Group communication is the exchanging of messages between the members of a group. In business groups and teams, the messages exchanged include team goals, ideas, and information for motivating members (O’Hair et al., 2018). Group communication supports decision making, generation of ideas, goals’ clarity, respect building, and strengthening rapport among members. Groups utilize various channels for communication, including meetings, emails, and memos. Groups can conduct meetings in person or through conference calls. Emails can be replaced by digital messages on virtual sites such as intranets.
Effective Group Communication: Example
Following formal rules is an example of effective group communication that ensures proper coordination of messages sharing. Formalized communication ensures that all members have equal chances to speak and contribute. It also limits the contribution of influential group members to give time to everyone. Since formal communication requires members to seek permission before they speak, interruptions are minimized.
What are Group Networks?
Group networks refer to the interaction patterns that exist among members governing how and what they speak to each other. There are two main positions in a group network, including centrality and isolation. At the top of centrality are group leaders, managers, or influential members who receive most messages when compared to the other members. People at the isolation position receive and send the fewest messages of all other group participants. A social loafer is a member who has the highest level of isolation and the lowest centrality, contributing very little to the group. Such a person discourages others and is most resented by members (O’Hair et al., 2018). The group networks can be chain, all channel, or wheel type (Rousydiy & Kom, 2020). Chain networks involve sending a message from one person to the next until it reaches the last member. While oral information can be easily distorted, written messages such as emails remain intact as they pass along the network. All channel networks have equal interactions and centrality, such as discussions among roundtable members. Efficient task completion is difficult due to interruptions because there is no leadership (O’Hair et al., 2018). Wheel networks have one person with the highest centrality position, receiving messages and disseminating to all other members. Group networks help streamline communication depending on group size. For example, a small group uses the wheel network where one leader receives messages from members and disseminates it to each of them. This network allows them to save time, minimize errors, and achieve high efficiency in passing information across.
What is Organizational Communication?
Organizational communication involves interacting with a group to direct them to achieve multiple sets of shared goals. It has evolved as management of companies changed over the years from the classical approach, to human relations, human resources, and systems approaches (O’Hair et al., 2018). The classical management method had minimal organizational communication as workers were treated as ‘cobs within a machine’ (Rousydiy & Kom, 2020). The human relations model allowed employees to interact and contribute towards the organization management while the human resources approach treated people as assets to the business. The systems method treats the organization as a whole systems with components being internal and external groups.
The human relations approach is an example of how organizational communication improves group working as it drastically improved productivity and performance. As employees are allowed to participate in decision making they develop a sense of belonging to the company.
What is Organizational Communication? Example
An example of organizational communication is training, which begins upon recruitment during the induction process. The communication continues for as long as the employee stays with the company through the human resources training and development programs. The messages exchanged during such communication include policies, job specific skills, organizational culture, and mission. The leaders and trainers send and receive most messages, holding high centrality in the network.
An organizational culture includes the company’s beliefs, norms, values, and ways of doing business. The main ways of learning it include organizational storytelling, use of heroes, and assimilation for new employees. Storytelling is the use of accounts and stories to inform internal and external audiences about a company (O’Hair et al., 2018). It also features organizational heroes, who are people that achieve great milestones during imminent risk for the business. Assimilation is the newcomers’ way of learning an organizational culture through passive, interactive, or active strategies. Trader Joe utilizes storytelling and organizational heroes to let workers and outsiders understand their culture using store ambience, staff dress code, and website (O’Hair et al., 2018). For example, they use a metaphor of a ship to describe their business, store manager being the captain and employees serving as crew members to keep it running.
Organizational Communication Challenges
Organizational communication becomes difficult without group cohesion and when individual differences cannot be reconciled. Cohesion enables team members to bond and develop a liking for each other (Black et al., 2019). Where it does not exist, teams could collapse in difficult times leading to organizational failure. Lacking cohesion also creates a tensely negative environment where performance and productivity are low. Individual differences create challenges for organizational communication, as communication apprehension (CA), assertiveness, and argumentativeness levels affect interactions. CA refers to anxiety involved with communicating and acts as an obstacle to effective organizational communication (O’Hair et al., 2018). Low levels of assertiveness prevent individuals from confidently expressing themselves while argumentativeness primarily involves defending one’s position and attacking other people’s opinions.
To resolve cohesion problems is accomplished through team building activities, clear values and goals, and training. Team building tasks allow individuals to know each other outside their work, enhancing cohesiveness for the entire team (Black et al., 2019). When all the members share values and goals, cohesion is improved. Training and development is crucial for cohesion and resolving individual differences. Teams learn the importance of diversity, improve their emotional intelligences, and function better in groups.
Black, J., Kim, K., Rhee, S., Wang, K., & Sakchutchawan, S. (2019). Self-efficacy and emotional intelligence: Influencing team cohesion to enhance team performance. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 25(2), 100-119. Web.
O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D., I., & Teven, J. (2018). Real communication: An introduction. Macmillan.
Rousydiy, M., & Kom, M. (2020). Patterns of organizational communication to effect the distribution of information. Sarwah: Journal of Islamic Civilization and Thought, 18(01), 49-70.