BBA Grapevine Formal and informal Business Communication Notes
BBA Grapevine Formal and informal Business Communication Notes :–
Long Questions Answer
Q. 1. What are the main barriers to effective communication? Discuss in brief.
What are semantic barriers in communication? How can they be removed?
Ans. Barriers to Effective Communication : Communication is one of the most common and essential human activities. Each one of us spends major part of our day in one or the other form Of communication. Even then communication is not always perfect.
Various problems of or barriers to communication may be classified as under :
Image 1.Semantic Barriers Semantic barriers study the meaning of words and signs. Semantic barriers arise due to problems in language. Language is the most important tool of communication.
(a) Words with different meanings : Communication is mainly carried through spoken and written words. But some words convey different meanings to different people.
e.g., the word tube, may mean fluorescent tube, a cycle tube or a water tube. So these are words with different meaning.
(b) Denotations and connotations : Words have two types of meaning denotative an connotative. The literal meaning of a word is known by its denotating meaning. It just names objects without suggestions positive and negative quality. Book, chair, room, computer are example of denotative words.
(c) Bad expression : When the message is not formulated and presented in the proper manner, the receiver fails to comprehend it and its misunderstanding occurs. Badly expressed message lose their impact. Use of targon, coined word acronyms and technical terms with special meaning.
(d) Faulty translation : Each centre has to process the information it receive and translate it in a suitable form for further transmission. Often people translate words in a literal sense thereby losing the spirit behind the words. Inaccurate translation leads to misunderstanding and confusion. When different part of a message are contradictory, the receiver gets confused over their reliability and validity. In case he is convinced with the existing knowledge or is not in a position to seek clarification, misunderstanding can occur.
(e) Unclarified assumptions : The sender of a message often have some assumptions. When these assumptions are vague and unknown to the receiver communication suffers. Consider the following incident :
On Monday, Prof. Sinha announced to his class, “I will be out of town from Tuesday until Friday.
There will be no classes while I’m gone” On Tuesday 80 per cent of the students came to’ class but Prof, Sinha failed to appear but on Friday 20 per cent came along and Prof. Sinha was also present.
2. Physical or Mechanical Barriers
Physical barriers arise due to distance, noise and defects in the mechanical devices used in communication.
(a) Noise : The flow of communication is often blocked due to noise caused by traffic, human sounds, construction work, typewriters; fans, etc. In factories loud noise of the machine makes oral communication difficult. Blaring and other types of electronic noise interferes in communication through telephone and microphone.
(b) Distance and time : Physical distance between the sender and the receiver serves as a barrier to smooth communication. Telephone and Telex facilities are not available everywhere. There may be breakdown in the telephone, telegraph and postal services or mechanical equipments. Problems in the medium of communication may lead to loss in transmission.
(c) Information overload : Excess of communication is called information overload. The receiver cannot comprehend and absorb beyond his mental capacity. His mind will be closed for a part of the communication. Therefore, we should be precise and briefing sending message.
3. Organizational Barriers
Organization barriers arise due to defects in the organization structure and the communication
system of an organization. These are as follows :
(a) Long chain of command : When the scalar chain is unduly long, distance between top manager and workers increases. As a result downward and upward message have to pass through several level causing delay and distortions.
(b) Poor spatial arrangements : Faulty arrangement of furniture, partitions, pathway, etc. prevent eye contact between the speaker and his listeners. Spatial arrangements also creates emotional disturbance. Some persons do not like to work too close to other persons.
(c) Inappropriate medium : Each method is appropriate in specific situations. Choice and use of an unsuitable medium may act as a barrier to communication. 4. Socio-Psychological Barriers
Social and psychological facts are the most difficult barriers to communication. These Consist of the following :
(a) Attitudes and opinions : Personal attitudes and opinions often interfere with communication. If the message is consistent with our attitudes and opinions we receive it favourably. The message fits comfortably in the filter of our mind. On the other hand, if the message is Contrary to our expectations, beliefs and cherished values we do not react favourably to it.
