B.COM, B.A, B.SC 1ST Semester Communicative English notes | Unit -1 Communication


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B.COM, B.A , B.SC 1st Semester Communicative English notes ACCORDING TO CBCS PATTERN

Nowadays every university is following the syllabus based on CBCS Pattern. students are facing difficulties in getting all subjects notes as per CBCS Pattern. In this post, i have provided you B.COM 1ST Semester Communicative English notes, B. A 1ST Semester Communicative English notes, B.SC 1ST Semester Communicative English notes Hope you like it. Do share with your friends so they can also get the notes of new CBCS pattern


B.COM, B.A, B.SC 1ST Semester Communicative English notes | Unit – 2 Speaking Skills

B.COM, B.A, B.SC 1ST Semester Communicative English notes | Unit – 3 Reading and understanding


Meaning of the term “Communication”

The term communication is derived from a Latin word „communis‟ which means common. This means establishing a common ground. Now whatever is common is shared by all. But what is that which is shared by all in communication? It is fact, ideas, understanding, opinions, information etc.

In the words of Newman, Summer & Warren, “communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, and opinions by two or more persons.”

According to Keith Davis, “Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another.”

Communication should not be interpreted as merely sending or receiving messages. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding. It is a two way process and is complete only when there is some response from the receiver of information.


Nature or Characteristics of communication

An analysis of various definitions of communication revel the nature or characteristics of communication which are as follows:-

  1. Communication involves at least two persons: Communication involves at least two persons the sender and the receiver. The sender sends the messages and is known as the communicator. The receiver receives the message and is known as communicate.
  2. Communication is a two way process: Communication is essentially a two way process. It does not merely means sending and receiving messages. It is not complete unless and until the message has been understood by the receiver in the same sense.
  3. Purpose of communication: This basic purpose of communication is to create an understanding. The receiver should understand the message sent and should response accordingly.
  4. Form of communication: Communication may take several form e.g. order, instruction, report, queries etc. it may be verbal or written. It may be formal or informal.
  5. Scope of communication: communication pervades all human relationship. It is essential in all type of organizational and at all levels of management.
  6. Communication is a dynamic process: Communication is influenced by the mood and thinking of the sender and receiver. The way a message is accepted depends upon the fact that which of the fine sensory organs of the receiver is active at that time.
  7. Communication is much more than words: Communication is not merely sending or receiving facts, expressed in words. It also involves ideas and emotions. A lot of communication is done through signs, symbols and gestures.
  8. Communication is a goal oriented process: Communication is a goal oriented and effective only when there is congruence of goals of sender and receiver.

Significance (Need) of Business communication

Communication is the life blood of business. It is an all pervasive function of management. Today the organizational structure is designed on the basis of specialization and division of labour. Large number of people work together who are functionally related to each other. Thus, co ordination is must amongst the workmen. Co-ordination can be achieved only when there is mutual trust and understanding between them. This understanding is created by effective communication. Thus communication is an essential ingredient for effective management. Further the role of communication may be summed up as:-

  1. The objectives, plans and policies of the organization are cleared to the workers through communication.
  2. It provides unity of direction to various activities of the enterprise.
  3. It helps in controlling and coordinating the various activities of the organization.
  4. It helps in motivating the workers of an organization.
  5. It helps the managers to develop their managerial skill.

According to Sir John Harvey-Jones, “Communication is the single most essential skill. Effective   communication is the need of the day.” In recent times communication has become all more essential due to the following reasons:-

  1. Growth in the size of the business organization: An efficient system of communication is required because the business organizations are growing tremendously. Thousands of people work in the organization. Organizations have factories or offices in different parts of the country or even world.
  2. Advance technology: Day by day rapid changes are taking place in science and technology leading to obsolescence of old technology. Thus in order to upgrade or modernize technology proper communication between the superior and subordinate in an organization is a must.
  3. Tough competition in the market: Globalization and liberalization have resulted in cut throat competition. Thus to survive such competition, persuasive communication in form of advertisement, publicity, personal contacts are essential.
  4. Growing specialization: Division of work paved way for specialists to work in different department’s sound communication is thus essential for ensuring mutual cooperation and understanding between different departments.
  5. Trade union movement: trade union movement is on its growth. Management now has to consult trade unions on various matters. A strong and meaningful relation between management and trade union is possible only by effective communication.
  6. Human relation: Employee’s participation in management helps to develop among them a sense of loyalty and belongingness towards the organization. Thus effective communication between management and employee is necessary to develop mutual trust and confidence.
  7. Public relations: Public relations help an organization to improve its image in society as the organization has a social responsibility especially towards the customers.

Objectives of Business Communication

The objectives of business communication are wide and large. Information, Order, permission, Warning, Motivation, Advice and Raising morale are activated through the means of communication. The objectives of business communication are stated below:

1. To Exchange Information: The prime objective of communication is to exchange information internally and externally i.e. to deal within the organization and outside the organization.

2. To Achieve Goal: The goal of the organization can be obtained through effective organizational communication. Everybody tries to acquire such goal and therefore it requires effective organizational communication.

3. To Maintain Co-ordination and Co-operation: Co-ordination and co-operation among three levels i.e. corporate level, divisional level and functional level of an Organization are maintained through communication.

4. To Plan: Planning decides what is to be done in future. All the information and data which are required to make a plan for business can be obtained or gathered through communication.

5. To Facilitate Direction and Motivation: The boss gives direction or order to his subordinate. And managers need to motivate their employees to increase the concentration and productivity. Hence, communication helps to facilitate direction and motivation.

6. To Achieve Efficiency: Communication can provide information regarding past and present. It also helps to anticipate about future. So, Communication increases efficiency of the workers by providing instant information.

7. To Solve Problem: Communication can remove the gap between employees and employer. Fruitful communication ensures a network in an Organization to solve problems. Conflict arises and exists in an Organization. Fruitful communication ensures a network to solve conflict. It also removes the gap between employee and employer.

8. To Create Consciousness: Communication helps both employer and employee to be conscious about their respective roles, duties and activities. As a result, responsibility and accountability is located among the concerned persons.

9. To Increase Job Satisfaction: Job satisfaction requires better job environment and better job environment is possible if there exists communication chain. Strong chain helps to overcome job related stress.

10. To Improve Employer-Employee Relationship: To achieve the Organizational objectives, there must be good relationship between employee and employer. And to improve such relationship, there must be effective communication.

