Communication in management

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Communication (originated from Latin verbs communico, communicare which mean ‘to make something common’, ‘to connect’, ‘to give somebody information’ and from a noun communio- ‘commonality’, ‘a sense of connection’) in a general sense is a social interaction that takes place when a message is sent. It is a process of making a connection between units, groups or institutions. Its aim is to exchange thoughts, sharing knowledge, information and ideas. Communication process is made of a group of elements, that include: a sender, a receiver, a channel of communication, a context, a message, a feedback and any noises that disturb in effective conveying of information. Effective communication is possible only when the message is understood by a receiver.

Fig. 1. Communication channel

Features of communication in management

Main features of communication are the following:

  • It is a social process, including at least two units, that is made in a social environment; it also has a social context, which is determined by number and characteristics of participants,
  • It is a creative process which includes inventing new terms and absorbing knowledge about the surrounding world,
  • It is a dynamic process, because it concerns receiving, understanding and interpreting information,
  • It is a constant process, lasting from birth till a death of a human being,
  • It includes using special symbols and signs that can be understood by a person coming from the same semiotic group
  • It is an interactive process, based on creating new specific relationships,
  • Its participants has specified motifs of taking actions, which states for this process being deliberate and conscious,
  • It is unavoidable- it is impossible to not communicate, regardless of conscious or conscious intents,
  • Communication is a complex process, that consists of a lot of elements and stages, it can be also reciprocal, one-dimensional, verbal or non-verbal, direct, using media or indirect,
  • It is also irreversible, which means that no-one can neither cancel, repeat nor change it.

Stages of communication

The lowest level of communication in management is intrapersonal communication, which is made in a mind of a person, before he or she forms the message, when choosing a suitable ways of encoding it. Then comes interpersonal communication between two or three people. Normally, it is a dialogue or a conversation. Group communication is made within one social group and institutional communication- within a social institution. The highest level is mass communication, which includes creating one social communicational net.

Problems and challenges to communication in management

The role of communication in the organization:

  • The main directions of the flow of information: vertical: top-down, bottom-up, horizontal
  • The impact of information on the performance of the organization
  • Barriers to communication
  • Communication technologies
  • The impact of the Internet on expanding communication possibilities inside and outside the organization
  • E-Business, E-economy, E-government
  • Opportunities and risks associated with a development of communication technology.
  • The possibility of using teleworking
  • Organizational knowledge sharing (teamware systems)
  • Implementation of management information system (MIS)

Communication in intercultural team

Communication among team members of diverse culture may be a big problem. Such people come from disparate backgrounds, have different habits and different customs. They can differently interpret messages sent to them.

To prevent this, Stephen R. Robbins offer four rules of conduct in inter-cultural team:

  • assumption of the differences in the team, which will change the attitude to work and enable faster communication,
  • place more emphasis on description of given task, than on subsequent interpretation or evaluation,
  • persons communicating will gain confidence that has been well understood,
  • use of empathy – an attempt to understand the other side, always increase the chances of understanding and cooperation,
  • demonstrating own interpretation not as final and correct, but as something that requires additional validation and feedback from the person of another culture.


  • Dodd, C. H. (1991). Dynamics of intercultural communication. WC Brown.
  • Hargie, O., Dickson, D., & Tourish, D. (1999). Communication in management. Gower Publishing, Ltd..
  • Lustig, M. W., & Koester, J. (2003). Intercultural competence. Interpersonal communication across cultures.

Author: Klaudia Majka