
1.Feedback Example : A branch manager may send quarterly reports to the regional manager on he performance of the branch. Upward commUnication can be in the form of both written and oral message which contain suggestions, grievances, complaints, appeals etc.
Upwards communication plays a vital role in the successful functioning Of an organisation in the following ways :
1. Feedback : Upward communication provides valuable feedback to managers. With the help of this feedback they can judge whether the subordinates have understood and followed the orders and instructions issued to them. Managers also receive useful information.
2. Release of Tension : Upward communication provides the employees, an outlet to vent their pent up emotions and grievance, When managers patiently and sympathetically listen to the problems and complaints of employee, the employee feels happy and satisfied.
3. Suggestions : Managers can get constructive suggestions and innovative ideas through upward communication. When these suggestions are implemented and rewarded, employees get a feeling of participation.
4. Mutual Co-operation : Upward communication helps to create greater harmony and Understanding between management and employees. Cohesion and mutual trust result in cordial industrial relations.
5. Change : When employees communicate freely with their suppliers they do not resist new ideas as their attitudes become positive. They not only accept new schemes readily but even work to make them successful.
Upward communication suffers from the following drawbacks :
1. Status : Quite often subordinates are reluctant to speak freely to their superiors due to fear of authority. Upward communication does not have a smooth flow as it has to move against the force of gravity.
2. Reflection on Efficiency : Employees hesitate to communicate their problems to their superiors as such communication might be considered as a siege of their incompetence. For instance, if a branch manager complains to the area manager that the staff at the branch is hostile, the area manager might feel that the branch manager himself is incompetent in handling his staff.
3. Inattention : Superiors might be too impatient or too proud to listen carefully to their subordinates. When the employees the superiors do not listen them patiently and sympathetically, the employees stop talking or writing freely to the superiors.
4. Distortion : Some managers get angry when unpleasant facts are communicated to them. In such cases employee tend to communicate when the boss likes to hear rather then what is true.
5. Improper Channel : Some employees become too bold or impatient. They directly approach the top authorities with their complaint and suggestions by passing to their immediate boss. Officers who have been bypassed feel slighted and top authorities becomes suspicious of workers intentions. As a result labour-management relation may be spoiled.
Q. 6. What is effective communication? Give its significances.
Ans. Effective Communication : The success of a business is much dependent on effective communication. Effective and timely communication of values, competition, technological know- how, government regulation and other important informations relating to business environment is very much necessary for the very existence and success of business. It is a well-accepted fact that effective communication is necessary to make an industrial organization effective. Significance of effective communication may be summarised as follows :
1. Life Blood of Management : Effective communication is as important to management as blood is to body. With the help of effective communication, a manager is able to give practical shape to many of his plans and objectives. With effective communication he can convince other people with his policies and decisions. As the management is an art of getting things done through other people, it is communication that educates personnel working in the organisation with the desire Of the management.
2. Helps in Planning : Effective communication provides facts and figures of past and present for effective planning. Communication is the only medium to express and transit all the orders’ guildelines, suggestions and sentiments. Effective communication is also needed to implement the planned programmes successfully.
3. Effective in Decision-making : Crucial decisions have to be taken at every step in business organization and at different levels of management. Information required for decision process are collected through effective communication only. Managerial decisions are put into practice with the help of effective communication. Objectives and goals cannot be achieved unless the top management can effectively communicate to the lower levels.
4. Basis of Direction and Control : In a business organisation, the employees come to know what their co-workers are doing by communication. The managers give orders, instructions, warnings and advice to the subordinates and receive information and suggestions from the departmental heads, supervisors and workers through effective communication. Effective communication will also prove helpful to make control over the works of different workers.
5. Improves Human Relations : In modern days, the emphasis is on recognition of dignity Of labour and authority. Workers are not to be treated as a commodity. Effective communication helps in developing and maintaining human relations in the organisation. It develops a feeling of dignity and self-respect among all employees.
6. Basis of Co-ordination : In order to achieve the desired objectives, it is necessary to co-ordinate the efforts of labour engaged in the various activities of production and the organisation. Co-ordination requires mutual understanding about the organisational goals and the mode of their accomplishment and the interrelationship between the works being performed by various individuals. This can all be achieved only through effective communication. According to William H Newman, “Good communication aids in coordinating activities.”
7. Maximum Production at Minimum Cost : Every organisation aims at getting the maximum output at the minimum cost and for this purpose, it requires an effective internal and external communication system. In the external field an efficient communication system helps in improving public opinion, having contacts with government departments and getting market information in order to achieve the primary goals. It can seek co-operation of the workers by telling them the goals of the organisation and the ways to achieve them.
8. Promotion of Industrial Peace : Peace is necessary in the organisation to achieve more production. Long strikes and lockouts bring the firms at the verge of insolvency. The employees should get proper information about organisation at regular intervals to avoid misunderstandings. Effective communication helps in managing information between employees to top management.
