The Dynamics of Inter-Group Conflict

Inter-group conflicts over authority, jurisdiction and resources are exceedingly common. Every group is in at least partial conflict with every other group it interacts with. Most of the departments in the organization compete for the allocation of scarce resources and power. They differ in goals, act, work activities, power and prestige. The seeds of inter-group conflict are shown in these differences. Imagine about a recent announcement of a government owned insurance company to privatize it. The dynamics of inter-group conflict is related to understanding of emotions, attitudes and behaviors of different group members who are divided because of their interest and preferences. Finally, understanding such dynamics helps to find strategic opinions to solve problems. Following are the dynamics of inter-group conflict. 

1. Incompatible Goals 

Differences in group goals can easily lead to group conflict. Goal compatibility implies goals attainment by one or more other groups. The achievement of one department's goal often interferes with another department's goal. Quite often this is due to high horizontal differentiation and task specialization. The production department might perceive its goals as being potentially incompatible with those of marketing. Production department may pose such questions. 
  • Why do not we have accurate sales forecasts?
  • Is it possible to keep everything in inventory?
  • Why don't we have enough capacity?
  • Why don't we ever have the right merchandise in inventory? 

Therefore, in the modern organization, goals are to be compatibly stated or defined for the purpose of reducing the size of conflict. 

2. Changes within Each Group 

With the formation of inter-group conflict, there will be changes in the behavior like perceptions, attitudes, personality, values, customs and ethical issues of the participants belonging to groups in the following ways: 
  • Autocracy in leadership 
  • Increase in group think and cohesiveness
  • Increased concern for task accomplishment
  • Loyalty to the group becomes more important
  • Organization and structure will become more rigid 

3. Resource Allocation 

Resources symbolize power and influence and are the means of accomplishing goals. As such, most of the departments in an organization exercise for resources and power. In their anxiety to achieve goals, groups try out a bigger slice out of the common pool. When the more parties compete, the more intense is the conflict. Conflict may be minimized if the organization is prospering and new resources are growing by allowing greater share to each and every department. 

4. Changes in Relations between Groups 

Relations between groups will also be disrupted with the increase in inter-group conflict. For each group involved in conflict, goals become extremely important to achieve, they start violating rules and procedures and a situation of open antagonism will arise because of the following reasons: 
  • Shift from problem-solving to win-lose orientation
  • Distortion in communication and interaction
  • Increasing hostility toward the rival group
  • Distortion in perception 

5. Competitive Incentive and Reward system 

When tasks are independent, competition can affect cooperation among members and performance may actually decline. For example, when all students in a group received the same grade regardless of individual contribution, coordination, communication and quality seem better. But when students are graded according to their personal contributions to the group, they try to succeed at the expense of others and seem more frequently in conflict. Similarly, inter-group conflict is more likely to occur when the reward plan is tied to individual group performance rather than to overall organizational performance. If departments are regarded only for departmental performance, managers are motivated to excel at the expense of others. 

6. Strategy of Groups to Win Power 

Strategy of groups to win power is another dynamic issue observed in inter-group conflict. Sometimes, groups show attitudes of co-operation and also try to share resources to win power. Some strategies for making gains are presented below: 
  • Attacking and blaming others
  • Cultivating networks
  • Contracting
  • Forming coalitions
  • Forcing and pressure
  • Controlling information
  • Managing impressions

7. Differences in Values and Perception 

Sometimes, status in congruence also promotes conflicts. The differences in goals among members at the various departments in the organization are frequently accompanied by differences in attitudes, values and perceptions that can also lead to conflict. Engineering people may value sophisticated designs while manufacturing people may prefer simple designs. If members of particular department perceive themselves as having higher status than the others for one reason or other, conflicts results in. for example, conflict was found to result when low status industrial engineer directed the higher status engineers in the implementation of certain tasks. 

8. Consequences of Winning or Losing Conflict 

One another dynamic issue in inter-group conflict is consequences of winning or losing conflict. Normally, between two groups, own wins and another looses. In such a situation, conflict arises. There are following effects of success as well as failure. 

a) Effect of success 
  • For the winning group, in the short run, concern for work and task accomplishment will decrease.
  • Stronger belief in the negative stereotype of the losing group.
  • Losing some of the spirit of fighting by the winning group.
  • Increase in group cohesiveness and co-operation within the winning group.
  • Concern of the winning group for its member's satisfaction and needs.
  • Work atmosphere for the winning group will become more casual and complacent. 

b) Effects of Failure 
  • Increase in tension among group members.
  • They try to convince others that the other group was very strong.
  • Put in more efforts for excuses for such failure.
  • Decreasing cohesiveness and inter-group co-operation among the losing group members.
  • The losing group attempts to distort the reality of their failure or simply denies losing.
  • The group gets opportunity to re-evaluate its stereotypes.
  • Although, initially, the group feels upset, later on, members realize their weaknesses and improve their work quality.

