Types of Business Communication in Organizational Settings

Communication flow within an organizational structure through a variety of pathways. Amanda McGreen, a business communication expert and an English to Italian translator, defines two types of organizational communication structure: informal and formal.

Formal communication is defined by the relationships between the various job positions in an organization. It takes place through the formal channels of organizational structure. Messages can flow upward (from a subordinate to a superior), downward (by the manager to the subordinates) and horizontally (between colleagues and peers at the same or similar levels).

Downward communication is best suited for organizations where the line of authority runs distinctly downward. Its main objectives include: to convey executive decisions and transmit work-related information that helps employees do their jobs. Upward communication provides a feedback on how well the organization is functioning as well as on how well the subordinates have understood the downward communication. The professionals from one of the leading Detroit Translation Services Agency believe that it is also an outlet for pent-up emotions – giving employees a chance to raise and speak dissatisfaction issues to their superiors. To summarize, we can say that upward communication provides insight into problems, opportunities, trends and performance- and thus allows executives to solve problems and make intelligent decisions. Horizontal communication facilitates communication between interdependent units and departments to help employees share information, coordinate tasks, and solve various organizational problems. It can also be used for resolving conflicts between departments or within the same department.

Every organization also has informal channels of business communication often referred to as the grapevine. It stretches in all directions irrespective of authority levels, practically encompassing all communication that takes place outside the formal network. Despite its disadvantages – since it contains unverified facts, rumor and unclear data it may harm, rather than help an organization. However, as translators with The Marketing Analysts Translation Services comment, efficient use of informal channels can fortify the formal communication network and every smart manager should make the best possible use of the grapevine.

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