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Communication 9

Communication and Technology

Changes in Technology and Communication

Over the years, different individuals and groups have come up with different definitions of communication depending on the needs the communication is supposed to meet or satisfy. Communication can be defined any behavior that results in the exchange of meaning. Stephen & Karen (2008, p.4) have interpreted communication as the process by which information is transmitted between individuals or organizations so that an understanding is developed. Two or more persons can view communication as an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions. Keyton (2011) is another prolific scholar who has endeavored to put communication into perspective. According to him, communication is the process of transmitting information and common understanding from one person to another. All the developed definitions of communication show the importance of communication in day-to-day life.

Communication is an integral component in any business organizations. No organization can thrive, morph and develop in the business world without establishing and upholding strong pillars of communication (Addo, 2013). This is because communication creates mutual relations and understanding in an organization. A good relationship among the employees and between the employees and employers is paramount in ensuring boundless success and achievements in an organization. This relationship can only be established when communication has been embraced by each stakeholder. When an organization establishes this kind of effective communication, the co-ordination between departments will flow seamlessly and effortlessly. The organization will conduct delegation of duties without failure or omissions and the result will be improved efficiency and effectiveness in an organization. Other organizations even use communication as a tool for measuring performance and the efficiency of leadership in an organization (Keyton, 2011).

Over the years however, there has been a paradigm shift in the ways and modes of communication. The traditional ways of communication have been replaced by the modern communication means that are a reflection of the advancement in technological expertise of the current generation (Keyton 2011). Over the last 20 years, there have been critical changes in technology, the world over and this has really altered the way business communicates. Traditionally, most organizations embraced the formal channels of communication. These were the upward channels, downward channels, lateral, or the diagonal channels (Fred, 2010). Upward channels of communication are those from the junior officers of an organization to the senior ranking officers. Traditionally, it occurred through memos, suggestion boxes, or direct conversations. Downward channels of communication are those from senior management to junior officers that were done either through memos or face-to-face (Fred, 2010).

The other channel of communication that was embraced traditionally is the lateral, also known as sideways, flow of information (Fred, 2010). This was made across all the departments of an organization through seminars and workshops. The last traditional formal channel of communication was the diagonal channel. These channels occurred without following any chains of command. It occurred when two officers performing different functions of different ranks co-operated to solve issues for a mutual benefit of the organization (Addo, 2013). It is important to note that these channels of information flow are still used by organizations but what have changed are the modes used to get the information across the various departments listed. Most communications have nowadays embraced the mode of communication called E-communication.

E-communication is the activity of conveying information through newsletters, statements and reports, marketing notices or product information sent by online methods. Some of the methods used for e-communication include short message services (SMS) and email (Kramer & Jenkins, 2007). However, communication can also be passes across individuals or departments of an organization using computers, phone calls, and faxes. This still entails e-communication.

E-communication has completely revolutionized the way organizations communicate (Vinit 2012). Nowadays, organizations interact with its various constituents differently. There is a difference in interaction between the organization and the people who work for it, members of the board and customers. Other persons whose interaction with the organization has changed are the partners. This way of interaction largely depends on the organization’s nature of the message, the objectives it is trying to meet, and the strengths or weaknesses of the media that is available (John, 2014). According to John (2014), these modes of e-communication add a powerful new channel that changes how the options are mixed. Furthermore, they create entirely new ways to interact.

The current scope of development in e-communication is only the beginning of more things to come. Technological advances are making entries into the business world on a very frequent basis (Kramer & Jenkins, 2007). This provides a great insight into the level of e-communication expected in the future. There are many improvements to an organization’s as impacted by electronic media. These include the following.

Improvements to Businesses by E-communication

E-communications can help an organization put together a number of media types into one message (Kramer & Jenkins, 2007). The result of this is efficient communication that meets the particular needs of its intended audience. In contrast to traditional modes of communication, e-communication has an exceptional ability which allows users to come up with various communications for subsidiary groups.

The second improvement is that e-communications is interactive. When e-communication is used, the audiences are engaged in communication that is not passive. This results in an actively engaged audience that is part and parcel of the communication process. (John, 2014).

In addition to that, e- communication creates a new form of communication from a group of individuals to another group. This lets groups that are in different locations communicating at the same time. The communication is also very interactive. An organization can hold video or press conferences that are relatively cheaper from its office without need of personal contact with recipients of the information (Kramer & Jenkins, 2007).

Currently most organizations are embracing facilities that are e-communication oriented such as the websites. Such means of communication are used with the organization in order to enhance teamwork. A group of people located differently can perform similar tasks and even put together the final results. They therefore learn to work productively in groups (Dubose, 2014).

E-communication also serves to remove the power of communication watchdogs (Dubose, 2014). These individuals evaluate information before it is transmitted to allow positive flow of information and inhibit the negative one. A majority of organizations have the norm of controlling the messages that make exit to its subsidiaries through managers, spokespeople and others. This changed with the introduction of e-communication. Nowadays, constituents can enhance communication among themselves. The advantage of this is that the virtue of listening is imparted (Vinit 2012).

Lastly, e-communication makes organizations able to transmit and receive large amounts of information. Information can be communicated to and received from various parties located in differently in the world (Wanda, Kazuo & Masayo, 1994). This makes a difference in the sources and details of an organization’s capacity of knowledge. It also lets those stakeholders to the organization provide it with new kinds of communication.

However, adoption of e-communication as the mode of communication in organizations has also had its challenges.

Challenges to Business by E-communication

The first challenge is that e-communication is quite insecure. An organizations computer, for instance, can be hacked. Hacking is an activity perpetrated by computer criminals that can cause virus affection to the computer (Palmira, 2012). When a computer system is hacked and possibly infected by a virus, it causes serious damages to the system and the computer network (Vinit 2012).

Secondly, e-communication allows fast transmission of large data volumes. This makes it difficult for the top management team to comprehend the message quickly and clearly. This delays the whole process of feedback provision to their employees (Palmira, 2012).

The third challenge the speed of message transmission. Often, such high speed leads to changes the message structure. The result of this could be misinterpretation. Data that has been transmitted through e-communication can also be duplicated completely. The worst thing is that there could be no proof of the duplication having been done (Vinit 2012) Another challenge of e-communication is lack of email privacy (Daniel, 2004). The science behind communication through email is of the data packets through which emails are sent. These units known as data packets then have to pass through a numerous routers. Routers are computer devices used for forward progression of data packets in the computer network. It also has to pass through other computers before it reaches its recipient. This means that the possibilities of anyone tampering with the message before its final destination are very high
. There could be some changes also made to the message. Sometimes malicious programs like viruses can be deliberately sent through e-mail. These cannot be easily detected.(Vinit 2012) Lastly, the data packets can also be lost in the process of transition from one computer system to another. Such incidents occur when one router transfers it to another
.(Vinit 2012) These changes by organizations to adopt e-communication have really had an impact on the way modern business operates today. Companies can trade stocks or file taxes online. Important files are now stored in computers rather than in drawers
. If the router is overfilled with data packets, there will be a delay in reception of the message (Daniel, 2004). Changes can be made to the message’s heading. This hampers the authenticity of the message. (Vinit 2012). Information about the business is more accessible and can be communicated or sent quickly to remote locations outside of an office. In addition to that, people can work from home. Lastly, e-communication has had an impact on businesses in that they can easily outsource jobs overseas.


In conclusion, e-communication has completely changed the way business operates. Despite the fact that it has also come with its challenges, the improvements in business organizations as a result of e-communication are very conspicuous. Therefore, more organizations have to embrace e-communication and at the same time be careful on its use. This will really revolutionize the business world.


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