Topic 2

4 Types of Organisational Communication

We can divide organisational communication into four categories:

  • Formal and informal communication
  • Directional communication
  • Internal and external communication
  • Oral and written communication

Formal and Informal Communication

Formal Communication
Informal Communication

Formal communication covers any official organisation acts that share information. This can include communications such as a staff meeting to introduce a new factor, a handbook explaining standard conduct procedures around an office or a press release distributed to the public. An organisation can still present a formal action more casually, such as through posts on their social media account.

Informal communication is any interaction outside of an official communication structure. For example, two employees having a conversation over lunch are participating in informal discussions. Informal communication is a key component of any organisations’ communication structure.

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Directional Communication

When communicating within an organisation, the relative status of the parties in the interaction affects the dynamic of the communication

Upward communication

Upward communication indicates students communicate with teachers. It’s important for students to understand the HEI’s policies on addressing students and for HEI to provide students with methods of sharing any concerns or suggestions they have with teachers or other staff of the HEI.

Downward communication

The goal of downward communication is usually to ensure the best educational ethic for students of every level, so it’s important that the teacher communicates respectfully with the students for whom they’re responsible.

Horizontal communication

Finally, horizontal communication occurs between two  students. This is often the most common form of communication in a HEI, with students interacting between themselves  throughout the day. Communication between students helps to build team morale and more comfortable offering or requesting help when needed.

Internal and External Communication

An important consideration when communicating is whether you want to deliver your message internally to company employees or externally to the public

Internal communication

Internal communication systems are integral to helping academic management, it’s staff and even students interact as effectively as possible, and they may also include more candid observations than public messaging.

External communication

Strong external communication is essential to building a relationships with potential students /academic stakeholders and maintaining it. An HEI  may have more stringent rules in place for external communication in order to help them maintain a more positive public image.

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Oral and Written Communication

Whether an organisation shares information through text or audio is an important consideration for any organisational communication. While both written and oral communication have their own diverse options, such as the difference between a memo vs. a casual email between coworkers, or the difference between a staff meeting or a public relations video, each has some common key principles.

Oral Communication

Oral communication gives you the opportunity to inflect while you speak, which makes for more dynamic interactions. With oral communication, however, it’s especially important to make sure that the speaker communicates clearly to avoid any miscommunication.

Written Communication

When using written communication, the most important distinction is the inability to present with tone. This can remove some nuance or subtlety from communications, making it more important that you choose your words carefully. Written communication often benefits from brevity, with shorter paragraphs and sentences better suited to maintaining the readers’ interest.