9. Motivation : Effective communication enables management to change the attitudes of the subordinates and to motivate, influence and satisfy them. Good communication assists the workers in their adjustment with the physical and social aspect of work. It is the basis of participative and democratic pattern of management.
10. Basis for Leadership : Effective communication is the basis of leadership. Leader and his followers, both can create mutual understanding, trust and harmony with the help of effective communication.
Q. 7. Discuss the various theories of communication.
Ans. Theories of Communication : A theory is a set of statements, including some law like generalisations. So far as social sciences are concerned, we do not have fully formalized well-articulated theories, but we do have some partially formalized theories.
In communication, we have many theories. The atmosphere, limitations and assumptions under which message is transmitted are known as theories of communication. Theories of communication can be classified in two ways :
1. Theories propounded to create socio-cultural environments.
2. Theories based on the ideas of different scholars.
1. Theories Propounded to Create Socio-Cultural Environments
(a) Communist theory of communication : This theory follows the principles of communism. It was propounded in 1917 in USSR. This theory is based on the following principles :
(i) The voice of workers will be heard prominently.
(ii) Opposition should be made against the exploitation of man by man.
(iii) Public will play supreme role in construction of a strong nation.
(iv) Interest of nation will remain supreme.
This theory was not only followed in USSR, but in China, Korea, Cuba and many other countries.
(b) Islamic theory of communication : This theory follows the conservative principles of Muslims. It is based on ‘Quran’ the religious book of Muslims. This theory follows the preachings of Mohammed Sahib. This theory is popular mostly in middle east and other Muslim countries.
(c) Chinese theory of communication : This theory laid focus on respect, dedications and Faith fullness towards the nation. Instead of revolution, peace is the main story of the whole communication policy. Chinese theory of communication is based on India’s principles of Panchsheel.
(d) Christian theory of communication : This thoery is based on free thinking, personal freedom and dedication towards God. It is a very popular theory which serves as the foundation communication system in the Europian countries. It is based on human sensitivity and service quality in a man. This theory emphasizes that any new thing conducive to human welfare should be communicated to the people.
(e) Vedic theory of communication : This theory is based on ‘Vedas’ the supreme religious books of Hindus. It is also known as the oldest theory of communication. This theory considers and recognises Indian culture and traditions and is based upon traditional values. It is based on ‘Gurukul’ ‘Guru-Disciple’ form of education.
(f) Conservative theory of communication : This theory emphasizes one way communication based on the pretext of religion and caste. Many restrictions are imposed on communication and people cannot express their ideas freely. Restriction is also imposed on people’s movements, their education and their way of living. The women are not allowed to act on their own.
(g) Liberal theory of communications : This theory supports the full freedom of communication. The people have full freedom to communicate their ideas and message against government and society. The women are allowed to act on their own.
2. Theories based on the Ideas of Different Scholars
(a) Aristotle’s theory of communication : This theory was propounded by social scientist Aristotle. This theory states that persuasive techniques of communication can change the thinking process of the receiver. Sender, message and receiver are the main components of communication. This theory gave main importance to sender who is the source of communication. Thus, it is a one-sided theory.
(b) Laswell’s theory of communication : This theory was supported by Laswell and is also considered as one-sided theory. It also laid emphasis on sender. This theory states that the sender can change the thinking process of the receiver by using appropriate channel of communication.
(c) Shammon and Weaver’s theory of communication : This theory was introduced by Shammon and Weaver. This theory says that message should never be transmitted in its raw forms Message should first be encoded and then transmitted to the receiver so that he is in a position to understand the message. This theory also laid emphasis on feedback and realised the presence of noise.
(d) Katz-Lazars feld theory of communication : This theory was introduced mainly for mass communication, therefore it is also known as mass communication theory. According to this theory sender encodes the message and transmits it by some appropriate channel to an opinion leader. This leader relays this message to the public. Message, sender and the group leader are the three main components of this theory.
(e) Berlo’S theory of communication : This theory gave emphasis on perception. This theory states that sender encodes the message and transmits it with the help of suitable channel. How the message is received depends upon the knowledge and perception of the receiver. Perception of receiver plays a vital role in this theory.
(f) Modern theory of communication : Modern theory of communication presents the communication process in a cycle form. Accordingly to this theory, message is transmitted to receiver and receiver expresses his response after receiving the message. In such a way information or message is transmitted to sender from receiver in the form of feedback. However, some obstacles in communication process may cause communication loss. These obstacles create problems in understanding the message.
Q. 8. Explain in detail the various functions of business communication.
Ans. Communication is the lifeline of any organization. It serves four major functions that can be stated as follows :
1. Information : The first and foremost function of communication is to provide information. This function is performed in many ways. Before providing or passing an information, one has to receive, collect or sift information from various sources, both external and internal, and through various media, verbal or non-verbal, body language or paralanguage, sign language or audiovisual aids, books, journals, newspapers, advertisements and brochures etc.
