What is Organizational Communication?

What Does Organizational Communication Mean

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

Organizational communication has an impact on productivity and quality.

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 , one 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 the dynamics of cooperation , coordination and joint progress towards the objectives, that is, it serves to a great extent 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:

  • Its 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 tries to apply social scientific criteria to the way in which intra and extra corporate communications occur.
  • Its technical and activities nature. Its mission is to develop a strategy that facilitates and streamlines the flow of information between the organization and its audience, or between its various parts.

See also: Organizational culture

Importance of 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 monitoring of management and administration , allowing internal evaluation and correction on 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 promotion or advertising strategies .

Types of organizational communication

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

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

Organizational communication barriers

Lack of planning can prevent effective communication in the company.

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

  • Lack of or poverty of planning. The deficient provision of communication mechanisms, which leaves everything to the free will of individuals without the existence of an official or formal protocol . It can also have to do with a bad hierarchy, in which communication can be delivered to one or the other depending on the criteria of the individual.
  • Deficiencies in the selection or training of personnel. The people who make life in the organization must meet certain minimum requirements in organizational and communicative matters and, if they do not do so, 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 where information must travel from department to department to department until it reaches 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.

It can serve you: Communication in organizations

Organizational communication strategies

Playful activities will serve as the basis for subsequent "work" communication.

Some strategies to improve organizational communication are:

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

Examples of organizational communication

Organizational communication is any form of communication in a company, corporation or institution . Meetings of managers, staff or workers , in which new measures are reported, are a specific case of internal organizational communication. Press releases, customer releases, and publicity are forms of external communication, as they go from the organization to the outside.

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