The Characteristics Of Business Communication Information Technology Essay

Business communication is a special facet of human communication. In business organizations people working in coordination to produce, market goods and provide services for mutual profit are essentially goal-oriented and need to communicate effectively. Persing has defined business communication as:

“It is the spiraling process of transaction of meaning through symbolic action involving all elements associated with the sending and receiving written, oral and non verbal messages, internal and external to organizations of paid people working together to produce and market goods and services for profit.”

Business communication, as emphasized in this definition, is a spiraling process as communication between sender and receiver does not start at the same level of ability, understanding, behaviour and psyche. External factors as noise, time, and culture also have an impact on communication in the business world. Therefore communication takes a spiral shape in the process of being transmitted from the sender to the receiver. On the basis of the above definition, the characteristics of business communication can be identified as:

Business communication is goal-oriented

Business communication has a definite and practical purpose which is instrumental in initiating the process. This purpose is practical as it changes with time and needs.

Business communication is all pervasive and inevitable

Business communication is essential socially, psychologically, formally or informally within and without the organization. Therefore it is believed that-‘Business communication is the life-blood of the organization”.

Business communication is dynamic

The methods, means and type of communication keep changing according to the changing situations in business. A manager in a day communicates differently when taking an interview, when attending a meeting, when briefing a subordinate, when negotiating or when resolving a conflict. At times manager adopts assertive style or authoritative or even cooperative style of communication. Therefore, communication is contextual and ever-changing.

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Communication is continuous

Though communication is dynamic yet it does not end. Once a predetermined objective is achieved communication reaches another level to achieve another objective. For instance, an organization invites application for the vacant posts; communication moves to the next stage when screening of the applicants takes place. After screening and short listing, the next stage is interviews. Once the selection process is over communication takes place to train the newly appointed employees. This establishes the fact that business communication is continuous; it never ends but adapts itself to the situation. Therefore, it is also said that communication is flexible.

Business communication is time-bound

Communication in a business organization varies with time. Every objective, assignment or project is to be achieved in a stipulated time period. For instance, the companies manufacturing electronic goods change their marketing and sales strategies every festive season, in the pre-budget as well as post budget period. They offer discounts, attractive offers during the festive season to entice the consumer. During the pre-budget period these companies attract the consumers to buy the goods before the price hike.

Business communication is based on internal and external organizational activities

In an organization, routine work is carried out through internal and external activities. Internal organizational activities are carried out within the confines of the organisation like training, meeting, instructing whereas, external activities relate the organization with other organizations, government, consumers, masses. Collaboration of two companies, one company taking over the other or the manufacturing company hiring an external agency to advertise and market the manufactured products are examples of external business activities.

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Business communication flows in a fixed direction

Information either formal or informal an organization floats in a specific direction. In formal communication, the information flows in vertical, horizontal or crosswise direction. Informal communication can be cluster chain, single chain, etc.

These characteristics make business communication distinct from communication.

3.3 PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNICATION

Communication to be effective, either in the social context or in business, needs to follow certain principles. These principles of communication are enumerated as under-

Correctness

The choice of code, medium/channel should be appropriate. Moreover the message should be structurally and grammatically correct.

Completeness

The information transmitted through the message should be complete, without any loose ends.

Conciseness

Accuracy and brevity is the most important principle of effective communication. One should avoid parenthetic and rambling messages. Business communication should be simple and straightforward.

Clarity

There should be clarity of objective, clarity of language (verbal or nonverbal), clarity of channel and medium in the process of communication. Clarity helps minimize barriers to communication.

Courtesy

Courtesy also sometimes termed as ‘You attitude’ is essential in communication. It ascertains the degree of formality and informality. Courteous attitude shifts the priority and importance from the self to the other (receiver).

Control

Communication controls the flow of information. It helps overcome chaos in the organisational set up therefore it is called as the central nervous system of the organization.

Coordination

It is through communication that the ideas and plans are organized, presented with complete dexterity. Communication links various departments in an organization so it is termed as the ‘life line of the organization.

These characteristics ascertain the efficacy of communication. But effective communication is not the panacea of all social and organizational problems. Communication has certain limitations that are to be realized and cared for.

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3.4 LIMITATIONS OF COMMUNICATION

Communication is not always precious

Communication can be destructive as certain words spoken or written may cause emotional pain and destroy a relationship.

Communication is not always an answer to all troubles

Effective communication can minimize barriers, arriving at a consensus can be fruitful, yet it is not the magic potion that may cure all ailments. If we believe that communication is the universal remedy then all the conferences, meets would have definitely initiated e and harmony in the world.

Communication is not simple

Communication is spontaneous but not simple. Not every one of us is perfect in communication. Social, cross cultural, psychological differences may create barriers in communication.

CHAPTER SUMMARY

After discussing the definition and process of communication, it becomes essential to distinguish business communication from human communication, even though the former is the part of the latter. The chapter also discusses the characteristics and principles of effective communication. At the end, we brood over certain limitations of communication.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. REVIEW QUESTIONS

How the understanding of characteristics of communication makes it effective?

How would you distinguish between communication and business communication?

What measures would you take to make communication effective?

Discuss the limitations of communication.

‘Communication is not a remedy to all business problems’. Explain giving examples.

II. ACTIVITIES

Read an article from a magazine or newspaper and identify the characteristics of effective communication in it.

Observe your friends around you. Identify the qualities of a good communicator in them.

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