(b) Emotions : Emotions block our mind, blow our thinking and we fail to organise the message
properly. For example the sender of a message fails to speak clearly when he is overexcited, Worried nervous or angry. An extremely angry speaker (offensive style) falters in his speech and repeats the same words again and again. Similarly the receiver cannot hear or read the message Successfully,
(c) Status and fear : Status distinctions exist in every organistaion and status consciousness serves as a major barrier to communication.
Subordinates are either too conscious to their low status or too afraid of being snubbed, They are afraid of communicating upward only.
(d) Closed mind : A person may have a closed mind due to deeprooted prejudices and superiority complex limited intellectual background, narrow interest, etc., It is very difficult to communicate with such a person. He is not willing to listen and is not prepared to reconsider his opinion. He is met open to conviction and persuation. He hold his opinion so rigidly that he just refuses to listen.
(e) Inattention : ‘Lack of attention on the part of listener or reader is a common barrier to communication. Inattention arises due to mental preoccupation or distinction.
(f) Distrust : Communication is likely; to fail when the receiver has a suspicion about the source of communication.
(g) Premature evaluation : Some people form a judgement before receiving the complete message, Such premature evaluation prevents effective communication. Once you form a judgement or response. Your mind is closed to the rest of the message.
(h) Poor retention : In the process of transmission part of the message is lost at every level. The message is screened and only a part of it is transmitted further.
(i) Perceptual distortion : Perception implies noticing and understanding. Each perception has unique PRECONCEPTION depending upon his past experiences, attitudes and interests.
(j) Resistance to change : When a message urges some change and the receiver is opposed to the change, the process of the communication is hampered. The receiver fails to absorb the new concepts as he refuses to accept the change.
Q. 2. Write a detailed note on grapevine.
What precautions are to be taken while grapevine?
Ans. Grapevine : ‘(Man is by nature gregarious as he likes to move about groups. Whenever two or more persons meet they tend to talk on various topics. As a result there arises a secondary network of information in the organisation. This network represents informal channel of communication. which exists side by side with formal channel of communication. Informal communication is also
Informal communication or grapevine becomes routine under the following conditions :
1. When an organisation is passing through a difficult period and its members lack a sense Of direction and develop feeling of uncertainty.
2. Employee form informal groups due to feeling of inadequacy and lack of self confidence. 3. Managers form a favoured or coterie group due to which other employees get a feeling of isolation or insecurity.
Grapevine Chains : Keith Davs has identified four types of grapevine chains which are as follows :
1. Single Strand Chain : In this type, information flow through a long line of person to the ultimate receiver. P tells Q who tells R and so on until it reaches W. Thus, P communicates with W through intervening persons in a strand.
2. Gossip Wheel : It involves passing of information from a person in the centre to all other around him.
This network is a wheel where P is at the centre and the information passes along. The spokes to all other on the rim. Thus, P communicates, non selectively with everyone, this chain is often used to convey information which is not related to the job.
3. Probability Chain : Here P communicates randomly with other according to the laws of probability. One person transmits information at randomto other who in turn transmit it further in a similar manner.
4. Cluster Chain : It involve selective communication in a group. P selectively communicate
with those whom he can trust who may in turn transmit the information to selected person, Cluster is the dominate grapevine pattern and most informal communication flow through this chain.
Advantages An informal communication provides the following advantages :
1. Speedy Transmission : Informal channels of communication transmit information very fast. This is because the message has not to pass through any prescribed routes. A rumour spreads like wild fire. As soon as an employee comes to know something which he feels is confidential or ‘top secret’ he communicates it to his colleagues. Sometimes, managers also transmit information by using ‘just between you and me’ remarks. 2. Valuable Feedback : Managers can obtain useful feedback concerning their decisions and actions through the grapevine. Informal channels provide feedback much faster than the formal channels.
