Management Consulting/Written Analysis


Hi sir,

I am doing MBA General in Annamalai University. If you give me the answers for the below questions related to the subject of Written Analysis it will be very grateful to you. Thanks in advance

Write a short notes on:
1. Explain downward communication.
2. What are the merits of written communication?
3. Define interpersonal communication.
4. What are different media of communication?
5 . Define the term interpersonal conflict.
6 . What is informal communication.
7 . Explain the elements of group behaviour in the
communication process.
8 . What is meant by report writing?

1.   Explain downward communication.

Downward Flow of Communication: Communication that flows from a higher level in an organization to a lower level is a downward communication. In other words, communication from superiors to subordinates in a chain of command is a downward communication. This communication flow is used by the managers to transmit work-related information to the employees at lower levels. Employees require this information for performing their jobs and for meeting the expectations of their managers. Downward communication is used by the managers for the following purposes -
   Providing feedback on employees performance   
   Giving job instructions   
   Providing a complete understanding of the employees job as well as to communicate them how their job is related to other jobs in the organization.   
   Communicating the organizations mission and vision to the employees.   
   Highlighting the areas of attention.   
Organizational publications, circulars, letter to employees, group meetings etc are all examples of downward communication. In order to have effective and error-free downward communication, managers must:
•   Specify communication objective
•   Ensure that the message is accurate, specific and unambiguous.
•   Utilize the best communication technique to convey the message to the receiver in right form   
In downward communication, internal communication is central to success. Managers need to create a vision for employees with which they can identify. Employees also need to know that leadership is serious about this vision and will have follow through.

For managers, communicating downwards means they must rely on their subordinates to help support the strategy and mission of the company. Many managers make a strategic mistake in that they do not enlist subordinates' help during the strategy-making process. Managers should realize that working with subordinates early on, and managing the communication process, is vital to the long-term success of the company.
In a workplace environment, orders given from superiors to subordinates is the most basic form of downward communication. These are usually done via manuals and handbooks, oral communication, and/or written orders. Two other instances of downward communication are when a customer gives orders to a supplier, and when shareholders instruct management to take specific action.

In a study conducted by John Anderson and Dale Level, the following were cited as benefits of effective downward communication:
•Better coordination
•Improved individual performance through the development of intelligent participation
•Improved morale
•Improved consumer relations
•Improved industrial relations

In order for downward communication to be effective, the superior should remain respectful and concise when giving orders; make sure the subordinate clearly understands instructions; and give recognition for admirable performance.

The downward communication approach is also referred to as the top-down approach. This approach is used by top level management to communicate to lower levels. In this type of organizational communication, distortion of the message may occur.
2. What are the merits of written communication?
Merits of written communication-
1.   It is accurate and correct: Written communication is usually carried out with utmost understanding and care. Individual consciousness is required with the act of writing. He reveals his thoughts seriously and tries to organize them. Because, written communication is an open message to verification, and its authenticity can be easily challenged, the message carrier is required to be accurate and factual. Therefore, greater accuracy and precision in written communication is emphasized.
2.   It can be repeatedly referenced: The recipient of written communication can be time on other message again. According his needs he can read the message again and again, until he thinks the message he understood well. Also, if we compare it with verbal communication, the risk of losing any part of the message is little in written communication. Even not understanding the message properly, the receiver does not request for its recurrence. This is because; the reader fears that the sender can assume that the recipient does not have an ability to understand his points. It is also possible that some significant part of the message can be mixed through the end.
3.   This is a permanent record: Written communication of the organization becomes a permanent record and can be useful for future reference. Old orders and decisions to the latest decision could serve as examples. Create new policies based on last year's report, and is considered beneficial to the set current goal.
4.   This is an acceptable legal document: Written communication is acceptable as a legal document. Therefore, in traditional management systems written communication has been discouraged. But officials in modern management systems that even though some messages may have transmitted orally, but they certainly should be confirmed in writing later.
5.   It facilitates placement of responsibilities: If communications are being preserved in writing it makes easier the allocation of responsibility through organisation. If any mistake as a result of verbal communication succeeds, it's hard to find that who is the actual faulty; the sender or the recipient. It is also possible that the fault may be instead of the sender or recipients have occurred in transmission or receipt. Manager sometime think that the employee pays more attention or trust on written message or orders rather than oral transmission of message.
6.   Its reach is extremely broad: In communication media the written communication is developing in a comprehensive and entertaining way. If the geographical location of communicators is too far away from each other, the written communication can be called a useful, inexpensive and efficient method to communicate along with the authenticity of the information

a) It serves as evidence of events and proceedings.
b) It provides a permanency of record for future references.
c) It reduces the possibility of misunderstanding and misinterpretation.
d) It can save time when many persons must be contacted.
e) It is reliable for transmitting lengthy statistical data.
f) It appears formal and authoritative for action.

