Communication is essential for an organisation to operate effectively and efficiently. Effective communication helps to ensure that information is relayed accordingly and accurately within the organisation. If the relay of information is inaccurate, the organisation’s productivity may be affected. This essay will describe the concept of communication in relation to management and explain how effective communication is undermined by barriers such as cultural differences, generational differences and filtering of information by referring to academic literature such as journal articles. Furthermore, an example will be used to explain how managers can increase the productivity and performance of their organisation by developing an effective system of communication.
There are numerous definitions for communication but for the purpose of this essay communication will be defined as, the relay of information from one person to another (Robbins et al. 2011, p. 326). The authors also note that communication is a key element in the role of managers as their job is to plan, lead, organise and control. Mikitka (2009) also confirms this by stating that managers need good communication skills as their job requires them to increase efficiency, satisfy customers, implement strategies and disseminate information. Managers should also improve the communication skills of the employees (Bambacas & Patrickson 2008). The authors further state that employees will perform better if they are able to communicate with one another effectively. Therefore, communication skills are essential for an effective and efficient management.
Cultural differences is a barrier for effective communication because different cultures provide people with different ways of thinking, understanding and communicating. Tagreed (2012) states that The growing presence of workers from different races and cultures has made dramatic changes to workplaces. The author further states that managers and co-workers must note that words and expressions used to communicate can have vastly different meanings and implications for people from different backgrounds, and they must be careful to ensure that their intended messages are understood clearly as they communicate with culturally diverse co-workers. Sensitive topics such as race, religion and politics should not be discussed within the organisation as it may create conflicts (Bambacas & Patrickson 2008). Managers should note that work methods vary among different cultures. The Asian culture emphasises on collectivism while the American culture emphasises on individualism (Tagreed 2012). The author explains this by stating that managers who do not understand this difference will face problems as they may assign team based work to employees who are accustomed to working individually and ask employees who are accustomed to team based work to work individually. This may cause a problem as employees might not communicate with each other effectively.
Gender is regarded differently in various cultures. Lin (2006) notes that females are still considered weak and not capable of decision making in some Asian cultures. The author mentions that if a female from America works in and Asian organisation, she will not be allowed to suggest ideas and participate in meetings. The author further notes that if a female from an Asian culture works in an American organisation, it is in her nature to be quiet and not communicate to her male co-workers including the manager. This may affect the relay of information as there is no effective communication.
A key factor that makes cultural differences a barrier to effective communication is language. English is not the commonly spoken language in some cultures (Tagreed 2012). The author also states that globalisation has caused many organisations to operate in English. This has become a problem as employees who are not good in English are afraid or embarrassed to communicate to others...
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Robbins, S, DeCenzo, D, Coulter, M, Woods, M, 2011, Management: The Essentials, 1st edn, Pearson Australia.
Tagreed, I.K. 2012, "Cross-cultural Differences in Management", International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 3, no. 6, pp. n/a
Tolbize, A, 2008, ‘Generational differences in the workplace’, Research and Training Center on Community Living, University of Minnesota, viewed on 19 August 2012, <rtc.umn.edu/docs/2_18_Gen_diff_workplace.pdf>
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