The information thus gathered is of vital importance to individuals and groups. It helps them to make decisions by identifying, analysing and evaluating the data, and considering alternative choices. In other words, policy decisions can be taken only when information is available.
Education, research and development depend on information. Education is an ongoing process. No organization can really grow unless the people vitally involved in it have some kind of ‘continuing education’. All senior managers now-a-days keep abreast of the latest developments in their respective areas. It is also to be noted that no information is insular. In one way or another, directly or indirectly, all different areas of interest, especially in the business world, are interrelated. That is why almost all people in business, whether entrepreneurs or managers, organize and participate seminars, conferences and refresher courses.
Proper transmission of information is also of great educational value to employees. Unless they are given useful information from time to time they are likely to remain ignorant, uncultivated, or inadequately equipped.
Information made available to the world outside the organization also educates the public. Advertisements, special articles, information talks etc. play an important role in this regard.
2. Control : The next very important function of communication is to control ‘member behaviour’ in several ways. Every organization has a hierarchical system and formal guidelines that the employees are supposed to follow. When for example, the employees are required to follow their job description or instructions, or to comply with company policies, communication is performing a control function. This very function also gives the employees their code of conduct. It is generally expected of the employees to first communicate their grievances or complaints to their immediate boss. They have, in this way, to follow the formal channel of communication.
But, at the same time, it must also be pointed out that informal communication also controls behaviour. By talking informally in groups the workers lay down the norms to be followed. It is not always necessary for the bosses to formally issue instructions, impose do’s and dont’s or chalk out norms of behaviour. In fact, it is now becoming more and more explicit that informal communication exercises greater control than formal communication.
3. Motivation : In the words of Robbins, “Communication fosters motivation by clarifying to employees what is to be done, how well they are doing, and what can be done to improve performance if it’s subpar… The formation of specific goals, feedback on progress toward the goals and reinforcement of desired behaviour all stimulate motivation and require Communication.”
All business is goal-oriented. All possible efforts have to be made to achieve a target within a well thought-out framework of time. For this purpose it is necessary that the team of workers puts in their very best efforts. In other words they have to be motivated. According to ‘Collins Cobuild Dictionary, “If you are motivated to do something, you are caused to feel determined to achieve something and willing to work hard in order to succeed. So you have first got to motivate the children and then to teach them.” The same logic applies to the workers in an organization.
The employees/ workers have first of all to be told what they are expected to do and how, And then, merely telling is not enough. Victor Kiam, a famous American entrepreneur and writer for the corporate world, puts this question to himself: “Am I willing to lead by example?” and goes on to answer thus: “You can’t ask your workers to give their all if your idea of a rough day is two hours in the office and six on the golf course. I never ask an employee to do something I’m not willing to do, and I work even harder than they do.” After all actions speak louder than words.
The concept of rewards and punishment immediately becomes relevant here. It, however, must be noted that rewards and incentives prove more effective and productive than punishments, If the workers are kept happy, given encouragement and suitably rewarded both in cash and kind, they ensure the success of the enterprise. Every modern entrepreneur/manager knows the importance of positive attitude, empathic listening, words of encouragement and cash rewards, and rewards given in the form of holiday trips, furnishing allowances, quick promotions and so on. Many Indian as well as multinational companies in India are now taking their workers to holiday resorts and sending managers along with their families to Europe, Far East and such other scenic places. All this is geared to motivate them to ‘earn’ their perks, bonuses and holidays. It enhances the value and the image Of the organization.
4. Emotional Expression and Interdependence : The work group is a primary source for social interaction. The communication that takes place within the group is of vital importance in the sense that it gives them the best opportunity to share their frustrations as well as feelinos of satisfaction. Communication, in this way, provides them a release for their feelings, and that is the fulfilment of an important social need.
As has been pointed out in the very beginning of this book, communication is a social activity and every organization is above all a social entity. The members of the group or organization are human beings who have so much to share, gather, or pass on. Newman and Summer point out that the content of communication is not just fact and figures, or objective ideas but also feelings, attitudesand interpretations. An adequate understanding of this aspect of Communication is of immense help to the management. In this connection it is worthwhile to take note of the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ that is also the title of Daniel Goleman’s book on management. “Emotional intelligence’ , according to Goleman, “is to do with how well we manage our own inner lives and get along with people.” It is profoundly concerned with self-awareness, the ability to manage one’s own and other people’s emotions, self motivation and empathy. These characteristics or qualities enable one to climb higher in the corporate ranks than colleagues having superior IQs.
Everyone agrees that a good strategic planner/manager needs analytical skills, but the star performers among them have the ability to understand and empathise, persuade and build alliances, and are astute in reading organizational policies. While working at Harvard, Goleman examined students from hundreds of companies, mostly multinationals, and arrived at certain important conclusions. He found that the really intelligent people are emotionally intelligent people because they can lead, adapt to change, give feedback on performance, empathise, motivate themselves and others, and have integrity.