Communication Channels in Business Management
Communication is a vital tool in every aspect of business, irrespective of its size and location. In the modern world, communication has become increasingly necessary, as companies move from localized to a worldwide platform, covering large areas. In addition, globalization of markets and the need to acquire more information on markets and trade has made it necessary for business organizations to look for various communication channels. The channels of communication for business organizations are therefore a vital tool in management, and each business must choose the best possible channels. International business organizations have to ensure that there is efficient and reliable flow of information between its leading and management teams, and therefore has to choose how these teams will conduct meetings, share knowledge, information and ideas. In this case, a self managed communication and works team has been chosen for a leading company in the international arena, and the specialist has the task of determining which communication channels has to be chosen for each type of meeting.
What communication channel(s) would you recommend for the initial meeting of a self managed team and why
Virtual communication has become increasingly important player in the international and regional arena. In management, virtual communication teams are quite important if the teams are located in diverse geographical locations. Virtual self managed groups have the responsibility of conducting their own affairs in their own regions, but which must be in line with what other groups are doing (Gupte, 2007). Therefore, they have to concentrate on their region, but access the information from other teams without necessarily travelling. In addition, a first meeting between team members is quite importance because it allows mutual understanding. In this case, digital modes of communication, as they defines the virtual communication channels, are the most useful since they allow the teams to have an apparent one on one meeting with each other, yet they are located in diverse geographical locations. A global virtual team can be defined, in this case, as a temporary, geographically diverse, culturally diverse and electronically working communication group. The members may have never met at any one time, but are given the chance to communicate with one another as a group, share ideas and knowledge. These diversities ensure that teams can work within their own culture, area while at the same time having virtual contact with each other. This is effected by the electronic communication channels, where digital machines and computer technology is heavily relied on (Gupte, 2007).
What communication channel(s) would you recommend for key interactions and why?
Digital communication channels also allow executives to have a transient one on one communication with other leading teams located within a diverse organization, but within the same company. Decision making is the key here. Digital channels of communication are quite effective in enhancing key interactions between working and self managed teams, as they have to make decisions regarding the information acquisition and sharing within the company. Live chat software and emails may prove effective in this case; however, videoconferencing may be more important if the communication between these teams involves multiple groups communicating at the same time. The ultimate communication channel in this case would therefore be digital video technology, as it allows teams comprised of large number of persons to communicative in real time (Guffey, Rogin & Rhodes, 2009).
What can you do to ensure that all departments and work teams at SWC have necessary, accurate, and timely information?
Internal communication within a business organization requires that persons get the information quickly and efficiently to avoid delays and misunderstanding between employees and leading team members. The flow of information within the company and between working teams is the most important key in this case, and each team is in dire need of the information. The acquisition of the necessary information, in its accurate state and at the required time should be the most critical issue that the company address and try to achieve and maintain. Internal memos once proved to be important, but digital communication have overlapped due to their accuracy, speed and convenience. For example, in this case, digital internal memos communicated through emails are the most appropriate communication channels (Guffey, Rogin & Rhodes, 2009). This is because emails are quite confidential, and can be transmitted at the same time to each and every person within the team. They also ensure that each person gets the information in his or her own email address, and thus avoid a case in which one person gets the first hand information from traditional memos placed on boards, but transfer exaggerated or inaccurate information to others. It also makes it possible for information storage and retrieval for each and every member of the team. In addition, members can communicate either way, from the leader to the audience and vice versa.
What must be considered when working in a self-managed team environment with members located in different parts of the world?
Self managed teams in such a case can be observed to be under the international based sub-management in virtual teams. This implies that although these teams have some ability and authority to conduct heir own affairs, they have to rely on the centralized data communication team or executives in this field for their ultimate decision making procedures (Guffey, Rogin & Rhodes, 2009). Digital communication channels, especially video conferencing and video communication systems are vital. One needs to consider various issues here. In determining what communication channels is suitable for such a case, one needs to determine what kind of information is to be conveyed at a time, and the nature of the information transmitted regularly. The number of communication teams, their locations, the prevailing technology and the available information should be determined before choosing the channel. This is because one needs to know who the persons are getting the information, their language and their culture. Language barrier may prove to be a limitation in video conferencing, a few number of persons, for example one or two, cannot use videoconferencing, while still the cost of purchasing and maintaining such equipment may be very high for a particular group (Guffey & Loewy, 2010).
What are advantages and disadvantages of virtual self-managed team?
Virtually managed teams develop a clear business-like mentality as compared to localized teams due to the fact that the kind of communication in the former is always official rather than interpersonal as defined in the latter. In addition to this, these communication channels are quite advantageous to companies. For example, there is effective communication using the technology that fits the particular situation. This means that with the advent in technology, communication channels can be optimized and customized to fit exactly the prevailing conditions (Guffey, Rogin & Rhodes, 2009). The virtual communication teams ensure that there is a ‘community’ built on mutual trust, fairness, respect and affiliation among the members. In addition, the goals, purposes, vision and expectation are shared mutually among the members, irrespective of their localities, culture and practices. The team leaders are also able to lead by example, with focus on visible and quite measurable results. Moreover, there is collaboration and coordination across the organizational scope and boundaries.
How do considerations for a company that is vertically structured differ from a company that is horizontally structured?
The channels of communication chosen for each company should be able to fit well within its organizational structure. Flat (horizontal) companies have less complexity in their management structure, since top managers and other executives can actually interact with their employees in the lower levels (Andrews & Baird, 2005). In other words, there are few middle managers, thus communication can be effected using much simpler methods, such as memos and simple emails. However, there are several considerations that should be addressed. For instance, who are the audience, what information is being conveyed, the cost and the speed of communication. In vertically structured companies, there are several management levels, from the top most executives through middle managers to the lower level employees. Communication in such a case has to be effected after a wide range of considerations. For example, the level of management the audience is determines which modes and channels of communication are appropriate (Andrews & Baird, 2005). The methods of communication between top managers cannot be necessarily be the same as that used to communicate between low level employees, considering their large number, diversity and locations.
Andrews, P. H., & Baird, J. (2005). Communication for business and the professions. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
Guffey, M. E., & Loewy, D. (2010). Business Communication: Process and Product (with Meguffey.com Printed). New York, NY: Cengage learning.
Guffey, M., Rogin, P., & Rhodes, K. (2009). Business Communication: Press and products. New York, NY: Cengage Learning
Gupte, M. A. (2007). Success of university spin-offs: network activities and moderating effects of internal communication and adhocracy. London, UK: DUV.