1.1 Background to the Study
Communication originates from the Latin word communist which means to share, to mix and to unite (Modrea, 2012). The existence of communication started since the beginning of mankind and has improved time. In a simple term, communication is simply the sending and receiving of messages. The transmitter is the source or originator of the message to be communicated. The receiver is the other party with whom the transmitter is trying to communicate. Communication is shares the possibility of a two-way process (Foulger, 2004).
Human cannot do without communication in every of its activity, including business. According to Udegbe, Ogundipe, Akintola and Kareem (2012), business communication is any interaction that is used in promoting product, service or organization, with the objective of making profit. In business communication, messages are send through numerous channels of communication, this include internet, print (publication), radio, television, outdoor, and word of mouth. Communication has to be very effective in order for it to meet its objective in organization.
Effective communication motivates employee to perform in an instructive manner. In any business organization, the process of communication comprises not just a fast-tracked email messages, advertising campaign or a conference. Rather, it could adopt a persuasive speech technique that is usually in a written structure, which allures the target market to participate as well as being unable to ignore the invite. Undoubtedly, for every growing firm, effective communication that is persuasive is critical for all organization employees and business associates (Christensen & Cornelissen, 2011).
From the above definition, communication can bring about improvement in any business organization. It is referred to as the mainstream of organization growth. There is for interaction and understanding of management-employee relations and management-consumers relation in order to bring about increased performance of all parties involved in the communication process or chain. According to Banihashemi (2011), communication as a medium, a means to performance ends, or as constitutive, as the end in itself. Communication is a process of transmitting information from one person to another. According to Stephen (2011), communication is a critical factor in directing and mobilizing the workforce towards the accomplishment of the organizational goals or objectives. By creating understanding it enhances co-operation and promote effective performance.
According to Williams (2007) smart managers understand that the end effective, straight forward communication between managers and employees is essential for success. According to Mckinney, Barker, Smith and Davis (2004), communication is essential to effective team performance and communications for any organization is like blood flow in the human body. Therefore any organization that understands the importance of communication uses it in their organizational environment. Since, it ensures coordination of factors of production and most importantly material and human elements of organization as an efficient network of change and advancement.
According to Robins (2006), communication process is initiated through the sender-encoding-the message-the channel- decoding-the receiver- noise and feedback. It is estimated that managers spend over 80% of their day communicating with others. Since most of the basic management process- planning, organizing, leading and controlling – cannot be performed without effective communication.
Importantly, the relevance of communication keeps advancing as the world becomes a global village. The need to become visible to the world has made many organizations to embrace new technology that would increase organizational performance. According to Nebo, Nwankwo and Okonkwo (2015), communication has becomes important to emphasize effective use of communication medium or channel to bring about high performance rate. Hence any breakdown in communication process or chain can have serious adverse effects on organizational performance and the major objective of any organization is to make profit which can also be referred to as positive performance.
Amechi, Long and Chikaji (2014) prayed that effective communication can impacting on the views and beliefs concerning people, societies, businesses, authorities, and even humanity. However, effective communication relates to the movement of information, policies, procedures and regulations and because of its managerial instrument, effective communication is often required to share information among members of the organization, to organize activities, to decrease superfluous managerial responsibilities as well as rules, and eventually increase organizational performance.
Performance, according to Corvellec (1995) is a comparative notion which is described in terms of some referent, engaging in a multifaceted set of time-based measurements to generate future outcomes. According to Wall, Michie, Patterson, Wood, Sheehan, Clegg and West (2004), organizational performance has evolved as a key measure in determining employees’ performance and it is often measured by financial records. It can also be assessed by analyzing the expected behaviors and task related to individuals (Motowidlo, 2003). Moreover, performance that relied to ascertain value or comparative conclusions might show a long ranging magnitudes of organizational performance (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy, 2007). Wiedower (2001) prayed that emphasized that performance can be measured using performance appraisal items that generates high reliability in assessing performance. Performance is studied as an important measure which has a positive correlation with the organizational consequences and success. In organizational behavior studies, it is often viewed as a vital multidimensional construct. However, in the past performance was related to task performance only; but in recent research studies performance is documented as an important characteristics of employees’ work that do not fall into the area of task performance only. Several organizations believe that their people can be a major source of competitive advantage, and hence they add to the organization’s performance. Individuals play a fundamental role in attaining organizational success (Collis & Montgomery, 1995). Hence, employees’ performance is revealed to have a substantial constructive effect on organizational performance. One of the main draw backs in an organization happens, when senior managers consider that their companies are continuously working at the utmost level of competence, or that they don’t need ideas and input from their workers (Foot & Hook, 1999).