3. Psychological Satisfaction : Informal communication draws employees closer to each other and creates in them a sense of belonging. It strengthens group identity and maintains the
4. Support to Formal Channels : The grapevine serves as a supplementary channel of organization as a social entity. communication. The formal channels of communication impose certain constraints on the free flow of information and take more time. Grapevine can be used to transmit information which is considered unsuitable for the formal channels of communication.
The grapevine, however, suffers from the following limitations :
1. Misunderstanding : Grapevine often carries incomplete information. Therefore, it not give the complete picture and may create misunderstanding.
2. Incredible : Informal channels of communication enjoys less credibility. As the information spreads through the word of mouth it cannot always be taken seriously.
3. Damage to the Organization : Gossip and rumour are an essential part of grapevine, Grapevine may. disort the true picture, All kinds of stories may be spread about responsible people and the image of the organization may be spoiled. Rumours may cause serious damage before management gets aware of them and takes remedial actions.
Distinction between Formal and Informal Communication
|S.No.||Basis of distinction||Formal Communication||Informal Communication|
|1.||Origin||Deliberately structured||Spontaneous and unstructured|
|4.||Purpose||To achieve organization goals||To satisfy personal needs|
|6.||Accuracy||Accurate and authentic||Often contains rumours and gossip|
|7.||Form||Both oral and written||Oral|
How to Make Effective Use of Grapevine : Grapevine is quite powerful and influential. It can cause considerable damage and therefore, some managers take it very seriously. They try to crush it completely. But grapevine cannot be eliminated. More you try to crush its flow it erupts with greater force. Instead of trying to crub it, managers should learn to live with it and make constructive use Of it. They should cultivate and feed it for the benefit of the organisation. The following steps may be taken to make grapevine effective :
1. Keep the employees well informed so that they may not spread rumours.
2. As far as possible keep an open door policy without creating impression of cheap popularity ‘
3. Identify the leaders of informal groups and win their confidence so as to feel the pulse of employees.
4. Organise fruitful group activities so as to increase the self worth of employees. This will help to minimise small talk on the part of employees.
5. Involves employees through their leaders in the decision making process.
6. Create a healthy environment to provide opportunity for personal talk.
7. Seek feedback on your style of functioning and use the feedback for continuous improvement of your style.
8. Discourage, even penalise rumours aimed at maligning somebody or character assascination. 9. Be a good empathic listener so that employees feel free to talk to you instead of indulging in rumour mongering.
Q. 3. What is informal communication? Distinguish between formal and informal communication.
Ans. Informal Communication : By his very nature man cannot always have a highly formalised or regimented living. Logically he cannot and will not always communicate through formal channels alone. Side by side with the formal channel of communication, every organization has an equally effective channel of communication that is the informal channel. It is not officially sanctioned and quite often it is even discouraged or looked down upon. But, then, it is very much there, and has been given the name ‘grapevine’ precisely because it runs in all directions horizontal, vertical, diagonals As the management experts put it as . “It flows around water coolers, down hallways, through lunch rooms and wherever people get together in groups.”
It shows that the people are almost always looking forward to an opportunity to get together. Man is essentially gregarious by nature. The lower we go down the pyramid of the organization the more manifest this gregariousness becomes. There are strong socio-psychological reasons for it. The most important reason is the intense, irrepressible desire to communicate, to talk, to share one’s feeling and thought, or just to gossip or to indulge in small talk. This gossip or small talk may and very often, does carry some important information. It may even ‘Manufacture’ some piece of information and get the rumour mill working. Every organization has a rumour mill. Every worker, every office goer and above all every manager has to get used to it.
Q. 4. Why is a group discussion held? Explain guidelines for effective participation in a group discussion.
Ans. Group Discussion : A group refers to two or more persons who interact for a common purpose primarily through oral communication. Group discussions are often held for solving some problem, to take decision, to select candidate for higher studies and for many other purposes.
In a group discussion, the size of group is generally small consisting of eight to twelve persons.
