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Managing Communications

Effective communications are a necessary condition of successful performance of an organization. At the same time, communications represent one of the most debatable questions in the field of management in relation to which clearness and clarity in understanding has not been achieved yet. The analysis of economic literature and views of experts in the field of communications management allowed specifying the value of communications and their functions in the organization.

The cardinal rule for effective communication is to know your audience. In the context of business, your audience is your teammates. After all, most knowledge workers spend the majority of time working with their coworkers rather than strangers. Aligning the way we communicate with our team to their communication styles and preferences is the single most effective way to communicate more effectively with them (Gilky, 2007).

Communications represent the exchange of information, on the basis of which heads receive the information needed for the adoption of effective decisions and bring the made decisions to the employees of an organization. If communications are built not in a proper way, decisions can be wrong, people can hardly understand what they should do; even interpersonal relationships can suffer from it. The efficiency of communications is often determined by the quality of decisions and the ways they are realized in practice.

Communications in the organizational system are considered to be both a phenomenon and a process. Being the phenomenon, communications reflect the established norms (rules, instructions, provisions), and also principles and regularities of human relations in the organization. Being the process, communications represent a special form of interaction of the personnel on the exchange of information in the organization and beyond its limits, directed at the achievement of the organizational goals and personnel development. (Guo, 2005).

There are two fundamental functions of communication: development of the organization and development of personnel. Organizational development through communications can be carried out at the following levels: intra organizational, regional, national and international. Personnel development in this context assumes the influence of communication on the development of professional and personal qualities and self-realization of each employee in the organization. This function is realized at intrapersonal and interpersonal levels. Except for the above-mentioned roles, the organizational communication is the instrument of the administrative impact as actually, it is the way of formation of not only activity but also a corporate culture, values and strategy.

In the course of communication at various organizational levels, there is a formation of a communicative potential both of the certain employees, and of the organization as a whole. Possessing a high importance, communications demand the development of the management tools. Management of organizational communications is understood as a set of continuous purposeful administrative impacts on internal and external processes of the informational exchange and non-informational exchanges providing the satisfaction of the communicative requirements and realization of long-term interests of the company's development.

The control of organizational communications is carried out on the following principles: orientation to the strategic goals of the organization; continuity of administrative methods at all levels of the development of a company and the personnel; correlation of the development of internal and external communications; definition of zones of administrative influence; and a continuous character and a feedback.

Management of communications is the system of actions providing an expeditious interaction between the structural divisions and certain staff of a company, and also an exchange of the information necessary for the solution of the company's tasks.

The goal of communication management planning is to define the project's structure and methods of information collection, screening, formatting, and distribution. It also outlines understanding among project teams regarding the actions and processes necessary for project success (CDC, 2006).

The control system of communications includes the following processes:

  • Planning of the system of communications (structure of information, ways and terms of its delivery) on the basis of the results of the research of management information requirements, structural divisions and the staff of a company;
  • Collection and distribution of necessary information;
  • Collection, processing and storage of production and office documentation.

Communication management plans are used to determine not only who needs what information but also how that information will be collected and transmitted (Lesko, 2011).

1. Planning of the system of communications is based on the sizes and organizational structure of a company, requirements of a company as a whole and its employees in information, and also their territorial distribution. The choice and methods of the use of communication technologies depends on these parameters in many respects.

The communications management plan consists of the following elements:

  • The plan of information collection with the indication of the sources of information and methods of its search and reception;
  • The plan of information distribution with the identification of specific consumers of information and methods of its delivery to these consumers;
  • Descriptions of all received and transferred documents;
  • Frequency and schedule of communications;
  • The way of change of the communications plan.

Depending on the requirements of the project the communications plan can be more or less formalized, detailed or described only in a general view. The plan of communications is a compound part of the project plan.

2. Collection and distribution of necessary information. The communications, necessary for a company, can be internal and external; formal (inquiries, reports, service records) and informal (discussions, recommendations); oral and written; vertical and horizontal.

The basis for the adoption of administrative decisions by the company's management and structural divisions is formed on the basis of the analysis of results of information collection and processing about the condition of productions and the achieved results. The use of special software and databases considerably simplifies and accelerates information collection and processing; it is obligatory for the effective management.

3. Collection, processing and storage of production and office documentation. Documenting of office and production information includes collection, check and verification of the received data; analysis of the checked data and conclusions about the efficiency of production and administrative processes; archiving of all data and results of its analysis for the further use.

The introduction of electronic document flow in the organization makes the process of documenting much simpler; however, the most significant documents should be transferred to a paper form and verified by the management for sending to the inspection bodies and prevention of the subsequent distortion of data.

Management of communications provides support of a communication system (interactions) between the project members, transfer of the administrative and reporting information aimed at the provision of the project goals achievement. Each project member should be ready for the interaction within the project according to his functional duties.

Studying of requirements and description of the structure of the communications system usually requires the information about the logical structure of the project organization and responsibility matrix, information needs of the project participants, the physical structure of distribution of the project participants, external information requirements of the project.

Technologies or methods of information distribution between the project participants can considerably differ depending on the parameters of the project and monitoring system requirements. The choice of technologies of interactions is defined by the degree of dependence of the project success on the relevance of data or detail of the description, availability of technologies and qualification and readiness of personnel.

The assessment of organizational communications should have a regular character, which allows distinguishing the communication monitoring as the management tool, the content of which includes the systematic supervision and the analysis of the dynamics of development of organizational communications. The monitoring of communication processes promotes the accumulation of practical experience in the management of communications and increase of forecasting accuracy of managerial decisions. (PMI, 2013).

Communication is built in all main types of administrative activity; therefore, it is a binding process. The system of communications of a company is one of the factors of the company's organizational development and demands an integrated approach to studying and formation.