Process of Communication

The process of communication is the inter relationship between several independent components. It consists of a chain of related actions and reaction which together result in exchange of information. In order to understand the process of communication, it is necessary to describe each of these components. A model of communication process is as follows:-

  10. Sender: The sender is the first component of the process of c communication. The sender may be a speaker, a writer or any other person. He is the one who has a message and wants it to share it for some purpose.
  11. Ideation: Ideation is the preliminary step in communication where sender creates an idea to communicate. This idea is the content and basis of the message to be communicated. Several ideas may generate in the sender’s mind. The sender must identify, analyze and arrange the ideas sequentially before transmitting them to the receiver.
  12. Message: Message is the heart of communication. It is what the sender wants to convey to the receiver. It may be verbal i.e. written or spoken or non verbal i.e. body language, space language, etc.
  13. Encoding: To encode is to put an idea into words. In this step the communicator organizes his ideas into a series of symbols or words which will be communicated to the intended receiver. Thus the ideas are converted into words or symbols. The words and the symbols should be selected carefully, it should be understandable and most of all it should be suitable for transmission and reception.
  14. Transmission: Next in the process of communication is transmission of the message as encoded messages are transmitted through various media and channels of communication connects the sender and the receiver. The channel and media should be selected keeping in mind the requirement of the receiver, the communication to be effective and efficient the channel should be appropriate.
  15. Receiver: Receiver is the person or group for whom the message is meant. He may be a listener, a reader or a viewer. Any neglect on the part of the receiver may make the communication ineffective. Receiver is thus the ultimate destination of the message. It the message does not reach the receiver the communication is said to be incomplete.
  16. Decoding: Decoding means translation of symbols encoded by the sender into ideas for understanding. Understanding the message by receiver is the key to the decoding process. The message should be accurately reproduced in the receiver’s mind. If the receiver is unable to understand the message correctly the communication is ineffective.
  17. Behaviour of the receiver: It refers to the response by the receiver of the communication received from the sender. He may like to ignore the message or to store the information received or to perform the task assigned by the sender. Thus communication is complete as soon as the receiver responses.
  18. Feedback: Feedback indicates the result of communication. It is the key element in the communication and is the only way of judging the effectiveness of communication. It enables the sender to know whether his message has been properly interpreted or not. Systematic use of feedback helps to improve future message. Feedback, like the message could be oral, written or non verbal. It has to be collected from the receiver.

Forms of Communication

Communication is the transfer of ideas and information from one person to another person. It is a bridge of meaning among people so that they can share what they fell and know. By using this bridge, a person can safely cross the river of misunderstanding that sometimes separates people. To make successful communication there are different methods/ ways:

(A) On the basis of location of the receiverDepending on the location of the receiver there are two types of communication:

1. Internal Communication

2. External Communication

1. Internal Communication: Communication among the members of an organization is known as internal communication. That is when executives and employee of an organization communicate each other within the organization then it will be labeled as internal communication.

2. External Communication: When executives and employees of an organization communicates or exchanges information with outsiders of the organization then it is called external communication.

Both internal and external communication can be subdivided into two types:

i. Formal Communication

ii. Informal Communication 

i. Formal Communication:  When information exchanged through formal organization channels by following fixed rules then it is knows as formal communication.

ii. Informal Communication: Fixed rules and system cannot prevent people from talking with each other. Thus the communication that takes place within and outside of an organization through unofficial lines can labeled as informal communication.

(B) On the basis of media of presentation: From this point of view communication can be of three types:

(1) Written communication 

(2) Oral / Verbal Communication

(3) Non-Verbal Communication

(1) Written Communication: When information, ideas, or feelings exchange in written form that is known as written communication. Written communication has its own importance and for some particular purposes it has no other alternatives.

(2) Oral / Verbal Communication: It is a process of communication through words. Verbal communication consists of words arranged in meaningful patterns. Oral communication normally takes place in a face to face situation. It may be formal or informal.

(3) Non-Verbal Communication: Communication without using words or writings known as non-verbal communication. In other words, non-verbal communication means communication through physical movements and facial expressions. Gestures, posture, eye movements, etc. are examples of non-verbal communication.

(C) On the Basis of Information flow: Depending on the flow of information there are different types of communication:

(1) Vertical Communication

(2) Horizontal Communication

(3) Cross / Diagonal Communication

(1) Vertical Communication: When communication takes place between superior and subordinates than it is known as vertical communication. Here flow of information can be of two types:

(i) Downward

(ii) Upward 

(i) Downward: it is the flow of information from higher authority to lower authority.

(ii) Upward: Here the flow of information goes to higher authority from subordinates.

(2) Horizontal Communication: This type of communication flows between employees of equal level.

(3) Cross / Diagonal Communication: Communication across the formal chain of command is known as cross or diagonal communication. In this case executives and employees of different departments and of different levels communicate each other without maintaining the official channels.

(D) Other forms of Communication:  Besides the above types of communication there can be some other forms of communication like mass communication.

Mass Communication: When communication takes place among large group of people then it can be termed as mass communication. There is no formal system for mass communication, it is situational. For different social and political purposes mass communication can takes place.


Effective communication is one of the master skills to boost productivity. A communication is said effective when message will be received and understood the way we intended. A very helpful guideline to effective communication is given by the 7 C’s and 4 S’s. In any business environment, adherence to the 7C’s and 4S’s helps the sender in transmitting his message with ease and accuracy. The 7C’s are as follows:

1. Conciseness: The message to be communicated should be as brief and concise as possible. Only simple and brief statements should be made.

2. Concreteness: Concrete and specified expressions should be used in favour of vague and abstract expressions. The facts should also be specified. The level of message of the sender should be according to the receiver’s level of knowledge, understanding and educational background. Such communication builds confidence between sender and receiver.

3. Consistency: Communication approach must have consistency. Excessive vicissitudes might lead to confusion in the mind of the receiver. All the ideas and points must work in tandem and form an appropriate sequence. Such communication will minimise communication barriers.

4. Correctness: It is mandatory to send the message in a correct manner i.e. it must have supporting facts, figures, examples etc. This is done to ensure that if any idea has remained unclear to the receiver he may understand it more clearly, correctly and appropriately based on the supply of facts etc. The sender’s ideas must be balanced. The most important aspects of the message should be emphasised for increased attention of the receiver.

5. Clarity: Clarity of thought should precede a conversation. The message constructed by the sender should be unambiguous should adhere to a simple sentence structure. This permits the receiver to understand the message with little effort. Complete clarity of ideas facilitates ease of comprehension. Ideas should be conveyed in a manner that they are understood with simplicity.

6. Credibility: The above-mentioned points prove futile in the absence of the credibility factor because credibility depends on the trust factor between the sender and receiver. The sender should exude confidence that the receiver will receive the message being sent by him. Similarly, the receiver should maintain constant interaction with the sender and display trust in the sender’s credibility. He should accept the sender’s messages as the truth.

7. Courtesy: Courtesy follows credibility. Results beyond expectation can be achieved if tact, diplomacy and appreciation of people are woven in the message. Courtesy in expression is an effective and integral part of business world. Once the credibility of the sender has been established, attempts should be made at being courteous in expression. In the business world, being courteous can pave the way to success.

The 4S’s are as follows: The 4S’s are as important as 7C’s. They also increase the possibility of effective communication.

1. Sincerity: Sincerity increases the level of trust between sender and receiver. The receiver also expects sincerity from the sender. If there is a slight sense of insincerity in the message and if the observer is keen about the message then it may affect the communication process.

2. Strength: The strength of the message depends upon the credibility of the sender. If the sender himself believes in the message then there is strength and conviction in whatever he states. Half hearted statements or utterances that the sender does not believe in pepper the process of communication with falsehood.

3. Simplicity: Simplicity of language is a pivotal factor is communication. Lucidity of ideas, simple words give rise to an unequivocal message.

4. Shortness: The message must be precise and concise. Brief messages are transmitted and comprehended more clearly, more effortlessly and are more effective and economical.



Interpersonal communication is the ability to relate to people in written as well as verbal communication.   It can occur in either one to one or a group of people.  It also means being able to handle different people in different situations.  Gestures such as eye contact, body movement and hand gestures are also part of interpersonal communication.   Listening, talking and conflict resolutions are the common features of interpersonal communication.   The types of interpersonal communication may vary from verbal to non verbal and from situation to situation.

