What is organizational communication?

We explain what organizational communication is, its importance and classification. The barriers it presents, its strategies and examples.

  1. What is organizational communication?

It is called organizational communication , communication institutional or corporate communication sending and receiving information between related individuals or as part of some kind of organization (one company , institution, etc.) with the aim of achieving a certain goal.

Organizational communication is much more than a simple exchange of data  since it also contemplates the establishment of cooperation , coordination and joint advancement dynamics towards the objectives, that is, it serves largely for the management of the organization and integration of its different elements, thus having an impact on productivity and quality.

According to Horacio Andrade in his book Internal organizational communication: process , discipline and technique, we can understand organizational communication based on three factors:

  • His social character. It has to do with individuals in various positions within an organization, so it has a cultural character.
  • Its disciplinary nature. It is also an area of ​​administrative knowledge that attempts to apply social scientific criteria to the way intra and extra corporate communications occur.
  • Its technical and activity nature. Its task is to develop a strategy that facilitates and speeds up the flow of information between the organization and its public, or between its various parts.
  1. Importance of organizational communication

Organizational communication
Organizational communication provides the opportunity for feedback.

Organizational communication is a key factor in the construction of an organizational climate, that is, in the constitution of the internal and external flow of information, which implies:

  • The exchange with the consumer public and the opportunity for feedback .
  • The accompaniment of management and administration , allowing internal evaluation and correction in time.
  • Coordination of the various parts of the organization to achieve optimal results.
  • The projection of a controlled image of the organization, according to its promotional or advertising strategies .
  1. Types of organizational communication

There are several ways to classify organizational communication, based on different criteria, such as:

  • Internal and external communication It is understood as internal communication to the communication between the instances that make up the organization (departments, coordinations, etc.) and the external one that mediates between the organization and the outside world ( clients , advertisers, etc.).
  • Formal and informal communication. The formal communication is the one that leaves a written record of what has been said and involves the official resources of the organization (memoranda, official notifications, etc.), while the informal communication is that which is given orally, through calls or any other communicative act. ephemeral and personal among the individuals that make life in the organization.
  • Upward, downward and horizontal communication. This classification has to do with the hierarchy within the organization. The ascending and the descending take place between bosses and subordinates, going up from the latter to the former, and vice versa. On the other hand, the horizontal is one that occurs between individuals of the same hierarchical link, that is, between pairs.
  1. Organizational communication barriers

Organizational communication
Lack of planning can prevent effective communication in the company.

When talking about communicative barriers, it generally refers to  obstacles that prevent or reduce the effectiveness of communication . In the case of organizational communication, these impediments have to do with dynamics of the information flow of the organization, such as:

  • Lack of or poverty planning.  The poor forecast of the communication mechanisms, which leaves everything to the free will of the individuals without an official or formal protocol . It may also have to do with a bad hierarchy, in which communication can be delivered to one another depending on the individual’s criteria.
  • Deficiencies in the selection or training of personnel. People who live in the organization must meet certain minimum requirements in organizational and communicative matters and, if not, they must receive training or qualification, in the form of writing courses, communicational orientation, language courses, etc.
  • Loss of information due to limited retention. This often occurs in organizations in which information must travel from one department to another and another until later reaching its destination, losing precision and necessary details along the way.
  • International barriers Significant differences in language, work methodology , cultural conception of work and other factors that may hinder the reception of information and require a minimum of adaptation of the message.
  1. Strategies of organizational communication

Organizational communication
Recreational activities will serve as the basis for subsequent “work” communication.

Some strategies to improve organizational communication are:

  • Audit the communication. From time to time it is convenient to carry out an audit to evaluate the communicative performance of the organization and to carry out the pertinent diagnoses that lead to improvement measures. This can be done through outsourcing or outsourcing, or some time can be spent in the communications department.
  • Strengthen informal communication. While an organization has its regular channels of communication, it is also true that we are human beings and we like to deal with others based on the understanding that we have things in common. Recreational activities and teamwork in which people can meet and learn to communicate in person, will serve as a basis for subsequent “work” communication.
  • Limit lost time. Organizations are often prone to long and extensive meetings where time is wasted and communication stagnates. These types of activities should be kept to a minimum, promoting in their place more fluid communication dynamics, more immediate and more in line with the times. Some companies even replicate technological schemes extracted from Facebook and other social networks .
  • Invest in external projection. The organization can be managed with particular internal communication schemes , but in the face of the public or its clients, it must be able to provide information in an expedited, responsible and timely manner, so it is essential to manage a unified criterion of external communication.

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