Communication Technology in BusinessCommunication in business organization is important for promotion of products or services, the organization, and conveying information within the organization as well as along the supply chain. It is vital for marketing, public relations, management of internal affairs, planning, advertising and branding, and reputation management among other purposes. The 21st century is largely information and communication based. The need for and sharing of information through effective means is becoming highly vital for the success of an organization. The rapid globalization that has taken place over the last decade has also made information and communication more vital.
Communication in the corporate world has, as a result of the challenges and opportunities offered by globalizations, become an art where the key is to find the optimal means of generating, sharing, and utilization of ideas and information. Effective communication is necessary for the day to day operation of a business, both within the organization and with the outside world. Kushal and Ahuja (2009) note that the evolving business environment and the complexity of the 21st century business organization environment has made it necessary for the need to improve communication within the business (3).
Kushal and Ahuja further point out that the autocratic management of the past is quickly being replaced by a futuristic participatory management that relies on effective communication for the success of the organizations (3). As Rogers and Allbritton (1995) pointed out, the players in the corporate world have noticed the "information revolution" that has occurred in their organizations. Supporting this point is Arvey who points out that communication technologies are more and more being used by organizations for their communication purposes both within and between groups (2009, 4). Communication in an organization can be carried out through various methods and channels.
The most commonly used communication methods in organizations include face-to-face meetings, telephone, written reports, audio-visual presentations, e-mail, and online based communication. Each of these modes of communication has their own merits and limitations within the organizational set-up. According to Arvey (2009, 5), the choice of the method of communication that an organization will use will depend on the expected outcome and objectives for communicating. He quickly adds that the choice of communication medium chosen is likely to affect the outcome. This article will evaluate the benefits and limitations of technologically advanced communication methods as compared to some of the traditional methods of communication within the organization.
Specifically, the article will focus on e-mail and video conferencing technologies (computer mediated communication) compared to the conventional face-to-face meeting. Face-to-Face MeetingAs noted by Rogers and Allbritton (2002) point out, in face-to-face communication, the participants are within the immediate physical presence of each other as shown in the figure below. Proponents of face-to-face meetings point out that these meetings are still relevant even in the modern era of information and communication revolution.
Arvey points out that face-to-face meetings are still relevant in situations where there is need for expression of emotions or where there is a need to convince members (2009, 6). He adds that face-to-face meetings are important where coordination and timing among members is required or when consensus among the members is required. In addition, the meetings are highly suitable where complex social interactions, decisions, and tasks are involved or where quick response is required (Arvey, 2009, 7).
Other arguments put forward for face-to-face meetings are that it leads to the development of strong social relationships and provides a human contact aspect.