Flow of Information
Flow of information in organizations may occur in several ways. Some of them include memos, intranets, meetings, in-person discussions, reports, phones, cell phones, text messages, and emails. Such flow of information is important since it keeps an organization running by ensuring continuous working relationships between employees and employers. In addition, the flow of information helps in the establishment of teamwork and collaboration within an organization. Evidently, sufficient flow of information through proper channels has a positive impact because it increases employee engagement and productivity. This paper is a discussion of the importance and various ways of information flow biasing on their importance to a given organization.
Information may flow horizontally, diagonally or vertically which is the most cases in many organizations. While Vertical communication is when information streams from seniors to juniors, horizontal, and vertical apply the same idea. Another aspect of flow of information is networks or patterns. According to research, information networks may influence teams in an organization in infinite ways. There are a number of patterns of information flow for effective communication (Judge, 2011). They include Chain, Circle, Star, All-Channel, and Wheel networks. Chain networks represent formal information flowing from senior workers to their juniors, which is an idea borrowed from the conventional military. On the other hand, circle is when flow of information is free-flow hence encouraging employees to participate in the process of decision-making in an organization while all-channel is simply an informal flow of information. While star is the basic form in majority organizations, wheel is when executives make decisions with limited employee involvement (Zupek, 2008).
Positions held by individuals in a certain institution are evident by the kind of messages that they receive and the extent to which they can exercise power over the flow of information. The star is an example that is, in this mode the person central to information flow handles many messages as compared to individuals at the edges of the star who handles fewer messages or do not have control over the flow of information. Peripheral individuals can converse with some few individuals in the organization and will entirely depend on other workers in order to deliver their messages (Judge, 2011). According to research, patterns with location of positions at the center such as the Star, Circle, and the Wheel are stable and make fewer errors because they develop around the workers. In contradiction to this, findings show that the morale of workers under such organizations with high centrality networks is comparatively low.
Executives realized that such morale could have a negative impact on the accuracy and speed of information flow in such networks. In order to solve this problem, there is need for alternatives (Zupek, 2008). An example would be networks that allow proper employee engagement to cater for the problem of reduced morale. To this effect, the Wheel and the Star are appropriate given that they require minimal changes in comparison to the circle or the chain. This is because both of them exercise complete control by the workers of an organization (Zupek, 2008). The structure of flow of information within an organization will have an important influence on decisions, the speed of decision making, and the fulfillment of the individuals concerned. Therefore, in patterns where there is accountability for commencing and relaying of messages shared evenly among the workers, employees indicate increased levels of morale (Beebe, 2009).
Riordan Manufacturing Inc. is a leading company in the business of plastic molding. The flow of information in this particular company is that that it allows participation of employees in the decision process (Judge, 2011). The form through which this company communicates to stakeholders is by holding meetings with them, which ensures information flow is better for an effective working environment. This ensures that the company runs smoothly with no conflicts and hence setting the pace for its workers. To this effect, there are managers that monitor the activities of employees in each department. Through its network systems of flow of information, it has been able to acquire increased returns since effective communication seems to increase productivity and the morale of their workforce. However, the company faces fierce competition from its competitors hence the need to improve on this network to maintain the status (Beebe, 2009).
The issue that arises in the flow of information is the need to have the messages confined within the organization. As such, the organization identifies the need to have information relayed in a manner that only the intended parties may understand. In addition, the speed of information flow is important to improve communications. These two issues find solutions in networking technology (Beebe, 2009). It improves the speed of communication and coding of information is possible to ensure it only flows to the intended individuals. With technologies such as cloud, organizations can keep infinite records and access them in real time whenever there is a need. Hence, concerns that companies may harbor regarding information security, storage, and confidentiality lies in network technology and warehousing (Beebe, 2009).
Beebe, S. A. (2009). Communicating in small groups: Principles and practices. Boston: Pearson.
Judge, T. A. (2011). Organizational behavior .Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson – Prentice Hall.
Zupek, R. (2008). Six tips to managing workplace conflict. Hoboken: John Wiley and sons.