Five Keys to Effective Written Communication
Of course, you might have the opportunity to write other types of correspondence as a fitness professional. So how do you make sure you clearly communicate your purpose regardless of the document? No matter which type of writing you do, “get your general ideas on paper or the computer screen—this is your first draft,” says Vogel. “Now go back and edit.”
When editing, consider the following factors:
Key 1: Use a Professional Tone. Your readers will form an opinion of you from the content, the style and, most important, the attitude and tone that come across in your writing. Create a professional, positive tone by using simple, direct language. Adopt a “you-attitude” versus an “I-attitude,” to show that you’re sincere in your focus on the reader rather than on yourself as the writer.
If you need to convey unwelcome information, craft it with special care. When denying a request or sharing bad news, acknowledge the problem or situation and diplomatically explain the background and your position. If responding to a request, make your “no” response clear so there’s no misunderstanding. If you can, suggest an alternative and build goodwill as much as possible by offering to answer any questions the reader may have.
Key 2: Know Your Audience. The intended readers of your correspondence can vary from medical doctors, lawyers and other fitness professionals to clients of all occupations and ages, including children. You must consider their backgrounds, technical expertise and educational levels as well as their mindsets and possible reactions to your writing. This process is no easy task, but the more time you take to identify your audience, the more effective your message will be.
Key 3: Organize Your Information Clearly. Arrange your thoughts so that your correspondence can be read quickly and comprehended easily. Organize the information based on your purpose. For example, when writing instructions, organize your information in sequential, or step-by-step, order. For incident reports, write in chronological order, explaining how the events unfolded. When sharing news and information, use the “6Ws”—who, what, when, where, why and how—to guide you.
Key 4: Use the Right Format. Format refers to how your correspondence is laid out on paper or online. Usually writers choose their formats based on the method of delivery—letter, memo or e-mail. Each type has distinct format conventions (guidelines) for including and placing elements such as the date, addressee, subject line, salutation, message body, closing line, signature block and company letterhead or logo. (See “Correspondence Format Conventions” on page 114 for examples.)
Key 5: Use Visual Elements Carefully. Visual elements—such as font size and type; underlined, italicized or bold text; and bulleted or numbered lists—help emphasize key points and make your correspondence more effective. With all the options available, be careful not to go overboard, especially with fonts. Choose font types based on your document’s purpose, audience and formality. Vogel says to avoid using all caps, which can impede readability and give the wrong impression. “Your goal is to make writing as easy to read as possible,” she says.

3. Define interpersonal communication.
Interpersonal communication is the process of sending and receiving information between two or more people.
Types of Interpersonal Communication
This kind of communication is subdivided into dyadic communication, Public speaking, and small-group communication.
Dyadic communication is simply a method of communication that only involves two people such as a telephone conversation or even a set of letters sent to and received from a penpal. In this communication process, sender can immediately receive and evaluate feedback from the receiver. So that, it allows for more specific tailoring of the message and more personal communication than do many of the other media.
Basic elements
The process involves four basic elements. Sender; person who sends information. Receiver; person who receives the information sent. Message; content of information sent by sender. Feedback; response from receiver.
Communication Channels
Communication channels are the medium chosen to convey the message from sender to receiver. Communication channels can be categorized into two main categories: Direct and Indirect channels of communication.
Direct channels are those that are obvious, and can be easily recognized by the receiver. They are also under direct control of the sender. In this category are the verbal and non-verbal channels of communication. Verbal communication channels are those that use words in some manner, such as written communication or spoken communication. Non-verbal communication channels are those that do not require words, such as certain overt facial expressions, controllable body movements (such as that made by a traffic police to control traffic at an intersection), colour (red for danger, green means go etc), sound (sirens, alarms etc.).
Indirect channels are those channels that are usually recognized subliminally or subconsciously by the receiver, and not under direct control of the sender. This includes kinesics or body language, that reflects the inner emotions and motivations rather than the actual delivered message. It also includes such vague terms as "gut feeling", "hunches" or "premonitions".

