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Communication Networks

Communication networks within a firm include wheel network, chain network, circle network, and all-channel network. Wheel network is a form of communication network where information is acquired from one central point to the rest of the employees. There is minimal involvement of employees in the decision-making process as the source is the final decision maker.

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Chain Network involves a sequential system where members communicate with each other. Here, employees communicate in an already planned series; therefore, this type does not encourage team involvement. Circle Network is a form that calls for commonality in issues like background, beliefs, and areas of specialization. Information flows among a group of people with the same characteristics in a firm as described above.

All-Channel Network involves the engagement of all team members in information transfer. In this network, information flows in all directions, as an employee can communicate with other fellow team members. Task interdependence is the degree of dependence of one activity to another or the extent to which actions are related.

In the manufacturing field, it involves a description of how different businesses rely on one another at the production phase. There are three types of task interdependence namely, pooled interdependence, sequential interdependence, and reciprocal interdependence.

Formal working groups that one is likely to find in an organization are virtual teams, self-managed teams, problem-solving teams, and cross-functional teams. Virtual teams are those that apply computer technology to make members who are not close to each other feel part of the organization thus encouraging them to work towards achieving the organization’s strategic objectives.

Self-managed teams are those that tasked with the role of their former supervisors such as determining work assignments, organizing breaks, and exercising collective control over the tempo of work. They are mostly made up of 10 to 15 individuals.

On the other hand, problem-solving teams are workers from the same department who meet to forecast on the future of their business by discussing how to improve efficiency, work environment, and quality. Lastly, cross-functional teams comprise of employees of the same capacity or hierarchical level but are from different departments, who work together to complete a given activity.

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The five stages of Tuckman’s model of group development include forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Under the forming stage, group members meet for the first time to discuss the goals and objectives of the project and even their roles in the project team. Notably, the team leader clarifies the team goals and the direction the project will take.

It is the orientation stage. At the storming stage, each member comes up with his/her opinion on how the project should run. This causes conflict on a possible way forward, but under the guidance of the group leader, the members learn to solve the challenges together. The norming stage involves the establishment of the rules of engagement after arguing with each other at the earlier stage.

This makes them understand each other better than before. Performing stage is where team members settle down to work independently with high flexibility. The members understand each other well; therefore, they remain focused to achieve the goals at hand. The adjourning stage involves the disengagement stage. It comes when the members have completed the task that was beforehand.

Organizations should always have transformational leaders. The current dynamic market and organizational instability require a leader who can motivate or inspire their workforce to work beyond the set targets. These types of leaders should be in all the departments of an organization, as they are visionary, risk-takers, and entrepreneurial. The employees will experience job satisfaction thus increasing the profitability.

It is sensible for a manager to develop an individualized relationship with each follower. Since people have individual differences, the manager will be able to understand and handle the issues of an individual separately. This approach also makes an employee feel recognized by the top management thereby increasing loyalty.

However, in a large firm, an attempt by the manager to develop an individualized relationship will be time-consuming. Also, other employees will feel neglected and view this approach are encouraging favoritism thus lowering their moral in the work environment.

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