The study examines harnessing interpersonal communication as a tool for organizational efficiency and workplace harmony in Akwa Ibom State Secretariat, Uyo. Interpersonal communication remains one of the most important levers of management that every organization need implement to achieve work efficiency and harmony among workers. Four hypotheses were formulated for the study and relevant literature reviewed. A survey design was adopted for the study. A sample of two hundred (200) respondents was randomly selected for the study. Finding shows that interpersonal communication is vital tool in harnessing workplace harmony and efficiency, and that lack of communication is a very obvious cause of conflict and clashes in an organization. The study recommends that it is important that employees are all abreast of developments in their working life, be it new policies, amendments to working practices or changes to targets.
1.1 Background of the Study
Interpersonal communication is the mainstream of organizational growth. It is a channel by which the leading and controlling functions of management are primarily accomplished. There is need for interaction and understanding of management-employee relationship which will bring about increase in performance, efficiency and a harmonized working environment. Interpersonal communication has been is a major challenge in organizations as most management most times refuses to view this as a major challenge.
Understanding effective interpersonal communication among employee and management requires an experienced human resource management and techniques. But in most cases, it is not just a communication problem at all, but a problem of knowing who to communicate with, and how to go about it. Most times, it may be a problem of not having the right things to communicate, since people usually want to know what is expected of them, where the organization is heading and why and how it could be accomplished. Communication deficiencies can also be due to lack of planning and control. However, there is much to be appreciated about the nature of communication itself, the barriers that often exist, the principle to follow and the fact that communication represents a restricted network in a social system. This is why organizations and institutions put a high importance on interpersonal communication (Lutgen-Sandvik, 2010).
According to Wilson, D. (2005), communication in different organization refers to various ways, strategies and tools which the employees uses in their official, Interpersonal, and small group communication activities. The easiness or complexity of the interpersonal communication process is dependent on the easiness or complexity of the organization. Sambe defines it as one that implies a flow of information in a societal system to bear its operation and to gear it towards attaining its predetermined goals (Sambe, J. (2005). Also Nwosu sees organizational communication as one which mentions fundamentally to group and interpersonal communication inside an organizational setting. Interpersonal communication gives emphasis on how organizational structures distress communication between the employees that brands up the organization and how those organization structures are in turn affected by interpersonal communications (Nwosu, I. 1990).
Interpersonal communication is important in supervision because it promotes understanding between superiors and subordinates. Moreover, good interpersonal communication skills are very important to employees for making a successful organization. A recent study showed that employers rated communication skills as the most important characteristic of an ideal job candidate (Yate, M. 2009). This research tries to harness interpersonal communication as a tool for organizational efficiency and workplace harmony.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Majority of organizations today are faced with the challenge of knowing if communication is necessary in reducing conflict, and if interpersonal communication can actually boost efficiency and workplace harmony. A major challenge is the place of the skill possessed by the communicator (Robbins 2011). Knowing fully well that organization around the world works with a cluster of people with similar aim, objective, goals and insights, who cooperatively join hands to achieve what an individual cannot achieve in isolation. If therefore, the people that make these organizations do not relate positively with one another then, the goals of such organizations is doomed. Tin most cases, there is no cordial relationships among staff members, and subordinates and superiors in our organizations today; for instance, when strife, jealousy, hatred, bias, backbiting, witch-hunting, all of these and many more co-existing with the people, there is bound to be conflict which affects organizational efficiency and harmony.
Many studies have existed on communication and conflict generally. Fewer of these studies, if any, locally, have really attempted examining harnessing interpersonal communication as a tool for organizational efficiency and workplace harmony. This study therefore intends to bridge that missing intellectual gap.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The primary aim of this study is harnessing interpersonal communication as a tool for organizational efficiency and workplace harmony. Specifically, this study aims to achieve the following sub-objectives:
- To find out the factors affecting interpersonal communication in Akwa Ibom State Secretariat, Uyo.
- To find out if there is any significant impact of interpersonal communication in managing organizational conflict in Akwa Ibom State Secretariat, Uyo.
- To proffer possible solutions to the challenges of interpersonal communication in an organization.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
H0: There is no significant impact of interpersonal communication in managing organizational conflict in Akwa Ibom State Secretariat, Uyo.
H1: There is a significant impact of interpersonal communication in managing organizational conflict in Akwa Ibom State Secretariat, Uyo.
H0: Interpersonal communication has no significant relationship with organizational efficiency and workplace harmony.
H2: Interpersonal communication has a significant relationship with organizational efficiency and workplace harmony.
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is often imperative to ask what would be the significance of any endeavor, be it academic or otherwise. This study on harnessing interpersonal communication in harmonizing workplace and efficiency will therefore be beneficial to organizations, human resource managers, management staffs and employees in a number of ways. The study will help in revealing vital information on the need and current challenges of interpersonal communication in organizations and possible working solution for overcoming the identified challenges to organizations. The study will be beneficial to managers and employees in the sense that the study will point out areas of strength and weaknesses, thereby, standing as a corrective measure. Above all, this study will help expand knowledge and serve as veritable resource tool in the future for students from Faculty of Arts.
1.6 Scope of the Study
A study of this nature seems so broad and as such will pose difficult challenges in gathering vital information; therefore this study was limited to Akwa Ibom State Secretariat, in Uyo metropolis.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Interpersonal communication: Interpersonal communication is an exchange of information between two or more people. It is also an area of study and research that seeks to understand how humans use verbal and nonverbal cues to accomplish a number of personal and relational goals.
Efficiency: Efficiency is the ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and time in doing something or in producing a desired result. In a more general sense, it is the ability to do things well, successfully, and without waste.
Communication Barrier: A communication barrier is anything that prevents you from receiving and understanding the messages others use to convey their information, ideas and thoughts.
Organizational Efficiency: Organizational efficiency is the organization’s ability to implement its plans using the smallest possible expenditure of resources. It is an important factor in the firm’s organizational effectiveness, this being the ease and degree of success with which the organization is able to accomplish its aims.
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