A Real Flow In The Circular Flow Diagram Is Understanding the Communication Process – The Key to Organisational Success

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Understanding the Communication Process – The Key to Organisational Success

The process by which a person or group of persons receives an increase in information that is of some value to the sender or receiver either by adding knowledge or entertainment or acquiring energy to act or persuading the sender to buy or act in accordance with the sender’s needs. Communication is a process.

Communication process

An important part of communication is information, which is being transferred. Information can be in any form – from hand signals to public speeches, from emails to detailed contracts, from a one-word greeting to a long letter, from a message on a school notice board to a daily full-page ad. A raised eyebrow warning for a five-minute hug, from a memo to a superior or subordinate in an HR manual, etc. To transfer information or messages, a specific vehicle or medium is used, which loads on itself and goes to the intended recipients. Vehicles or media are paper, phone, one to one meeting, public meeting, conversation, hoarding, newspaper, written or spoken word, body gesture, smile, books etc. The communication process is the way in which vehicles receive and carry information so that the receiver will understand it as it should be. The medium or the sender or the receiver characteristically distorts the information, which in one way or the other contributes fully or partially to the failure of the communication to accomplish the purpose.

The two important stages of communication are a) encoding and b) decoding. The process between these two stages is a potential source of communication failure. Encoding is the translation or transformation of an idea or intention or message into words or signals so that the receiver interprets it as intended by the sender. Decoding is what the receiver does to transform the received words or signals back into the original idea or intention or message of the sender. The problems associated with encoding or decoding are due to the fact that words or signals have multiple meanings and thus there is a possibility of either using the wrong words or wrong signals or understanding them in a different way than originally intended.

Understanding the process of communication will make transactions easier. Otherwise, there will be no action or delayed action if some action or wrong action or relationship is damaged. For example, a boss tells his secretary that a meeting with contractors is urgent. But to his surprise, a meeting was quickly called for the next morning, but it clashed with another event, unknown to the secretary. In this case, the boss, busy with the office routine, ignored the messaging process and the attendant’s chances of miscommunication at multiple stages. He could not tell the time. But the secretary understood next morning. This explains how the process involved in encoding and decoding goes wrong and is therefore surprising.

All the factors involved in communication process are a) Sender b) Receiver c) Message c) Encoding d) Decoding e) Channel f) Voice g) Feedback.

The following brief discussion explains the communication process.

Sender: The point from where the message originated, the boss here, is the sender. The action to be taken from this message is to call a meeting immediately, but definitely not the next morning.

Message: Message is the essential content of communication or information to be sent. A message is a request to convene a meeting.

Receiver: The person to whom the message is to be delivered is the receiver. Here the secretary is the receiver whose job it is to understand and act upon the sender’s wishes precisely.

Encoding: The idea of ​​calling a meeting, in this example, is converted into words, most likely facial expressions indicating the urgency of the meeting. Encoding is the process of converting ideas into words or expressions.

Channel: The vehicle or medium required to carry an encoded message from sender to receiver. The vehicle may be paper or telephone or internet or meeting or conversation. In the present example, the channel is the verbal communication between the boss and the secretary.

Decoding: The process of understanding the message given by the sender by the receiver. In this example, the secretary understood the message given by the sender while decoding.

Noise: Noise is the causative factor in miscommunicating or misunderstanding a message due to a problem in the chosen medium or encoding or decoding or some stage of the process. In this instance, the message was not properly constructed and therefore the secretary did not understand it as intended by the sender. Communication noise is the extraneous noise generated by land line telecommunications cables or transmission equipment when subscribers are talking on a land line phone and therefore do not hear or understand the words being exchanged.

Feedback: The sender is communicating back to the sender his or her evaluation or understanding of each part or word of the message before the sender acts on the message. Here in the present instance the secretary did not give her feedback as to what she understood and thus the intended message failed.

What has been described in the previous paragraphs is a general understanding of the concept of the communication process, but a brief study of the various theories put forward to date will facilitate a fairly in-depth understanding of the communication process. The following paragraphs attempt to do the same.

Aristotle’s Theory of One Way Communication: Aristotle suggested that communication consists of three elements – the sender, the receiver and the message. It is a simple and basic model, which, however, provided the basis for the rest of the theory to come forward. Aristotle, at such an early stage in the evolution of the social sciences, posited that communication is a one-way process. This indicates that the sender is responsible for good persuasive communication. Neither the concept of voice nor the need for feedback in communication occurred to him.

