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Business communication

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Business communication is communication that is intended to help a business achieve a fundamental goal, through information sharing between employees as well as people outside the company.[1][2] It includes the process of creating, sharing, listening, and understanding messages between different groups of people through written and verbal formats.[3] The way that people communicate and operate within a business is very vital to how successful the company will be in the business world. Business communication occurs internally, employee-to-employee, or externally, business-to-business or business-to-consumer. This internal and external communication can happen through verbal or non-verbal communication methods. Often these internal and external forms of communication come with barriers, which can prevent the receiver from understanding the information sent by the sender.


The word communication has been derived from the Latin word communis which implies common. Thus communication may be defined as the interchange of thoughts and information to bring about mutual understanding.

Business communication is closely related to professional communication and technical communication. It encompasses topics such as marketing,[2] brand management,[2] customer relations, consumer behavior, advertising, public relations,[2] corporate communication, community engagement, reputation management, interpersonal communication, employee engagement, internal communication, and event management.

Communication in general is valued even more in international business communications to allow for the understanding of cultures and the overall morale of the operation.[4]

Business communication focuses primarily on achieving goals/aims and, in the case of a public company or organization, increasing the dividends of shareholders.[5]

Types of business communication[edit]


A group of people (4 females and 1 male) sit around an office conference table having a meeting where they are discussing a manuscript.

Business-to-employee communication, also known as workplace communication, is the exchange of information within an organization. The purpose of some communications is to develop trust, and/or to increase productivity.[6]

This type of business communication includes the flow of information from one level of the business hierarchy to another. Communication that flows from the top of the hierarchy to the bottom ("top-down communication") has been shown to decrease the stress levels of employees if it provides clarification and reassurance to the worker.[7] The amount of information shared in this way is often dependent on a "need to know" basis.[2] This communication may take the form of memos and other internal documents.[8] Although a certain level of top-down communication is helpful, too much communication can be seen by the employee as micromanagement. Upward communication is any communication within the business that is passed through the business hierarchy from the bottom upwards.[2] A suggestion box, which allows low-level workers to communicate with management anonymously, is one example of upward communication. Horizontal communication occurs between individuals who are on the same level in the business hierarchy.[2]


Business-to-business communication is sharing information between different other companies, often done to benefit both parties. Business communication can help the company achieve its fundamental goals by informing, persuading, and building good relations with other companies to reach mutual goals.[9]

Business-to-consumer communication, also known as direct-to-consumer, is when a company directly communicates with its consumers about product details or company information. The opposite is when a consumer leaves reviews on a product (or service), which may identify how the company could improve its product.

Methods of business communication[edit]

These internal and external types of business communication occur through verbal and non-verbal methods of communication.[3]

Some forms of verbal communication

Some forms of non-verbal communication

Television is an example of a medium which provides both verbal and non-verbal communication.

Face-to-face meetings and presentations are popular methods of communication between employees within an organization; they increasingly feature audiovisual material, like copies of reports, or material prepared in Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe Flash. Means such as telephone conference and letters allows for communication over long distances.[8] In the 21st century, computer-mediated communication, such as video conferencing and email, has become increasingly prevalent in business. Formal reports are also important in documenting the activities of any department. Companies are helping customers wherever they are and establishing connections with them based on communication channels like instant messaging applications, voice, video, social media, and live chat, in addition to email, SMS, and WhatsApp marketing.[10]

Barriers to business communication[edit]

There are several barriers that a business might experience when communicating with business partners. Such barriers can prevent one from receiving or understanding messages others use to convey information, ideas, and thoughts.[11][12][13][14][15]

These often arise because of differences in the states of mind, body, and perspective between sender and receiver, which are a result of how encoding or decoding processes occur.[16][11]

Business communication studies[edit]

Higher learning institutions offer communication courses, and many are now offering business communication courses. These courses teach students how to communicate more effectively.[17][18] Attending these courses help students understand the communication barriers they might experience when communicating with others. It is suggested that 93% of employers believe that clear communication skills are more important than the students' actual major area of study.[19] Communication competence is an ability that is sought after by employers and often leads to professional success.[20]


