Communication in OB || Interpersonal and Organizational Communication

Communication in OB || Interpersonal and Organizational Communication


Concept of two-way Communication in OB:

Communication in OB refers to the process by which information is transmitted and understood between two or more people. By the term communication, we mean the exchange of information between people in organizations.

Communication process:

It is a process, which means that communication exists as a flow-through series of steps. It consists of:

  • the communication source, encoding, transmission, decoding, the receiver, feedback, and noise. Also


  • Developing idea by the sender
  • Encoding
  • Developing the message
  • Selecting the medium
  • Transmission of message
  • Decoding
  • Receiving the message by the giver
  • Feedback

Functions or Purposes:

Communication serves four major functions within-group or organization: control, motivation, emotional expression, and information.

  • Task Coordination
  • Problem Solving
  • Information Sharing
  • Conflict Resolution

Importance of Organizational Communication in OB:

  • Information sharing
  • Coordination
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision making
  • Strategy implementation
  • Team management
  • Organization change and development
  • Evaluation and control
  • Feedback

Barriers to effective communication in OB:

  • Many types of barriers to effective communication are as follows:
  • Human barriers(emotions, biases, selective perception, closed mind, sensual and mental abilities and many more.)
  • Semantic barriers(word interpretations, language transactions, signs and symbols, jargon, etc.)
  • Physical barriers
  • Organizational barriers


1.Physical barriers

  1. Physical Distance
  2. Noise
  3. Physical arrangement

2.Psychological Barriers

  1. Selective perception
  2. Filtering
  3. Distrust
  4. Emotions
  5. Biased viewpoints

3.Organizational barriers

  1. Poor planning
  2. Structure complexity
  3. Technology
  4. Timing
  5. Information overload
  6. Status differences

4. Semantic barriers

  • Language
  • Jargons (Technical language)

Types of organizational communication:

  1. Based on the method(oral, written, and non-verbal or gesture)
  2. Based on direction or system/channel (vertical-downwards and upward, horizontal and diagonal)
  3. Based on relationships or networks(formal and informal).


Oral communication:
It is also verbal communication- done with the help of spoken words.

Written communication:
It is the most comprehensive type of communication. It is generally done in the form of instructions, memos, written communication, includes facial expressions.

Non-verbal communication:
It includes all the elements associated with human communication except oral and written communication. It includes facial expressions and physical movements.

Downward(super-ordinate to sub-ordinate) communication:

It represents the flow of information from the top level to the lower level. It can take place through direct verbal orders and written media. The problem with this channel is quality, not quality.

Horizontal communication:

It refers to the transmission of information among positions of the same level. It is more of an informal nature. This channel becomes more urgent when the organization becomes larger and more complex.

Communication networks:

It consists of the paths over which communication travels among people. they can be grouped into two heads- formal and informal groups.

Formal networks:

They are institutionally determined by the organization. Some of the important types of formal small group networks are wheel(star), chain, Y network, circle network, and all channel networks.

Informal networks:

They are popularly known as grapevine communication. The weaknesses of formal communication networks give birth to informal network. They exist through words of mouth and observation and cut the barriers of formal lines of authority.


It is grapevine information that is communicated without secure standards of evidence being present. It is the unverified and untrue part of the grapevine. It could by chance be correct, but generally incorrect.

Types of grapevine(informal communication):

Every formal communication structure will always have informal communication networks namely single stand, gossip, probably and cluster.

Improving communication:

Two parts are:

  • To improve downward communication, and
  • Methods of improving upward communication

Downward communication:

The ways are:

  1. Importance should be given to quality rather than quantity,
  2. Attention must be given to the receiver
  3. Improve written communication and
  4. Recognize the receivers’ ability to understand etc.

Upward communication:

The ways are:

  1. Improved through the grievance procedure
  2. Open door policy
  3. Counseling
  4. Attitude questionnaires, and exit interviews,
  5. Participative techniques,
  6. Use of ombudspersons, etc.

Transactional analysis in communication:

TA offers a behavioral model of personality, the dynamics of self, and its relationship to others. Some of the important concepts in TA are :

  • Ego states,
  • Types of transactions,
  • Strokes, and
  • Life positions, etc.

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