Effective Interpersonal Communication
If you are the sender, it’s your job to find ways to penetrate the noise that prevents clear
communication. Following these four steps in your communication will help you do so:
1. Focus your message
2. Magnify the listener’s attention
3. Penetrate barriers
4. Listen actively.
Focus Your Message
Focusing your message means planning before you speak. Think carefully about what
you want to say and how you want to say it. Decide what your goal is: to inform, to persuade,
to direct, or to do something else. Be sure you understand who your audience is so you
understand where the audience is coming from as it receives your message. Make sure your
message is specific and concise. Get to the point; don’t be diverted into side issues. Present
your message politely, and be objective—state all sides’ positions fairly before arguing your
own. (If the listener perceives that you are biased, this itself can become an important
barrier to communication.)
Magnify the Listener’s Attention
Ask yourself: Why should my listener care about what I have to say? You must create
interest—make your message relevant to the listener. If your instructor suddenly announces
that something will be on your next exam, you’re more likely to pay attention. If you
announce that what you’re about to say will save your listeners money, you’re likely to
grab their attention. Find something in your message that your listener can relate to and
make sure you highlight that.
Make it clear that your message is important. For example, if you suddenly announce
that “What I’m about to say could save your life,” before you discuss a crucial safety
issue, you’ll grab the listener’s interest. But your ideas must really be important. Simply
declaring that they are won’t do it—you must persuade the audience through the clarity
and logic of your arguments and your evidence that your message really is significant.
Again, think about your message from the audience’s perspective instead of your own.
This means knowing your audience. Deliver your message so that it naturally draws your
listener’s attention.
Penetrate Barriers
One serious barrier to clear communication is vagueness. If you say, “There was a fire
downtown last night,” you have communicated little. If you say, however, “Twenty fire
trucks from three different towns fought an inferno last night that destroyed an entire
city block, including a fireworks factory,” your concrete description has communicated a
good deal more. The listener now understands that you’re talking about a major disaster,
not a fire in a trash can. Your concrete description helps the listener create a mental picture,
or visualize the blaze.
Be as precise and concrete as you can. Would you describe the hurricane that nearly
destroyed New Orleans in 2005 as “some flooding and a lot of wind”? Don’t say, “There
are a bunch of well-armed enemy fighters in front of us.” Describe them precisely: “A
platoon-sized enemy force is in front of us armed with rocket-propelled grenades and
supported by a tank.”
Besides description, analogies can help your message penetrate communications
barriers. “Like looking for a needle in a haystack” is a cliché, but it gives a concrete idea
of how difficult the task is. Find an original way to say it: “like trying to melt a glacier
with a hair dryer”; “like trying to heat the moon.” Note that analogies work only if both
the sender and the receiver understand the analogy’s references the same way.
Ask your audience for feedback. But be sure to ask the right kinds of questions. If you
simply ask, “Did you understand me?” nine times out of 10 the listener will say, “Yes.”
Ask the kinds of questions that allow you to verify that the listener really does understand:
How many seconds can you wait after pulling the pin on a grenade
before you must throw it?
Tell me again how many stars a lieutenant general wears.
What color on the traffic signal means you must stop?
You can also ask your listener to paraphrase or repeat back to you what you just said.
Revise your message as needed to ensure that your listeners understand it. Use listener
feedback to learn what they didn’t understand and find a better, clearer, less vague way
to explain it. Watch your listeners’ body language carefully for signs of distraction, boredom,
or lack of interest, and adjust your message as needed.
Listen Actively
The difference between hearing and listening is as important as the difference between
seeing and observing. You can hear background noise but not think anything of it. Or
you can listen and realize that what sounded a minute ago like an owl sounds an awful lot
like a person trying to imitate an owl.
Hearing is automatic and involuntary. It’s sound waves bouncing off your ear drums
and causing them to vibrate and send messages to your brain. Listening is the active,
voluntary effort to receive a message, understand it, and respond to it.
So far, this discussion has touched upon your role as speaker or message sender. But
as noted before, you have a duty to be a good listener or receiver, too. As a junior officer,
you’ll find that your listening skills are constantly put to the test as you receive instruction,
correction, and orders from superiors and requests or complaints from subordinates.