The members of the group generally sit in a circle. The examiner assigns a topic to the group for discussion. He/She does not participate in the discussion. Rather he/she sits back, observes the members participating and notes down the marks/grade to be assigned to them on the basis of their performance.
Guidelines for Effective Participation in a Group Discussion : The following guidelines are helpful for effective participation in a group discussion :
1. Develop and sharpen your speaking and interpersonal skills. Clear thinking good expression
and other verbal and non-verbal skills are important for a group discussion.
2. Prepare yourself and have a thorough understanding of the subject on which you are asked to speak. Since the topic of discussion is unknown, familiarise yourself with the most important topics under current affairs. This can be done by reading daily’newspaper, magazines and watching news and discussion on TV.
3. Learn how to analyse the subject, argue your case while adhering to the time limit.
4. A group discussion requires co-operation and co-ordination on the part of the participants who are expected to work as a team. Any kind of hostile attitude by any one of the participants is against the spirit of co-operation and would hamper effective discussion. Therefore, every participant has to subordinate his ego to the larger objective of working together and completing the discussion within the specified time.
5. A person participating in a group discussion should carry a pen and a paper unless askedotherwise. It is better to think through the main issues in the topic of discussion before starting speaking.
6. Unless you are fully prepared on the topic, allow someone else to start the discussion. One can get noticed even when one is not first to speak.
7. Listen carefully to what other participants are saying. You may quote others while supporting and criticising them.
8. There is more than one way of entering the discussion. You may begin by appreciating a point made earlier. Alternatively you may express disagreement with someone’s argument and mould the discussion in his own way.
9. Maintain yourself cool while speaking. Losing temper does not yield the best results therefore be normal and talk naturally.
10. There should be a free flow of ideas in a group discussion. As all participants are keen to speak, there is likely to be choice in a group discussion. But speaking in turn is not desirable as it hampers a natural discussion.
11. Summarise the discussion at the end by restating your view as well as dissenting view. Do not force a consensus.
Q. 5. Define the term feedback. Explain its process, method and guidelines to make effective feedback.
Ans. Meaning of Feedback : It is the last and most essential element of communication process, A communication process is said to have feedback, when the receiver of the message has given his response to the sender’s message. With the help of feedback, the communicator comes to know how well the message has been received by the receiver, understood, interpreted and acted upon. Thus, it can be said that sending back the response about the message to the communicator is known as ‘feedback’. A communication process without a provision for feedback is not an effective communication.
According to H.C. Hicks and C.R. Gullett, “Feedback or response, enables the source to know whether or not the message has been received and interpreted correctly. Feedback can cause the original source to modify future communication according to the way in which the source perceives the reaction of the receiver.”
Process of Feedback : In a communication process, message is considered effective only when there exists provision for feedback. Feedback process includes the process through which receiver Of the message send his reaction or response to the sender. Process of feedback, in a communication process can be explained as follows :
Feedback is probably the most important technique of improving the communication. Feedback is necessary to understand immediate reaction which, would help in a great way in the decision making process.
Methods of Feedback
Methods of feedback can be expressed as follows :
1. Oral Feedback : When receiver of the message express his reaction orally then it is known as oral feedback. In this type of feedback, receiver gives his response in spoken words, Oral communication permits instant feedback and also helps both the parties in the communication, the sender or speaker, make his message clearer, the listener to interpret the message more accurately.
2. Written Feedback : When response about the message is given in written form, it is known as written feedback. In the written feedback, sender cannot get the instant feedback.
3. Non-Verbal Feedback : When receiver expresses his response with the help of body language, signs or symbols, then it is known as non-verbal feedback. Through non-verbal communication feelings can be expressed in a better way.
Importance of Feedback: Success of communication process can be measured through feedback therefore the effects and importance of feedback should not be ignored. Importance of feedback can be clarified as given below :
1. Promote Good Relations : Feedback promotes good relations between management and employees and motivates people to do their best. Feedback creates mutual confidence and understanding between the management and employees.