  • Founded in 1936 by Shankar is the Association for Business Communication (ABC),[21] originally called the Association of College Teachers of Business Writing, is "an international, interdisciplinary organization committed to advancing business communication research, education, and practice."
  • The IEEE Professional Communication Society (PCS) [1] Archived 2010-03-24 at the Wayback Machine is dedicated to understanding and promoting effective communication in engineering, scientific, and other environments, including business environments. PCS's academic journal,[22] is one of the premier journals in Europe communication. The journal’s readers are engineers, writers, information designers, managers, and others working as scholars, educators, and practitioners who share an interest in the effective communication of technical and business information.
  • The Society for Technical Communication is a professional association dedicated to the advancement of the theory and practice of technical communication. With membership of more than 6,000 technical communicators, it's the largest organization of its type in North America.
  • The International Business Communication Standards are practical proposals for the conceptual and visual design of comprehensible reports and presentations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shelby, A. N. (1993-06-01). "Organizational, Business, Management, and Corporate Communication: An Analysis of Boundaries and Relationships". Journal of Business Communication. 30 (3): 241–267. doi:10.1177/002194369303000302. ISSN 0021-9436. S2CID 145516684.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "BUSINESS COMMUNICATION | Handy Answer: The Handy Communication Answer Book - Credo Reference". search.credoreference.com. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  3. ^ a b Conrad, David; Newberry, Robert (2012-01-01). "Identification and Instruction of Important Business Communication Skills for Graduate Business Education". Journal of Education for Business. 87 (2): 112–120. doi:10.1080/08832323.2011.576280. ISSN 0883-2323. S2CID 62762871.
  4. ^ Wyant, Mizuki H.; Kramer, Michael W. (February 2022). ""They Are Nothing More Than His Spies on the Floor": Local Employees' Sensemaking and Interpretation of Expatriates' Roles and Responsibilities". Management Communication Quarterly. 36 (1): 124–148. doi:10.1177/08933189211029561. ISSN 0893-3189. S2CID 237754654.
  5. ^ Reinsch, Lamar (Fall 1991). "Editorial: What Is Business Communication?". Journal of Business Communication. 28 (4): 305–310. doi:10.1177/002194369102800401. S2CID 145256651.
  6. ^ Arcenas, Jessica (2021-04-01). "Workplace Communication: Tips and Tools for Good Communication". Zenkit. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  7. ^ Mahajan, Ashish; Bishop, James W.; Scott, Dow (2012). "Does Trust in Top Management Mediate Top Management Communication, Employee Involvement and Organizational Commitment Relationships?". Journal of Managerial Issues. 24 (2 (Summer 2012)): 173–190. JSTOR 43488132. Retrieved 2022-04-15.
  8. ^ a b Damerst, William (1966). Resourceful Business Communication. Harcourt, Brace & World. pp. 6–7.
  9. ^ Gesell, Claudia; Glas, Andreas H.; Essig, Michael (2018-10-02). "Business-to-Business communication in a dynamic environment: A systematic adductive analysis referring to ramp-up management". Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing. 25 (4): 339–355. doi:10.1080/1051712X.2018.1532664. ISSN 1051-712X. S2CID 169963894.
  10. ^ "Latest Business Communication Trends You Should Know in 2024". getitsms.com. Retrieved 1 July 2024.
  11. ^ a b Kaumbakonam, Usha Rani (March 2016). "Communication Barriers". ResearchGate.
  12. ^ Nel, Kathryn; Govender, Saraswathie (2020-11-16). "Challenges associated with business communications in English via e-mail in a medium-sized South African organisation during the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR)". International Review of Psychiatry. 32 (7–8): 651–658. doi:10.1080/09540261.2020.1813693. ISSN 0954-0261. PMID 33047986. S2CID 222318098.
  13. ^ Lu, Chen; Fan, Weiwei (2015-10-01). "Cross-cultural Issues and International Business Communication Practice: From an Anthropological Perspective". The Anthropologist. 22 (1): 15–24. doi:10.1080/09720073.2015.11891852. ISSN 0972-0073. S2CID 57213411.
  14. ^ Hellmundt, Susan; Rifkin, Will; Fox, Christine (October 1998). "Enhancing Intercultural Communication among Business Communication Students". Higher Education Research & Development. 17 (3): 333–344. doi:10.1080/0729436980170306. ISSN 0729-4360.
  15. ^ Hulbert, Jack E. (1981-05-01). "Vocabulary —: A Key to Effective Business Communication". The Journal of Business Education. 56 (8): 324–327. doi:10.1080/00219444.1981.10534040 (inactive 31 January 2024). ISSN 0021-9444.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of January 2024 (link)
  16. ^ Johnson, Camille S.; Dunn-Jensen, Linda M.; Wells, Pamela M. (2019-01-02). "Sketchy communication: An experiential exercise for learning about communication in business". Journal of Education for Business. 94 (1): 46–56. doi:10.1080/08832323.2018.1498314. ISSN 0883-2323. S2CID 70209963.
  17. ^ Blewitt, Joan M.; Parsons, Amy; Shane, Jordana M. Y. (2018-11-17). "Service learning as a high-impact practice: Integrating business communication skills to benefit others". Journal of Education for Business. 93 (8): 412–419. doi:10.1080/08832323.2018.1498315. ISSN 0883-2323. S2CID 69620784.
  18. ^ Hulbert, Jack E. (1982-02-01). "Spelling: A Fundamental Skill for Effective Business Communication". The Journal of Business Education. 57 (5): 185–187. doi:10.1080/00219444.1982.10534793 (inactive 31 January 2024). ISSN 0021-9444.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of January 2024 (link)
  19. ^ Morreale, Sherwyn P.; Valenzano, Joseph M.; Bauer, Janessa A. (2017-10-02). "Why communication education is important: a third study on the centrality of the discipline's content and pedagogy". Communication Education. 66 (4): 402–422. doi:10.1080/03634523.2016.1265136. ISSN 0363-4523. S2CID 151372877.
  20. ^ Brown, Lori A. (2015-08-18). "The Course Valuation Model and 10 Steps to Increase Course Value: The Business Communication Course". Journal of Education for Business. 90 (6): 340–346. doi:10.1080/08832323.2015.1058738. ISSN 0883-2323. S2CID 56654181.
  21. ^ "In the News". Association for Business Communication. Archived from the original on 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
  22. ^ "IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication". Archived from the original on 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2008-03-10.