When conflicts takes place within inter group i.e. conflict between one group to another, the following dynamism can be seen in the group.
1. Changes within each group

When there will be inter-group conflict, the following changes seen within each group. Each group now try to make the strong to meet the hurdles created, by other group. So, there will be the following five major changes within each group. The changes are:
  • Loyalty to the group becomes more important: In the face of an external threat, the group demands more loyalty from individual members. Not only is social interaction with people outside the group not encouraged; it is expressly discouraged. Such interaction could lend to inadvertent betrayal of group strategy and secrets. Deviance is more closely monitored and punished.
  • There is increased concern for task accomplishment: When there will be inter conflict, the group member now becomes more concern for task accomplishment. There will be less informal relation among group members but high formal relation among group members.
  • Leadership in the group becomes more autocratic: When inter group conflict is present, it is especially important for a group to be able to respond quickly and in a unified manner to the activities of other groups. A democratic work style can reduce the group’s capacity respond quickly.
  • The organization and structure of the group becomes more rigid: After the inter-group conflict among the groups, each group is concerned of making the group more effective. There will be rigid organizational structure. They build up formal relation rather than informal relation. This makes them more task concern. Task will be highly valued first and then after people will be concerned.
  • Group cohesiveness (degree of unity) increased: In the face of an external threat, past differences and difficulties between group members are forgotten. The group closes ranks to meet the challenge. Individual group members find both the group as whole and other group members more attractive.

2. Changes in Relations between groups
  • Interaction and communication between group decreases.
  • There are distortions of perception, both one’s own group and about the other group.
  • There is a shift from a problem-solving orientation towards other groups to win lose orientation.
  • There is increased hostility forwarded by the rival group.

Inter-Group Conflict: Types of Inter-Group Conflict

Inter-group conflict arises out of the interaction of various groups. There are many factors in the organization which determine the inter-group relationships. The nature of the relationship between groups also changes markedly during inter group conflicts. Four changes in particular occur at this time. 

1. There are distortions of perception, both one’s own group and about the other group. First, perception of one’s own group is highly selective: people see only the best aspects of their own group and deny any weakness in their own group’s performance. Second, and more important, perception of the other groups is systematically distorted: groups see only the worst parts of other groups and deny other groups positive accomplishments. Thus, inter group conflict leads to increased use of stereotypes. Each group develops more positive stereotype of itself and a more negative of other. 

2. Interaction and communication between groups decreased. Because group members feel hostile toward members of rival groups, there is less desire for interaction with them. Moreover, decreased interaction makes it easier for each group to maintain its negative stereotype of the other. 

Even when groups are forced to interact with each other, those interactions become fairly rigid and formal. Whatever information is passed between groups is very carefully observed and sometimes deliberately distorted. Groups tend to ignore the similarities between their positions and exaggerate the differences. 

3. There is a shift from problem-solving orientation toward other groups to win lose orientation. These various facts shift in orientation. First, there is a much clearer distinction drawn between the groups, resulting in a “We - they” rather than a “We - versus” – the problem orientation. Second, all exchange with the other groups are evaluated in terms of victory or defeat. Third, the groups tend to see the problem only from their own point of view, rather than in terms of the needs of both groups. Fourth, the parties emphasize the benefits of winning the conflict in the short run and tend to ignore the long-term consequences of the conflict for the relationship between the groups. 

4. There is increased hostility toward the rival group. As a result of negative stereotyping, decreased communication between groups, and win lose orientation, increased hostility inevitably occur between rival groups. Members of the other group are seen as the enemy, and deserving of hostile attacks. Major types of inter-group conflict are follows: 
  • Functional conflict: Conflict that supports the goals of the groups and improve its performance. 
  • Dysfunctional conflicts: Conflict that hinders group performance. 
  • Task conflict: Conflict based on interpersonal relationships. 
  • Process conflict: Conflicts over how work gets done. 
Types of Inter-group Conflict

Inter-group conflict arises out of the interaction of various groups. There are many factors in the organization which determine the inter-group relationships. These factors can influence relations between two or more groups. If these factors are not positive, they tend to create conflict among groups. These factors are goal incompatibility, resource sharing, task relations, uncertainty absorption and attitudinal set. These factors are described below to show how these can lead to co-operative or conflicting relations among group. 

