Introduction and Background
Organizational integration, which is achieved through coordinated communication, is very important for organizations that do business in a competitive environment. In a competitive environment, effective communication of an organization both internally and externally is considered as a core requirement which assists the organization to compete against rivalry (Jackson, 2006).
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By identifying the importance of organizational communication, this paper will analyze problems that occur in the process of organizational communication. The paper will locate these problems to identify solutions for them. The aim here is to present a discussion on ways for effective organizational communication by suggesting solutions for the problems identified.
Communication Problems in Organization
Miscommunication and Distracted Information
The basic problem that occurs in the organizational communication is miscommunication. Miscommunication refers to a situation where the right information is not delivered to the right people (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2008). Likewise, critical information (market information) is not communicated to stakeholders or employees, which results in misleading information being communicated, and wrong decisions are made by the management.
This detracted information causes problems and develops a communication gap between various sections of an organization. It needs to be eliminated or else it can become a major hurdle in the communication process (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2008).
The Communication Distance
It is often seen in organizations that departments or working units within organizations are centrally controlled (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2008). Their decisions are centralized, and they are imposed on them for adherence. Due to low integration as in the case of a centralized system, there is a communication gap found between departments / working units (Jackson, 2006).
This unwanted communication gap is a major problem because it keeps the organization divided into small units, which remain distant and become unsupportive of corporate and strategic objectives (Jackson, 2006).
Low Level Feedbacks
Managers are in-charge of subordinates and are responsible for their subordinates’ actions, decisions and performances. In this way, if there is a communication gap in the feedback process resulting from a low level of coordination between managers and subordinates, it can create a significant organization communication problem (Jackson, 2006).
Without regular feedback, the managers-employees bond is weakened, which can have a negative impact on the overall organizational communication process. This is a major problem and has to be avoided to strengthen the organizational communication practice and structure (Corman & Poole, 2000).
A Weak Training System
In organizations, employee communication is a part of the training process. Without having a training system, an organization cannot achieve effective and efficient communication between employees (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2008). T
he organization must have a strong communication system – a system that can engage employees and guide them to adapt to the organizational communication patterns. If the training system is weaker then the organization communication is also weak. This is because without effective training, an organization cannot sustain its effective communication activity (Corman & Poole, 2000).
Deploying Communication Plan
The foremost solution to communication problems is a well-defined communication plan (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2008). The plan begins with a problem statement, which identifies all major communication problems. Leaders in an organization can formulate a plan by identifying problems of miscommunication, communication gap and low coordination, which are mostly common and prominent in all contemporary organizations (Corman & Poole, 2000).
The core objective of the plan is to address all problems in a purposive and directional manner. The initial outcome of a well deployed communication plan is that it strengthens the organization’s communication structure, which later addresses all challenges identified in the organizational structure (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2008).
Strengthening the Organization Communication Structure
The basic communication structure in the organization should be strong as this can address all major communication problems (i.e. low coordination and communication distance). This may include ways for interactions between departments, employees, and managers (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2008).
If the structure is strong, then the communication inevitably gets strong within the organization. This is a generalizing solution for all organizations, which are dealing with disintegration in their systems. This may also involve establishing a training system, which can guide new appointees to the organization’s communication practices (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2008).
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Refining the Communication Practices
Communication practices like decision patterns between employees and managers need to be improved and refined (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2008). When employees are more comfortable for sharing ideas and thoughts with managers they are part of the refined system of communication. Employees’ confidence in managers and managers’ trust in employees are important, and these provide a solution for all communication problems (Jackson, 2006).
Inducing coordination and integration
Coordination and integration are two elements that form a unified system of communication. Effective communication is only possible when there is coordination and integration in the system (Jackson, 2006). A culture of team coordination should be promoted in the organization, which can overcome communication problems.
This is the responsibility of leaders in the organization who must make efforts for forming a culture of team coordination. When a culture of team integration is in place, each individual will be able to perform interactive communication. It is a solution for communication distance and low level feedbacks, which are usually identified in the organizational communication system (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2008).
Corman, S. R., & Poole, M. S. (2000). Perspectives on Organizational Communication: Finding Common Ground. New York: Guilford Press.
Jackson, J. (2006). The Organization and Its Communication Problems. Journal of Communication, 9 (4), 158-167.
Kinicki, A., & Kreitner, R. (2008). Organizational Behavior: Key Concepts, Skills & Best Practices. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.