4. What are different media of communication?
We divide the different types of communication medium into two different categories:
1. Physical media
2. Mechanical media (everything that is not No. 1)
This site focus on the internal communication. Our listings of types of communication medium therefore exclude external media.
Physical media
With physical media we mean channels where the person who is talking can be seen and heard by the audience. The whole point here is to be able to not only hear the messages but also to see the body language and feel the climate in the room. This does not need to be two-way channels. In certain situations the receiver expect physical communication. This is the case especially when dealing with high concern messages, e.g. organizational change or down sizing. If a message is perceived as important to the receiver they expect to hear it live from their manager.
•   Large meetings, town hall meetings
•   Department meetings (weekly meetings)
•   Up close and personal (exclusive meetings)
•   Video conferences
•   Viral communication or word of mouth
Large meetings
Large meetings have got great symbolic value and should be used only at special occasions. This channel works very well when you need to get across strategic and important messages to a large group of people at the same time, creating a wide attention, get engagement or communicate a sense of belonging. Large meetings are excellent when you want to present a new vision or strategy, inform about a reorganisation or share new values. The opportunity for dialogue is limited at large meeting, of course but you can create smaller groups where dialogue can be performed.
Weekly departmental meetings
In the weekly meetings you and your group communicate daily operative issues, gives status reports and solves problems. Weekly meetings are also used to follow up on information from large meetings, management team meetings etc from a “what’s-in-it-for-us-perspective”. This type of smaller group meetings gives good opportunities for dialogue. This channel is often the most important channel you have as a manager, because that’s where you have the opportunity to build the big picture, you can prepare for change, you can create ownership of important strategies and goals etc. This is a favourite among the types of communication medium.
Up close and personal
This is a form of meetings where, often, a senior manager meets with a “random” selection of employees to discuss and answer questions. Some managers use this as a on going activities on a monthly basis. It can also be used in specific projects or campaigns e.g. launching new strategies.
Viral communication
Or viral marketing as it is also called works external as well as internal and refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in awareness or knowledge through self-replicating viral processes. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of social media.
Mechanical media
The second of the two types of communication medium is mechanical media. With mechanical media we mean written or electronic channels. These channels can be used as archives for messages or for giving the big picture and a deeper knowledge. But they can also be very fast. Typically though, because it is written, it is always interpret by the reader based on his or her mental condition. Irony or even humour rarely travels well in mechanical channels.
•   E-mail
•   Weekly letters or newsletters
•   Personal letters
•   Billboards
•   Intranet
•   Magazines or papers
•   Sms
•   Social media
E-mail is a good channel for the daily communication to specific target groups. It is suitable mainly for up-to-date and “simple” messages and where there is no risk of misunderstanding, E-mail is an important supplement to weekly meetings and the Intranet. Invitation to and agenda for meetings can with advantage be sent out with e-mail before the meeting, while background facts and minutes from meetings is well suited to be stored on the Intranet.
Some short e-mail tips:
•   Write short and to the point.
•   Target your messages to the audience and avoid sending unnecessary all-employees-e-mails.
•   Set up your subject line to describe what the e-mail is about.
•   Clearly state if the message is for information or for action.
•   Avoid attaching large documents if possible. Post a link or direct to the source instead.
Weekly letters
Managers that have large groups of employees and who has difficulties in meeting all of them often choose to publish a personally weekly letter. It is sort of a short summary of news with personally reflections. Many employees often appreciate it because it has the potential to give the “what’s-in-it-for-us” angle. They can also contain summaries and status in tasks, projects or issues – yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Personal letters
At special occasions it can be justified to send a personal letter to employees in order to get attention to a specific issue. E.g. pat on the back letter after extra ordinary achievements. Or it can be a letter with your personal commentary on an ongoing reorganisation that affects many employees. One other example is a letter that summarizes the past year and wishes all the best for the holidays.
One of the most forgotten types of communication medium is clearly the billboard. Especially today, when everything is about social media. But the good thing with the billboard is that you can use billboards to inform people who does not have computers and/or access to the Intranet or to reach people that work part time and does not attend weekly meetings.
•   News summary
•   Weekly letters
•   Minutes from meetings
•   Schedules
•   Holiday lists
You can also use the billboard to gather ideas e.g. for items for upcoming meetings
The Intranet is of course one of the most used types of communication medium and a very important communication channel and work tool for you as a manager, but it is also your job to help your employees prioritise and pick out the information on the Intranet, as well as translating messages into local consequences. Ask your self: what information concerns you employees? In what way are they concerned? How do I best communicate this to my employees? Weekly meeting or your weekly letter can be a suitable channel to discuss or inform of information found on the Intranet.
Employee magazine
A Magazine offers the opportunity to deepen a specific issue, explain context, describing consequences or tell a story. It also has the opportunity to reach many employees. If you want to create a broad internal understanding of strategic messages the magazine can be a good vehicle to use e.g. by writing an article based on an interview with you. As were the case with the Intranet you also have to “translate” the information in the magazine to your employees. You can ask yourself: What does the content in a specific article mean to us? How shall I best communicate it to the employees?
Or text messaging to the mobile phone is one of the new types of communication medium and not a very widely used channel but where it is used it is proven very effective. Some companies use it as an alert system e.g. for giving managers a head start when something important will be published on the Intranet. The advantage with Sms is that it is fast. But it should be used rarely as an exclusive channel. Some companies use it as a subscription tool where you can subscribe to e.g press-releases.
Social media
Wikipedia describe social media as “Media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media supports the human need for social interaction, using Internet- and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM).”
More and more companies are using social media in their external marketing, setting up twitter and Facebook accounts etc. But these channels are also used internal where managers become “friends” on Facebook with their employees or where managers use blog and twitter targeting their employees.
Push or Pull
You can also divide the different types of communication medium in Push or Pull channels.
Push channels are channels where the sender are pushing the message to the receiver. Meaning it is up to the sender to control the communication.
•   E-mail
•   News letters and letters (if sent out)
•   Magazines (if sent out)
•   Meetings
•   Telephone
•   Sms
Pull channels on the other hand is when the receiver is pulling the message from the sender. It is up to the receiver when he or she wants to take in the message.
•   Intranet
•   Billboards
•   New letters and letters (if not sent out)
•   Magazines (if not sent out)
•   Social media
Push channels are often regarded as having higher reliability than pull channels because of the fact that it is more active in the communication.
The ambition Stairway
Choosing the right types of communication medium is first and most about understanding your ambition with the communication. What effect is you looking for after you have communicated? Increased knowledge, better understanding more motivation or involvement, or do you want it to lead to some sort of action or changed behaviour?

The Ambition Stairway is a useful tool for you to use when deciding what channels to use for your level of ambition. Witch gives you control of the different types of communication medium. Also, it is important to realise that just publishing something on the Intranet will not get employees motivated and involved.
Choosing the right channels for your messages (Click on the matrix to download a PDF)

