Organizational communication, which is the exchange of information, views, and ideas in a business setting, is a strong predictor of smooth operations. Communication can be formal or informal: formal emphasizes the use of predefined channels while informal flows in random directions. Organizational communication can also be further defined as horizontal or vertical. Horizontal features the exchange of communication between individuals of the same rank while vertical involves superiors and subordinates. Effective communication is an essential tool for organizational success since it fosters strong management and team building. There are various models of communication including linear, transactional, and interactive model. The interactive model is a two-way communication process that embraces new media techniques, which can be positively or negatively influenced by technology.
Interactive communication model, also known as convergence model, features exchange of messages from sender to receiver and vice versa (Narula, 2006). The communication process takes place between humans or technological devices in both verbal and non-verbal forms. The sender channels information to a receiver who, after encoding the message, sends back the feedback to the sender. In my organization, for instance, the management sends emails to workers, who then send feedback to the management. The process can be ongoing until a solution or the intended feedback is achieved. In interactive communication, both the sender and receiver can act as the encoder or decoder of the message. Additionally, in this model of communication, the sender and receiver are equally important (Narula, 2006). While interactive model promotes understanding of messages, feedback can be slow and messages can be misinterpreted since receivers focus on responding to the message rather than internalizing it.
Currently, my organization utilizes various communication techniques. Open meetings are widely used and have proved to be effective since employees not only hear the speaker’s message but also feel it hence, better internalization. However, open meetings can be time consuming especially when team members raise questions. One-on-one communication, which is the direct interaction with an individual, is the second communication technique embraced especially when the message is only intended for better understanding. One-on-one communication, like open meeting, allows both the speaker and the receiver to interpret body language and evaluate non-verbal cues, which enhances understanding. Physical communication also builds trust between the two parties. For effective communication in open meetings or one-on-one, the speaker is required to use appropriate tone of voice to ensure listeners do not misinterpret the intention of the message and to avoid instilling fear. It is also important for speakers to promote an interactive environment by listening to team members and encouraging them to open up.
Technological communication is also used. Short messaging services (SMSs) or phone calls are used especially when sending urgent messages to one person. There are also messaging technologies that allow messages to be sent to a group of workers. Like other organizations, emailing remains a popular way of communication in the company. Emails can be sent to one or thousands of individuals. This communication technique is preferred due to easy future referencing and its flexibility since messages can be sent to people in different locations. Also, emails are convenient because they are low-cost compared to open meeting that would consume time and sometimes resources on requirements like meals or sitting allowances. Another new media technique of communication is video conferencing, which, despite the flexibility of connecting with people from different locations, can be disadvantaged by bad internet connection. Social media applications like skype are used for instant messaging and calls. Applications like Facebook and WhatsApp are also used to exchange information among specific work groups that share common interests. For instance, when working on a project, team members form a WhatsApp group to enhance communication, hence smooth operations.
Technology can positively or negatively affect the communication process. Internet and computer-mediated communication like emails and text message systems are fast and efficient. Messages can be exchanged instantly and at a lower cost. Since technology has lowered the cost of communication, information is easily available (Alhadlaq, 2016). Technology also enables mass communication and gives voice to workers who feel shy to share ideas during face-to-face meetings. Therefore, technology enhances organizational communication, which is essential for organizational productivity. On the other hand, technology can interfere with the communication process. Computer-mediated communication can be disrupted by hackers who infiltrate an organization’s database and send out misleading information to workers (Cuel & Ferrario, 2006). Also, technology has suppressed inter-personal skills, which are pivotal in team work and completion of projects.
Interactive communication model is a two-way process that embraces new media. The internet emails, and social platforms are widely used in the mentioned model of communication. However, despite the availability of the numerous techniques of communication, emailing has proved the most effective. This technique can be applied in the healthcare environment to boost productivity. The healthcare industry is characterized by a staffing shortage, hence, long working hours. With shift work, employees have limited time for frequent face-to-face meetings, which makes emailing more convenient. Furthermore, most employees own smartphones, therefore, they can easily access emails through their phones. However, it is important for the management to create time for face-to-face meetings as a substitute method in order to build relationships, foster trust, and promote interpersonal skills.
Alhadlaq, I. (2016, Jan). How technology influences communication. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 7(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijser.org/researchpaper/How-Technology-Influences-Communication.pdf
Cuel, R. & Ferrario, R. (2006, Jan). The impact of technology in organizational communication processes: toward constructivism. ResearchGate, Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228866367_The_impact_of_technology_in_organizational_communication_processes_toward_constructivism
Narula, U. (2006). Communication Models. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=nDRn9PAlSBwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Models+of+communication&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj47fyh8pXkAhUFrxoKHWf8BWQQ6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=Models%20of%20communication&f=false