Types and means of business communication



Types of communication 

On the basis of formality

 

Formal communication

Formal communication refers to interchange of information officially. The flow of communication is controlled and is a deliberate effort. This makes it possible for the information to reach the desired place without any hindrance, at a little cost and in a proper way. This is also known as ‘Through Proper Channel Communication.’ It can be both written and oral. Daily works are handled through oral communication, while the policy matters require written communication. This communication is adopted among those employees where formal relations have been established by the organization. The sender and the receiver have some sort of organizational relations. The communication has to pass through a definite channel while moving from one person to another. For example, to convey the feelings of a worker to the manager, the foreman’s help has to be sought. This channel is concerned with the authorized organizational messages only and the personal messages are out of its jurisdiction. This channel of communication is not established automatically but effort has to be made for its creation. It is decided keeping in view the objectives of the organization.

 

 Informal communication

Informal communication refers to interchange of information unofficially. This communication is based on informal relations (like friendship, membership of the same club, the same place of birth, etc.) And, therefore, is free from all the organizational formalities. The exchange of informal messages usually takes place on the occasion of community meals, social occasions, parties, etc. On such occasions, the superiors gather such information from their subordinates as may be difficult to get through formal communication. Such communication includes comments, suggestions, etc. For example, a superior wants to complain against his subordinate to his higher officer and at the same time he is afraid of giving it in writing. This can be conveyed to the higher officer through informal communication, say during the course of a conversation. There is no definite channel of communication. This communication is born out of social relations who mean that it is beyond the restrictions of the organization. No superior-subordinate relationship figures therein. A more sociable superior can gather much information through this channel. Through this communication, information about the work and the individual can be collected. It moves in a zigzag manner

 

On the basis of direction of flow:

  1. Horizontal communication: – it is the process of lateral flow of information in order to coordinate work activities at the same level of management hierarchy. It helps in coordination of task, share information and minimize the conflict. In other words, it is the flow of information between the activities and to solve the organization problems, this can be shown by following figure.

1.	Horizontal communication

 2. Vertical communication: – it is the process of upward and downward flow of information in order to coordinate work activities at the different level of management hierarchy. It helps in task directives, share information about rules and regulations, responsibility, problem, achievement and suggestions and minimize the conflict between subordinates and superior. There are two types of vertical communication

 

I.            Downward communication: – it is the flow of information from top to bottom through formal lines of authority. Top level management transmits the information to subordinates about objectives, policies, strategies and responsibility.

Downward communication

II.            Upward communication: – it is the flow of information from bottom to top in an organization. Middle and low level management transmits the information to superior about problems, suggestions

Upward communication

3. Diagonal communication: – it is the flow information between the superior and subordinates who are neither in the same department nor at the same level. It violates the principle of chain of command and unity of command.

Diagonal communication

 

Means of communication

 

1. Oral communication

The method of exchanging information through spoken word is known as oral communication. The information is passed from one place to another place by speaking. It helps to save time and provide immediate response and feedback. In oral communication, human voice is used. There are many means of oral communication. Some of them are telephone, radio, television.

It is economical. It is quick and fast. It helps to save time. It is more effective in comparison to written communication. It helps to give immediate feedback or response. It is the best method of solving problems. Ti is flexible. Decisions also can be changed on the spot. But it is less reliable and not good for evidence. It cannot provide future reference. It is not suitable for long message. Sometimes, there is language problem. It is not so suitable if sender and receiver are in different places.

 

2. Written communication

The method of exchanging information by writing is called written communication. It is important when message is complicated, accuracy and authentic. It is reliable source. It helps in future reference. It can be shown as evidence in court. The means of written communication are letter, order, report etc. It is authentic. It can be provided as proof in court. It can provide future reference. It is suitable for long message. It is suitable if sender and receiver are in different places. It is not economical. It is not quick and fast. It is time consuming. It is not so effective in comparison to oral communication. It doesn’t help to give immediate feedback or response. It doesn’t help to solve problems. It isn’t flexible. Decisions also can’t be changed on the spot.