5 . Define the term interpersonal conflict.
A situation in which an individual or group frustrates, or tries to frustrate, the goal attainment efforts of the other.
Nature of Conflict
What is interpersonal conflict?
•   Interpersonal conflict is a disagreement between connected individuals who each want something that is incompatible with what the other wants.
•   Interpersonal conflict is neither good nor bad, but depending on how the disagreements are resolved, the conflict can strengthen or weaken a relationship.
•   Conflict can center on matters external to the relationship and on relationship issues such as who's the boss.
•   Conflict and the strategies used to resolve it are heavily influenced by culture.
•   Before the conflict: Try to fight in private, fight when you're ready, know what you're fighting about, and fight about problems that can be solved.
•   After the conflict: Learn something from the conflict, keep the conflict in perspective, attack your negative feelings, and increase the exchange of rewards.
Conflict Resolution Stages
How do you go about resolving a conflict or solving a problem?
•   Define the conflict: Define the content and relationship issues in specific terms, avoiding gunnysacking and mindreading, and try to empathize with the other person.
•   Examine the possible solutions: Try to identify as many solutions as possible, look for win-win solutions, and carefully weigh the costs and rewards of each solution.
•   Test the solution mentally and in practice to see if it works.
•   Evaluate the tested solution from a variety of perspectives.
•   Accept the solution and integrate it into your behavior. Or reject the solution and begin again, for example, defining the problem differently or looking in other directions for possible solutions.
Conflict Management Strategies
What are some of the strategies that people use that may help or hinder resolving the conflict?
•   Become an active participant in the conflict; don't avoid the issues or the arguments of the other person.
•   Use talk to discuss the issues rather than trying to force the other person to accept your position.
•   Try to enhance the self-esteem, the face, of the person you're arguing with; avoid strategies that may cause the other person to lose face.
•   Argue the issues, focusing as objectively as possible on the points of disagreement; avoid being verbally aggressive or attacking the other person.
Interpersonal conflict occurs when people:
•   are interdependent (meaning they are connected, and what one person does impacts the other)
•   are mutually aware that their goals are incompatible (one person will achieve while the other will not)
•   perceive each other as interfering with the attainment of their own goals.
For example: You are out with a close friend, and you both want to do a different activity; however, you have a very limited amount of time. There's not enough time to do both activities, so you must decide which activity to do. Obviously one person will get what they want while the other does not.

There are some common myths about conflict that should be corrected:
1.   Conflict is best avoided.
2.   Conflict means a relationship is in trouble.
3.   Conflict damages an interpersonal relationship.
4.   Conflict is destructive because it reveals our negative selves.
5.   Conflict always has a winner or loser.
It's not so much the conflict that creates the problem as it is the way you approach and deal with the conflict. In addition, one person doesn't have to lose. It is possible to both win.

Many issues that start conflicts within romantic relationships include: intimacy issues, power issues, personal flaws, personal distance issues, social issues, and distrust issues. One study found that the first fights were centered around uncertainty over commitment, jealousy, violation of expectations, and/or personality differences.

In workplace relationships, conflicts were around executive responsibility and coordination, as well as on organizational objectives, resources, and management style.

Friendship conflicts revolve around shared living spaces, violation of rules, sharing of activities and disagreements of ideas.

Principles of interpersonal conflict:

There are five principles of interpersonal conflict.
1.   Conflict is inevitable--It is a part of every interpersonal relationship. One study found that on average couples have 182 conflicts per year, which is approximately 3.5 conflicts a week, with each lasting approximately 25 minutes long, and another 30 minutes to sulk. Just because you have conflict doesn't mean your relationship is in jeopardy either. It just means that you have a relationship.
2.   Conflict can have negative and positive effects--It's all about the way you deal with conflict.
1.   Negative effects:
1.   Often leads to increased negative regard for the opponent.
2.   May deplete energy better spent elsewhere.
3.   May lead you to hide feelings or close yourself off from a more intimate relationship.
4.   Rewards may become more difficult to exchange leading to dissolution.
2.   Positive effects:
1.   Forces you to examine a problem and work toward a solution.
2.   May emerge with a stronger relationship.
3.   Enables you to state your needs.
4.   Often prevents hostilities from festering.
5.   Emphasizes the relationship is worth the effort.
3.   Conflict can focus on content and/or relationship issues--Content conflict focuses on objects, events, and persons usually external to the people involved in the conflict. Relationship conflict focuses on a concern with relationship issues such as who is in charge. These issues are often hidden or disguised as content conflicts.
4.   Conflict styles have consequences--There are five basic styles of engaging in conflict. When you compete, the person who loses concludes the conflict hasn't been resolved, just concluded for now. When you avoid, the conflict festers and probably grows, which will likely resurface later on. Accommodating means that you sacrifice your own needs to maintain harmony, but your needs are not likely going to go away. Compromising maintains the peace, but there will still be dissatisfaction over the losses endured. Collaborating is the ideal style

