Business organizations and commercial investments are becoming the most contemporary issues across the international realm, with the need to invest wisely being an integral part of such prospects. For an entrepreneur to become successful in business investment, wisdom must accompany the mission and the vision of the intended business (Brown, 1994).
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Before deciding on how to invest one’s money wisely, the ability to interpret business information accurately is quite crucial. Perhaps the most important thing to consider, which accompanies substantial investment in business and economics, is business communication, its application, its imperativeness, and even its impact in commercial business world (Guffey & Almonte, 2009).
The existing literature on business communication currently dominates the international research paradigm with an aim of providing a greater insight into the contextual meaning of commercial and local businesses.
Central to business communication, one of the most domineering aspects in the current studies is the issue of terminology management in business, where the concept of ‘Jargon’ occurs. Therefore, this study seeks to explore the use and effects of ‘jargon’ in business and economics.
Overview of Business Jargon
The interest in understanding business and organizational jargon grew exponentially as the business world underwent massive transition from agrarian regime to the world of industrialization and globalizations.
Traditionally, businessperson had little knowledge on business terminologies, the most probable fact that can explain the reasons behind extensive business breakdowns subsequently leading to unforeseen economic crunches and financial downbeats.
Central to such menaces, business policy makers invented the science of technical communication that involved the application of business jargon to avert such business challenges. Jargon, according to Lucey (2004), refers to expressions or words used by certain individuals or groups of people of a particular profession, organization, business vocation or even belonging to certain caliber of persons.
It is a form of communication that entailing composure of dynamic language comprising of hidden terminologies sometimes described as debase or hybrid. This communication technique involves members embedded or accustomed to certain customs, principles or ideologies driven towards achieving certain objectives or plans.
The science of business jargon historically began with the American investor and business financiers who economically noticed the rapidly growing business risks associated with communication when American workplace was undergoing extensive expansion (Folsom, 2005).
Business jargon is principally a business communication technique that entrenched from the linguistic technique involving the terminology invention and application. According to Folsom (2005), “Business jargon is communication shorthand, but people need to correctly interpret this shorthand, which requires a common understanding” (p.3).
Theoretically, business jargon is a business communication approach involving the commercial innovation and utilization of technical business and economic terminologies to assist in conveyance of information from different business segments within organizations in a more enigmatic and confidential form.
Business jargon assists in professional distribution of information across business segments and organizational departments as well as effective conveyance of ideas, issues and responses in highly confidential manner (Kostelnick, 1990). Businesspersons have frequently assumed the need to employ business jargon to maintain organizational secrets that consequently lead to fraud cases.
How jargon is applicable in organizations
As postulated earlier, business communication is core to the development of organizations as it enhances effective exchange of thoughts, opinions or argument as well as influencing the entire business flow as productivity depends on efficient information flow in a hierarchical manner (Guffey & Almonte, 2009).
The jargon communication science that involves the application of technical economic words to transmit information has proven to be an important communication technique in all business paradigms.
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Jargon has exemplarily become useful in numerous organizational departments including purchasing and supply, marketing, human resource management, security department and any other department that requires transference of commercial information in more advanced and confidential manner.
Though occasionally utilized in organizations, jargon remains the most imperative communication technique in the contemporary business world where security issues including deception and financial activities have continuously marred business progress.
However, jargon employment in organizations has had several positive impacts and consequences as well depending on the context of its use in the commercial business communication.
Positive Jargon in organizations (Jargon in marketing)
Jargon as a business communication approach has resulted to several positive and productive business outcomes in organizations and departments where secrecy is paramount and highly recommended (Lehman & Dufrene, 2010). Within the business contemporary world, marketing has been a commonly applicable business strategy that influences the entire productivity of numerous organizations.
For profit business-oriented organizations, marketing of either services or even goods has remained the most important productivity technique to employ in the diversified competitive entrepreneurial world (Wagner & Hollenbeck, 2009). The use of jargon has frequently proven to be a foreseeable business tool used in the marketing rationale.
In order to promote corporate business growth that allows inclusivity of clientele approaches to improve market sales especially in field market excursions jargon is paramount (Brown, 1994).
Sometimes for businesses to avoid competition from upcoming organization, keeping the communication through jargon with customers may prove important for them to continue dominating the market. Language is paramount to successful selling as communication between clients and service providers determines sales outcomes.
Jargon is one of the business communication techniques that have received substantial acknowledgement in the marketing department in the contemporary world, as it provides a unique communication art in the postmodern marketing.
According to Woodman and Govan (2008), “tailoring language to reflect the jargoned language use of specific audiences enables marketers to improve the accuracy of their message in advertising and communication with their consumer” (p.91).
