Unit 4 Discussion Forum, University of the People
Communication takes place in various forms and channels in our everyday life. Whether we like it or not, we must communicate to get our point across, receive instructions, and make decisions. Communication facilitates the dissemination and transference of information, knowledge, and action. We may think of it as a link that connects all vital parts of a chain. Instinctively, we may assume that communication provides the platform for carrying out our duties in as much as it is necessary for job performance and objectives setting. In the process, information affects our communication behavior in multiple ways.
With the rapid pace of information technology, traditional communication channels have been expanded. As a result, an exchange takes place almost within seconds. Organizations that use effective communication channels and tools can benefit from their competitive advantages.
1. What are some of the communication channels in use today?
2. Name some of the advantages and disadvantages of communication channels.
3. How has technology influenced the way we communicate?
4. In your own organization, what channels are in place? How effectively are they used?
Grade: 9/10 (595 words)
Firstly, communication channels refer to information flows of communication or mediums for communication. From the point of information flows, communication channels are divided into formal and informal communication channels in organizations. "Formal channels" adhere to the organization's hierarchy of authority, but "Informal channels" do not adhere to that. (Osborn et al., 2010). In this essay, I define communication channels as mediums for communication.
- What are some of the communication channels in use today?
"Communication channels can be categorized into three principal channels: (1) verbal, (2) written, and (3) non-verbal" (Dingwall et al., 2019). These three communication channels are also used in digital formats. Here are examples of each communication channel.
(1) Verbal communication: Face-to-face conversation, Telephone conversation, Presentation, or Videoconferencing.
(2) Written communication: Formal Written Documents, Memos, Spreadsheets, Proposals, Emails, Letters, Training manuals, or Operating policies. They are on paper or screen.
(3) Non-verbal communication: Facial expressions, Eye Contact, Body Language, Smell, or Posture.
- Name some of the advantages and disadvantages of communication channels.
Face-to-face conversations and video conferencing include verbal and non-verbal communication, so these communication channels have advantages at the point of information richness. However, information richness could be a disadvantage. For example, in a meeting, some people are not good at non-verbal communication, and they have a stiff expression unintentionally. From the facial expression, other people can feel he/she is angry or disagree with the other's opinions.
Written communications have advantages at the point of leaving a record and conveying difficult matters. Written communications allow people to take time to understand information. Most written communications happen asynchronously, so one of the disadvantages of written communications is taking time to get answers from the opponents. This communication method lacks non-verbal communication, so the information richness is low. (Bauer & Erdogan ,2012)
The critical thing is the advantages and disadvantages of the communication channels could be changed depending on the situation. For example, verbal communication does not leave a record, and it can cause misunderstanding. However, compared to written communications, the boss and subordinates can freely express their feelings.
- How has technology influenced the way we communicate?
As Alhadlaq, technology increased the number of communication mediums, and it influenced the way we communicate in terms of speed, cost, quality, accessibility, and nature of communication. (Alhadlaq, 2016) For example, the recent example, I experienced the shifting from face to face communication to video conference. We used face to face meetings for verbal and non-verbal communications. After the covid-19, most companies in Japan began to use video conferences. Then, the number of face to face meetings decreases. Moreover, we began to think of the meetings' features, whether it focuses on information or emotional things, and whether it should be face to face meeting or video meeting.
- In your own organization, what channels are in place? How effectively are they used?
In my organization, a Japanese University, we use almost every channel. The most commonly used channel is written communications: announcements, instructions, or emails. For example, we use written communication for announcements because there are 20,000 students in the university, and we need to announce it without mistakes. Announcements are one-way communication channels, but it is the most effective way to convey information to many people without misunderstanding. Regarding the topics we need to discuss in urgent need, we choose synchronous communication methods: video conference, face to face meeting, or telephone communication. Discussions can share much information, not only verbal and written communications but also non-verbal communications in a short time. As I explained, we use different communication channels for effective communication.
Osborn, R., Hunt, J. Uhl-Bien, M & Schermerhorn, J. (2010) Organizational Behavior, 11th Edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Dingwall, J.R. , Labrie, C. , McLennon, T & Underwood, L. (2019). Professional Communications. (n.p.). Retrieved from
Bauer, T. & Erdogan, B. (2012)An Introduction to Organizational Behavior. (n.p.). Retrieved from
Alhadlaq, I.(2016). How Technology Influences Communication. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 1. Retrieved from