6 . What is informal communication.
•   Communication arising out of al those channels of communication that fall outside the formal channels is known as informal communication.
•   Built around the social relationships of members of the organization.
•   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 n 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 in the Workplace
On the other hand, informal communication in the workplace satisfies a variety of needs, particularly social and emotional, and are not based on the positions individuals occupy within the organizations. As a result, the communication is not managed or planned in any organized fashion. It’s more relaxed, casual and tends to be spread by word-of-mouth quickly throughout a department or organization because it’s not restricted to approvals and an established path of distribution.
Probably the most common term used for the informal communication in the workplace is “grapevine” and this communication that is sent through the organizational grapevine is often considered gossip or rumour. While grapevine communication can spread information quickly and can easily cross established organizational boundaries, the information it carries can be changed through the deletion or exaggeration crucial details thus causing the information inaccurate – even if it’s based on truth.
The use of the organizational grapevine as an informal communication channel often results when employees feel threatened, vulnerable, or when the organization is experiencing change and when communication from management is restricted and not forthcoming.
When used with thought and planning, however, there are several advantages of grapevine communication. It can
•   spread information quickly throughout an organization
•   serve a social purpose
•   reduce stress and anxiety
•   can be used to identify problems or lack of satisfaction in the workplace
While the organizational grapevine can never be eliminated, even if there are several advantages of grapevine communication, it can be reduced by removing the need for information. Managing the grapevine can be partly achieved by providing information through good, effective communication such as:
•   supplying sufficient information through the formal communication channel about the concerns that are of importance to employees and staff
•   present as much factual information as possible as soon as it is obtained
•   keep information coming on a regular basis especially during times of change when the employees are stressed and wondering what’s going on. Daily communication with them will reduce the pressure of uncertainty.
•   open the lines of the formal communication channels to receive feedback and concerns. Respond to these as quickly as possible. If concerns are submitted from staff and no response is given by management, rumours through grapevine communication will begin to fill in the communication gap which was created by management.

The Grapevine is the informal, but powerful communication medium in every organization. The INFORMAL  is pervasive and,  highly persuasive.
We can’t stop the INFORMAL . And we can’t outrun it. Word spreads like wildfire from person to person. And now blogs have become the “INFORMAL  on steroids.”
While formal communications are important and effective, informal channels should not be ignored. Understood and optimized, the INFORMAL  can be a powerful vehicle to align the company around important messages.
INFORMAL   COMMUNICATION  activity accelerates
• When there is a lack of formal communication.
• Anytime there is an ambiguous or uncertain situation
• When there are no sanctioned channels for venting
• When change is impending, and
• When there are heavy-handed efforts to shut it down.
There is a perception gap between senior and lower management. Lower managers are more likely to recognize the existence, the conditions under which the rumor mill accelerates, and the benefits of tapping into the  INFORMAL COMMUNICATION.
Managers can influence the  INFORMAL  by
• Understanding the conditions that increase INFORMAL   COMMUNICATION  activity
• Respecting employees’ desire to know
• Increasing participation and influence
• Sharing the bad news as well as the good,
• Monitoring the  INFORMAL   COMMUNICATION , and
• Acting promptly to correct mis-information.
The INFORMAL  may in fact be beneficial for an organization
• Some information that people can only get from the grapevine. “If you want to see what insurance coverage is offered, check the brochure or intranet. But if you want to know what it really takes to be successful around here, ask the grapevine.”
People can also . . .
• Spot problems and prepare. Compare reactions for appropriateness.
• Identify and seize opportunities early on.
• Build a reputation by positioning yourself as a “hub” in the grapevine network.
• Bond with co-workers. “Gossip greases the social wheel.”
• Weed out cheaters and liars. The  INFORMAL  exposes “free riders” – those individuals who don’t contribute, but benefit from the group’s efforts.
• Let off steam.
• Gain power and control. Those who are connected to the INFORMAL  know more about what’s going on their companies than people who don’t gossip.


7 . Explain the elements of group behaviour in the communication process.
Groups, or work teams, can accomplish great things in small and large businesses alike. A group's overall effectiveness, however, hinges to a great extent on the effectiveness of the participants' communication abilities. Without positive flows of communication, misunderstandings can occur between groups, creating a fractious work environment. Without clear communication between group leaders and workers, productivity can slow as workers struggle to understand their specific job functions. Communication styles can vary according to group dynamics. Geographically dispersed groups connected via the Internet, for example, are likely to communicate much differently than individuals who work in the same room with each other every day. Whatever the setting, the way groups communicate in your company can directly influence the success of your strategic goals.
Company Culture
Instilling a culture of openness, honesty and trust among co-workers is vital to effective group communication. All group participants must feel that they are free to contribute to the best of their ability without the fear of rejection, insult or political repercussions. Groups must be able to pool their intellectual resources to reach their full effectiveness, and that can only be accomplished when all members are ready and able to tackle new challenges in innovative ways.
Respect for Individuals
Individual respect is key to effective group communication. Clear hierarchical boundaries in meetings can stifle ideas and insights from lower-ranking employees. Every individual must truly believe that their input will be valued and considered, without undue clout given to the input of managers and executives. This kind of respect for group members' individuality cannot come to fruition through formal policies; executives and managers must lead by example in this area by first encouraging employees to contribute in meetings, then recognizing and considering input from all participants.
Business Etiquette
Adhering to a common code of etiquette in workplace groups can help communication processes to remain productive and collaborative by reducing distractions and feelings of resentment. If all group members dress professionally, speak courteously, avoid divisive, irrelevant topics of conversation and generally avoid causing offense to other group members, a team can find it easier to mesh and form a cohesive unit. A lack of attention to etiquette, on the other hand, can create divisions while encouraging gossip and feelings of resentment, all of which can present serious impediments to effective communication.
A number of theories attempt to analyze and explain the dynamics of group communication and the elements that determine its effectiveness. One such theory is the Decision Emergence Theory set forth by Aubrey Fisher. Decision Emergence asserts that new groups progress through four stages that lead the group from a diverse collection of individuals to a productive unit with shared experiences, decision methods, work ethic and values. The Structuration Theory suggests that individuals in new groups act according to a pre-acknowledged set of rules, then alter those rules over time based on the group's unique experiences.
8 . What is meant by report writing?
Report writing is widespread in many fields, such as business, medicine, science, criminology. Besides, implementation of any project implies writing progress reports. In some fields, there are even several report types. For example, business report writing includes the following types of reports:
Whatever a field of writing a report is, its purpose is to summarize results of past work and consequences of past events so that this information can be used in the present and in the future for decision making. Let us give you a notion about peculiarities of writing a report in different professional fields.
Writing a Report: Structure
Report structure may somewhat differ depending on the field, purpose and content. However, it is possible to outline a general structure often taking place in report writing:
1.   Cover Sheet
2.   Title Page
3.   Letter of Transmittal (Acknowledgements)
4.   Table of Contents
5.   Summary
6.   Main Body
•   Introduction
•   Discussion
•   Conclusion
•   Recommendations (Proposal)
7.   Bibliography
8.   Appendices
When writing a report, you may divide body text by means of subheadings so that it is more convenient for a reader to understand your information.
Writing a Report: Language
Writing a report requires using a language which somewhat differs from that used in academic writing. Report writing implies using plain language and constructing sentences which are not too long. However, may principles kept in academic writing also take place: formal style, no colloquialisms et al.

