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Purpose of Business Communications


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No organisation exists solely in isolation with one member who has no contact with anyone or anything. The exchange of ideas, information or instructions is a fundamental feature of all organisations. 

This exchange may take place internally between different sectors or departments, or externally with other organisations. The purpose of business communications is to understand more fully how this process functions most effectively. At an individual level, using the correct formats for letters, memos, reports, or the correct language or approach in oral presentations, telephone calls, meetings or interviews, will be an accurate representation of how an organisation organizes and communicates. 

Information can enter an organisation in a variety of ways: 

  • personal experience of staff; 
  •  newspapers and print media; 
  • television; 
  •  from customers and competitors. 

How information is transmitted externally and utilized effectively internally will be crucial to the organisation’s success. The main focus of business communications is to:

 (a) give out information; (b) make your ideas understood; (c) initiate some action; (d) share ideas, attitudes, beliefs; (e) establish links with other people. 

Role of Organisational Structure and Culture 

Organisations can be made up of one person or thousands of people. How these people do their jobs and how they communicate depends on the structure and culture of the organisation. Organisational structure is the formal arrangement of people in their roles and areas of responsibility and authority. Staff can boorganised on a functional, production, regional, divisional or even on a matrix basis

An organisation’s culture can be defined as “the corporate personality ” or “the way things are done around here It is characterised by the degree of formality and adherence to rules which can be demonstrated in the way people communicate and even in the way people dress. 

(a) Power Culture:This is often developedtfrom a “one man band” or entrepreneur. One person will control all communications within the organisation and may deliberately encourage or block certain information. 

(b) Role Culture: Information passes from the top down to clearly defined departments, to people with clearly defined responsibilities. This can aid initial communication but may result in a delay in activity if several groups have to be involved. This type of culture is often found in bureaucratic ` organisations such as local government, the Civil Service, banks, etc.

 (c), Task Culture:  Here teams of people will work together on particular projects in problem-solving groups according to personal expertise rather than status. This can be confusing as staff may have to work with different people each time they are involved in a new project. The pattern of communication may resemble a wheel, with a strong project leader at the centre but with effective communication channels between team members at the rim. Such a culture is often found in market-led firms, e.g. project teams on an oil rig, on an aerospace programme or on a building contract. 

(d) Person Culture: The most important factor here is the personal -needs of the staff – their individual growth and development. As decisions are reached by consensus, this organisation usually functions best where there is an exchange of creative ideas, e.g. in a small design partnership. Sometimes a particular department of an organisation will appear to function in this way, although it will still have to report to other levels of management. 

The structure and culture of an organisation can therefore have a profound effect on the process of business communications. Knowing how an organisation is structured and its type of culture will help you to understand the pattem of communication and even identify the right person with whom to communicate and/or the most appropriate channel of communication. 

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