The Role of Communication in Management

Role of Communication in Management

A manager has to maintain a link with different persons and/ or organizations for proper job functioning. His / her business day passes through a variety of activities. The activities that a manager performs on a typical day include most of the following: desk work, attending scheduled and unscheduled meetings, telephone calls, reading and answering letters, memos and report. Most of these activities involve communication. The importance of communication in the discharge of these managerial roles in mentioned below:

  • Interpersonal Roles: That involves interacting with other people within and outside the organization.   
  • Figure Head: The manager is often asked to serve as a figurehead taking visitors to dinner, attending ribbon cutting ceremonies and the like. Although these activities are typically more ceremonial and symbolic than substantive, still their discharge involves communication.
  • Leader: The manager is to serve as a leader; he/she is to perform the job of hiring, firing, training and motivating employees. A manger is a good leader if he/she can formally convince the subordinates how to do things and how to perform under pressure. Communication through exchange of views and opinions plays a vital role in this regard.
  • Liaison: This role involves serving as a coordinator or link between persons, between groups and/ or between organizations. This liaison role of a manager is impossible to be performed without some form of communication.

Informational Roles (that involve processing information)

  • Monitor: The process of interpersonal roles brings a manager at a point that makes him/her collect relevant information for decision making. For this purpose, the manager questions his/her subordinates, is receptive to unsolicited information and he/she tries to be as well informed as possible. In all the cases, communication is the only way to reach the goal.
  • Disseminator: Like gathering information, disseminating is also an important function of managers. They disseminate relevant information to others in the work place. The manager sends memos outlining new organizational initiatives. Communication facilitates a manager to disseminate the decisions.
  • Spokesperson: Sometimes a manager’s act as a spokesperson by relaying information to people outside the unit or outside the organization.
  • Decisional Roles (that relate to decision making)
  • Entrepreneur: Sometimes a manager plays the role of an entrepreneur. He / she voluntarily initiate a change of the organization. To this end, he/ she develop new ideas for innovation.
  • Disturbance Handler: The second decisional role is initiated not by the manager but by some other person or group. The manager in such a case appears as a disturbance handler handling problems such as strike, electricity failure, etc. To handle these problems also is to involve communication.
  • Resource Allocator: As funds / resources are limited, so for the sake of well calculated resource allocation, a manager is to take decision after reviewing intensively the needs of different departments and all other related issues. This type of decision cannot be taken properly without some form of communication.
  • Negotiator: As a negotiator, a manager enters into negotiations with other groups or organizations and tries to reach an agreement.

Other than the above day to day managerial roles, communication also directly relates to each of the following functions:

  • Basic Management functions: A manager has to discharge the functions such as planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.
  • Delegation: Delegation of authority becomes essential in big organization. Before delegation, decision is to be taken regarding who will be delegated authority, to what extent and the like.
  • Organization Change: Organization change is any substantive modification to some part of the organization. The management of organization change is a challenging task in any context because people tend to resist it for a variety of reasons such as uncertainty, threatened self interest, different perceptions, etc.
  • Organization Development: It is concerned with changing beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, expectations, structures, and practices so that the organization can better adapt to fast changing technology. Bringing about these changes is only possible through well organized communication.
  • Reward System: Developing a reward system would be impossible without the help of communication.
  • Standard: Communication is highly essential in establishing standards, checking performance and taking corrective action.

The above discussion indicates that communication is a pervasive part of virtually all managerial activities.   

How you can increase Communication Efficiency of Management in an Organization:

“Efficiency of management” uses two words- efficiency and management. Efficiency involves using resources wisely and without waste. Other hand management as defined by Marry Parker is “The art of getting things done through people”. So management efficiency can be defined as the ability of management which helps it to get things done wisely by the people to the maximum extent and without any waste.

How communication can help increase managerial efficiency. As stated earlier, communication is a process of exchanging information between two or more persons. Through this process human behavior is modified, change is effected, information is made productive and thus goals are achieved.

To achieve goals of an enterprise, management is to effect needed change and influence employee action. Through communication, a manager can increase his/her skills in different areas of management. He/she can discover more about the characteristics and attitudes of the employees as well as the techniques and strategies what have or have not worked well in the past.

Communication plays a great role to increase efficiency of managers of all levels from top to lower level management. Management specialists also hold the view that managerial efficiency depends on communication to a great extent. Execution of management functions such as planning, organizing, leading, controlling, etc. is impossible without communication. It is downward communication through which a manager sends directions, advice, instructions and the like to the subordinates. For effective job performance by the employees, it needs appropriate interpretation of the plans and clear directions from management. Through communication over a long period, a manager acquires better encoding techniques to organize ideas, become more effective at obtaining and interpreting feedback.