BBA Business Communication Study Material Channels of Communication : BBA Most Important Notes Sample Model Questions Answer Papers in English Language.
BBA Business Communication Study Material Channels of Communication :- Page 1
BBA Business Communication Study Material Notes :- Page 2
- All communication passes through some well-defined stages or channels.
- The channels of communication are ‘formal’ and ‘informal’
- The formal channel of communication is the most effective.
- The informal channel is also called the ‘grapevine’
- Both formal and informal channels have their own problems.
- A resourceful manager can put the grapevine to great use.
All communication takes some way, or passage through some well-defined, easily identifiable stages. Everyone is familiar with the phrase “through proper channel” that is used in almost all business letters/ applications/ representations. It means that the sender of the written communication means to pass it onto the address through some body occupying an important position in the hierarchical system of the organization. The word ‘channel’ therefore, becomes synonymous with the position or point through which the communication passes. These positions or points exist at different level in the pipeline.
Channels of communication may be classified into two categories:
A formal channel of 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 ‘A’, 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.
The influence of Formal Channels of Communication
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 generally 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 communicate a problem to a supervisor rather than to the plant manager. Higher-level manager 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 manager from getting bogged down with it.
By his very nature man cannot always have a highly formalized 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, diagonal. As the management experts put it, 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 through, 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 rumor mill working. Every organization has a rumor mill. Every worker, every office gore and above all every manager has to get used to it.