Organizational communication refers to the role of communication in organizations. These can be small or medium-sized businesses, large multinational corporations, charities or governmental departments. It’s taught as part of business and communication studies degrees, as well as MBAs. Both may require students to complete research papers.

Types of Communication

Consider looking at the different types and styles of communication within different industries or countries by looking at the top 20 companies within each industry or country. Some industries such as the technology sector are more likely to use upward communication, whereas older, more traditional industries such as construction may be more autocratic and use downward communication. A similar trend may be evident when contrasting northern European companies that have very open communication compared with Asian companies.

Barriers to Communication

A paper could study the barriers to communication within organizations and the impact that they have on productivity and the organizations' ability to effectively complete work activities. Barriers could be stressful work environments, pressure to meet deadlines or a lack of organization that may reduce productivity levels. You could then look into ways that barriers can be overcome -- for example, through strong employee commitment.

Changing Communication

You could investigate how and why organizations’ communication has changed over a period of time. The role of technology has been huge; many organizations now operate entirely electronically and have paper-free offices. But how have these organizations implemented these changes? You would need to look at the speed of change, managerial style and organizational culture.

Organizational Learning

Research could focus on the importance of communication in organizational learning. This topic has grown in importance as leaders have recognized the importance of adapting to a changing business environment, as well as learning from their successes and failures. You could compare companies’ efforts to improve organizational learning and the communication used to do so.


A paper could look into whether there is a connection between ethics and communication style. Ethics could encompass employee privacy and voice, diversity or whistle-blowing. Does an organization's communication style affect the ethical policy within an organization, or is there no connection?

Related Articles