Characteristics of inter-personal communication

1. Independent individuals

We communicate a lot of things throughout our lives, but researchers who study communication have identified a few common characteristics. For one, interpersonal communication involves independent individuals. This may seem obvious, but really what this means is that each person has their own motivations, expectations, and interpretations of communication.

2. Inherently rational

The other fundamental characteristic of interpersonal communication is that it is inherently rational. In short, it’s meant to be understood. Whatever we communicate, however we communicate it, we do so because we are intelligent beings capable of expressing and communicating our thoughts and feelings. And when we communicate, we do so because we expect something to be communicated.

3. Inescapable

See how interpersonal communication can quickly become an interesting field of study? Beyond the fact that humans communicate rationally, researchers also characterize communication as being inescapable. What this means is that you are always communicating, always presenting information about yourself and interpreting information from other people. By saying something, you are communicating. But by refusing to say something, you also communicate something.

4. Involves personal choice

Communication is constant. But it also involves personal choice. That’s the fourth main characteristic of interpersonal communication. You can choose how you communicate information because you are a rational individual. See that? The characteristics are all connected.


Intrapersonal communication is defined as the communication process within an individual.   It is the foundation for all communication.   Each and every one is having intrapersonal communication at all times.  It begins with language and thought itself, but includes our perception of what language and thought are.   Every individual may see something and assume a particular attitude toward the subject; however one can be certain that each assumption made is distinctly different. Intrapersonal communication is a challenge because one has so many variations that arise from our perceptions at particular moments.

Models of Communication

Linear Model: In linear model, communication is considered one way process where sender is the only one who sends message and receiver doesn’t give feedback or response. The message signal is encoded and transmitted through channel in presence of noise. The sender is more prominent in linear model of communication. Linear model was founded by Shannon and Weaver which was later adapted by David Berlo into his own model known as SMCR (Source, Message, Channel, Receiver) Model of Communication. Linear model is applied in mass communication like television, radio, etc. This model is not applicable in general human communication as general human communication has to have feedback and responses.

Criticisms of Linear Model

  1. The model assumes that communication has a particular beginning and an end, so it is not continuous.
  2. There is no concept of feedback which makes it inapplicable to direct human communication and only applicable to mass communication like newspaper, television, etc. There is no way to know if the communication was effective or not.
  3. Human communication is mostly circular rather than linear as audience is also an active participant.
  4. Communication may not happen in turns and more than one message can be sent at the same time.
  5. The sender must have the ability to encode and the receiver must have the ability to decode.
  6. The model has become less relevant to electronic communication and internet where it’s not clear who is the sender and who is the receiver.

Cyclical or Transactional model: Cyclical or Transactional model of communication is the exchange of messages between sender and receiver where each take turns to send or receive messages. Here, both sender and receiver are known as communicators and their role reverses each time in the communication process as both processes of sending and receiving occurs at the same time. The communicators can be humans or machines but humans are taken as communicators in this article to analyze general communication between humans. The model is mostly used for interpersonal communication and is also called circular model of communication.

Criticisms of Transactional Model

  1. Without verbal response, the sender can not be sure that the receiver got the message as intended. Feedback is an important component in the communication process, especially in interpersonal communication as it gives a space to clarify misunderstandings.
  2. The transactional model gives the opportunity for a lot of noise because the communication is simultaneous. For example, when many people are talking at the same time in a meeting, the objective of the meeting will not be fulfilled.

Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication

In 1948, Shannon was an American mathematician, Electronic engineer and Weaver was an American scientist both of them join together to write an article in “Bell System Technical Journal” called “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” and also called as “Shannon-Weaver model of communication”. This model is specially designed to develop the effective communication between sender and receiver. Also they find factors which affecting the communication process called “Noise”. At first the model was developed to improve the Technical communication. Later it’s widely applied in the field of Communication.

The model deals with various concepts like Information source, transmitter, Noise, channel, message, receiver, channel, information destination, encode and decode.

Sender : The originator of message or the information source selects desire message.

Encoder : The transmitter which converts the message into signals. The sender’s messages converted into signals like waves or Binary data which is compactable to transmit the messages through cables or satellites. For example: In telephone the voice is converted into wave signals and it transmits through cables

Decoder : The reception place of the signal which converts signals into message. The receiver converts those binary data or waves into message which is comfortable and understandable for receiver. Otherwise receiver can’t receive the exact message and it will affect the effective communication between sender and receiver.

Receiver : The destination of the message from sender. Based on the decoded message the receiver gives their feed back to sender. If the message distracted by noise it will affect the communication flow between sender and receiver.

Noise:  The messages are transferred from encoder to decoder through channel. During this process the messages may distracted or affected by physical noise like horn sounds, thunder and crowd noise or encoded signals may distract in the channel during the transmission process which affect the communication flow or the receiver may not receive the correct message. The model is clearly deals with external noises only which affect the messages or signals from external sources. For example: If there is any problems occur in network which directly affect the mobile phone communication or distract the messages

Practical Example of  Shannon-Weaver model of communication :

Thomson made call to his assistant “come here I want to see you”.  During his call, noise appeared (transmission error) and his assistant received “I want” only. Again Assistant asked Thomson (feedback) “what do you want Thomson”.

Sender       :   Thomson

Encoder     :   Telephone (Thomson)

Channel     :   Cable

Noise          :   Distraction in voice

Reception  :   Telephone (Assistant)

Receiver     :   Assistant.

Due to transmission error or noise, Assistant can’t able to understand Thomson’s messages.

Criticism of Shannon-Weaver model of communication :

  1. One of the simplest model and its generally not applied in various communication theories.
  2. The model which attracts both academics of Human communication and Information theorist to leads their further research in communication.
  3. It’s more effective in person-to-person communication rather than group or mass audience.
  4. The model based on “Sender and Receiver”. Here sender plays the primary role and receiver plays the secondary role (receive the information or passive)
  5. Communication is not a one way process.  If it’s behaved like that, it will lose its strength. For example: Audience or receiver who listening a radio, reading the books or watching television is a one way communication because absence of feedback.
  6. Understanding Noise will helps to solve the various problems in communication.

David Berlo Model of Communication:

While the Aristotle model of communication puts the speaker in the central position and suggests that the speaker is the one who drives the entire communication, the Berlo’s model of communication takes into account the emotional aspect of the message. Berlo’s model of communication operates on the SMCR model.

a) S – Source: The source in other words also called the sender is the one from whom the thought originates. He is the one who transfers the information to the receiver after carefully putting his thoughts into words. It is done with the help of communication skills, Attitude, Knowledge, Social System and Culture.

Communication Skills: An individual must possess excellent communication skills to make his communication effective and create an impact among the listeners. The speaker must know where to take pauses, where to repeat the sentences, how to speak a particular sentence, how to pronounce a word and so on.

Attitude: It is rightly said that if one has the right attitude, the whole world is at his feet. There is actually no stopping for the person if he has the right attitude. A person might be a very good speaker but if he doesn’t have the right attitude, he would never emerge as a winner.

Knowledge: Here knowledge is not related to the educational qualification of the speaker or the number of degrees he has in his portfolio. Knowledge is actually the clarity of the information which the speaker wants to convey to the second party. One must be thorough in what he is speaking with complete in-depth knowledge of the subject.

