The Effect of Communication Gap on the Achievement of Organizational Goal

The Effect of Communication Gap on the Achievement of Organizational Goal

Much has been said and written about the effect of communication gap on the achievement of organizational goal. Communication is a very important and vital tool in every organization, even in the Ports Authority. Various authors have defined communication. In his own definition, John M.P. Fiffner saw communication as a galaxy of connotation, each of which is valuable and useful for its particular context. It is indeed common that the mere mention of world communication conjures pictures of the letters, telegram, radio, cables, telephone, TV etc. in the mind of the people in the street.

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These pictures present examples of some of the instruments of communication but do not define what the word communication really is. Basically, communication has to do with how these and other instruments are employed in the act and art of passing information from one person to another or from one person to a group of people.

C.J. Coulson defines communication as the process by which the process by information is transmitted between individuals transmits information between individual or organization by means of commonly accepted symbols in order to elicit a particular response.

The above definition implies that for communication to take place, there must be two or more people and that communication should have an air, the intent of sender, which must be properly perceived by the receiver, otherwise the communication is lost.

Since communication involves the conveying of information from one person to another, it is now clear that the process of communication is an essential one in any human endeavour as no one is an Island, and therefore always interacts with other people. However, stated definition of communication applies to people at home, school, conference meeting, anywhere, anytime in this era of specialization when knowledge has been compartmentalized into various disciplines. It is natural that specially makes modification and so arrived at definition that are considered unique to and suitable for these disciplines. No wonder why some specialized writers on business studies often make it clear that they define is not just communication but business communication.

There are some elements which any good and effective communication in an organization should contain.

ü Purpose: Any communication, which should be effective must have predetermine objective.

ü Interchanges: Communication as a for mentioned always involve at least two or more people including the sender and the receiver.

ü Ideas and Opinion: Instruction and the likes. The content of the message encoded will vary depending on purpose or circumstance.

ü Personally or Impersonally: Communication channels chosen may be direct, face to face or via television to millions of people simultaneously.

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ü By symbol of sign: Some devices or methods of communication should be employed to carry or convey the message or bring the interchange.


Communication involves a process, it is dynamic and complex process, it is dynamic because it is comparable to a living organization ever growing and assuming new dimension. It is complex because like all living organisms, growth brings about development. As living things develop the various organism or organs or parts become more sophisticated and natural ready to perform more complex and difficult functions. It is a process because communication starts from some where the source, and terminates at a point called destination or receiver. It continues to flow forwards and backwards from the source to the destination or receiver until the problem which necessitated the communication has been resolved. This fact is also vividly brought out by Leonard J. Kasmier when he wrote “information and understanding are passed to the receiver and knowledge of its effect impact is passed back to the sender in the form of feedback. The whole sequence of the sender conveying information to the receiver and the recipient sending back some feedback to the sender, is the communication process. At most, everybody is an organization target or goal, every person in an organization should try and master the technique of transmitting information.

Feedback is essential for effective long term working relationship. H. Koontz O’Donnel and Weilrich properly and effectively encoded, transmitted, decoded and understood unless it is confirmed by feedback. It is therefore, necessary to feedback in any information system to check communication effectiveness.

Communication as a process involves the transferring, passing, he giving and receiving, the sharing and imparting of ideas, opinion, and attitudes etc. Communication is certainly not a one way affair, but a two way process, in this process, there is no superior status. Communication as a process involves three essential things viz, action, reaction and interactions.

Action: This refers to the initiative taken by someone, usually called the source, sender, encoder, the transmitter, the initiator etc. to share, give impact etc. opinion, attitude etc. Action therefore refers to the willingness of the initiator to act. He could do this through various means. He could speak, gestures, paint, draw etc.

 Reaction: refers to the response of the receiver to the initiator or of the encoder. In other words, it is the feedback on the message of the sender.

Interaction: refers to exchange of message between senders and receivers. It is a continues, every going and never ending process. In this process the message leaves the source, and reaches the receiver who now respond becomes the source and the former source who now receives the feedback becomes the receiver.


Communication is basic to the existence of human existence of human organization. It has been the primary concern of administration in all human institution be it military, government, church, family and school or business organization.