There are following types of inter-group conflicts: 

1. Line and Staff Conflicts 

Today, line and staff differences are the most common types of inter-group conflict. In other words, controversy and conflict are inherent in the concept of line and staff. It is not an easy task to divide and distribute expertise, authority and roles in equitable quantities between the line generalist and staff specialists. The concept authorizes the splitting of various functions into two categories: hierarchical and non-hierarchical that is creation of low status and high status persons. The splitting of functions into hierarchical and non-hierarchical levels and the creation of low status and high status positions creates a discrepancy between expected and actual authority leading to resentment and frustration to all the parties involved. This conflict is basically a clash of demand caused by dividing expertise, authority and roles. Dalton's study of line and staff conflict highlighted the following sources of conflict: 
  • Line managers dislike to take advice from younger staff specialists. The fear being shown up. 
  • Line managers label staffs as agents on trial. The staff, in turn, views himself as an expert.
  • Line managers feel that staff oversteps its authority.
  • Line people resent staff's highly academic and untested ideas.
  • Staff people feel that line managers are bull headed and do not cloth staff with enough authority and resist new ideas. 

2. Horizontal Conflict 

Horizontal conflict refers to the conflict between employees or departments at the same hierarchical level in an organization. The source of conflict between department consists of pressure towards sub-optimization. Each department may sub-optimize by independently trying to achieve its own departmental goals. For example, production department may prefer long economical runs whereas sales department may insist on quick delivery. Again, when two departments are functionally inter-dependent, breakdowns in the performance of one department can lead to serious conflicts. 

3. Vertical Conflict 

Vertical conflict separates people in various levels of the occupational ladders in organization. It refers to any conflict between different levels in an organization. It occurs usually in superior-subordinate relations. 

C.G. Smith identified three reasons for vertical conflicts: 
  • Inadequate communication between levels.
  • Conflict arises essentially from differences of interests between position holders occupying different status in the organizational hierarchy. 
  • A distinct lack of shared perceptions and attitudes among members in various levels.
  • Vertical conflicts arise because superiors attempt to control subordinates and subordinates tend to resist, forcing the superior to increase the dosage of impersonal rules to obtain exact obedience and gain control.

Elements of Communication Process

The process of communication includes the following seven elements. These are shown in figure. Each of these components needs due elaboration.
  1. Communicator: The communication process begins with an intended message to communicate. The characteristics of the communicator influence the communication process. For example, while a sensitive communicator will look at the communication process from the receiver’s perspective, an insensitive one will be primarily concerned with his/her own interest. 
  2. Encoding: It refers to converting a communication message into symbolic form. Encoding is necessary because information can only be transmitted from communicator to receiver through symbols or gestures.
  3. Message: The message is the actual physical product from the source of encoding. When we speak, the speech is the message. When we write, the writing is the message. When we gesture, the movements of our arms, the expressions on our face are the message. Thus, message is what is communicated.
  4. Medium: Medium is a channel through which a communication message travels. Medium is the link that connects the communicator (sender) and the receiver. Face to face verbal communication, use of telephone, use of memorandum, notice, circulars, statements, etc. are the various means available as media of communication. Besides, non-verbal media like signals, symbols, gestures, etc. may also be used. The choice of medium assumes significance as the use of proper medium also determines the effectiveness of communication.
  5. Decoding: Translating the sender’s message by the receiver is called decoding. Decoding is the process by which the receiver draws meaning from the symbols encoded by the communicator or sender. One’s knowledge, attitude, and cultural background influence one’s ability to encode or receive, just as they do the ability to send.
  6. Receiver: The person who receives the message is called receiver. The communication process is incomplete without the existence of receiver of message. Communication to be effective needs to be receiver-oriented.
  7. Feedback: The actual response of the receiver to the message communicated to him is known as “feedback”. In other words, if a communicator or sender decodes the message that he encodes if the message is put back into his system, we have feedback. Feedback enables the communicator to check whether or not the message received has been properly understood by the receiver.
Importance of Communication Management
The need or importance of communication is felt for the following reasons: 
  1. Adequate and timely communication helps managers discharge their functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
  2. Effective communication ensures willing cooperation of others. This, in turn, contributes positively to the quality of decisions.
  3. Communication by flowing information throughout the organization maintains coordination of activities across departments in the organization.
  4. A good communication system communicating quality information contributes positively to the quality of decisions.
  5. Effective communication also helps in moulding attitudes and building up employee morale. It also helps in developing harmonious labor management relations.