By being in a position to understand the jargoned language, marketers are capable of monitoring and research the extent of successfulness of technical terminologies employed in marketing through frequent practice of consumer language (Woodman and Govan, 2008).
In any marketing strategy, communication and interaction with customers is essential and management of confidential information between consumers and service providers is imperative. Jargon is significant in sub cultural communication.
Jargon acts as a sub-cultural language that distinguishes individuals and allows confidential communication, and since business needs a bonded subculture between consumers and service providers, jargon fits in this case.
Jargon in financial departments
Currently, the integral part of any organization perchance is the financial department, which is the arm that provides substantial support to other departments in organizations. Therefore, organizations must handle financial matters with great proficiency and aptitude that involves encouraging concealing of financial information and protecting it from fraudsters.
To avoid financial fraud in organizations, jargon has continuously played a significant role in maintaining financial secrets between financial officers and ordinary workers in any given workplace across the globe. Perhaps nothing is capable of challenging the exuded confidence in financial communication like the use of technical economic terminologies conveying information between financial officers.
So long, as the form of jargon employed in obscuring financial information from intruders contains no human bias or gender abuses in any way, it is essential to keep secrets through such technical communications. Currently, coupled with the availability of sophisticated technology that has enabled data sharing in more advanced manner, jargon plays an essential business role in the financial departments.
Critically evaluating the significance of jargon in the finance department, one is capable of understanding that commercial jargon used in financial terms needs expertise to understand most of the technical economic terminologies employed. For instance, the term “current account” may have a significant different meaning to ordinary laypersons probably the prevailing amount of cash in a business.
Contrarily, in a pecuniary sense, the term is diverse denoting the part of organizations balance of payments that embrace its transactions in services, goods, investment income and the current financial transfers. Financial officers may prefer using the terminology “invisibles” to refer to current account elements of the outstanding payments accounts, which are neither in tangible goods nor in monetary value.
However, for the laypersons with little or even no financial knowledge may give a very dissimilar meaning to that of the financial officials or accounts experts. Given such arguments, one can manage to understand how imperative jargon becomes in safeguarding financial secrets of companies.
Jargon in purchasing and supply departments
Mastering the simplification of technical terminologies and technical communication components as presented by the science of business jargon can be useful especially when dealing with sensitive departments like purchasing and supply sections.
An organization may entail undertaking business that needs the transfer or transport of goods or products from one region to another for further manufacturing procedures or even complete market dispersal.
Information in an organization or department seems more emphatic if presented in a language most understood by an individual of a particular profession. Purchasing and supply in an organization deals with comprehensive buying and selling activities that proper communication must accompany the procedure from the initial tendering process to the later.
Jargon allows business partners, co-workers and even top officials in purchasing and supply department to convey their information in more profession and confidential manner. The language or terminologies used in purchasing of supplying of goods or products may prove challenging to the laypersons to understand and therefore the process remains confidential and secure.
In almost all organizations, it is normally the responsibility of all stakeholders to remain faithful and protect the information of an organization in more sophisticated and devoted manner. Individuals responsible for handling organizational property including that involved in actual market activities must remain dedicated in protecting the company information.
Since purchasing and supply management also involves the management of information within the system, and some companies deal with precious material including solid money during such process, protecting of supply chain information is essential. Using jargon in purchasing and supply may be an idle and secure business communication technique to protect the company from insecurities and other forms of fraud.
According to Lucey (2004), accountants express much of the organizational output data including production statistics, sales forecasts, accounting statements, statistical analyses among others in the form of jargoned numerical data, thus, keeping desired secrecy among departments. Purchasing and supply officials possessing such skills enable effective purchasing and supply process.
Negative Jargon in organizations
Jargon communication technique or technical terminology approach has proven significant in business communication and numerous other business ethics.
As described above, technical communication using the science of jargon communication has assisted in improving general business activities as well as enhancing secrecy or confidentially in information delivery across different departments and business segments (Lehman & Dufrene, 2010).
However, jargon communication has continuously received criticism from business analysts, economists and even other business researchers fascinated with business management and its related concepts.
In several past decades, extensive research has constantly portrayed the insignificance of jargon in communication, positing that jargoned communication alters the correctness and effective information and communication management in organizations.
According to Lucey (2004), “corporate jargon can be a useful shorthand way of communicating between ‘insiders’ but the danger is that the habit persists even when communicating to non-specialists” (p.85). In fact, it is important to ensure that technical terms and abstract words employed in communication have mutually acceptable and agreed definitions.
Jargon associates with business risking
The idea of using technical terminology or jargon has received extensive criticism and despite its significance, it has not always been fruitful and smooth for businesspersons associated with jargoned communication. Through criticism of jargoned communication, one can conclude that research has come of age and that people are capable of getting greater insight of concealed business parameters.
