Organizational communication involves the sending and receiving of messages between individuals and groups to achieve common goals. Within a business environment, it’s important to understand organizational communication research topics and how they affect your company.

Organizational Communication Research Topics in Business

Communication is a key element of running a successful business. Any part of the business day, from talking to customers, responding to emails and negotiating contracts requires a high degree of communication proficiency. Learning the different areas of organizational communication can help you enable your employees to communicate effectively with one another and with customers.

Formal or Informal Organizational Communication

If you’re looking for topics for a business communication project, start with the types of organizational communication. These fundamentals are necessary to understand the place of communication in business. There are many ways to categorize communication in an organization. It can be defined based on the structure, such as formal or informal.

Formal communication involves official channels that are highly structured, such as company meetings, conferences and internal newsletters. Informal communication is also known as the grapevine. It consists of more impromptu and free-flowing communication.

Upward, Downward and Horizontal Communication

Communication can also be categorized based on direction, such as upward, downward and horizontal. Upward communication flows from front-line workers to the executive team, whereas downward communication is the exact opposite. Horizontal communication happens between people who are at the same level of the hierarchy.

Another way to understand the types of communication is the method. Communication can be oral, written or physical. In business, it’s vital to understand each type of communication as all are often used in tandem.

Organizational Communication Barriers

Organizational communication research articles also focus on the barriers to communication in business. There are a number of different elements that prevent effective communication from taking place in the workplace. These include:

  • Physical barriers
  • Personal barriers
  • Semantic or language barriers
  • Psychological barriers
  • Cultural barriers
  • Structural barriers
  • Technological barriers

The study of organizational communication involves understanding each of these barriers and devising solutions to overcome these barriers in the workplace.

The way people communicate within an organization is directly related to an organization’s culture. The culture of a company is based on its mission, vision and core values. The way the executive team communicates with front-line employees paves the way for how all employees communicate with each other.

Organizational communication research topics dive into the relationship between culture and communication. It’s important to learn how successful organizations communicate and what kinds of company cultures they have.

Tools for Organizational Communication

A growing area of research is technology and its role in organizational communication. Long gone are the days when all business was conducted through in-person meetings. Now, organizations communicate using many different tools, including email, instant messaging, social media, video conferencing and project management apps. Employees are often bombarded with information from many different angles. Organizational communication research topics look into the benefits and setbacks of communication tools.

Global Communication and Collaboration

In today’s global economy, businesses collaborate with people from all over the world. A company can have customers in several different countries who speak different languages. They can also partner with organizations across the globe. Often, businesses hire people who speak languages other than English.

Organizational communication research topics look at the effects of globalization in communication and the changes people need to make to the way they communicate in order to effectively understand people from around the world.

While this area of communication can present many barriers to effective communication, such as through language, semantics and cultural norms, there are also many advantages to cross-cultural communication in the workplace, including uncovering innovative ideas and gaining a business edge by entering new markets.