Overcome of Barriers to Effective Communication

The prime objectives of setting up a communication is to exchange facts and information in a manner which is acceptable to concerned people and which will lead to a cooperative action by all concerned. Effective communication is an essential for achieving the overall goals of an organization. For making communication effective, a manager should consider the following principles of communication. These principles are not exclusive, but illustrative, as more can be added to them.

1. Consistency

The communication should be consistent with the plans, policies, programs and objective of the enterprise. Above all, the communication should also be consistent. Inconsistency in communication may reduce the effectiveness of communication and sometimes it does not remain reliable due to inconsistency.

2. Clarity

The communicated message should be clear; it should be communicated in simple, easy and commonly understood language. Clarity of thought is the soul of the communication. It is the speaker who makes them meaningful and it is the receiver who interprets them, so whatever is conveyed should be conveyed in an unambiguous manner. Selection of words to be used in the communication should be made properly so that the words do not have dual meaning. Difficult and high sounding words obscure the meaning.

3. Complete

The message should be complete with respect to thought as well as content. Incomplete messages will create confusion in the mind of the receiver and he will be forced to seek clarification from the sender. This will lead to slowing down of the communication process. To ensure completeness, answer all the questions, give all the relevant facts. One should always check for the basic questions i.e., what, why, where, when, who. For example, while announcing a meeting, specify what is to be discussed in the meeting, why it is being held, where the meeting is to be held, when it is being held and who is to attend the meeting.

4. Effective Listening

A communicator must be a good listener too. Proper listening assures the speaker that the listener is sincere and can be trusted. He/she has emphasized to stop talking because without stopping talking, one cannot listen too. To quote Brain Tracy, "Listening builds trust." We trust people who listen to us and we are more open to their influence, guidance and persuasion. The sender of the message should emphasize on the receiver for the attentive listening at the time of delivering the message.
enhancing effective communication
5. Concise

The message should be concise and in concrete form. Ruskin said, "Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words." It should not contain irrelevant content and words. In nutshell, to retain the attention as well as to save time of the reader, it is essential that the message should be concise. Conciseness means conveying the message in fewest possible words without sacrificing its completeness.

6. Adequacy

Communication should be adequate and complete, not broken or incomplete. Inadequate communication delays action. It spoils understanding as well as good relations. Efficiency of both the communicator and recipient is affected.

7. Correct

We should not transmit any message unless we are absolutely convinced of its accuracy and authenticity. The message to be communicated should be correct in spelling, grammar, format, contents, statistics, information etc. It is very essential to use correct facts and correct style. Also the message should be transmitted or sent at correct time. Delayed and outdated messages cause loss of time and money. It is often said that information delayed is information denied. Transmission of incorrect information to outsiders may spoil relations and reputation.

8. Use of Informal Channels of Communication

The principle states that management must make use of informal communication as much as possible. This will serve twin purpose of bringing management closer to the workers and also avoid a delay in the communication. Moreover very often, management extracts such information from the informal channels which would never have been obtained through the formal channels e.g., information concerned with the problems and complaints of the workers are normally suppressed and distorted by the formal channels in the organization. Therefore, best way of knowing such problems, grievances etc. is to establish personal or informal contacts with workers.

9. Selecting the Proper Media

Proper media of communication should be followed, for instance in case of formal relations, written communication should be followed, illiterate workers should be instructed through oral and visual communication. All the aspects of oral and written communication should be examined before transmitting the communication.

10. Charts and diagrams

These may help to communicate the ideas more effectively. If your communication is oral, as in case of a presentation, or if it's in writing charts and diagrams will definitely help.

Concept of Communication Networks

Communication network can be defined as the channel through which information flow. Different parts of organization are linked together through communication network. Just for a simple example INTERPOL i.e. International Police Organization has its network in worldwide to capture terrorist.

In the case of management, there are five common communication networks which are as follows:

1. Chain:

Chain network of communication is one in which communication flows along the chain of command. In other words, it is a pattern of communication network in which a person can communicate with immediate superior and subordinate. It is usually two-way communication from top to bottom and bottom to top of the hierarchy of management. Hierarchy of authority and responsibility is clearly defined among the group or team members.

In this communication network, one person transmits information to another as per the chain in the organizational hierarchy. For example, the president informs the vice-president who then passes on the information to the head of the department and so on. 