Jargon communication has fallen condemnation due to the aspects related to business risking. Elaborate research has shown significant criticism over the application of business jargon as a technical communication skill in several organizations across the world.
Especially in the case where financial jargon exists, managers have consistently posited that jargon communication provides chances for money laundering among accountants in organizations.
Accounting information present in jargoned financial data may always prove challenging to managers with limited financial knowledge. Persistent use of jargon in organizations insinuates that the concealed technical language must always favor those who are conversant to these terminologies and abstract words.
Financial technical terms have consistently confused even the users, with several mathematical symbols communicating in either scientific or jargoned terminologies, which seem confusing to ordinary managers with little financial knowledge.
According to Lucey (2004), most individual’s especially ordinary employees and other top rank officials are poor intuitive statisticians and in the case of handling financial documents prepared in jargoned technical language, it remains a challenge to them.
Despite being a concealed organizational factor, financial statements reach almost everyone in the organization and due to inability to interpret the financially jargoned documents; accountants may take it as an opportunity to launder organizational finance.
Lucey (2004) asserts, “Many people feel mesmerized by the figures and, though they may challenge or query a normal, written report, they feel inclined to accept on trust a numeric statement, particularly if some of sophisticated statistical manipulation has occurred” (p.27). Given such circumstances, jargon seems to be an acceptable norm in communication, but quite complicated in its philosophies.
Jargon may spur biasness and conflict
In ordinary laypersons meaning, jargon has never been an appealing form of technical communication and in most cases individuals consider jargoned communication as barbaric, inciting and prejudiced from of communication. In communication, three important potions are essential in ensuring the completion of information deliverance process across different business segments or departments.
The main components of communication according to Griffin and Moorhead (2011) include the source, where the information or data originates, medium, where the conveyance takes place and the receptor, where the information reaches the intended.
The use of jargoned communication as a formal of technical communication skill has the ability of impelling controversies if the meaning of the abstract words and technical terminologies used create a different meaning from the intended one.
Jargoned communication in the workplace may thus prompt biasness and conflicts if the users use it in abusive or a manner demonstrating abusive intentions depending on the prevailing circumstances and the context of the communication.
Jargon affects behavior in the workplace
Human behavior for several years has affiliated with the interaction of the environment with the trend and changes in personal behaviors significantly depending on the prevailing environmental conditions. Philosophers, medical scientists and even normal researchers have continuously linked changes in human behaviors with experiences triggered by the environment.
According to Barker and Angelopulo (2006), integrated organizational communication in which human beings interact in the workplace is capable of influencing individual behavior and any jargoned communication employed in communication is non-avoidable.
Barker and Angelopulo (2006) further postulate that effective organizational communication should entail group cohesiveness no individual veiled missions. Any communication undertaken in an organization should always aim at improving organizational welfare through critical opinion or idea sharing and that information sharing should entail gaining precedence in organizational decision-making.
Behavior is one of the essentials of workplace and any alteration of the behavioral traits results to misconduct. Jargon may be the most influential in communication style and necessities shifts from formal to informal communication in organizations.
Jargon always influences personal communication skills from either formal communication behavior to unofficial communication or vise versa.
Human traits can be assessable through an analysis of individual communication behavior and the extreme use of jargon in an organization can extend the situation to dismal behaviors since the subordinates sharing jargoned communication with their bosses may lose their conduct and respect.
Overused jargon in communication may shatter away formal communication and inspire vulgarity and bad manners in which barbaric communication originates, putting the organization at risk of discipline issues. According to Griffin and Moorhead (2011), informal communication fosters mutual trust, which minimizes the effects of status difference.
Based on such circumstances, continued jargoned or informal communication used in casual basis not for technical professional approach eliminates the organizational cultures that keep the organization firmly managed (Kostelnick, 1990).
Informal communication changes personal worker behavior in organization, risking the appropriateness of hierarchal nature of the organization and perpetuating indiscipline among workers in the workplace.
Jargon as a form of technical communication seems to be eliciting different reactions in the contemporary business world where organization management is essential to successful entrepreneurship. For businesspersons to become successful entrepreneurs in the modern business world, it has become a prerequisite to understand the technical business terminologies employed in different departments.
Jargon, as a technical communication skill, is consistently shaping the business management and its related activities. Jargon as a business communication approach has facilitated several positive and productive business outcomes in an organization and department where secrecy is paramount and highly recommended.
Departments like finance or accounts, purchasing and supply, or even the marketing segments might use jargon productively to protect confidential information pertinent to the organization (Wagner & Hollenbeck, 2009).
However, jargoned communication is currently being the most controversial communication skills with philosophers, scientists, and researchers positing that this form of communication may cause unforeseen conflicts. With this insight in mind, organizational policy makers should remain observant on the changes taking place in the business communication world.
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