COMMUNICATION Categories – Informal (Part 5)

what the rules are

PREVIOUS: Comm. #4

SITE: “….How Relationships influence Behavior”

⬅️”BUSINESS MEETING” computer artwork by DMT

CATEGORIES of Communication
(Comm) cont…
6a. Re. Mechanical Networks

6b. Re. Human Networks  (biz, academia, military, even family)
The form of an organization’s comm. networks dictates the method & speed by which ideas flow between managers & employees. Their efficiency can be tested on the basis of : Nature of task, Leader emergence, Group satisfaction, & Speed of work

a. MEDIA – Written, oral & gestural. see Part 2

• Vertical comm. – Info is passed between different levels of the organizational hierarchy. Orders moves down from the top through a formal chain of command, to the place where it will be implemented. Responses & collected info flow up to the top for review & decision-making

• Horizontal (lateral) Comm. occurs between any two parts of the organization at the same level – between 2 people, divisions or departments – allowing for greater degree of informality. The purpose is to co-ordinate the activities of the various units of the organization

• Diagonal – Sharing of info among different structural levels. This term was introduced to capture the new comm. challenges associated with new organizational forms, such as matrix & project-based businesses.
EXP: It could involve higher level management with a lower level to indicate a shift in objectives

c. RELATIONSHIP (channel)
i. FORMAL Networks
This is when one group member has access to more comm. channels than any other, & so tends to process more info than others in that group, disbursed to others based on status & hierarchy.
EXP: The boss needs to address any negative grapevine comm., or the rumors can become fact in the minds of employees

Wheel  – most centralized form, where all info flows from the leader, & other members have little or no comm. link with each other. Here, the boss deliberately controls comm., making sure his/her wishes reach everyone

Chain (scalar): People comm. in a set sequence, via the line of command….. proceeding from A to B, B to C ….. or in reverse. This type is slow but carries the most authentic communication

Here all group members have access to the same number of channels. Info is comm. by any person on the hierarchy scale & can be accessed by other employees. Research has shown that decentralized networks or organizations perform better, & have more satisfied members.

Circle – Here the info is shared equally among all members. Each person gives & receives info from two or more others in the network

Star – Comm. revolve around a central point. Each person in the outer branches of the star passes on a message to a central authority, who then distributes it to the other participants. A must for groups or for teamwork, but can limit or inhibit ease of comm. between members

Inverted “V” – Here subordinates are allowed to comm with their immediate superior, as well as with that boss’s boss – but limited

Common (Free-flow / All-channel)the most decentralized, where everyone is connected to each other, so info can flow freely from anywhere in the organization

Usually deals with interpersonal, horizontal comm. Traditionally it was considered a potential hindrance to effective performance, but that’s no longer true. However, leaders of modern organizations see it as an important way to ensure effective conduct in employees

Informal comm. is via the grapevine, represented by sociograms. These are important since they’re a large part of daily comm. Friendship, usage & efficiency are 3 important parts. It can be as a:

Single strand
Info flows from one person to the next, until it reaches everyone ….. but is generally a less reliable or accurate way to pass on the message. However, it can effectively be used for urgent or emergency news

Gossip Chain
There’s generally a central person who looks for, finds & then passes on info to all other members directly (water cooler, lunchtime…..), often used when the topic is not job related

Probability Chain
Here info passes randomly from persons to persons – when the info is interesting but not important

Cluster Chain
The most common type – where a person who is the source of a message passes info to a pre-selected group, from which a few individuals repeat it to other selected groups – until the whole network is covered, like a telephone tree.

NEXT: Comm #6

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