President --> Vice President --> Department Head Managers --> Unit In-charge --> Supervisor --> Layman 

2. Wheel or Star:

Wheel or star communication network refers to a network in which the members of an organization usually do not communicate directly with each other. In other words, it is a pattern of communication network in which a single person is made responsible in transmitting information to the other member. It is a centralized type of communication network. Here, the group idea is probably the main source of communication. In this network, a single person is given full responsibility to flow the information.

Here one personal (supervisor for instance) can communicate with (say) four subordinates, but the subordinates do not communicate with each other. 

wheel or star network

3. Circle:

Circular network of communication is one in which communication moves in circular way. In this network, each individual can communicate with the person on his immediate right or left but not with any other person in the organization or group. In other words, it is a pattern of communication network where information pass in a circle i.e., each person can pass the information to his/her adjoin two persons.

4. All- Channel:

It is also called as free-flow or decentralized network. Free-flow network is one in which lines of communication are not structured. Every members of the group can communicate freely and frankly with all other members of the group. Here, each of the member has right to communicate with any other person of the group. There is no any restriction and boundaries for him to communicate or pass the information. The group leader doesn't hold excessive power in this type of communication. It is more doubtful as anyone can have any kind of information at any time.

5. Inverted Y:

It is the pattern of communication network in which leader communicates to the person close to him. It is slightly less centralized type of communication network as two persons are closer to the center of the network.

Here, two people report to a boss, who has two levels above and the communication shown in the pattern shown in figure below: 

Issues Confronted by Organizations in Communication

Over the past few years, communication has increased its importance. It is one of the basic functions of managers in any organization. Communication is not only necessary for managerial effectiveness, but also important for interpersonal, inter-team, intra-team and organizational effectiveness. With the development and modernization of communication system, a number of issues have been emerged. Some important current issues are: 

  1. Why do men and women often have difficulty in communicating with each other?
  2. What are the implications of the “politically correct” movement on communications and organizations?
  3. How can individuals improve their cross-cultural communication?
  4. How is electronics changing the way people communicate with each other in organizations?
  5. What is the limit of privacy in communication?
Issue No. 1: Communication barriers between men and women 

According to tannin’s research, men use to talk to emphasize status, while women use it to create connection. Men are often more direct than women. Men frequently complain that women talk on and on about their problems while women criticize men for not listening. When men hear about the problem, they frequently assert their desire for independence and control by offering the solutions. Women usually present the problem to gain support and connection, to promote closeness with men but not take his advice this creates a distancing between them. 

Men and women have their own attitudes about the way of communication. Mostly, men are aggressive, extrovert, individualistic and competitive in communication matters whereas women have better skills as well as comparatively positive attitude in situational communication. Similarly, women are more prone to establish relations but men are looking for status in the communication process. The number of people present normally determines domination in communication. 

Issue No. 2: Politically correct communication

Words are the primary means by which people communicate. When we eliminate words form usage between they are politically more incorrect, we reduce our options for conveying messages in the clearest and most accurate form. We must be sensitive to how our choice of words might offend others.

Political correctness is another faction or issue that is to be incorporated in proper for effective communication. It is important to choose the word which is the most representative in the communication process and it should not be offensive to others. In the name of selecting new and politically correct vocabulary, sometimes, there is a danger of losing the real meaning or misusing the vocabulary in the communication process.  

Issue No. 3: Cross-cultural communication

Cross-cultural communication has been another current issues in communication. Languages differ as per culture. The same work means different things to different people. A gesture that is understood and acceptable in one culture may be meaningless in another culture. The language they use also differs in different culture. In some culture, some formal languages are used, while in some culture, frequently in formal languages are used. This is due to cross-cultural effect. People from different culture also view the work in different ways. This is due to cross cultural effect. People from different culture also view the world in different ways. Thus, due to cross cultural effect, there may cause barriers in communications. 

Different people from the different regions have different cultures, languages, attitudes, norms, standards, values and some ethical issues. Therefore different people may have different styles of delivering their message to others in the means of communication. But cross-cultural factors have added the complexities in the communication because of different cultures and others. Cross-cultural communication may have following difficulties or barriers of languages: 
  • Barriers caused by word connotations (different things in different languages). 
  • Barriers caused by semantic (different meaning to different people).
  • Barriers caused by tone differences.
  • Barriers caused by difference among perceptions.

Issue No. 4: Electronic communication

Organizational boundaries become less relevant as a result of electronic communication. Electronic communication such as cellular phones, pager, now allows accessing the desired person at any time and at any place of the world. The line between an employee’s work and non-work life is no longer distinct. Networked computers in an office allow the employees to share the files and jump vertical levels within the organization.