Culture: Culture refers to the cultural background of the community or the listeners where the speaker is communicating or delivering his speech.

b) M – Message: When an individual converts his thoughts into words, a message is created. The process is also called as Encoding.Any message further comprises of the following elements:

Content: One cannot show his grey matter to others to let him know what he is thinking. A thought has to be put into words and content has to be prepared. Content is actually the matter or the script of the conversation. It is in simpler words, the backbone of any communication.

Element: It has been observed that speech alone cannot bring a difference in the communication. Keep on constantly speaking and the listeners will definitely lose interest after some time. The speech must be coupled with lots of hand movements, gestures, postures, facial expressions, body movements to capture the attention of the listeners and make the speech impressive. Hand movements, gestures, postures, facial expressions, body movements, gestures all come under the elements of the message.

Treatment: Treatment is actually the way one treats his message and is conveys to the listeners. One must understand the importance of the message and must know how to handle it.

Structure: A message cannot be expressed in one go. It has to be properly structured in order to convey the message in the most desired form.

Code: Enter a wrong code and the locks will never open. Enter a wrong password, you will not be able to open your email account. In the same way the code has to be correct in the communication.

c) C – Channel: Channel actually refers to the medium how the information flows from the sender to the receiver.

How does one know what the other person is speaking ? – Through Hearing.

How does one know whether the pasta he has ordered is made in white sauce or not ? – Through Tasting.

How does one know that there is a diversion ahead or it’s a no parking zone? – Through Seeing. How will an individual come to know that the food is fresh or stale ? How do we find out the fragrance of a perfume ? – Through Smelling.

How will you find out whether the milk is hot or not ? – Through Touching.

All the five senses are the channels which help human beings to communicate with each other.

d) R – Receiver: When the message reaches the receiver, he tries to understand what the listener actually wants to convey and then responds accordingly. This is also called as decoding.The receiver should be on the same platform as the speaker for smooth flow of information and better understanding of the message. He should possess good communication skills to understand what the speaker is trying to convey. He should have the right attitude to understand the message in a positive way. His knowledge should also be at par with the listener and must know about the subject. He should also be from the same social and cultural background just like the speaker.

There are several loopholes in the Berlo’s model of communication. According to the berlo’s model of communication, the speaker and the listener must be on a common ground for smooth conversion which is sometimes not practical in the real scenario.


To send out a meaningful communication, the sender needs to know the audience or audiences he is dealing with. Otherwise one lands with a situation where one has spoken but not told. If it is a buyer’s market, with a choice of products to the consumer, the need to know the audience is even more urgent.

Modern management researchers have identified five types of audiences:

  1. Primary audience: This is the audience that will decide the fate of your communication – to act on it or not to act on it. The housewife who selects the washing soap is the primary audience to a soap ad.
  2. Secondary audience: These are the people who comment on the message and implement the decision once it is taken. The husband who buys the soap from the market is the secondary audience.
  3. Initial audience: This is the person or persons who are the first to receive the message and then pass it on to someone else to deal with. The general manager may be the one to receive and address a complaint to the sales manager. He is, then the initial audience.
  4. “Gatekeeper” audience: These are the people who have the power to stop the message before it reaches the addressee. The secretary to chairman is a gatekeeper audience.
  5. “Watch dog” audience: This includes all alert by standers who see a message conveyed and, if necessary, react favorably or otherwise. Woman activists, as a watch dog audience, may object to some posters.

Now one can see that the communication must pass through the filter or screen reach where it is meant to, convey the correct sense, be acted upon, and withstand the scrutiny of the alert.

The importance of audience analysis: If you have been sending messages for a large number of people, then you probably know that “many men, many minds”. Some like an emotional appeal, some an intellectual or scientific. That is why advertisement of a food product says: “Taste may be the reason, vitamins the excuse – or vice versa.” This is a clever device to attract all kind of consumers.

Knowing your audience

To know an audience is to know what motivates the members of it. In Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, Antony has to speak to the Romans after Caesar’s murder. The Romans at that time dislike the dead king. Antony has to gain sympathy for Caesar and create antipathy for the killers. He starts by befriending the listeners. He then makes an ironical remark about how people forget the good in others (here Caesar), and partially praises the murderers! He does not want to shock the listeners. He then shows how good a friend Caesar was to Antony …… and eventually shows how generous Caesar was to the citizens of Rome. Antony manages to reverse the mob opinion against the murderers and gets the Romans to hunt for them.

This is a masterpiece of persuasive communication based on common human psychology. A businessman may manipulate minds much the same way. He starts with an appeal to the values which the audience likes even if he has to create new values.

The audience may like the virtue of economy (limited spending), yet the businessman may play on human psychology to sell luxury goods that simplify life and make it comfortable. He appeals to a value (comfort) which is often deeper than the value of saving money.

Two-wheeler makers compete with each other by emphasizing different values in their target audience: the riding joy, the speed and acceleration, the fuel efficiency, the prestige of owning the number one product, and so on. The audience mood changes from one to the other as it receives different messages. So, after the businessman has made a study of what moves the audience, he adapts his message to it.

Audience analysis guides you to:

  1. Protecting the receiver’s ago.
  2. Blending logic and emotion with suitable images of each.
  3. A choice of appealing arguments, facts and figures.
  4. Underlining the positive in your message.

You may organize the message this way:

  1. Be direct except to give bad news (e.g. declining dividends).
  2. Outline the message.
  3. Use headings and subheadings as you go.

As for the style of the message:

  1. Make the language easy at every level – words, sentences, quotes.
  2. Avoid being defensive or rude.
  3. Remove negativity.
  4. Use the languages with which the audience is at ease – conversational and familiar.

Advice on visuals:

  1. Use charts, models, photos etc.
  2. Get the visuals designed by graphic experts.
  3. Use appealing colour combinations.

In the case of a mixed audience, it is best to give priority to (i) Those that will decide to act or not to act on the message. (ii) The ones who will screen it. A film is made to suit the common taste of the public and the censor board.

Meaning of Corporate Communication

Corporate communication is broadly defined as a corporation’s attempt to inform the public, including all its consumers, private investors and the media. Corporate communication represents the very voice with which corporate institutions interact with the outside world and is inclusive of communications regarding investor relations, government relations, labor relations and employee development. Corporate communications is the process of facilitating information and knowledge exchanges with internal and key external groups and individuals that have a direct relationship with an enterprise. It is concerned with internal communications management from the standpoint of sharing knowledge and decisions from the enterprise with employees, suppliers, investors and partners.

In the words of William Scott,” Administrative communication is a process which involves the transmission and accurate replication of ideas ensured by feedback for the purpose of eliciting actions which will accomplish organizational goals‖.”

Corporate communication is mainly divided into two parts:

a) Internal Communication

b) External Communication

INTERNAL COMMUNICATION :  It refers to the exchange of information and ideas within an organization. As employee, you are in a position to observe things that your supervisors and co-workers cannot see: a customer’s first reaction to a product display , a supplier’s brief hesitation before agreeing to a delivery date or a slowdown in the flow of customers. Managers and co-workers need these little gems of information in order to do their jobs. Internal communication helps employees do their jobs , develop a clear sense of the organization’s mission and identify and react quickly to potential problems. To maintain a healthy flow of information within the organization , effective communicators use both formal and informal channels.

EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION: The external communication network links the organization with the outside world of customers , suppliers , competitors , and investors , journalists , and community representatives. Sometimes this external communication is carefully orchestrated – especially during a crisis. At other times it occurs informally as part of routine business operations.

