An Essay on Communication and IT
Communication and IT
The importance of communication in an organization is so vehement that no organization can succeed without properly considering into account the communication means, their effectiveness and the ways to improve it. The goal of communication is to approach, as closely as possible, a common understanding of the message sent and the one received. Better results of prosperity of the organization can be achieved only when the importance and different techniques are comprehensively realised and put into practice (Wilson, Elisabeth, 2001).
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- Corporate Level
In this paper, I am going to examine the communication process within a small rural Nursing Home. In this Nursing Home, there is multicultural and mixed skilled staff consisting of 1 Registered Nurse and 4-6 cares, cook, kitchen staff, cleaners and maintenance person work per shift. The key person in this organization is the matron, who is responsible for communications both internally and externally. External contacts are doctors, hospital, suppliers, etc. At this level the communication is formal, using a variety of different directions, depending on the personal and importance of the information. In this organization, communication is also used to negotiate and influence the proprietor to authorize expenditure. The objective of this paper is to appraise the communication process in this organization and how they interact at different levels.
- Methods of Communication
- Hierarchical Communication
In the hierarchical communication, the information comes up from the subordinates and the directions are passed down from the top level. Hence, this process has different stages to pass the information as there are always some middle carriers which pass the information between lower levels to the highest level. In the Nursing Home, the Matron is at the top of the hierarchical setup who receives the information and passes directions down to the nurses, and the other support staff.
- The Information Age
Truly this is the information age where the information passages are so many and it takes just a minute to communicate information through the global. Hence, in a business setup the advantages of information age can be fully and fruitfully utilized well if planned before hand. The Nursing Home utilizes some of the IT communication means like internet and email. For the internal communication, hierarchical communication method is normally used while for external communication, the administration of this organization takes advantages of the information technology.
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- Communication Barriers:
The communication barrier may be defined as organizational level variables linked to breakdowns in communication. There are two types of barriers, interpersonal and structural. Interpersonal barriers are related to the perceptual problems and this type of barrier relates to trust between those engaged in communication, perception of power and so on. On the other hand structural barriers include hierarchy, which restricts the free flow of communication between sub-units. It means that decision makers are too far removed from reality to function effectively.
In the Nursing Home, I have realised both types of communication barriers. In the hierarchical method, I found that sometime the recipients of the directions were not able to further communicate the directions or feed information to the top level. This is because of the communication gap between the matron and the workers who does not share the same level of understanding. On the other hand, there was also communication barrier at interpersonal level. The same reason as cited above applies to this barrier as well because of the lack of trust between matron and the supporting staff.
However, there is an advantage too in this Nursing Home; that is, the matron being a woman is able to communicate well with her internal clients like doctors and suppliers through interpersonal skills. The reason of this success is her active listening. Active listening involves what is being said with empathy and acceptance. Studies have shown that women are more superior to men on virtually all active listening. For example, Tannen and Deborah (1991) found women to be superior to men on a variety of measures related to communication during a selection process: on an oral presentation exercise; on a test of verbal ability; and on a written communication assessment. The reason may be that men are little caring about what others say as compared to women who are more attentive to their customers and clients.
In the present setup, the following recommendations can be made to improve the communication process significantly:
- As hierarchical method of communication has certain limitations, the administration should improve the top bottom relationship in order to eliminate any misunderstanding at both ends
- Frequent use of IT should be implied for external communication as this is the fastest and cheapest means of communication
- Internet and intranet should be established to communicate faster internally and externally.
These changes could be brought about by:
- Imparting refresher training to the administration on the recent trends of communication process
- Establishing IT equipment in the Nursing Home in order for the staff to take ad vantage of the IT