Electronic communications have revolutionized both the ability to access other people and to reach them almost instantaneously. Unfortunately this access and speed have come with some costs. Electronic mail, for instance does not provide the non-verbal communication components that face-to-face meeting does.

Issue No. 5.: Privacy in Communication 

Privacy in communication is the emerging issue in the field of communication. A company has to communicate strategic and valuable information to the mangers keeping privacy in some related matters or issues. Secrecy about information is the main thing for the company. In these circumstances, the issue of employee privacy becomes most pressing on the moral grounds. 

Importance of Communication within the Management Group

Communication is an essential function and an important problem of management. Since the job of a rational manager is to secure the willing co-operation of his subordinates in the accomplishment of goals, communication is an indispensable part of management. Communication is a continuous and pervasive activity and a manager spends the major portion of his time in communicating. To be more specific communication offers the following advantages.
  1. Basis of decision-making: Communication is essential for decision making and planning. The quality of managerial decisions depends on the quality of communication. At the same time, decision and plans of management need to be communicated to the subordinates. Effective communication is also helpful in the proper implementation of plans and policies of the management. It is the basis of effective leadership because it makes the leader’s idea and opinions known to the subordinates.
  2. Facilitates co-ordination: Communication is the most effective means of creating cooperation among individual efforts. Exchange of ideas and information helps to bring about unity of action in the pursuit of common purpose. Communication binds people together.
  3. Sound industrial relations: Effective communication helps to create mutual understanding and trust between the employer and the employees. It enables the management to come into close contact with workers. It serves as a bridge between management and labour and creates team spirit in the organization. Thus, an effective communication system is a prerequisite of good labour management relations.
  4. Smooth and efficient operations: An effective communication system serves as a lubricant, fostering the smooth and efficient functioning of the enterprise. The achievement of enterprise goals is of paramount importance and communication is one of the important tools available to the manager seeking to attain them. It is through communication that a manager changes and regulates the behavior of subordinates in the desired direction. Effective communication promotes managerial efficiency.
  5. Industrial democracy: Communication is essential for worker’s participation in management. It is helpful in delegation and decentralization of authority. Effective communication is the basis of training and development of managerial personnel. The process of leadership itself depends upon effective communication.
  6. Employee motivation and morale: Through communication, management can keep the employees fully informed of plans, job changes, etc. The motivation and morale of employees tend to be high when they clearly understand what they are supposed to do. Communication is the means by which employees can brings their suggestions, difficulties and grievances to the notice of the management. Upward communication ensures greater job satisfaction and stimulates worker’s enthusiasm and loyalty to the enterprise. Effective communication satisfies personal and social needs of employees.
  7. Public relations: In the today’s time, every business enterprises must create and maintain a good corporate image in the society. Communication is an indispensable means of developing a favorable public opinion. It is through communication that management can keep cordial relations with the government, trade unions, customer and the community.
Thus, communication is the heart of the management process. It serves as the nerve system of the organization.

Interactive Communication

The word Communication is derived from the Latin word ‘Communis’ which means common. If a person affects a communication, he has established a common ground of understand. Thus communication involves imparting the common meaning in another person. The interactive communication is defines as two way communication where message receiver and sender interactive each other and reach to a decision. Interactive communication is better than one way communication as it provides, the opportunity to know employees responses ideas and suggestion to utilize in new decision and to implement the decision of the right time by right person in the right manner. Management at 21st century is using this type of communication to support participating management.

Techniques of Securing Effective Employee Communication in Organization
Communication is effective when the intended or sent message is the same as the interpreted or received message. Two-way communication is one of the ways in which more effective communication can be facilitated. Research in different fortune organizations, who have changed their communication pattern to achieve success, following factors is to be taken into consideration for making effective communication.
  1. Seeking to clarify the idea before communication: The more systematically we analyze the problem or idea to be communicated the clearer it becomes. 
  2. Following up the communication: This we can do by asking questions, by encouraging the receiver to express his reactions, by follow up contacts, by subsequent review of performance. We must make certain that every important communication has a feedback so that complete understanding and appropriate action result.
  3. Examining the true purpose of each communication: Before we communicate, it is better to ask to ourselves what we really want to be accomplish with our message-obtain information, initiate action, change other person’s attitude etc. The sharpener the focus of our message the greater the chance of its success.
  4. Consider the total physical and human setting wherever we communicate: Meaning and intent are conveyed by more than words alone. Many other factor influences the overall impact of a communication and the manager must be sensitive to the total setting in which he communicates.
  5. Consulting with others, where appropriate, in planning communication: Frequently, it is desirable or necessary to seek the participation of other in planning a communication or developing the facts on which to base it. Such consultation often helps to lend additional insight and objectivity to our message.
  6. Being sure of own actions support our communications: In the final analysis, the most persuasive kind of communication is not what we say but what we do? When a man’s actions or attitudes contradict his words, we tend to discount what he has said.