Internal and External communication are further divided into two parts:

  1. Formal Communication
  2. Informal Communication

Formal Communication: Communication takes place through the formal channels of the organization structure along the lines of authority established by the management is called Formal Communication. It is that route of communication which is institutionally determined and is associated with status or position of the receiver and sender. The formal channels are deliberately related to ensure that accurate information flows smoothly and timely. Such communications are generally in writing and may take any of the forms; policy; manuals: procedures and rule books; memoranda; official meetings; reports, etc.

Characteristics: Following are the chief characteristics of the formal communication

(1) Written and Oral: Formal communication can both be written and oral. Daily works are handled through oral communication, while the policy matters require written communication.

(2) Formal Relations: This communication is adopted among those employees where formal relations have been established by the organisation. The sender and the receiver have some sort of organisational relations.

(3) Prescribed Path: The communication has to pass through a definite channel while moving from one person to another. For example, to convey the feelings of a worker to the manager, the foreman’s help has to be sought.

(4) Organisational Message: This channel is concerned with the authorised organisational messages only and the personal messages are out of its jurisdiction.

(5) Deliberate Effort: This channel of communication is not established automatically but effort has to be made for its creation. It is decided keeping in view the objectives of the organisation.

Advantages of Formal Communication

Formal communication is required for any organization because it provides a list of below advantages:

1. Smooth Communication System: Formal communication moves through pre-determined channel and therefore everyone is aware for where and how to send the message. So, it does not face any problem to flow.

2. Increase in Efficiency: Such Communication increase overall efficiency of the management as organizational rules and procedures are required to be followed always.

3. Permanent Record: All formal communication like letters, report & memos are kept permanently. So it is helpful in future decision making.

4. Discipline: This communication creates the discipline in the mind of employees in any organization.

5. Less Errors and Mistakes: It maintains all formalities of communication for which there is less chance of errors and mistakes.

6. Co-ordination of Work: Formal communication provides the scope of co-ordination among various functions and departments of an organization.

7.  Reliability: Formal communication is more credible and more reliable for sending important issues like objectives, orders and directions etc.

Disadvantages of Formal Communication

In formal communication, there exists a set of rules and regulation which must be maintained. And for this, there are grown some disadvantages of Formal communication too. In spite of enjoying some advantages of formal communication, it suffers from the following limitations:

1. Authoritarian System: Formal communication states clear relationship between upper level management and lower level management. When there is a downward communication, there is an authoritarian tone to dominate lower level employees.

2. Inflexibility: It is a rigid form of communication as make up or change cannot be considered easily when required.

3. Costly: This sort of communication maintains all formalities of communication for which it involves more cost.

4.  Wastage of Time: Formal communication process passes through various stages or levels of an organization and therefore requires more time to reach to its destination. This is ultimately wastage of time.

5. Delay in Decision Making: Everyone has to maintain specific framework of communication in case of formal communication. Therefore management requires more time which delays decision making process.

6. Lack of Initiative: In such communication there is no option to select any other system which is the best one compared to the prescribed system. As a result creative ideas are ignored here.

7. Lack of Cordiality: In formal communication, established rules are strictly observed. More emphasis is given to the formalities rather than human side; As a result, there is no scope to develop cordial relationship between the sender and receiver.

Informal Communication: Communication arising out of all those channels of communication that fall outside the formal channels is known as informal communication. Informal communication does not flow lines of authority as is the case of formal communication. It arises due to the personal needs of the members of an organization. At times, in informal communication, it is difficult to fix responsibility about accuracy of information. Such communication is usually oral and may be covered even by simple glance, gesture or smile or silence.

Informal communication is known as grapevine. Grapevine arises because of the desire of the people to communicate without following the formal channel of communication. It follows no setlines, nor any definite rules, but spreads like grapevine, in any direction anywhere.

Informal or grapevine communication has the following characteristics:

(1) Formation through Social Relations: This communication is born out of social relations who mean that it is beyond the restrictions of the organisation. No superior-subordinate relationship figures therein. A more sociable superior can gather much information through this channel.

(2) Two types of Information: Through this communication, information about the work and the individual can be collected.

(3) Uncertain Path: Since it is beyond the restrictions of the organisation, it follows no definite channel. Like a grapevine, it moves in a zigzag manner.

(4) Possibility of Rumour and Distortion: Responsibility for the true or false nature of communication does not lie on any individual and, therefore, not much attention is paid to its meaning while communicating. Consequently, the rumours keep floating.

(5) Quick Relay: Informal communication makes news spread like wildfire. Not only this, people start adding something of their own which sometimes changes the real meaning of the communication.

Advantages of Formal Communication

Informal communication is free from maintaining rules and regulations, procedures and others. Such communication bears low cost than formal communication. Although informal communication does not follow any set rules or principle but it offers some advantages which are as follows:

1. Alternative System: There are some messages which cannot be sent through formal way and therefore requires some alternative. Such alternative can be informal communication. 

2. Interpretation: Message sent to subordinates requires explanation or interpretation and informal communication is the valuable means here. 

3. To Present Grievances: Employees can’t make any complaints to superiors through formal communication. But informal communication gives the employees a better opportunity to raise their complaints, grievances or claim. Sometimes, in this way, as an informal communication system, grapevine affects much. 

4. Increase Efficiency: Employees can freely exchange their opinions in terms of informal communication. They can ask any question without any hesitation. Thus a cordial communication environment is created to increase the efficiency of employees. 

5. Improving Relations: Any created between management and the labor can be settled through informal communication. Co-operation and co-ordination can be established through harmonious relationship between management and labor. Such relationship is only possible through informal communication.

6. Providing Recommendations: Subordinates feel free to provide management with their suggestions and recommendations on different job related issues like work methods, procedures and conditions etc.

7. Measuring Reaction: Before releasing any new information, management wants to know the reaction of employees. In such a case, informal communication can be valuable in measuring the reaction of employees before any information is conveyed through formal channels.

8. Solution to Problems: With the help of informal communication, the management is able to know problems, conflicts and complaints and the like. Therefore management can take necessary action timely and effectively.

Disadvantages of Formal Communication

Although informal communication creates so many advantages but they are not free from drawbacks or limitations. Some significant demerits or disadvantages of informal communication system are as follows:

1. Distortion: Informal communication networks do not follow any set of rules, definite liners or ways. So it can transmit any kind of information to any person without any respect or fear. It may spread wrong or distorted news which may sometimes prove harmful even to the employees. So, it is the one of most considerable disadvantages of informal communication.

2. Lack of Secrecy: In informal communication, everybody can freely interact as there are no restrictions or rules. Any secret matter is likely to be flashed without any problem or hesitation. This may cause a huge damage to any organization.

3. Incomplete Information: Information released from such communication network is usually incomplete. So, There is each and every chance of it to be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

4. Non-Co-Operation: Sometimes, confusion develops among the persons involved in informal communication. As a result, they may remain separate without any co-operation. 

5. Lack of Resistance: As informal communication does not follow any established system, it is beyond any control. Organization has no mechanism to resist its movement.

6. Huge Rumor: Most of the time, informal communication fabricates the real facts and makes some rosy picture. This really damages the working environment of any organization.

7. Misunderstanding: Lack of conduct, decency, decorum and rules cause misunderstanding in informal communication. As a result there may be conflict between employees.

