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what is organizational communication? Types of organizational communication

what is organizational communication? 

Communication institutional or corporate communications to send and receive information between interrelated individuals or as part of some kind of organization (one company, institution, etc.) with the aim of achieving a certain goal is organizational communication.

Organizational communication is much more than a simple exchange of data since it also contemplates the establishment of cooperation, coordination and joint advancement dynamics towards the objectives, that is, it serves to a large extent for the management of the organization and integration of its different elements, thus having an impact on productivity and quality.

Organizational communication is an important tool with a great deal of work today that gives rise to the transmission of information within organizations to identify the requirements and achievements of the organization and its collaborators. 

Organizational communication allows the knowledge of human resources, their development in the company, productivity in the work departments.

we can understand organizational communication based on three factors:
  1. Social character: It has to do with individuals in various positions within an organization, so it has a cultural character.
  2. Disciplinary nature: It is also an area of ​​administrative knowledge that attempts to apply social scientific criteria to the way in which intra and extra corporate communications occur.
  3. Technical and activity nature: Its task is to develop a strategy that facilitates and speeds up the flow of information between the organization and its public, or between its various parts.

Types of organizational communication

  1. Upward communication 
  2. Downward communication 
  3. Horizontal communication 
  4. Transversal communication 
  5. Circular or oblique communication 
  6. Internal and external communication
  7. Formal and informal communication
Upward communication flow: It is when the information starts from the workers towards the leader. This flow corresponds to the feedback process, that is, the opinion on the management model, administrative actions and organizational plans. 

In more traditional organizations, this communication is more difficult to happen due to its fairly hierarchical structure. 

The main functions of this communication flow are: to provide managers with the necessary feedback on the current affairs and problems of the organization primary source of information return for management; to lighten tensions by allowing lower-level employees to share relevant information with their superiors; and stimulate the participation and commitment of all.

Downward communication flow: Also called vertical or official communication flow. In this type of flow, standards, procedures, attributions, instructions, strategies, objectives and goals, organizational practices, institutional news, among others are transmitted. 

Its objective is to provide members with information on work is done, provide a summary of the work and guide officials to recognize the objectives of the organization. 

This also includes the actions of internal communication or human resources to achieve strategic, cultural alignment and also to increase productivity.

Horizontal communication flow: This happens between people of the same hierarchical level. It helps in peer understanding and makes it possible for the team to make an effort. In addition, it satisfies needs such as inclusion, control, and affection. 

The main functions of this communication flow are f to facilitate the coordination of tasks allowing members to establish effective interpersonal relationships; provide an employee a means to share relevant business information. 

This type of information flow is common in companies that seek to be increasingly collaborative and innovative. 

This allows all collaborators to have a voice, participate in debates and participate in decision making. Generally, this type of organization opts for channels that provide collaboration, such as corporate social networks. 

This flow also helps to integrate and improve the climate among employees and share knowledge and intelligence in the company.

Transversal communication flow: The flow crosses all the instances and flows (ascending, descending and horizontal) of the company, without the distinction of hierarchical levels. 

It is generally found in more modern, decentralized and flexible organizations, with more participatory and integrated management. 

This type of flow creates the necessary environment for employees to participate in different areas and achieve a higher level of interaction.

Circular or oblique communication flow: This communication flow is more present in smaller organizations and is extremely informal, circulates interchangeably between all levels. 

Organizational communication is one of the most important processes in the day to day of companies. The flows support all strategies, activities, actions, and decisions taken by companies. 

In this way, the transmission of information or messages is achieved so that there is understanding, this information must be clear and direct.

Internal and external communication: Internal communication is understood as the communication between the instances that make up the organization (departments, coordination, etc.) and the external one that mediates between the organization and the outside world (clients, advertisers, etc.).

Formal and informal communication: The formal communication is the one that leaves a written record of what has been said and involves the official resources of the organization (memoranda, official notifications, etc.), while the informal communication is that which is given orally, through calls or any other communicative act. ephemeral and personal among the individuals that make life in the organization.

Importance of organizational communication

Organizational communication is a key factor in the construction of an organizational climate, that is, in the constitution of the internal and external flow of information, which implies:

  • The exchange with the consumer public and the opportunity for feedback.
  • The accompaniment of management and administration, allowing internal evaluation and correction in time.
  • Coordination of the various parts of the organization to achieve optimal results.
  • The projection of a controlled image of the organization, according to its promotional or advertising strategies.

Organizational communication barriers

When talking about communication barriers, it generally refers to obstacles that prevent or reduce the effectiveness of communication. In the case of organizational communication, these impediments have to do with the dynamics of the information flow of the organization, such as:
  • Lack of or poverty planning. The poor forecast of the communication mechanisms, which leaves everything to the free will of the individuals without an official or formal protocol. It may also have to do with a bad hierarchy, in which communication can be delivered to one another depending on the individual's criteria.
  • Deficiencies in the selection or training of personnel. People who live in the organization must meet certain minimum requirements in organizational and communicative matters and, if not, they must receive training or qualification, in the form of writing courses, communicational orientation, language courses, etc.
  • Loss of information due to limited retention. This often occurs in organizations in which information must travel from one department to another and another until later reaching its destination, losing precision and necessary details along the way.
  • International barriers Significant differences in language, work methodology, the cultural conception of work and other factors that may hinder the reception of information and require a minimum of adaptation of the message.
Strategies of organizational communication

Audit the communication: From time to time it is convenient to carry out an audit to evaluate the communicative performance of the organization and to carry out the pertinent diagnoses that lead to improvement measures. 

This can be done through outsourcing or outsourcing, or some time can be spent in the communications department.

Strengthen informal communication: While an organization has its regular channels of communication, it is also true that we are human beings and we like to deal with others based on the understanding that we have things in common. 

Recreational activities and teamwork in which people can meet and learn to communicate in person will serve as the basis for subsequent "work" communication.

Limit lost time: Organizations are often prone to long and extensive meetings where time is wasted and communication stagnates. 

These types of activities should be kept to a minimum, promoting in their place more fluid communication dynamics, more immediate and more in line with the times. Some companies even replicate technological schemes extracted from Facebook and other social networks.

Invest in external projection: The organization can be managed with particular internal communication schemes, but facing the public or its customers, it must be able to provide information in an expedited, responsible and timely manner, so it is essential to manage unified external communication criteria.

Examples of organizational communication

Organizational communication is any form of communication in a company, corporation or institution. The meetings of managers, staff or workers, in which new measures are reported, are a timely case of internal organizational communication. 

Press releases, customer communications, and publicity are forms of external communication since they go from the organization to the outside.

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