2. Helpful in Effective Communication : Feedback is one of the important essential requirement of effective communication. The manager who does not allow feedback, will be less effective than the managers who receive feedback. Thus, the management has to provide an opportunity of feedback for effective decision making.
3. Improvement in the Communication Process : Feedback is probably the most important technique of improving communication. It is necessary to understand the immediate reaction which would help in a great way in the decision making process.
4. Modification in the Message : Feedback enables the communicator to carry out corrections or changes in the messages to make them effective. It ensures that the receiver has received the message and understood in the same sense as sender meant for.
5. Avoid Errors in the Communication : Interface and interaction are possible in feedback. It avoids errors in the transmission of message and promote effective participation of the subordinates.
Guidelines for Developing Effective Feedback Skills
S. P. Robbins suggests six specific points for making effective feedback
1. Focus on Specific Behaviour : Feedback should always be for specific behaviour not for general behaviour. If in the reference of feedback it is said that your conununication is not effective, then it is a general feedback and communicator will feel problem in improving his communication skill. But if in reference of certain point, ineffectiveness is focussed then communicator can easily improve it.
2. Keep Feedback Impersonal : The feedback, particularly the negative feedback, should be descriptive rather than judgement or evaluation. The criticism should be reasonable and related to job but not personal.
3. Make Feedback Well Timely : A timely feedback is more meaningful and useful and helps in bringing about the desired changes. Therefore, feedback should be made timely. 4. Keep Feedback Goal Oriented : Feedback should always be related with the goal of the message, The negative feedback should be directed towards the recipient’s goal.
5. Ensure Understanding : For effective feedback, it must be ensured that the receiver
understands the messages clearly and fully. If meaning of the message is not understood properly by the recipient, it is not an effective communication.
6. Control on Direct Negative Feedback : Direct negative feedback towards behaviour of the sender must be controlled as it discourages the sender. In case of negative feedback, suggestions for improving the communication must be given.
Q .6. What is formal communication network? Explain the essentials of formal communication.
Ans. Formal Communication Network : A formal channel or communication can be defined as a means of communication that is normally controlled by managers or people occupying similar positions in an organization. Any information, decision, memo, reminder etc. will follow this path. For example, an executive occupying a top position, passes an order to his immediate subordinate ‘B’ who, after retaining the useful information upto him, passes the desired order to the next man ‘C’ for necessary action and so on. In this way the channel is a formal one. In the same way, communication may travel from below and pass through stages or points, again reinforcing the formal structure or character of the organization.
Influence of Formal Communication Network : The formal channels influence the effectiveness of communication primarily in two ways. In the first place, the formal channels cover an ever-widening distance as organizations grow. For example, effective communication is generany far more difficult in a large retail organization with branches spread far and wide than in a small or big department store located at one place. Secondly, the formal channels of communication can actually inhibit or stand in the way of free flow of information between organizational levels. For example, in a big factory, an assembly-line worker will communication problem to a supervisor rather than to the plant manager. Higher-level managers may sometimes not even come to know something of vital importance as and when needed. On the positive side, there are many advantages also. The formal channels, by virtue of their tendency to monitor and filter information, keep the higher-level managers from getting bogged down with it.
Essentials of Formal Communication : The communication is two-way process consisting of seven elements :
1. Sender : Sender is the person who has an idea which he wants to share with others. Sender is the beginner of the communication process.
2. Encoding : The sender must take the help of words or non-verbar methods to shape his idea in a message. This is done by the process of encoding.
3. Message : The idea transformed into a presentable form is the message, It can be verbal (written or spoken) or non-verbal (body language, silence).
4. Channel : The medium through which the message reaches to the receiver is the channel.
5. Receiver : The person to whom the message is intended is called the receiver.
6. Decoding : The receiver understands/misunderstands the message by the process called
decoding. It is the reverse action of encoding where the message is reconverted into idea.
7. Feedback : The response of the receiver after decoding the message is called feedback, The process of communication ends when this feedback reaches back to the sender.