8. Committing Mistakes: This sort of communication are subject to errors and mistakes because no official’s rules or regulation operate in this case of informal communication.

Factors responsible for Grapevine

According to Keith Davis Grapevine is a product of situation. It steadily takes place when:-

1. Workmen in the organization are faced with uncertainties like promotional chances, increments, job insecurities, etc.

2. When there are possibilities of certain changes in an organization like change in policy, adoption of new technology, etc.

3. When workmen are physically situated closes enough to influence and trust each other.

How can the Grapevine be used effectively?

Grapevine is quite powerful and influential. It can cause considerable damage. Hence management tries to crush it completely. But Grapevine cannot be completely eliminated. The Grapevine can be used effectively in the following way:-

1. The manager should adopt an open door policy and should keep each one well versed about plans, prospects policy matters or any other changes in the organization.

2. The manager should identify the leader and try to win his confidence. The manager should involve the leaders in the decision making.

3. The manger should listen to every gossip or rumours and analyse it to get to the nerve of the feelings of employees.

4. The manager should maintain a cordial relationship with his subordinates so as to reduce the possibility of grapevine.

5. As far as possible the manager should work towards providing healthy atmosphere at the workplace. One cannot stop rumours or curb grapevine altogether but efforts should be taken to check these as far as possible.

Channel of communication/Communication Networks

A channel means a path or a way. Thus a channel of communication is the path or way through which information is transmitted throughout the organization. It is the route through which the message flows from the sender to the receiver.  Human beings in an organization are inter-related to each other. They are related both formally as well as informally. These relationships are maintained by means of communication. Therefore there exists in an organization two channels of communication: –

1. Formal channel of communication

2. Informal channel of communication

Various forms of Formal channel of communication

Formal Channel of Communication are classified into following forms:

1. Downward communication: Communication that flows from the top level of the organization to the bottom level along with the scalar chain is known as downward communication. Example for such type of communication are orders, instructions, rules, policies, programs and directives etc. it specifies the extent of the subordinates authority and their responsibility.

2. Upward Communication: Upward communication is just the opposite of downward communication. In this communication system, the message is transmitted from the bottom of the organization upward to the top of the organization through the middle managers along with the line. Usually this includes workers grievances, suggestions and reactions. This communication system was not appreciated by the superiors. But it has assured importance in modern times and is considered to be a main source of motivating employees.

3. Horizontal communication: The flow of information between departments or people of equal level in an organizational structure may be termed as horizontal or lateral communication. The two departments may be under the same superior or may have different heads. Such communication may be written or oral. The main object of lateral communication is to co-ordinate the efforts of different departments or persons.

4. Diagonal communication: Diagonal communication is between people who are neither in the same department nor on the same level of organizational structure. It cuts across departmental lines. It generally takes place when members cannot communicate effectively through other channels. 

These upward, downward, horizontal or diagonal communications may be oral, written, informal or gestural.

Various forms of Informal channel of communication

Keith Davis has identified four different networks for transmitting information via the grapevine:-

1. Single Strand Chain: In single strand chain one person communicate with only one person. In this the first person tells something to the 2nd, the 2nd to the 3rd person, the 3rd to 4th person and so on till the message is communicated to all.

2. Gossip Chain: In gossip chain one person communicates with many persons. As soon as a person gets some interesting non jog related information he conveys the same to every other person.

3. Probability chain: In probability chain communication takes place between many persons. There information is conveyed from one person to another irrespective of the fact that they are related to each other or not whether formally or informally. In this the information passes at random.

4. Cluster Chain: In cluster chain one person communicates with many other persons but selectively. In this one person may convey information to 4 or 5 persons whom he knows very well and can trust out of these 4-5 persons one or two may again pass on the information. As the number grows larger and larger and information staler, it gradually dies out. This is knows as cluster chain because one person while conveying message may from cluster.

Difference between Formal and Informal Communication Channel

BasisFormal CommunicationInformal Communication
01. RulesIn Formal communication, Organizational rules are strictly followed.It does not generally follow the rules of organization
02. RecognitionSuch communication requires official’s recognition.In informal communication, It does not require any official’s recognition.
03. FlexibilityIt is inflexible in nature as it cannot be changed when desired.Being flexible, It can be changed easily.
04. SecrecySuch Communication is not free and open to all. So, Secrecy is maintained here.It is free and open to all, So it is very difficult to maintain secrecy here. i.e. Grapevine communication which spread informally. 
05. Time & CostIt follows various rules of organization. So, It requires much time and cost.Informal communication does not bother for the formalities of organization and therefore it requires less time and cost.
06. Record KeepingThis type of communication involves written procedure, So record can be kept in formal communication.Permanent record is impossible here because almost nothing is written here.
07. Errors or MistakesVery careful attention is given here in encoding the message and sending the message through formal way. Due to this seriousness, there is less chance of placing mistakes or errors.It is personal in nature and therefore less attention is involved which can cause many errors or mistakes.
08. CompulsionIt is bound to follow the formal rules of communication.There is no pressure here to follow any rules.
09. NecessityFormal communication is necessary to achieve organizational goal.Informal communication is necessary to improve personal relation.
10. Delegation or AuthorityAuthority can be delegated through formal communication.Authority cannot be delegated through such communication.

) Non-Verbal Communication: Non-verbal communication (NVC) refers to messages sent through human actions and behaviour rather than through words. It is a communication exchange that does not use words or that uses words to carry more meaning than the strict definition of the words themselves. It often relies on facial expression, body movements, gestures, eye- contact, handshakes, dress, posture, inflections etc

Difference between verbal and non-verbal communication

SubjectVerbal CommunicationNon-verbal Communication
DefinitionIt is a process of communication through words.Communication without using words of writings known as non-verbal communication.
FormalityDegree of formality is more than non-verbal communication.It is less formal, infect incase of non-verbal communication no formality is maintained.
EvidenceIt has legal evidence.It has no documentary evidence.
Scope in business communicationIt scope in larger than non-verbal communication.It’s scope in limited in business communication.
MediaFace to face conversation, conversation over telephone, meeting, video conference, interview, etc. are different media of verbal communication.Facial expressions, body language, gestures, silence tec. Are used as media of non-verbal communication.
ConsistencyIt is more consistent in nature.Lack of consistency is a major feature of non-verbal communication.

Types of Non-verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication is mainly of three types

  1. Kinesics
    1. Para language
    1. Proxemics

Kinesics or Body Language

Body Language: The word kinesics literally means body movement. It stands for the way the body communicates without words, and through various movements of its parts. Communication through body movements is called body language. Body language is a type of nonverbal communication that relies on body movements (such as gestures, posture, and facial expressions) to convey messages. Body language may be used consciously or unconsciously. It may accompany a verbal message or serve as a substitute for speech.

Importance of Kinesics:

  1. The importance of kinesics can be put brought forward by the words of famous psychologies Paul Ekman who says, “We talk with our vocal cord but we communicates with our facial expression, tone and pitch of voice, our whole body.”
    1. The importance of body language lies in the fact that one can play fast and loose with words but body language speaks truth.
    1. When managers consciously read what others are conveying by body movement, they can easily deal with issues before their become problem.
    1. Non-verbal communication is also important because it is efficient. A message can be very well transmitted more economically than any other means of communication.

