What is Organizational Communication ? Full definition and Explanation

What is Organizational Communication ? Communications are related with an organization in different ways. Communications are very important in an organization for performing good activities. After reading, you will be able to below mention:

  • Main functions of Communication
  • Communication Process
  • Communication Direction
  • Types of Communication
  • Communication Network
  • Communication Channel
  • Communication Barriers
  • Cross Culture Communication

Functions of Organizational Communication:

Communication serves four major functions within an organization. Such as, control, motivation, emotional expression, and information.


Communication acts to control member behavior in several ways. Organizations have authority hierarchies and formal guidelines that employees are required to follow. When employees are required to communicate any job related grievance to their immediate boss, to follow their job description, or to comply with company policies, communication is performing a control function. But informal communication also controls behavior.


Communication fosters motivation by clarifying to employees what is to be done, how well they are doing, and what can be done to improve performance. The formation of specific goals, feedback on progress toward the goals, and reinforcement of desired behavior all stimulate motivation and require communication.

Emotional Expression:

Many employees, their work group are a primary source for social interaction. The communication that takes place within the group is a fundamental mechanism by which member shows their frustrations and feelings of satisfaction. Communication provides release for the emotional expression of feelings and for fulfillment of social needs.


The information functions that communication performs relates to its role in facilitating decision making. This function provides the information that individuals and group need to make decisions by transmitting the data to identify and evaluate alternative choices.

# Communication Process:

Communication process is the message is encoded (convert to symbolic form)and passed by way of some medium (channel) to the receiver, who retranslates decodes the message initiated by the sender.

Direction of Communication:

Communication can flow vertically. Besides laterally is also direction. Vertical dimension can be further divided into downward and upward direction.

Downward Communication:

Communication that flows from one level of a group or organization to lower levels is downward communication. Downward communication doesn’t have to be oral or face to face contact. When management sends letters to employees’ homes to advise them of organization’s new sick leave policy, it’s using downward communication. Another, downward communication is an e-mail from a team leader to the members of her team, reminding them of an upcoming deadline. In downward communication, managers must explain the reasons why a decision was made. In downward communication problem is, its one way nature; generally, managers inform employees but rarely solicit their advice or opinions.  

Upward Communication:

Upward communication flows to a higher level in the group or organization. It’s used to provide feedback to higher-ups, inform them of progress toward goals, and relay current problems. Upward communication keeps management aware of how employees feel about their jobs, co-workers, and the organization in general. Managers also rely on upward communication for ideas on how things can be improved.

Laterally Communication:

When communication takes place among members of the same work group, among members of work groups at the same level, among managers at the same level, or among any other horizontally equivalent personnel, its lateral communications.

## Interpersonal Communication:

There are three basic methods. People essentially rely on oral, written, and nonverbal communication.

  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Nonverbal Communication

Oral Communication:

The means of conveying messages is oral communication, speeches, formal one-on-one and group discussions, and the informal rumor mill, or grapevine, are popular forms of oral communication.

The advantages of oral communication are speed and feedback. A verbal message can be conveyed and a response received in a minimal amount of time. If the receiver is unsure of the message, rapid feedback allows for early detection by the sender and, hence, allows for early correction. As one professional put it, “face-to face communication on a consistent basis is still the best way to get information to and from employees.

The major disadvantage of oral communication surfaces whenever a message has to be passed through a number of people. The more people a message must pass through, the greater the potential distortion.

Written Communication:

Written communications include memos, letters, fax transmissions, e-mail, instant messaging, organizational periodicals, notices placed on bulletin boards, or any other device that is transmitted via written words or symbols. What is Organizational communication.