Daniel Katz and Robert L. Kalu said that communication the exchange information and the transmission of meaning is very essential in the social system of and an organizations could not have come together without the instrumentality of communication, hence communication enable organization to be forward.


There are many organizations in the world in which we like primary, secondary, formal and informal. And example of primary organization is the family, with an informal setting where a man and a woman come together, these people joins means of effective communication through the man is able to win the opinion of his wife. These people join and begin to increase in size through procreation of children. At this juncture (point) they strive to sustain their language the basic tool of communication, by trying to communication, by trying to communicate with their children. This means that in the family unit communication enables parents culture, norms and labours of the society. As the children grow, communication process enables them to mix outside organization or environment.

In the performance of an organization, communication plays an important role which is to effect change to influence section towards the welfare to the enterprise or to create awareness of a product to the world. Business for instance requires information about the organization cycle a government activities knowledge about such information enables or helps the managers to make decision that effect their product line, product quality making strategy, communication helps to integrate the managerial functions of planning, organizing, directing and controlling. Terry, in his word, said that communication helps to lubricate and faster the management process, it helps managerial planning to be performed effectively, management actually to be performed effectively and managerial controlling to be applied effectively.


It then follows that communication is an essential ingredient of almost everything a manager does, of their levels must communicate. In this way they circulate information to different sections and department in the organization.

Samuel Eilon wined that information in a communication network is the lifeline or wire of a business enterprise. It is like blood flowing through the veins and arteries of the body. Through information flow, managers are able to establish and disseminate the goals of an enterprise, develop plans for their achievement, organize human and other resources in the most efficient way, select, train and appraise organizational members and control performance.

In a business organization, there are crises, or problem from time to time, such crises in most cases emanate from a communication block out. Workers for instance have been known to go on strike when expectation are not met eg. Non payment of salaries (Minimum wage) for months without explanation from management. This implies that it overcomes the problem arising from each or such communication gap, industrial leaders must communicate the gap must be bridged between what management know because they have access to a lot of information and what employee believe often in ignorance.


Finally, on his own part, Fred Aken attributes a substantial portion of a company’s unlivable performance to its communication programme . “While our results cannot be attributes solely to our communication programs, it clearly much of the credit” in any organization.


The main purpose of communication is to change someone, group or something in bringing forth-favourable trends. R.C. Micheln stated that the purpose of communication is inducing action and secure inaction. In business enterprise, communication is effected to influence action towards the welfare of the enterprise. Business for example repairs information about prices, competition, technology and finance as well as information about the information about the business cycle and government activity B. Willey categorized the purpose of business communication as

ü Employees relation

ü Employers recruitment

ü Sales and promotions

ü Reporting to management

ü Reporting to stockholders


Organizational communication helps to orientate workers to their jobs as well as helping the supervisor to monitor the activities of the workers. Within the organization, there two basic system of communication the formal and the informal there are others referred to as the semi-formal channel which are the officially recognized, and so they are the conduit pipe for channeling task related messages or information.

Informal communication, there is three principle flow of information

ü Downward flow

ü Upward flow

ü Horizontal flow

These are the modern concept of information flow within the organization. Hitherto, it used to be downward hierarchical communication flow. It was an authoritarian information flow. Information flow from the top management downward to the workers. The vertical communication emanates from persons with highest authority and the flow spans all the strata of the organization, for instance, the flow of information in Nigerian Ports Authority emanate from the Board of Directors through the general manager, managers, assistant managers, supervisors to the staff. Such communication often consists of goals, plans, targets, directives, queries etc from the management to the employees. This type of information documents organizational communication.

Downward communication flow was based on the theory that organization members are employers because of pay. Consequently, their opinions, ideas, attitudes and family welfare were considered irrelevant to the employees so long as he performed the task which he was employed. But this motion was wrong because productivity is a reflection of the home situation, and this was the mere reason why the management should be investigated in the welfare of the organization members outside the work place.

Moreso, because the employee was to feel that he is not part and parcel of the organization, he did not, most of the time feel committed to his task.

Employees are now able to engage in upward communication, they also have unions that cater for their interest as well as the interest of the organization. Emphasis is now on participating management in that employees are now on participate management in that employees are now seen as part and parcel of the organization. By upward communication therefore, we mean the flow is a feedback loop on how organization members react to management decisions, directives, goals, target etc. Consequently, the upward flows are message containing clarification on directives, decision target etc. The upward flow allows the offices to report back to management, to express their feelings about their task and the problem and progress of their units.


