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Formal And Informal Communication Essay

1140 words - 5 pages

1) As the warden of an organization as complex as a prison, information of this nature would need to be dealt with as efficiently as possible. When negative information regarding employees is obtained, it will undoubtedly spread through formal and informal channels. Unfortunately however, as the information spreads, the likelihood of such information remaining unchanged and accurate will decrease drastically.
Communication in a prison setting is comprised of formal, as well as informal, communications. Formal communication, such as that established by hierarchy for which personnel must strictly adhere to, will pass information and directives to subordinates from the top down (Stojkovic et al., 2008). When this is done, there will ultimately be noise involved that will distort the original message. Unfortunately, when communication passes through complex channels, such is the case with a complicated hierarchy; there is more opportunity that message will be distorted when it is ultimately received by the officers involved. When this occurs the efficiency of the communication is greatly reduced (Stojkovic et al., 2008). In order to ensure however that the intended message from the warden reaches the appropriate channels, the warden would not only communicate his message verbally, but also in writing.
Informal communication, or grapevine, moves very quickly and encompasses numerous groups and individuals (Stojkovic et al., 2008). The message from the warden would pass down the chain of command to the intended officers. When that information reaches the officers, they may spread the information to other officers, which then may be spread to inmates and throughout the facility. The information when it spreads out will certainly have a different perspective. Kinship networks, informal social groups which may have developed between the officers will more than likely discuss rumors that have been brought up regarding the situation. Consider when you were a child and played the game of telephone. The original message started out as one thing, but by the time it reached the last child it was something completely different. Information, moving through several formal and informal channels is much like a message being passed through the game of telephone.
2) Communication is essential in all organizations; however often times there is either mistrust or a miscommunication between organizations or even between individual groups within an organization. The use of linking pins can aid in bridging the gap between the organizations or groups, by establishing an element of trust. Linking pins are essentially employees that have a role in two or more groups. These groups may be either professional or social networks (Stojkovic et al., 2008). While it is certainly possible that an organization develop a linking pin position as part of its personnel roles, this effort has traditionally evolved informally due to the need for intelligence sharing between agencies...

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