Elements of a Communication System:
The whole network of communications which flows in an organization is called the communication system. There are five main elements of a communication system.
(1) Communicator- The process of any communication starts from its source. The communicator can be any employee with ideas, intentions, information, and purpose for communicating. He may be called the speaker or sender or communicator. In some government agencies, the management comprising the administrator and his subordinates are the communicators. All the orders and instructions are issued in the name of the chief executive.
(2) Transmission Procedures- Transmission procedure is the second element of a communication system. The transmission of a message requires a channel that connects the source and the receiver. It may be transmitted through teletype, telephone, fax, wire, e-mail, radio, messenger, and mail in an organization. It is the responsibility of the transmission centre to ensure the proper delivery and distribution of messages in the organization. If the channel is selected appropriately, the chances of defective communication are expected to be less. The scope of a communication system depends upon the number and quality of channels available, and the channels used.
(3) Form of Communication- It is the third element of a communication system. It may be in the form of an order or regulation or letter or report etc. On the basis of its nature, it can be divided into three types:
- Rules and regulations govern the relationship of an organization with its clientele.
- Operating instructions of the administration in the form of orders, circulars, manuals, and official letters prescribing internal organizational structures, functions, and procedures.
- Orders or communication to convey the general tone of management.
(4) Receiver- The recipient or receiver is the fourth element of communication. The receiver is the one for whom the message originated i.e., the person intended to get the communication being sent. The receiver should be ready to accept the message. Accurate communication can occur only if both the sender and the receiver attach similar meanings and importance to the symbols. Communication is not complete if it is not understood by the receiver. Also, every communication should reach all those who are to be involved in affecting their behavior.
(5) Desired Response or Feedback- Desired response or feedback is the fifth element of communication. In the feedback, the higher authority requires evidence of compliance with instructions through formal replies and reports to determine whether the information or instruction has influenced the recipients or not. It provides a channel for the receiver’s response which enables the communicator to determine whether the message has been received and has produced the intended response or not. In other words, feedback is the process by which the information regarding the receipt of, action upon and results of telecommunication travels from the receiving end to the communicating end. Such feedback can be verbal or non-verbal.
Besides, these five major elements of communication, we can refer to two more elements:
(6) Enconding Communication- The communication which is raw information at the early stages needs a proper encoding i.e., transforming into a proper language capable of conveying the intended meaning. The purpose of encoding is to ensure that the receiver may properly understand the message. Proper encoding is necessary for the effectiveness of communication.
(7) Decoding- To make the process of communication complete, the communicated message must be decoded. Decoding is a technical term, used for referring to the process by which the receiver receives and understands the proper meaning and content of the communication. It involves the interpretation of the communication received.
The communication system of an organization can be analyzed on the basis of a study of the above-listed essential elements. An organization works through its communication system. It is through the flow of communication that an organization carries out its desired objectives. Hence the study of an organization or administration requires the study of its communication system.