Behavioral Theories of Leadership

Behavioral theory of leadership is based on the promise that effective leadership is the result of effective role behavior. Success in leadership depends more on what the leader does than on his traits. A leader uses technical, conceptual and human skills to influence the behavior of his subordinate. Leadership therefore, becomes a dynamic interaction between the leader and the led.

The behavioral theory is useful in so far it suggests the functions and activities of a leader.

Leaders are different than non-leaders because of some specific behavior. Behavioral theory of leadership emphasizes that strong leadership is the result of effective role behavior. Leadership is shown by a person's acts more than by his traits. Researchers exploring leadership role have come to the conclusion that to operate organization leaders effectively, need to perform two major functions: task oriented function and people oriented function. 

a) Task-Oriented Functions 

These functions relate to providing solution to the problems faced by the groups, in performing job and activities. In other words, leaders with this behavior always give emphasis in the job or task to be done. They always focus on the best utilization of resources to increase the productivity. They give less priority in the relationship with other people concerning in the organization. 

b) People-Oriented Functions 

These functions relate to actions of mediating disputes and ensuring that individuals feel valued by the group. Leaders with this behavior give more emphasis in the relationship with the people associated to job. They believe the quality of the people with the quality of the relationship with their subordinates. For this, leaders consult with the followers regularly and respect their feelings. 

An individual who is able to perform both roles successfully would be an effective leader. This theory says that leadership involves an interpersonal relationship between a leader and his subordinates. In this relationship, the behaviors of the leader towards the subordinates constitute the most critical element. Good behavior of leader raises the morale, builds up confidence and team spirit among the team members. On the other hand, lack of good behavior will discard him as a leader. In other words, an effective leader is one who performs those acts which help the group to achieve its objectives. 

Leadership theories based on behavioral theory are:

Ohio State Studies

In 1945, a group of researchers at Ohio State University began extensive investigations of leadership. They described consideration behavior is people oriented leadership dimension where leaders are sensitive to make people happy at work. They also try to provide pleasant work environment and are highly employee-centered. Similarly, the central focus of their work was to study in depth the work of a leader. Their effort uncovered many things concerning leadership behavior. The most publicized aspect of Ohio state leadership was the isolation of two dimensions of leadership behavior.
  1. Initiating structure: A high initiating structure score indicates that leaders structures their role those of subordinates towards the attainment of goals. They are actively involved in planning work activities, communicating pertinent information and scheduling work. 
  2. Consideration: A leaders who were high on the consideration dimension reflected that they had developed a work atmosphere of mutual trust, respect for subordinate’s ideas and consideration of subordinate’s feelings. Such leaders encouraged good superior subordinate rapport and two-way communication. A low consideration score indicates that leaders are more impersonal in their dealing with subordinates.

On the other hands leaders who focus on initiation of structure are more concerned with defining work and tasks, maintaining standards, meeting deadlines and defining in detail objectives, method of work and roles. 

This theory says that a high score on one dimension does not necessarily mean a low score on the other. This can be proved with the help of figure of leadership behavior.
Ohio State Studies

Thus, a leader can be in any direction. There is a positive relationship between consideration and regularity and low grievances by employees. It has negative relationship with performance. On the other hand there is a positive relationship between initiating structure and employee performance.

Limitations of Ohio State Studies

  • It is over simplified.
  • There is no significant relation between productivity and leaders' behavior.
  • Impact of environmental variables on leader's behavior has been ignored completely.
  • Belief that a combination of high consideration and high initiating structure is questioned.

University of Michigan Studies

A team of researchers at the University of Michigan undertook the research in the late 1940s. In these studies, they have tried to find leader's behavior. Researchers have undertaken a few studies among low and high performing groups in different organizations. Upon the completion of the research, they categorized leadership behaviors into two headings: employee-centered and production-centered. Whereas employee-centered leaders or supervisors are more employee welfare oriented, production-centered leader are more concerned with getting works done. According to these studies, employee centered leaders emphasize on human relations in organization. They believe that such behaviors are very productive at the workplace.

The study also showed that Employee-oriented Leaders (EOL) were associated with higher group productivity and higher job satisfaction on the other hand, Production-Oriented Leader (POL) tends to be associated with low group productivity and lower job satisfaction.

