Communication in Commercial Systems

With the rapidly changing world economy, wireless based communication has become a necessity for people on the move. In India, there has been much talk about this partly because of economic liberalization and the recent opening up of the telecom sector and partly because of the ripple effect from the success it has had in the West. While the need for looking into these technologies in the West is prompted from the benefits it offers to subscribe over existing forms of communication, many people in India (including the Government) view it as a panacea to the problems with an inherently unreliable infrastructure.

Moreover, the popularity of the internet and on-line services reflects our increasing desire to use network for business and other purposes. The emergence of the information superhighway is giving birth to universal network access that will dramatically expand network services to consumer markets. The foregoing indicates not only the developments in, but also the importance of communication in the changing business scenario. In any organization, an effective communication serves several purposes and benefits it in many ways:

It acts, as a basic foundation of management. Since communication provides the key to facilitate the exchanges of ideas, information as well as meeting of minds, it can aptly be described as the “ears and eyes” of the management.

Communication plays a vital role in planning. The making of a plan requires facts and figures which can only be made available through effective communication. In India, one of the principal reasons for the failure of planning is the communication gap between those who plan and the masses for whom they are supposed to plan.

The formal organization structure hinges on an effective communication system. Similarly informal communication within the organization is responsible for holding together the members of a primary social group.

Communication also plays a pivotal role in rational decision making, organizational control, as well as building and maintenance of employees morale.

Conflicts are not always dysfunctional. While functional conflicts may result in striving for excellence, creativity, a sense of identity and responsibility, the dysfunctional conflicts will not only lower the effectiveness of an individual, but also that of the organization.

Generally, a conflict will arise if the goal of an individual is contrary to those of the organization. People work for personal goals. If you want them to work for organizational goals, then they must be able to personalize these goals. This means that they have an opportunity to influence and determine these goals. Only then will they have a stake in the organizational goals and be motivated tow work for them.

Conflict is also likely to arise if members in a group perceive their goals as conflicting. Often, intra or inter group conflicts arise from difficulties on how to share available resources. Power is another factor contributing to the conflict. Force alienates. Money brings a calculated response. However, it is only openness and a participation in decision making that can generate commitment to organizational goals.

People generally attempt to manage conflict, once it exists, in one of the following ways:

1) By avoiding the issue
2) By approaching the problem and attempting to reach a solution or
3) By diffusing the situation and sharing in problem solving
4) Inter-personal conflict is best confronted, not smoothed over, denied, or run away from.
5) When we are annoyed with a colleague, it is often better to express that annoyance appropriately. If suppressed, they will later lead to a major breakdown.
6) All of us have an ambivalent feeling towards authority. We like it and yet we also do not like it. A good boss realizes that some of the negative feelings expressed toward him self are not because of his personal shortcomings, but because of the authori0ty vested in him.
7) In conflict situations, personal prejudice becomes rife and complicate situations. A limited understanding on issues unrelated to the conflict can improve the climate for broader cooperation.
8) One should try a solution that enables a win-win situation and avoid one that forces one side to lose.
9) Preventing conflict is also an approach mode. Prevention means anticipating the potential causes of conflict and taking quick action to turn them into positive forces for better understanding and cooperation.
10) An emphasis on collaboration and team building also helps to change the potential courses of conflicts into positive cooperation. Hence, the focus is on recognizing each other’s strengths and planning appropriate strategies to achieve corporate goals and objectives.

Communication is seldom perfect. The reason is that there are many barriers to it. However, there are several ways of minimizing ineffectiveness of communication and improving its effectiveness. Management should be aware of its own shortcomings. No Chain of command or Line of communication will ever be completely successful in passing on information. Where there is likely to be a breakdown, either individual or organizational, the management should try to select a communication appropriate to the circumstances.