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The Role Of Communications In The Workplace

1666 words - 7 pages

In organisations today, the role that communication plays is one that is imperative to an organisations success and the success of the individuals of that organisation. Poor communication is most often the source of interpersonal conflict (Cocks 2012), which is not a surprise as almost 70 percent of an individual’s day consists of some form of communication (Robbins, et al. 2011). Communication is the process of information being passed from one individual to another that follows a procedure of informational transfer and understanding. There are some significant barriers that impact the way in which communication is interpreted. This essay examines the role of communication in organisations, ...view middle of the document...

Lateral communication is communication that takes place with one’s peers or members of the same work group.
There are four major functions of communication in an organisation: control, motivation, emotional expression and information. The function of 'control' is an organisation's means to regulate members' behaviour (Robbins, et al. 2011). An example could be how top management control the way in which employees communicate with one another. 'Motivation' is the second communication function, and is used to explain to employees what they must do and how they are go about it, in a way that encourages the employee to want to complete the task. In a sense, this promotes an employee’s willingness and enthusiasm to complete the task at hand. For example, Telstra gives their employees ‘targets’, and if these targets are reached, a bonus is given to that particular employee. 'Emotion' is the following function as, for many employees; the workplace is a key source of social interaction. Communication within a work group is fundamental in helping employees convey their satisfaction and frustrations within the workplace. An example of the function emotion is when an employee conveys to their peers or management that they are either satisfied or dissatisfied with the task they are completing (Robbins, et al. 2011). Finally, there is the function of 'information', which is used to facilitate decision-making. This function provides the material required to evaluate and identify choices when making a decision. Without adequate information, it becomes difficult for members of organisations to make well-informed decisions. Without these functions of communication, an organisation could not maintain a standardised level of behaviour (Dasgupta, Suar & Singh 2013).
A number of barriers can result in distorting effective communication. The most significant of these barriers are: filtering, information overload, selective perception, emotions, language, silence, communication apprehension, and ‘politically correct’ communication (Robbins, et al. 2011) (Pheng & Leong 2001). If a sender is filtering, they are purposely manipulating information so the receiver will see the information in a more favourable light. If there are more vertical levels of hierarchy in an organisation, filtering has a greater presence, due to increased opportunities. An example of filtering commonly occurs when a manager tells their boss what they feel their boss wants to hear. Information overload occurs when workers are given a volume of information that surpasses their processing capacity. The outcome of information overload and dealing with the issue has become a significant challenge in modern organisations (Robbins, et al. 2011).
Selective perception is when the receiver of information projects their own interests and expectations into communications as they decode them. For example, if an employment interviewer expects a female job applicant to put her family ahead of her...

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