Role of different parts of body in Communication:

 1. Head: Head occupies a very important place in our body. Similarly it also plays a very important role in communication. The way we hold our head conveys a lot. The movement of head is very important in face to face communication. Posture of head conveys:-

i. A head held up: Sign of honour, self respect and self confidence.

ii. A head bent low: Sign of modesty, politeness, or guilt.

iii. A stiffly head, held or drawn back words: Sign of pride, or naughtiness.

2. Face: A popular states „the face is the index of mind‟ i.e. the face is the mirror of mind. The face is indeed the primary site for expressing emotions. It reveals both the type and intensity of the feeling. Facial expression conveys a lot without speaking a single word. A manager can very well practice to interpret these signals by first observing his own expression in a mirror.

3. Eye Contact: Eye command particular attention as a source of non verbal communication. Eyes communicate our deepest feeling. In face to face communication eye contact is of great importance. They are especially effective for indicating attention and interest, influencing others, regulating interaction and establishing dominance. Eyes adopt different position in different situations such as:-

i. Fixed eye: Show concentration.

ii. Raised eyes: Indicate fear or surprise.

iii. Smiling eyes: Reflect happiness.

iv. Long fixed gaze: Show interest.

v. Evasive eyes: Nervousness or lack of interest.

4. Gestures: The physical movement of arms, legs, hands, torso and head are called gestures. They also play a very important role in conveying meaning or messages without using words, examples:-

i. Pounding fist on the table shows „anger‟

ii. Arms spread apart means wide.

iii. Shuffling from one leg to another means nervous or restlessness etc.

5. Body shape and postures: Behaviourial scientists have studied the shape of the human body and have broadly put there in the following three types:-

i. Ectomorph: thin, youthful and tall.

ii. Mesomorph: strong, athletic and muscular.

iii. Endo morph: Fat round and soft.

A person can make both positive and negative impression of himself or others through his body posture. Therefore we should make efforts to ensure that our body does not send out wrong or negative signals especially during interview, meeting and other formal or informal interactions.

6. Attire and Appearance: Our choice of color, clothing, hairstyles, and other factors affecting appearance are also considered a means of nonverbal communication. According to what people see when they first set their eyes on you, judgments about your personality and abilities are going to be concluded. “Quality is more important than quantity” – This really applies here as well. It is really pivotal to dress up properly for any business or job offer we may encounter. One shouldn’t focus on wearing too much accessories, jewellery and make up. What is very vital is the physical appearance and the proper hairstyle. Appearances also include:

  1. Body cleanliness
  2. Clean Nails
  3. Shiny shoes
  4. No tattoos
  5. Being appropriately dressed           

Advantages of Kinesics:

1. Body language communication is easily visible. It helps the receiver of the message in decoding the message.

2. It adds intensity to the process of communication.

3. People are for the body language so it goes a long way to improper the overall atmosphere.

Disadvantages of Kinesics:

1. No one can totally rely upon the body language because it is non verbal. It cannot be taken seriously.

2. There are chances of misinterpretation because people belonging to different cultural backgrounds send different body signals.

3. If the listener is inattentive, these body languages become ineffective.           

Para Language

Para‟ means „like‟. Para language means „like language‟. It is non-verbal communication which is closely related to verbal communication. It is non verbal communication because it does not comprise words.

It is „like‟ verbal communications because it is related to way the words are spoken. Without it words do not convey their intended meaning. While verbal communication consists of „what‟ or the contents of words, paralanguage involves the „how‟ of a speaker’s voice or the ways in which the speaker speaks. Example of paralanguage is voice, words stress etc.

Elements of Para Language:

1. Voice: Voice is the most important element of Para language. Voice tells us about the speaker’s sex, age, background, education; temperament etc. voice conveys the message in a more effective way. However these points have to be considered.

i. Pitch variation: Pitch means highness or lowness of sound i.e. quality of sound. Wide variation in pitch should be made during a speech. This is essential and helps in catching the attention of the listener and maintaining the interest in the speech.

ii. Speaking speed: The speaking speed should neither be too fast nor too slow. The speed should be such which ensures fluency. As a rule the easy parts of the messages should be delivered at a brisk pace as it is likely to be understood easily. On the other hand, the difficult complicated, technical part of the message should be delivered at a slower rate.

iii. Pause: Pause is an important aspect of speech. One cannot and should not go on speaking without pause. But pause have to be at the right moment. A pause at the right moment can be very helpful in emphasizing the upcoming subject. Where as an arbitrary pause or unnecessary frequent pauses spoils the speech.

iv. Variation in volume: an efficient speaker varies his volume while delivering his speech. Volume means loudness of voice. Volume variation puts life into one’s speech. However the loudness of voice should be adjusted according to the size of the audience. While speaking one should be loud enough to be audible but not too loud to put the audience off.

v. Non fluencies: speech is not always a continuous string of meaningful words. There are pauses scattered at intervals. These pause are very often inserted with sounds or utterances like „ah‟, „oh‟, „uh‟, „hum‟, „you know‟, ok etc. These sound or utterances are called „Non fluencies‟. These non fluencies if used carefully and sparingly add to the fluency of the speaker, gives him time to breathe or relax and makes the listener more alert and gets the message conveyed overtly or covertly.

2. Proper word stress: Proper word stress is at most important in communication. A speaker can change the meaning by putting stress on a word here or a word there in the same sentence.

A good speaker should put stress on words or parts of words. One should also improve one’s word stress by listening the good speakers and participating in discussion.


  1. No oral communication is complete without Para language.
  2. A speaker education and background can be judged from his way of speaking
  3. Para language of a person indicates his place in hierarchical structure of the organization.
  4. Knowledge of person’s Para language is helpful in dealing with him.
  5. One can improve his Para language by listening to good speakers.


  1. Para language is like a language nut not a language we cannot rely on it.
  2. Unless the listener is open minded, voice quality, speaking speed, pitch, etc may prejudice him, causing poor listening. Voice quality and speaking speed etc cannot be a substitute for intellect or wisdom. They can only complement it.
  3. Speaker belongs to different speech communities due to which it is difficult to maintain uniformity in Para language.
  4. It is difficult to blend what is said and how it is said. Therefore, extra care is required to get to the exact content of the language.

Proxemics or Space Language

Non verbal communication involves not only body language and Para language but also the space around us Proxemics is the study of how we communicate with the space around us. The space here means the distance between the sender and receiver of the message in oral communication. This distance is called proximity.

Proxemics is also concerned about the use of space by groups of people. Different people make use of space around them in different ways. The way a group uses the space assigned determines their respective position and interaction pattern. For example: people seated in front are considered to be bold and are the ones who initiate the conversation. Fixed and semi fixed spaces have important implication in communication. Let us analyse it further.

  1. Fixed spaces: Fixed spaces refer to permanent features like room, walls, and buildings and its total capacity, length, breadth etc. These features determine who interacts with whom, why, how and for what purpose.
  2. Semi Fixed Species: Semi fixed spaces refer to physical features which are not permanent and can be changed or re-arranged. For example, furniture decor etc. In other words semi fixed spaces are flexible that permits the use of a variety of spaces to conduct different types of communication. For example, some furniture can be arranged or rearranged as per the need of communication.

Various Categories of Space Language

Edward T. Hall has done very useful and interesting work in his idea. Placing ourselves in the centre he has presented the space around us in the form of the following concentric circles: – Distance wise it can be stated as below: – Intimate: Physical contact to 18 inches. Personal: 18 inches to 4 feet. Social: 4 feet to 12 feet. Public: 12 feet to as far as one can see or hear.

