Barriers in Organisational Communication

By John Dudovskiy

Barriers in Organisational Communication There is a set of factors that could have negative implications in facilitation of organisational communication. These barriers include choice of the wrong communication medium, incorrect use of language, wrong type of message, inappropriate appearance of message, use of jargon, emotional barriers, and physical disabilities.



1.     Choice of Wrong Communication Medium

The choice of wrong communication medium is one of the most common communication barriers. The choice of communication medium need to correspond to the nature of the message. For example, giving negative feedback regarding any aspect of employee performance is better done through a verbal communication in a constructive way, rather than sending a letter or an e-mail.


2.     Incorrect Use of Language

Incorrect use of language can also be specified as one of the major barriers to effective communication and this may relate to grammar, punctuation, spelling and a range of other issues.


3.     Wrong Type of Message

Another significant barrier to communication may relate to inappropriate choice of the type of message.  Complex instructions to employees need to be communication in written forms, whereas interpersonal and other conflicts are best resolved with oral communication.


4.     Inappropriate Appearance of Message

Ineffective appearance of the message can also prove to be a communication barrier in organisational settings. Inappropriate appearance of the message is usually caused by its poor expression associated with readability, light print, omissions, ineffective sentence structure and others.

Ineffective organisation of ideas and poor choice of words in verbal communication can be specified as additional reasons of inappropriate message appearance.


5.     Use of Jargon

A range of occasions and reasons when jargons are used may relate to communicating with individuals within the same industry, unthinking use of jargons, attempts to impress the receiver(s) of message, altering the attention of receiver from certain facts and truths and others.

Attempts to distract the receiver from the lack of knowledge of the sender about the contents of the message and the willingness to ‘fit’ in a specific group can be reasons for the use of jargons in communications.


6.     Emotional Barriers

The role of emotional barriers in communication is often underestimated by organisational managers. Emotional barriers may relate to specific emotional attachment in relation to communication topic, the choice of communication medium, or the sender or receiver of communication.

Emotional barriers can come into the play independent from the contents of message as well in a way that receiver can interpret the message differently according to his or her psychological state.

Emotional barriers in management-employee communications can be difficult to address due to two major reasons. Firstly, the emergence of emotional barriers is closely associated with temperament and personal traits and characteristics of individuals. Therefore, effective elimination of emotional barriers requires in-depth study of personalities.

Secondly, occasions of emotional barriers in management-employee communications is often unnoticed by other individuals and higher level managers within the organisation, thus the employee may suffer in silence for a significant period of time with significant detrimental impacts both personally and professionally.


7.     Physical Disabilities

Hearing problems and speech difficulties as the most common disability related issues that tend to create communication barriers.

The scope of the issue associated with physical disabilities as a communication barrier in organisational settings might increase in the future in a global scale due to the increasing focus on providing equal opportunities to disabled people as an important organisational policy.

The proportion of this specific type of barrier as compared to others is insignificant, yet the topic of physical disability keeps emerging as agenda of the day due to the pressure from various government and non-government organisations.


Category: HRM