Lasswell Model of Communication: Lasswell expanded Aristotle’s theory of communication to include another element, the channel. The three important elements or elements in this theory are a) Sender b) Message c) Channel. According to his theory, it is the responsibility of the sender to see that the receiver understands the message by selecting the appropriate channel. Like Aristotle, this is a one-way communication.

Shannon-Weaver Model: This theory was proposed in 1949 by a pair of engineers CE Shannon and W Weaver. This theory was based on a mechanistic view of communication. This is the first principle, which recognizes that the message received is not the same as the message sent. This distortion is due to noise present in the system.

He introduced feedback as a corrective measure for noise. But, they did not integrate feedback into the model. He proposed that feedback initiates another cycle of the communication process. The theory essentially holds that real communication occurs only when the message received and the message sent are the same without any difference, which may be true for the engineering model. But communication between individuals, which mostly takes place without any machines, cannot be as perfect as assumed in theory, because filters between individuals operate both at listening and sending. Filters are attitudes, perceptions, experiences, and evaluations that operate before actual communication begins. Intentional action is evidence of communication success.

The components in this model are a) Information Source b) Encoding c) Channel d) Decoding e) Destination f) Noise g) Feedback.

Schramm Model of Communication: Wilburn Schramm proposed this model in 1955, which is considered the best of all theories as it is developed and comprehensive. It was proposed in three phases with some improvements in each successive phase compared to the previous phase. These phases are also referred to as the three distinct models.

In the first phase, the emphasis was on the encoding process and the source, as in Aristotle, without any recognition of sound. It was also a one-way communication flow.

In the second stage, emphasis was placed on the shared domain of experience of sender and receiver. According to this theory, the sender must take into account the receiver’s needs and abilities, which he must be aware of due to shared experience, and thus choose the appropriate channel and at the same time encode the message in a way. which can be understood by the recipient. Here the communication process is considered as a two-way flow.

In the third phase, feedback was considered an essential component of the communication system. In this phase of Schramm’s theory, the communication process includes sender, receiver, good channel, proper encoding, proper decoding, and feedback. A flow that ends with feedback immediately resumes to perform circular processing.

The Inferential Model of Communication: Prof. Mathukutty Monipally proposed a new theory called the ‘inferential model of communication’ which emphasizes the symbols displayed and the derivation of inferential meaning from such symbols. The model assumes that there is no adequate and correct way to send a message, and yet we send messages through a select few symbols, which again are not properly understood.

Prof. Mathukutty (2001) explains, “The hypothetical model assumes that we can’t communicate, we can’t communicate, we can’t share our message with anyone, we can’t get it into the minds and hearts of others. And yet we want to. Communication Do. There is no code that can faithfully capture our message and then be sanitized by others. So we resort to displaying symbols…. This process is generally satisfactory. Of course, we can be wrong; and sometimes we can be very wrong. It can but this is the only means available.” (Mathukutty M Monipalli, Business Communication Strategies, 2001, New Delhi, Tata McGrawhill Publishing Company Limited, pp 6-9)

An overview of some other models of communication

Another model of Katz-Lazarfeld deals with mass communication, which states that the sender must encode the message and transmit it through the mass media to the opinion leader. The pollster in turn conveys it to the target audience, the public. It is also designed as a one-way direction of information flow.

Another model, which has taken a different path, is Westley – McLean’s. It emphasizes interaction. In this, a carefully encoded message is sent to the receiver who forwards it to the sender or other persons with some modifications. The model emphasizes sender, receiver and feedback, making this model circular.

Another one-way model is Berlow’s, which identifies perception as an important component of communication. According to this model, any discrepancy in message reception due to the influence of mediators’ perceptions will lead to miscommunication. The key building blocks of this model are the source, the receiver, the intended meaning, and the process of sending and receiving the message.

Watlaw-Bevin-Jacobson proposed a two-way communication model emphasizing the behavior of the participants and the existing relationships between them for communication to be successful.

Rogers-Kincaid proposed that for communication to be successful, individuals must be connected through social networks and information exchange.


Understanding the communication process is very important for managers of an organization. They should understand that communication should rarely be understood. Message distortion can occur at any stage in the communication process – sender, receiver, encoding, decoding, channel, message and feedback.

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