1. Intimate space language: In this very close contact is maintained within the space of 18 inches. It is most suitable for the use of body language as most of our body movement originate within this area. Only very special people like our family members, relatives and close friends enter into this area intimate space is very suitable for highly confidential talks and decision concerning sensitive matters.

2. Personal space language: Personal space extends from 18 inches to 4 feet. People have normal conversation with close friends, colleagues and visitors. The nature of communication is more or less personal and is generally relaxed and casual. It permits informal spontaneous talking. Some important decisions are also taken in this.

3. Social space language: Social space extends from 4 feet to 12 feet. It is used for formal and official relationship. Most of the communication in the organization takes place in this space. Communication here is dominated by reason and planning rather than by emotion and feeling.

4. Public space language: public space extends beyond 12 feet. Communication in public space is highly formal and objective. Public address system may have to be used. Public announcement and election rallies are best examples of public space language.

Oral communication

Oral communication means communication through words spoken i.e. by speech: – In oral Communication, Both the parties to the process, i.e. sender and receiver, exchange their ideas through oral words either in face to face communication or through any mechanical or electrical device, such as telephone etc. in this system person can exchange their feelings fully and clarification regarding any doubt or ambiguity may be sought. Oral communication is preferred by rank and file employees as well as supervisors and managers, as they enjoy the opportunity to ask questions and to participate.


1. Economical: Oral communication is relatively less expensive. It saves the money spent on stationary in an organization.

2. Time sever: Oral communication is fast. It saves the time involved in writing the message.

3. Flexible: Oral communication is very flexible in sense it provides an opportunity to the speaker to correct himself and make himself clear by changing his voice, pitch, tone etc.

4. Quick response: Oral communication is also helpful in getting quicker response from the receiver. The speaker gets immediate response from the receiver. It thus provides immediate feedback to both sender and receiver.

5. Personal touch: Oral communication is personal in nature. It is this nature that brings superiors and subordinates closer. It is also an effective tool of persuasion.

6. Maintains secrecy: Oral communication has an added advantage of maintaining secrecy. Oral messages can be more easily kept confidential than written messages.

7. Group communication: Oral communication is an effective tool for communicating with the groups at large. Group reactions can also be interpreted immediately to arrive at reasonable conclusions.


1. Time Consuming: Oral communication may not be time saver always. Many a times it is seen that meetings continue for a long time without arriving at any satisfactory conclusion.

2. Poor retention: Oral communication is more likely to be forgotten. The listener cannot always retain oral messages in his memory for long. Sometimes even the speaker may not remember what he actually said.

3. Not suitable for lengthy messages: Very often oral communication gets distorted. This is more so in case of lengthy messages when communicated through various level of hierarchy.

4. No Record: No permanent record is kept in case of oral communication. In the absence of record, oral messages have no legal validity.

5. Misunderstood: In oral communication, much depends upon the tone, pitch, voice etc. the speaker, due to his poor vocal expression, may not be able to make himself clear and the listener may also be in attentive. Thus the message may be misunderstood.

6. Not precise: Oral communication is not precise and to the point. People are more precise when they write rather when they speak. Very often, the exact message to be conveyed is lost in a mass of words.

Written communication

Written communication means communication through words written. In written communication, both the parties to the process, i.e. sender and receiver, exchange their ideas through written words, graphs, diagrams, pictographs, etc. It transmits messages through letters, memos, notices, circular notes, manuals etc. While oral communication is spontaneous and natural, written communication requires conscious efforts. Written communication depends on language as a means up of sentences into clauses and of matter into paragraph etc is very important.

Characteristics of Written communication

1. Written communication is a one cycle even because it does not get immediate response from the receiver.

2. Written communication is specific when it is meant for specific persons. It can also be general when it is meant for public at large.

3. Written communication is a creative activity. It requires a lot of imagination and continuous efforts.

4. Written communication is however not spontaneous. It requires a meticulous planning on the part of the writer.

5. Written communication is time taking. The message has to be planned, drafted and finally encoded (written) before sending.

Importance of Written Communication

1. Written communication is indispensable to an organization. Just as it is impossible to think of social life without oral communication, it is impossible to think of business or an organization without written communication. It is the backbone of the business communication.

2. Written communication is used more in an organization because face to face communication is not always possible, due to employees being spread over widely located geographical distance.

3. Written communication assigns responsibility. In an organization employees have to function within defined limits of authority and responsibility. In the absence of written communication it is not easy to determine responsibility.

4. Written communication, through its media of letters and menus to its creditors, shareholders can boost up the image of the organization.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Written Communication


1. Permanent Record: Written communication provides a permanent record for future reference and serves as a good guide for decision making and planning in future.

2. Precise and Accurate: The writer tries to organize his ideas logically before penning them down. As a result written communication tends to be more accurate, precise and reliable.

3. Legal evidence: Written messages provide a permanent record and as such are used as legal evidence in a court of law. Written records are more reliable and acceptance as documentary proof.

4. Wide coverage: Written communication has the widest possible coverage. It is perhaps the only means of communication when the sender and the receiver are separated by long distance.

5. Easy to understand: Written messages can be read and re-read again and again. Thus it is likely to be understood better.

6. Suitable for lengthy message: Lengthy messages lose their authenticity in oral communication. Written communication is thus very suitable for transmitting lengthy messages.

7. Aids control: Written communication encourages deliberation, permits editing and review, helps to prevent distortion and consequent misunderstandings.


1. Time consuming: Written communication is not suitable when the message is to be sent immediately. It is time consuming event which requires time in not only sending it but also in putting the message in writing.

2. Rigid: Written communication is rigid and lacks flexibility. The doubts and queries cannot be clarified immediately.

3. Costly: Written communication is a bit more expensive than oral communication. It costs a lot in terms of stationary, postage and typing costs.

4. Lack of secrecy: It is difficult to maintain secrecy in written communication.

5. Delayed feedback: Written communication is mostly handicapped by its inability to get immediate feedback. The sender of the message is not able to judge the response of the receiver from his facial expression.

6. Increase the workload: Written communication creates mountains of paper cluttered around the premises of the organization. The staff has a tough time in managing it very often valuable papers are lost. Therefore staff/managers have to be extra careful about the papers.

Difference between oral and written communication

BasisWritten CommunicationOral Communication
1. Record   2. Cost   3. Feedback     4. Flexibility   5. Time Taken     6. Reliability   7. Legality   8. Distortion     9. Effectiveness     10. Significance     11. Relationship     12. FormalityIt always has permanent record   Written communication is high cost.   Written communication it takes time to give feedback.   Written communication is rigid or inflexible.   Written communication it takes more time to prepare and transmit message.   Written communication is most reliable.   Written communication is legal evidence.   Written communication is not possibility or distortion.   Written communication is not effective as oral communication.   Most significant in all types of organizational context.   Written communication is it establishes indirect relationship between parties.   It maintains formal communication relationship forms.It does not have any permanent record.   Oral communication is less costly.   Oral communication it gives immediate feedback.   Oral communication is highly flexible.   Oral communication it takes least time to prepare and transmit message.   Oral communication is not reliable.   Oral communication is not legal evidence.   Oral communication is high possibility of distortion.   Oral communication is most effective communication.   Less significant in the organizational context.     Oral communication is it establishes direct relationship between parties.   It maintains informal communication relationship forms.  
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