There are two main forms of business communication: internal and external. Like any other kind of professional communication, their purpose is the same — to transmit “information, ideas, thoughts, opinions and plans between various parts of an organization” (Thomson, 2007). Internal communication is directed at the members of the organization. This includes, but is not limited to, instructions for employees, reports for managers, and email between coworkers (Lesikar, Flatley, & Rentz, 2008).
The opposite of internal communication is external communication. External communication deals with people outside the organization. As Lesikar et al. (2007) points out, effective external communication is vital because “every external message conveys an image of the company” (p. 5-6). William King (2008) believes external communication is the most important form of communication because it deals with a company’s most important resource: its customers.
Just like computer communication, human interaction must flow across networks. In the business world, there are formal and informal communication networks. The formal network often resembles the organizational chart. Across these official lines of responsibility, reports and instructions flow up and down. This network is very regimented and certain forms of communication become the norm (Lesikar et al., 2008).
The informal communication network is much more fluid. It represents the communications that do not follow the strict regiment of the organizational chart. For example, a member of sales team might realize that it is more expeditious to talk directly to the engineering group rather than going through the formal channels. The makeup of this network is always in flux, and is often defined by the people in the network rather than their position within the company (Lesikar et al., 2008).
King, W. (2008, February 25). Internal and External Communication Approaches for Business. Retrieved May 30, 2008, from http://ezinearticles.com/index.php?Internal-and-External-Communication-Approaches-for-Business&id=996945
Lesikar, R., Flatley, M., & Rentz, K. (2008). Business communication: Making connections in a digital world [Electrionic Version]. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Thomson, S. (2007, January 19). Importance of Communication in an Organization. Retrieved May 30, 2008, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Importance-of-Communication-in-an-Organization&id=423299