The main aim of writing a business report is to provide information that can help in making business decisions.  Writing a business report is successful only if it motivates the reader to take important business decisions.
Writing a business report: Steps to be followed
Students must follow the below steps when writing a business report in order to make it a proper report.
•   The primary step is to prepare for the business report.
•   The next step is to determine the scope of the report.
•   The third step is to recognize the audience.
•   The fourth step is to make a thorough research in order to gather the required information
•   The final step is to format and organize the report.
Writing a business report: Useful advices
When writing business reports, students must consider the following useful advices. The following tips help students for writing a business report effectively and successfully.
•   Define and elucidate the intention of the report.
•   Organize and arrange the relevant information in a logical fashion based on the purpose of the business report, with the audience in mind.
•   Write the business report to the audience in such a way to motivate the audience.
•   Write the business report using powerful and well-built words as well as effective and well-arranged sentences.
•   It is recommended to write business report in the commonly acknowledged format.
•   Proof-read and revise the business report before submission.


importance of reports

A very precise and well written report can prove to be very helpful to a person
as it gives all the relevant information related to the subject .
-it  provides  vital  information.
-it  provides  a  vehicle  for  feedback.

Reports are like another form to communicate effectively. They are also a way to analyze ones knowledge and skills. Once information is in hand the main thing is how one manages to organize   and presents the information. The presentation of information in the reports should be in a manner that they are logical and concise. The proper formatted reports are one of the most essentials tools  used for business proposals and by a number of organizations. These reports when are read by the targeted person will provide useful information in such a good manner that will increase your credibility as a person and as an organization as well.
In writing, a report is a document characterized by information or other content reflective of inquiry or investigation, which is tailored to the context of a given situation and audience. The purpose of reports is usually to inform. However, reports may include persuasive elements, such as recommendations, suggestions, or other motivating conclusions that indicate possible future actions the report reader might take. Reports can be public or private, and often address questions posed by individuals in government, business, education, and science.Reports often take the structure of scientific investigation: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. They may sometimes follow a problem-solution structure based on the audience's questions or concerns. As for format, reports range from a simpler format with headings to indicate topics, to more complex formats including charts, tables, figures, pictures, tables of contents, abstracts, summaries, appendices, footnotes, hyperlinks, and references.

The purpose of a report is to show information collected to the reader about certain topics, usually to set targets or to show a general view on the subject in hand. Another purpose is to discuss and analyze ideas and thoughts on any problems or improvements to be made and to inform the audience. They can either persuade, suggest or to motivate conclusions.

A report is an extended formal document with lots of pages that shows different types of information with details of the findings like e.g. Methodology, findings and added Appendices. The document structure is easily navigated by using a table of contents, so the audience can easily find specific information by clear headings and a set structure of text and images.

Types of reports include:

scientific reports, recommendation reports, white papers, annual reports, auditor's reports, workplace reports, census reports, trip reports, progress reports, investigative reports, budget reports, policy reports, demographic reports, credit reports, appraisal reports, inspection reports, military reports, bound reports, minority report, final report, majority report, environmental resources reports, error and other reports from software systems, etc.
With the dramatic expansion of information technology, and the desire for increased competitiveness in corporations, there has been an increase in the use of computing power to produce unified reports which join different views of the enterprise in one place. Termed Enterprise Reporting, this process involves querying data sources with different logical models to produce a human readable report. A computer user has to query the Human Resources databases and the Capital Improvements databases to show how efficiently space is being used across an entire corporation.

