Organizational communication plays a central role in the success or failure of relationships among people. The ability to communicate clearly for the receiver of the message to get it in the intended form and derive meaning from it or act in a specific way forms the foundation of successful human relationships. The concept of organizational communication is applicable in day-to-day activities in companies, societies, and at a personal level.
In addition, the invention of social media and other electronic means of communication has revolutionized the way individuals or entities interact with each other. Communication is a useful tool in forging relationships, it shapes culture, forms the foundation of strong leadership, and allows people to pursue a common goal among other different benefits. This paper explains why organizational communication is relevant to individuals and society at large.
Relevance of Organizational Communication
The bulk of the available literature on organizational communication is restricted to communication that takes place in the business world. However, communication occurs at all levels of human interactions because people are social beings and they depend on one another for existence, thus individuals have to talk to each other through different channels. At a societal level, the principles of organizational communication function to hold communities together and advance different aspects of culture. In the context of organizational communication, Eisenberg, Trethewey, LeGreco, and Goodall Jr. (2016) argue that the concept of “organizational culture emerges from members’ individual and collective symbol-using practices” (p. 126).
The fundamental principles in this argument are applicable in a community set-up. The way people communicate forms part of their culture including the language that they use, symbols, and meanings that they attach to different words. Eisenberg et al. (2016) add that the interpretive view to organizational communication treats culture as a process that is socially constructed in everyday communicative behaviors among all members of an organization.
Similarly, individuals of a certain community shape and define their culture through the way they communicate and interact with each other. Therefore, the concept of organizational communication is not limited to the business and corporate arena as it is applicable in the day-to-day human relations at the community level. It would suffice to argue that societies draw their identities from culture, which is subject to the principles of organizational communication. Therefore, it could be argued that organizational communication shapes people’s identities, and this assertion underscores how powerful communication is and its relevance in everyday life events.
Leadership is another area where organizational communication plays a central role to ensure that individuals and groups achieve set objectives or vision. The concept of leadership is broad and it cuts across all areas of life from family to the corporate world. As family leaders, parents have to communicate clearly as a way of giving guidance to their children and steering them towards the right direction in life. In schools, students are shaped to become leaders through effective communication. In politics, effective communicators are likely to get ahead of competition and win votes from their constituents.
In other words, the principles of organizational communication permeate every aspect of human life. There are different leadership styles and theories, such as transformative, authoritative, laissez-faire, bureaucratic, and transactional among other styles (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2017). However, despite the adopted leadership style organizational communication is the force behind the success of leading people regardless set-up (Luthra & Dahiya, 2015).
Leadership involves getting feedback and liaising with team members to ensure that plans are executed according to the plan. In the absence of communication, very little would be accomplished because people would function as single entities not focusing on the whole to achieve goals and objectives. Ultimately, effective communication creates a good atmosphere whether at work, home, or school.
Organizational communication also plays an important role in promoting persuasion skills. Life is all about negotiations and persuasion and proper communications kills determine the outcome of such engagements. For instance, at home, children are always negotiating with their parents to get what they want. Job seekers are in constant persuasion mode trying to convince potential employers to hire them (Shonk, 2019). Politicians have to persuade and convince voters about their manifesto and why they deserve to hold a certain public office. In business, entrepreneurs have to negotiate with financiers to get funding while on the other side persuading and convincing customers to buy their products. Successful companies are normally characterized by great negotiators forming a strong marketing team.
Social life is a continuous persuasion and negotiation. For example, suitors have to convince potential partners to marry them. All these exercises rely on organizational communication skills. In other words, the systems theory of organizational communication holds that organizations are organized systems with hierarchical ordering (Torp, 2015) and the same could be said about life. Individuals do not exist in isolation because as social beings, they have to interact with one another for meaningful living.
At a personal level, organizational communication is relevant in all areas of my life. From the knowledge gained from this topic, I have become a better communicator and I can negotiate my way through different situations. My life revolves around communication with other people including fellow students, friends, family members, faculty members, work associates, and all other players that I have to deal with in my day-to-day activities. I have been invited for interviews because of the way I communicated during the job application process. Additionally, using the different theories of organizational communication I now know how to interact with people strategically to achieve set goals. Therefore, organizational communication is relevant in my day-to-day living.
The emergence of the Internet and social media platforms has changed the way people communicate and consume information. Face-to-face communication is being replaced with online chatting through the various available platforms. For instance, Twitter and Facebook have billions of users interacting with each other every day. Companies have also capitalized on this technological innovation to promote their brand awareness campaigns and interact with customers from different parts of the world regardless of time and space.
However, the principles of communication have not changed only the medium has and this aspect underscores the importance of organizational communication in contemporary times. It does not matter the channel or medium of communication being used, some rules have to be observed for effective exchange of message and information. Any form of meaningful communication should be grounded on principles that have been proved to work effectively in theory. For instance, when writing an email for business or to a friend, the message has to be clear so that the receiver does not get the wrong message.
In the corporate world, the practical view of organizational communication “responds to managers’ desire for actionable advice and specific communication strategies for enhancing competitiveness and increasing employee satisfaction” (Eisenberg et al., 2016, p. 133). This view does not change based on the medium used to deliver the message. Even when communicating through the social media platforms, principles of organizational communication apply.
Personally, I have experienced how social media can be used as a powerful tool of communication with the application of the right organizational communication strategies. I have used social media to access opportunities that never existed before. For instance, I buy and sell goods online, which has been made possible by social media platforms. Using my knowledge in organizational communication, I can create messages that target my potential customers and ultimately increase my sales and revenue.
Anytime the term “organizational communication” is used, people normally associate it with communication within business or corporate set-ups. However, this concept is applicable in the day-to-day life activities at all levels whether at home, in society, politics, school, or in business. Specifically, organizational communication shapes cultures and gives people identities within those cultures, just like in the corporate world.
In leadership, the principles of organizational communication are applicable regardless of the adopted style. In other words, communication is the engine that drives relationships. Human beings are products of communication as they depend on it for their existence. Persuasion and negotiations are part of the day-to-day living human experiences. At a personal level, my life revolves around effective communication from the time I wake up until I retire at night. The Internet and social media continue to shape how communication takes place in modern times.
Eisenberg, E., Trethewey, A., LeGreco, M., & Goodall Jr., H. (2016). Organizational communication: Balancing creativity and constraint (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Luthra, A., & Dahiya, R. (2015). Effective leadership is all about communicating effectively: Connecting leadership and communication. International Journal of Management & Business Studies, 5(3), 43-48.
Mayfield, J., & Mayfield, M. (2017). Leadership communication: Reflecting, engaging, and innovating. International Journal of Business Communication, 54(1), 3-11.
Shonk, K. (2019). The importance of negotiation in business and your career. Web.
Torp, S. (2015). The strategic turn in communication science: On the history and role of strategy in communication science from ancient Greece until the present day. In D. Holtzhausen & A. Zerfass (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of strategic communication (pp. 34-54). New York, NY: Routledge.