Different Types of Organizational CommunicationEssay

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Organizational Communication

The author of this essay has been asked to construct and formulate some definitions and offer some analysis regarding the same. The definitions and analysis in this report will center on what makes up an organization, how the author of this report conceptualizes and defines organizational communication, how certain organizational aspects are critical to effective operations, the nature and characteristics of a distributed organization and a quick summary of all of the above. The conclusion of this report shall focus on the core communication and collaboration qualities and skills that are needed by today's professionals to successfully and creatively lead and work in a distributed workplace and why those attributes are so critical and essential. Much of what will be said in this report will center in part on the petroleum industry and the unique facets of the organizations that are in that realm. While some people navel-gaze and over-think organizational communication and dynamics, to suggest that it is not important at a basic level would be absolutely untrue.


An organization is basically a collection of people and resources that are united for a common purpose. Organizations take on many forms including non-profit groups, advocacy groups, special-interest groups, political parties, employers, churches and so forth. A petroleum company is an organization in that they are a group of owners, executives, managers and employees that collectively work together to make a profit and/or a living in the petroleum industry. Examples of such organizations would include Haliburton, Exxon Mobil and the like. The key aspects that would make up an organization would include the place or places at which they are located, the people that work for them, the supplies and resources that are procured and used by the firm, the goals and endeavors of the organization, the mission/vision statement of the organization and the overall strategy they have when it comes to running their business, non-profit or whatever type of organization it happens to be. A petroleum company would have its employees, its technological infrastructure, its different office locations, the oil/gas equipment and resources it uses to do the front-line work and so forth (Koschmann & McDonald, 2015).

However an organization is also made up of things that are more abstract and less easy to quantify and measure. However, they are no less real and should be taken into account when speaking of what makes up an organization. For example, there is what is known as the human capital and knowledge base of a firm or other organization. This would be the sum total of the knowledge, whether in the heads of employees or put to paper or electronic document, that is known, used, harnessed and employed by the agency. Common examples would be the best practices for using a piece of software, the proper way to comply with a regulation that is relevant to an organization and the way in which an organization. As it relates to the knowledge that a subject-matter expert might have in their head, that is really an asset because it is gone if the person leaves and does not put their knowledge to paper before they leave. To put things shortly, there are assets that are tangible and physical while others are more abstract. A person is an asset in terms of what they know in addition to what they actually do for a company. An adept company will draw on the subject-matter experts of a company and get things put on paper and in a computer system for future use and retrieval so that it is easier to teach others the same information and maintain more continuity when people depart an organization (Hollenbeck & Jamieson, 2015).

When it comes to organizational communication, this takes on many forms. Since the heavy advancement of computer and internet technology since the 1990's, the ways and forms of communicating have become more and more advanced. In the past, organizational communication was often verbal, via the mail or in other more basic forms like on a basic telephone or fax. Nowadays, those more basic communication methods are still around in some way, shape or form but there are also other forms like social media, instant messenger clients, Skype/video calls and smartphones. In many instances, one or more of these new or older technologies are melded together in one package. For example, a computer can be the hub for communication via fax, Skype, instant messaging, email and social media all at the same time. Much the same thing can be said for smartphones as those devices are basically mini-computers compared to the landline and cellular phones of prior years. However, these are just the basic tools. How they should or should not be used and manifested is the subject of much debate. What methods are proper and professional is also a subject of much debate. A lot of the older technologies are really around only because some people refuse to abandon them. Many people are content to buy and use a PDF scanner like a ScanSnap but many other people cling to fax technology even though it has really been obsolete for years. Even so, pretty much all of the communication methods can meld and fit together in a cohesive way if done correctly (Hecht, 2013).

However, when conceptualizing and defining organizational communication, there is certainly another major part to the equation and that is the overall tone, candor and culture that underpins the communication. There is also the overall methodology and directionality that is in play. Indeed, all of this is tied to organizational culture and mindset. For example, some organizations may be in the game of communicating in a top-down fashion. This could be done through bulletin board posts, mass emails and other directive-oriented message methods. However, other businesses understand the need for back and forth communication. Thus, they will use things like private instant messenger services like Microsoft Lync or Lotus SameTime. One or both of those programs allow email integration with Outlook, video chat, computer screens-sharing and a lot of other cool things that generally require that people be in the same room. When it comes to internal/external communication, many businesses are eschewing printed forms of media and advertising in favor of avenues like social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and ads on webpages. This allows organizations to communicate in a much more efficient and real-time fashion online rather than having to rely on physical media that can become stale or obsolete quite quickly. This online communication can also be used to quell public relations disasters. Even if it was received in a decidedly mixed fashion, a good petroleum industry example of this was the massive public relations campaign that was used by British Petroleum (BP) after the massive rig explosion that happened a few years ago. There are also the general ads from the likes of Chevron and others, both online and on television, that speak about efforts to create greener energy options for the cars and other machines/automobiles of the future. Indeed, organizational communication can be internal or external to the organization (Kleinnijenhuis, Schultz, Utz & Oegema, 2015).

At its core, however, organizational culture and how well it manifests and operates is a clearly indicator of the organizational culture of an organization. Indeed, a well-run company with a strong organizational culture will have free but proper flow of information in all of the necessary directions. Subordinates will report the metrics and goings-on that are relevant to the senior executives and the executives will in turn issue edicts and delegate authority and tasks to the managers below them. If done properly, an organization can truly use communication to create a synergistic environment. Meaning, the people that make up the organization, should they communicate properly and effectively, will be able to perform at a level that is much higher than what any one of the people involved could do on their own without that communication. In other words, people working and doing their job will probably do marginally well if they have little to no communication with others but they will do much better if they actively communicate with others as things go on, issues come up and problems need solving. It is when communication is artificially stunted that problems are created. The genesis of these problems could come from employees not following with the organizational culture to communicate or there could be a dysfunctional culture in an organization that discourages or at least does not encourage the practice of communicating effectively. To put things concisely, a well-operating company is going to have a communication structure and pattern that is conducive to good business or at least the operations of the organization, whether it be a non-profit, a church or whatever. This does not a free-for-all where people do and say what comes to their mind. There needs to be a natural order to things. When a petroleum production facility has an emergency, the people in power and the decision-makers need to be… [END OF PREVIEW]

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