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CATEGORIES of Communication (Comm) cont..
6b. Re. Human Networks (biz, academia, military, even family)
The form of an organization’s comm. networks dictates the method & speed by which ideas flow between managers & employees. Their efficiency can be tested on the basis of : Nature of task, Leader emergence, Group satisfaction, & Speed of work
a. RELATIONSHIP (channel):
This is when one group member has access to more comm. channels than any other, & so tends to process more info than others in that group, which is disbursed to others based on status & hierarchy.
EXP: The boss needs to address any negative grapevine comm., or the rumors can become fact in the minds of employees
Wheel – the most centralized form, where all info flows from the leader, & other members have little or no comm. link with each other. Here, the boss deliberately controls comm., making sure his/her wishes reaches everyone
Chain (scalar): People comm. in a set sequence, via the line of command….. proceeding from A to B, B to C ….. or in reverse. This type is slow but carries the most authentic communication
Here all group members have access to the same number of comm channels. Info is comm. by any person on the hierarchy scale & can be accessed by other employees. Research has shown that decentralized networks or organizations perform better, & have more satisfied members than centralized ones.
Star – Comm. revolve around a central point. Each person in the outer branches of the star passes on a message to a central authority, who then distributes it to the other participants. A must for groups or for teamwork, but can limit or inhibit ease of comm. between members
Inverted “V” – Here subordinates are allowed to comm with their immediate superior, as well as with that boss’s boss – but limited
Common (Free-flow / All-channel) – the most decentralized type of formal comm., where everyone is connected to each other, so info can flow freely from anywhere in the organization
Usually deals with interpersonal, horizontal comm. Traditionally it was considered a potential hindrance to effective performance, but that is no longer the case. However, leaders of modern organizations see it as an important way to ensure effective conduct in employees
Informal comm. is via the grapevine, represented by sociograms. Grapevines are important since they are a large part of daily comm. Friendship, usage & efficiency are 3 important parts. It can be as a:
Info flows from one person to the next, until it reaches everyone ….. but is generally a less reliable or accurate way to pass on the message. However, it can be used to pass on some urgent or emergency news
There is generally a central person who looks for, finds & then passes on info to all other members in the network directly (water cooler, lunchtime…..), often used when the topic is not related to the job
Here info passes randomly from persons to persons – used when the info is interesting but not important
The most common type of informal network – where a person who is source of a message passes info to a pre-selected group, from which a few individuals repeat it to other selected groups – until the whole network is covered, like a telephone tree.
b. MEDIA – Written, oral & gestural. see Part 2
Vertical comm. – Info is passed between different levels of the organizational hierarchy. Orders moves down from the top through a formal chain of command, to the place where it will be implemented. Responses & collected info flow up to the top for review & decision-making
Horizontal (lateral) – Comm. occurs between any two parts of the organization at the same level – between 2 people, divisions or departments – allowing for greater degree of informality. The purpose is to co-ordinate the activities of the various units of the organization
Diagonal – Sharing of info among different structural levels. This term was introduced to capture the new comm. challenges associated with new organizational forms, such as matrix & project-based businesses.
EXP: It could involve higher level management with a lower level to indicate a shift in objectives, as well as the following dialog about how best to achieve the new goals.