What is Communication? The desire to communicate is as natural to man as any other instinctive urge is. Probably we spend more time communicating than doing anything else. we are not talking or listening, we are likely communicating in other ways reading, gesturing, and drawing. Similarly, we take in information by seeing, feeling or smelling. In reality, it is the most important of all our activities as it has enabled us to develop the civilized society we today.
Just as communications are vital to our existence in society, it is essential to the functioning of the organizations our society has produced. In fact, we could go so far to say that organizations exist through communications. Without communications, there would be no organization.
MEANING AND DEFINITION OF COMMUNICATION
The term ‘communication’ has been derived from the Latin word “communis’ that means ‘common.’ Thus communicate’ means ‘to make common’ or ‘to make known.’ This act of making common and known is carried out through an exchange of thoughts, ideas or the like. The exchange thoughts and ideas can be had by gestures, signs, signals, speech or writing. People are said to be in communication when they discuss some matter, or when they talk on a telephone, or when they exchange information through letters.
Different critics have defined the term communication in different words:
To George Terry “It is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions between two or more persons.”
Professor Rudolph F.Verderber defines as “the process of creating or sharing meaning in informal conversation, group interaction, or public meeting.”
Keith Davis defines as “the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another.” He regards communication as “a bridge of meaning that enables a person safely cross the river of misunderstanding.”
Taking into account the above statements we may define communication as the process of sending and receiving information. Business communication thus can be defined as the sending and receiving of such information as pertains to some business matter, This communication may be between business individuals, or firms, or companies on matters Of trade and commerce. In general business matters, how a business transaction can take place without the mutual Consent and agreement of sellers and buyers. The two houses involved in a business deal have their respective interests. To ensure and safeguard their interests they exchange messages with each othe and finally enter a business deal. The whole process which is so followed is termed as Business Communication.
MAIN FORMS OF ORGANIZATIONAL BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
Organizational Business Communication takes place in different forms and at different levels. It may take place within the organization or outside the organization. In other words, it may be:
- Internal Communication
- External Communication
Internal Communication is also called inside the organization communications. It takes place within the organization and is directly related to achieving the organizational goals. It is very essential for effective functioning of an organization that its members communicate among themselves at all levels. The objective of this communications may be making policies, planning strategies, taking decisions, collecting data, receiving information and reports, decisions in the chain of command, or giving directives and orders to the subordinate staff.
Internal Communications takes place in different directions, mainly,
- Downward Communication,
- Upward — Communication,
- Horizontal Communication and
- Diagonal Communication:
a) Downward Communication: In most business organizations, decisions are taken at the top level, and then they flow down to the subordinate level for their implementation. Downward messages may be communicated orally, either by speaking directly to the people concerned or by holding meetings with them, or they may be communicated in written form through short memos.
b) Upward Communication: It is just as vital as downward communication. Through upward communication, employees of an organization furnish their executives with accurate, timely reports on problems, emerging trends, grievances, and all other matters where they seek their guidance and approval. This sort of communication keeps the top management in touch with their employees in addition to the understanding of their needs and problems,
c) Horizontal Communication: It usually takes Place at the top level among the executives of all the departments of an organization. The chief objective of this communication is to discuss framing such policies and plans as may be implemented to carry out business activities of the organization. Horizontal Communications helps the management in coordinating their talks, strategies and planning. In no way, an individual can be master of all trades. Horizontal Communication provides the top executives the opportunity to have necessary exchange of views in all important matters before they take final decisions.
d) Diagonal Communication: It is the communication that takes place at different levels in the hierarchy of the managerial cadre of an organization. It occurs both ways i.e. from the high-level management to the low-levels management and vice versa. The objective of diagonal communications is to discuss such matters as penning to the execution and implementation of the policies, plans and procedures finalized by the top level executives of the organization.
External Communication is also called communication outside the business house. It is the communications that is held with people outside the organization in an effort to accomplish its work goals. Just as internal communications carries information up, down and across the organization, external communications carries messages outside the organization.
It is obvious that no business organization can carry out its transactions by itself. It needs business individuals and organizations to trade with. This interdependence of business individuals and organizations on each other necessarily creates need for communications with the outside world. This network of external communications links the organization with the outside world of customers, suppliers, competitors and other business houses.