Basic Two Types of Communication In Organization are being discussed.Communication supports many organizational functions, both internal and external. The forms of that communication are oral (generally two-way) or, more often, written (one-way). In small businesses much communication can be oral, often face-to-face. As organizations grow in complexity and number of members, however, more mes-sages must be written. When Stephen Jobs and Steve Wozniak launched the enormously successful Apple Computer company in a garage, for example, they could talk with each other about their production ideas and marketing plans. But as the company ballooned into a computer colossus employing thousands, their forms of communication had to change.
They were forced to use more impersonal means of exchanging information, such as memos, reports, bulletins, and newsletters. Their business also required them to keep written records for legal purposes. Although they didn’t lose face-to-face contact totally, they could no longer run their business with oral communication only.
Oral, two-way communication.
Probably the best way to transmit information meaningfully is orally. This communication form has many advantages. For one thing, it minimizes misunderstandings because communicators can immediately ask questions to clarify uncertainties.
For another, it enables communicators to see each other’s facial expressions and hear voice inflections, further improving communication. Oral communication is also an efficient way to develop consensus when many people must be consulted. Finally, most of us enjoy two-way interpersonal communication because it’s easy, feels warm and natural, and promotes friendships. The main disadvantages of oral communication are that it produces no written record, sometimes wastes time, and may be inconvenient. When individuals meet face-to-face or speak on the telephone. someone’s work has to be interrupted. And how many of us are able to limit a conversation to just business? Nevertheless. two-way communication has many interpersonal and organizational uses.
Written, One Way Communication.
Communication that travels one way is impersonal in the sense that two communicators cannot see or hear each other and cannot provide immediate feedback. Most forms of business communication—including announcements, memos. computer mail (E-mail), faxes, letters, news-letters, reports, proposals, and manuals—fall into this category. Organizations rely on written communication for many reasons. It provides a permanent record, a necessity in these times of increasing litigation and extensive government regulation. Writing out an idea instead of delivering it orally enables communicators to develop an organized, well-considered message.
Written documents are also convenient. They can be composed and read when the schedules of both communicators permit, and they can be reviewed if necessary. Written messages have drawbacks. of course. They require careful preparation and sensitivity to audience and anticipated effect. Words spoken in conversation may soon be forgotten, but words committed to hard or soft copy become a public record—and sometimes an embarrassing one. Former IBM Chairman John Akers, for example, must have had second thoughts about his E-mail memo blasting managers for complacency and product defects. When leaked to the press, the memo shook up the financial world and damaged IBM’s image and morale.