Where, we mean
Employee-oriented leaders (EOL) – One who emphasizes interpersonal relation.
Production-oriented leaders (POL) – One who emphasizes technical or task aspects of the job.

Limitations of Michigan Studies

  • This study ignored the personal characteristics of subordinates and other situational variables.
  • It failed to determine that leadership behavior is a cause or effect.
  • It says that either of the two leadership styles has to be adopted. The leadership style suggested by these studies is an extreme.

The Managerial Grid

(Leadership Grid or Hi-Hi Leadership)

The concept of managerial grid was created by R.R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton of USA. They emphasize that leadership style consists of facts of both task oriented and relation oriented behavior in varying degrees.

They have used two phrases: 
  1. Concern for production means the attitudes of the supervisors towards a variety of factor concerning production, such as product, procedures and processes, quality of staff service, workload, efficiency and quantity of production. 
  2. Concern for people includes degree of personal commitment towards goal achievement, maintaining the self-esteem of workers, responsibility and conductibility based on trust rather than on force and satisfying interpersonal relations.
Robert R. Blake and Jane Moutan proposed a managerial grid based on the styles of "concern for People" and "concern for production" which essentially represent the Ohio states dimensions of consideration and initiating structure or the Michigan dimensions of employees oriented and production oriented. This theory has following dimensions: 
Managerial Leadership Grid

1. Impoverished Style (1, 1) 

Leader at this point shows the lowest possible concern for both work and people. This is identified at (1, 1) in graph. Manager in the grid positions exert a minimum effort to get required work done and to sustain organization membership. They have little concern for either the human elements or the production level of the team. This kind of manager has a short life in responsible organizations. 

2. Country Club Style (1, 9) 

Leadership is highly concerned for people and very little concern for production. He establishes harmonious relationship among subordinates and provides a secure and pleasant work atmosphere. This is identified at (1, 9) in graph. 

This type of manager has a thoughtful attention to need so people for satisfying relationship, which leads to a comfortable friendly organization and work environment. They always have lots of social interaction and put service project as well as company sports team high on their list. 

3. Middle of the Road Style (5, 5) 

This is a pure compromise in which leaders try to achieve adequate overall results by using limited authority and balancing the needs of production with the needs of the people. This is identified at (5, 5) in graph. These kinds of managers constantly try to balance the necessity to get out work with maintaining moral of people at a satisfactory level, but no excellence. Organization production will be close to expectations but without exceeding them. 

4. Task Manager Style (9, 1) 

This type of leader is primarily concerned for the maximizing production. Subordinates are considered irrelevant. This is identified at (9, 1) in graph. 

5. Team Management Style (9, 9) 

This style is considered to most effective. The leaders achieve high production through the effective use of participation and involvement of people and their ideas. This is identified at (9, 9) in graph. This is the ideal manager identified by Blake and Mouton. This manager develops a relationship of trust and respect with employees and others. This is also certain interdependence though a common stake, which leads to an enhancement of the productivity. 

Blake and Mouton concluded that the first four styles are not much effective, while team management approach is the best style because it improves performances, lowers employee turnover and absenteeism and grants employee satisfaction. However, the team management style would not work in a crisis because there may have no time to be sensitive to morale issues sometimes. 

Moreover, the managerial grid encourages manager to devote more time on managing human resources, because they usually spend more time managing easier resources. In fact, human resources are quite complex to measure and to allocate; that's why manager should devote time to this more challenging resources. 

Like in any other theory, one can find both strengths and weakness in the Managerial Grid. 

Strengths of Managerial Grid 

  • Marked as a big shift on the focus of management work.
  • Several studies give credibility to this model.
  • Encourages managers to think about their own balance between two main areas of managerial concern: task orientation and people orientation. 
  • By following approach, project manager can focus more on the human side of the management equation, trying to identify ways to accept the behavior according to different resources and circumstances.
  • The theory of the Managerial Grid has been used for 35 years in training manager about working with people. 
  • It is also important because it can help project managers looking at managing projects and resources more effectively. 

Weaknesses of Managerial Grid 

  • The managerial Grid aims at identifying the most effective management style for the entire situations, which are not supported by evidence in real organizations.
  • No adequate relationship between behavior and performance outcomes (satisfaction, morale and productivity) has been documented. 
  • This approach implies that the most effective management style is team management style but this actually may not be the case in all the situations. It does not encourage manager to think and act flexibly according to the circumstances in which they are managing.