However, organizational performance is mainly affected by the quality of the employees at all the echelons of the organization. Moreover, research has acknowledged that human resources can play a vital role in attaining a competitive advantage for an organization (Brewster, Carey, Dowling, Grobler, Holland & Wärnich, 2003). For organizations to achieve their goals, they must constantly search for value-added methods to organize and carry out their work. Today organizations believe that the major source of competitive advantage is attained from an organization’s human resources. Though, this was not always the case, as human resources were usually perceived as a cost in the past (Brewster, Carey, Dowling, Grobler, Holland & Wärnich, 2003). But today organizations have a great opportunity to enhance organizational performance by effectively utilizing their human resources.
An integral part of organization performance is communication. Organizations eager to accomplish strategic goals establish well defined communication strategies. A well-defined strategy is one that engages employees and aligns with the organization’s business goals. According to Richard (2009) organizational performance encompasses three specific areas of firm outcomes: financial performance (profits, return on assets, return on investment); product market performance (sales, market share) and shareholder return (total shareholder return, economic value added).
Ricardo (2001) argued that performance measures could include result-oriented behavior criterion-based and relative normative measures, education and training, concepts and instruments, including management development and leadership training, which were the necessary building skills and attitudes of performance management. Hence, from the above literature review, the term “performance” should be broader based which include effectiveness, efficiency, economy, quality, consistency behavior and normative measures (Ricardo, 2001).
Communication strategies, systems, and practices do play a central role in high-performance. Information, understanding, and knowledge are the lifeblood of the organizational body. A thoughtful and comprehensive communication strategy is a vital component to any successful change and improvement. The communication strategy sets the tone and direction of improvement efforts. Effective strategy links to organizational goals. Aligned strategies tend to enhance organizational performance. Communication strategies influence the energy levels for change and improvement. Strong communications keep everyone focused on goals and priorities while providing feedback on progress. Effective communication strategies, systems, and practices have a huge and direct effect on organization learning and innovation.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The dilemma of today’s contemporary organizations is that they emphasize more on how to retain and make happy the existing workforce with the changing conditions, in spite of thinking more seriously about how they communicate with their employees. Lack of effective communication might lead to the problem whereby employees are not always aligned to the goals of management and there can possibly lead to break in communication between management and employees. Effectiveness of business communication in developing countries has attracted some criticisms with respect to such constraining factors as noise (e.g. fears, worry, lack of trust, racial and tribal discrimination, cultural and religious discrimination, undefined areas of responsibility, negative future expectation, concrete distractions, bad environment, corruption, and general behaviour towards marketing, amongst others). However, some scholars have argued that these constraints do not detract from the implementation of business communication and that communication should be of benefit to all the companies world over, including developing countries such as Nigeria. Majority of the study that have been done on effective communication and organization performance focused on manufacturing firm and have little attention on interdepartmental communication. Taking banking sector for example, the organization comprised of different departments, in order to keep the different operations separated and handled by the skilled mavens in each particular area and order for a banking operation to be successful, organizations need to implement and maintain the effective interdepartmental communication. One of the major reasons today that organizations fail is due to the lack of internal coherence and proper communication systems among various departments. Interdepartmental communication breakdowns can have a severe impact on the efficiency of an organization and increases the stress level among employees, ultimately resulting in poor performance. This has prompt the researcher to study effective communication as strategy for enhancing performance.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this research is to investigate effective communication as a strategy for enhancing performance. The specific objective are to:
i. examine effect of interdepartmental communication on employee performance.
ii. study the impact of effective communication on organization performance
iii. determine the impact of effective communication on employee performance in organization.