Enterprise Reporting is a fundamental part of the larger movement towards improved Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management. Often implementation involves Extract, Transform and Load  procedures into a reporting data warehouse and then use of one or more reporting tools. While reports can be distributed in print form or via email, they are typically accessed via a corporate intranet.

Reports are designed to convey and record information that will be of practical use to the
reader. It is organized into discrete units of specific and highly visible information
Types of Reports:
•Inform or instruct – present information
•Reader sees the details of events, activities or conditions.
•No analysis of the situation, no conclusion, no recommendations.
•Written to solve problems
•Information is analyzed.
•Conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made
•An extension of analytical reports: main focus is to sell an idea, a service, or
•Proposals are the most common type.
Difference between Reports and Correspondence
•Reports usually have a more diverse audience, more than one purpose and more
detailed information.
Typical Business Reports
Report_ Purpose_
Periodic Operating Reports_ To monitor and control production, sales, shipping, service, etc._
Situational Report_ To describe one-time events, such as trips,
conferences, and seminars._
Investigative/Informational_ To examine problems and supply facts – with little analysis._
Compliance_ To respond to government agencies and laws._
Justification/Recommendation_ To make recommendations to management and become tools to solve problems and make decisions._
Yardstick_ To establish criteria and evaluate alternatives by
measuring against the “yardstick” criteria. _
Feasibility_ To analyze problems and predict whether alternatives will be practical or advisable._
Research Studies_ To study problems scientifically by analyzing a problem, developing hypotheses, collecting data,
analyzing data, and drawing conclusions._
Proposals_ To offer to solve problems, investigate ideas, or sell
products and services._
The following are the two bases of classifying the reports-
•   According to function, and
•   According to formality.
According to functions the reports may be divided into three parts:
•   Informational reports.
•   Analytical reports
•   Research reports.
According to formality the reports may be divided into two parts:
•   Statutory reports
•   Non statutory or voluntary reports.
The above two may further be divided into two parts again, i.e. (i) routine reports and (ii) special reports.

Informational reports. These reports present facts about certain given activity in detail without any note or suggestions. Whatever is gathered is reported without giving any thing by way of either explanation or any suggestion. A vice-chancellor asking about the number of candidates appearing at a particular examination naturally seeks only information of the fact (candidates taking up the examination) of course without any comment. Generally such reports are of routine nature. Sometimes they may fall under statutory routine category. A company registrar asking for allotment return within the stipulate period is nothing but informational routine, falling under statutory but routine report.
Analytical reports. These reports contain facts along with analytical explanations offered by the reporter himself or may be asked for by the one who is seeking the report. Such reports contain the narration of facts, collected data and information, classified and tabulated data and also explanatory note followed by the conclusions arrived at or interpretations. A company chairman may ask for a report on falling trends in sale in a particular area. He will in this case be naturally interested in knowing all the details including that of opinion of any of the investigator.
Research reports. These reports are based on some research work conducted by either an individual or a group of individuals on a given problem. Indian oil company might have asked its research division to find some substitute for petrol, and if such a study is conducted then a report shall be submitted by the research division detailing its findings and then offering their own suggestions, including the conclusions at which the division has arrived at as to whether such a substitute is these and if it is there can the same be put to use with advantage and effectively. All details shall naturally be asked and has to be given. In fact such a report is the result of a research.
Statutory reports. These reports are to be presented according to the requirements of a particular law or a rule or a custom now has become a rule. The auditor reports to company registrar has to be submitted as per the requirements of country legal requirement. A return on compensation paid to factory workers during a period by a factory has to be submitted to competent authorities periodically. These reports are generally prepared in the prescribed form as the rules have prescribed.
Non statutory reports. These reports are not in the nature of legal requirements or rules wants, therefore, the reports are to be prepared and submitted. These reports are required to be prepared and submitted: (i) for the administrative and other conveniences,(ii) for taking decision in a matter (iii) for policy formulations, (iv) for projecting the future or (v) any thing alike so that efficient and smooth functioning maybe assured and proper and necessary decision may be taken with a view to see that every thing goes well and the objectives of the organization are achieved with assured success.
Routine reports. These reports are required to be prepared and submitted periodically on matters required by the organization so as to help the management of the organization to take decisions in the matters relating to day to day affairs. The main objectives of routine reports are to let the management know as to what is happening in the organization, what is its progress where the deviation is, what measures have been taken in solving the problems and what to do so that the organization may run smoothly and efficiently. Routine reports are generally brief. They only give the facts. No comments or explanations are usually offered in such reports. Generally forms are prescribed for preparation and submission of such reports.
Special reports. Such a type of report is specially required to be prepared and submitted on matters of special nature. Due to an accident a death of the foreman has occurred in a factory. The factory manager may ask for a detail report from the head foreman. Such a report is classified as special reports. These reports contain not only facts and details but they may contain suggestion, comments and explanations as well.

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Leo Lingham


management consulting process, management consulting career, management development, human resource planning and development, strategic planning in human resources, marketing, careers in management, product management etc


18 years working managerial experience covering business planning, strategic planning, corporate planning, management service, organization development, marketing, sales management etc


24 years in management consulting which includes business planning, strategic planning, marketing , product management,
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