BBA Business Communication Study Material Technology of Business Communication : BBA Business Communication Chapter Technology of Business Communication Most important Notes Study Material in English.
- People in business have always been looking for better means of communication.
- It is, therefore, desirable to have a retrospective look at the development of business communication.
- In the agrarian societies most communication took place in mouth – to – ear and face – to – face situations.
- The industrial revolution resulted in the development of the print media, post office, telegraph, radio and television.
- The electronic revolution brought about marvelous developments in telecommunications with computers controlling all communications.
3. The early innovations of the industrial revolution resulted in the setting up of the conventional office headed by an executive assisted by a secretary.
4. The latter half of the twentieth century had brought about information explosion that has changed the very character of organization. It has given executives information sharing mentality and has had a flattening effect on organizations.
5. Cellular phones, pagers, video – conferencing, fax, e – mail, intelligent networks, satellite communication, CB Radio, electronic bulletin boards – these are some of the revolutionary gifts of the electronic/telecommunication revolution.
6. With the computers in control all these technologies can be integrated.
7. The basic communication skills. However, will always remain supreme.
In order to understand the evolution of the technology of communication and its impact on business it is necessary to have a retrospective look at the means of communication adopted by man from time to time. Communication and business have always been going on together as they have a symbiotic relationship. More and more business means more and more demands on the people in business to find better and more sophisticated means of communication. Basically the ingredients of communication remain the same, but, with the growth of civilization and business, the means/media/ technology of the transmission of message/information and feedback between the sender and the receiver have grown at a fast pace especially during the last hundred years or so.
Alvin Toffler, in his own inimitable style, has pointed out that in the First Wave or agrarian societies most communications passed mouth – to – ear and face – to – face with small groups. It was a world without news papers, radio, or television. It was basically a speak – and – listen and speak situation. The only mass medium was a crowd assembled to listen to a speaker.
The second wave that of wealth creation was based on Mass production and needed more communication at a distance. It gave rise to the post office, telegraph, and telephone. The new factories that came up in the wake of the Industrial Revolution needed a homogeneous work force. It led to the invention of technologically – based mass media. Newspapers, magazines, movies, radio and television that could carry the same message to millions simultaneously became the prime media of communication in the industrial societies.
“The Third Wave System”, as Toffler says, “reflects the needs of the emerging post – mass production economy. Like the latest ‘flexible manufacturing’ plants, it customizes its image products and sends different images, ideas, and symbols to closely targeted segments, markets, age categories, professions, ethic or life – style grouping”.
The result is that unlike the second wave media that operated more or less independently the new media of communication are interlinked and fused together, feeding data, images, and symbols back and forth to one another. We are thus living in an age of ‘media – fusion’.
From face – to – face and written communication involving ink, paper, and pen we passed on to some major technological almost innovations in the nineteenth century. The first innovation was the telegraph that facilitated almost instant communication connected by wire. Soon there appeared the type writer, advance types of press, and the telephone that immensely improved oral communication. In the 1900’s communication technology got a big thrust with the advent of photocopiers, radio, and television, electric and later the electronic typewriter. The net result of these innovations and their use in business communication was what we all know as the conventional office headed by an executive assisted by a secretary skilled in taking dictation, typing, filing, attending telephone calls, greeting visitors, appointment scheduling and so on. The working in such an office became a routine affair centering around paper processing, leading to building up and maintaining literally mountains of files and records. All communication came to depend ultimately a paper. So much so that, in official jargon, the word ‘letter’ became synonymous with ‘communication’.
The latter half of the twentieth century brought about mind boggling electronic revolution. It emerged in the shape of electronic equipment including mainframe computers, mini computers, personal computers, electronic mail, cellular telephones and unimaginable developments in telecommunication. With data pouring in from all sources in all possible ways we have entered what can rightly be called the information Age just as the application of computers to the processing of information is called information technology or IT.
When information technology is applied to the communication process in organizations the term ‘management information systems’ or MIS is commonly used. Although management information systems do not have to be computerized generally they are so. Now almost all information processing is done by computers. MIS involves generating, processing and transmitting information. The system itself involves not only computer hardware and software but also data and people – both MIS personnel and users.
MIS can also be used for strategic planning. Improving customer care, and for communication as such. Its importance in management decision making cannot be over emphasized. But here it is sufficient to say that MIS can be used as part of the interpersonal and organizational communication systems. For instance, managers can now get on the systems to ask others for information regarding vital problems or can use the system to monitor relevant technological developments.
Another important impact of the modern advanced information technology on the organization is that it has exercised a ‘flattening effect’ on their structure. It has therefore, become incumbent upon the CEO’s to –
- Work to create an information – sharing mentality.
- Understand that information sharing ‘de – layers’ organizations;
- Embody the non – hierarchical nature of information and IT.
In this way a CEO in the IT age should look to eliminate structural elements that were created to restrict information access or flow. What really matters is maximizing chances of ideas surfacing by playing no favorites with information. As jack Welch of General Electric says, “The only ideas that count are the ‘A’ ideas. There is no second place…..we have to get everybody in the organization involved”.
Closely associated with computerized MIS is the telecommunications revolution sweeping across the globe. It seemed to be staying away from India. But with the opening of the country to the world economy in the 1990’s the situation has changed dramatically. Let us have a look at the wonderful telecom facilities now available.
- Cellular Phones: This service is growing rapidly and very soon it is expected to be available in all major cities. Cellular phones are in the first place extremely useful to rich businessmen who travel a lot. But they are also useful to anyone who finds himself helpless without access to a conventional phone. In hi – tech cities like Hong Kong, even construction labourers and waiters find it difficult to manage without cell phone. These phones work on batteries that are quite costly. Moreover, whether we make a call or receive one, we are using the system so we have to pay. However, to woo customers, the companies offering this service, give a certain amount of free time.