When upward flow of communication is encouraged, it confers on the organization members as set of belonging to the organization and consequently they become more committed to their task, and lead to increase in productivity. Absence of upward communication flow is dangerous.

There is the tendency however, that the organization members would give only supportive information to the management. In other words, they would provide the management with the type of information it would like to get.

Horizontal communication flow could however, cause a detriment of the pursuit of the organizational goals. It could also had to the by passing of the officially recognized avenues for solving issues.

The semi-vertical communication flow takes care of union members. Trade union has come to recognized as the mouth piece of the employees. As a result of this recognition, it now constitutes on official communication transfer system between employees and management. The semi-vertical communication flow provides a liaising between workers and management and vice-versa. This dual flows produces a balance information system in he organization.


The informal communication flow system carries the unofficial information, and it is the system that the management pretend to neglect, but actually make use of it. According Rogers and Rogers, informal communication structure is determined by proximity and mutual attractiveness of individual that interacts in work places and in other activities. In the same way it is determined by similarities of valves and social characteristics informal authority. This information communication flow directly from the bottom to the top and vice-versa through unofficial rumors. In these cases, there are no evidences to buttress the information and their originators are difficult to ascertain. In organization where rumour is life, it shows that there is a communication problem within the organization. In other words, there is communication gap there secondly, grapevine is the positive counterpart of rumour, it is usually based on facts, and has origin. Information carried through the grapevine are often related to the organization and the social life of employee, such as marriage, naming ceremonies etc. At time grapevine is deliberately used in order to determined how employees will react it’s a proposed policy, this management could modify it if need be.

Communication whether formal or informal interpersonal or organizational must be effected through verbal and non-verbal methods. In this case, one can classify communication into verbal and non-verbal.

Non-verbal communication is the type of communication, which is carried out without the use of words. Non-verbal communication can come in different forms for instance; it can be carried out with hand, finger, body gesticulation etc. This is used in communication with deaf and dumb. Sometimes facial gestures and thinking of an eye convey messages, that one has not spoken, for example, frown may mean “I am not happy about what you have done” or don’t do it.

Verbal communication encompasses oral and written communication, oral communication is the communication method involving person to person. Verbal communication participated in by all levels of management to generate interest acceptance and influence. It involves sound voice.

The main fields of oral communication according to Deverall are:

ü Interviewing of all kinds, formal and informal

ü The more or less formal address

ü Meeting of many kinds

ü The use of the telephone and similar media for transmission of the voice

In one study, some of the managers notice that communication is the cause for difficulties on their jobs and this then creates the need for these problems.

Written communication is an alternative to oral communication, written communication involves written or writing words.


Abraham Lincoln opined that public opinion is everything with it nothing can fall but without it nothing can succeed. The importance of communication to the success of any organization cannot therefore be over-emphasized, and not any organization to reap the favourable effect of good or effective communication, its communication system must be devoid of any type of barrier.

Secondly, effective communication calls for repetition and managers should try to make use of more than one method or media, for instance, an oral communication on the same subject sent through the formal channel.

Dave and Jackson in their book functional business communication, stated that, the key to communication problems can be found by devising organizational pattern that will enhance flow of information up, down and across all levels of the firm. Thus, managers should encourage employees to channel their complaints upward by adopting an open door policy, as well as encouraging lateral communication among people of equal rank.

For communication to be effective, it must be time conscious. Information should be sent for ahead of time. Employees should also learn how to communicate with their employer with careful trimming. For instance, such issues as increase in pay salary should be discussed when managers are in good happy mood.

According to Donald Kick, Patrick these are when communication should be avoided viz:

ü When the receiver is preoccupied with other matter such as mental or emotional problem.

ü When receiver is likely to be interrupted frequently.

ü When he is too busy to listen adequately.

ü When the receiver is angry, frustrated or in a bad mood.

—-This article is not complete———–This article is not complete————

This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic



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  1. Angela Sylvester says

    Great mind great ideas ….exactly wat i needed,nice job????

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