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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Limitations of Communication Models

Communication models are useful in many ways. Still they suffer from some limitations. Among them the following are important:
I. Details of a message are absent: A model is a symbolic representation of a communication process. Details of a message are not available in a model which hinders to reach a sound decision.
2.  Difficult to form an idea about a complete message: As a model is a symbolic representation, only very important elements are presented in it. The less important elements are not shown and thereby, it becomes very difficult to form an idea about complex message from a model.
3.  Inflexibility cannot be presented: Communication is an ever-changing process. We know very little about how communication works. We never know with certainty what works and what doesn't. This inflexibility cannot be presented in a model.
4.  May not be cost effective: Formulation of communication model for transmitting message requires a lot of valuable time. But the benefits may be less from the cost of application of such model.
5.   Requirement of skilled manpower may remain unfulfilled: To run the communication model properly, effective manpower is essential. But such manpower may not always be available.

Usefulness of Communication Model

A communication model shows the picture of a situation and also the diagram of the process of communication. Thus a communication model has manifold uses:
1.    Better understanding: By definition, a communication model is pictorial or diagrammatic. Therefore, we better understand the situation and process of communication with the help of a model.
2.    Quick understanding: Usefulness of a model is quickly evident. As we know, a communication model exhibits the main elements of a communication process. We can quickly generate an idea in our mind about the utility and effectiveness of the model through mere eye observation on the model at a glance.
3.    Improvement over traditional models: Traditional organizational models are not competent to fully display the ongoing flow of messages among the officers and employees. For example, an organization chart shows the downward flow of a message and occasionally upward communication from the bottom to the top but never sideways. But most business is done by horizontal communication among equal ranking people who are working on problems together. A communication model displays this horizontal channel between the people at the same level.
     4. Identification of noise source: Models also help us to identify the source of noise or barriers which stand in the way of effective communication. If we look at the model, we can see where the breakdowns occurred.
    5.    Facilitating communication plan: Models are used to help us plan communication efforts. If any change is to be brought about in the policy matters of the organization, you look at the organization chart, convert it to communication model, look at the media available to the organization and in the above light, and draw up a plan ensuring a changed policy to everybody in the organization.
    6.    Feedback facility: In the truest sense, communication is never a one-way process. A communication model through the display of feedback reminds us that communication is a two-way process. There are always at least two people and frequently many more involved in the exchange of a message.
    7.     Using as a sample : Since a communication model represents a pictorial statement of the elements of a communication process, a researcher while conducting research on communication process, finds it convenient to use a communication model as a sample for the purpose.

Significance of Communication Model

The significance of communication model can be described as under :
1.    It is a pictorial representation of the communication process which provides complete idea regarding the message.
2.    It can use the various elements of communication which may be considered as a sample for further research and investigation.
3.    It represents the objectives and its related aspects regarding the message sent and therefore creates a meaningful picture.
4.    To understand the nature of inflexibility, communication model can be an effective source.
It helps us to measure the effectiveness of communication and also helps in decision making.

Difference between the Process and Model of Communication

The communication process and communication model both represent how communication works at individual and organizational life. These two aspects of communication are just like the two sides of the same coin. Apparently it may seem that the communication process and the communication model are one and the same thing. But in spite of having many similarities between the two they differ from each other in some respects which are discussed as under: