Background to the Study
Achievement of the objectives of every organization lies largely with communication. In organizations, communication aids both the super-ordinate and subordinate to effectively pass information on the goings-on in the organization with the aim of achieving success. Communication forms the bedrock of achieving success in football clubs, and this is dependent on the utilization of different communication techniques.
Communication is the life line of any organization. According to Crooks (2005), communication is the act of successfully sharing meaningful information with people by means of interchanging of experience. Desh (2006) described communication as the act of transmitting information, ideas and attitudes from one person to another, which can be formal or informal in nature. Communication is concerned with the creation, transmission, interpretation and use of information. Through communication, behaviour is modified, information is made more effective and productive, change and organizational objectives are realized (Desh, 2006). Philip (2006) opined that communication is a two way processes involving giving and receiving information with the message given having a meaning based on the giver’s understanding and knowledge, and the recipient’s interpretation. Philip (2006) further stated that communication implies a natural exchange of ideas, facts, opinions and feelings between two or more persons, showing that communication is more of a group activity. In this study therefore, communication is defined as the process of passing and sharing information, facts, feelings and ideas between football club administrators and players in order to achieve the objectives of the club.
Communication is a matrix through which the objectives of sports are achieved with the input of all involved. Osmond (2004) stated that good communication in football clubs is one of the pre-requisite for effective sports administration, while a breakdown in communication leads to confusion and frustration. Nelson (2006) asserted that communication is critical and driven by team leader who works with the entire team to establish ground rates and bring the team together to achieve the stated objectives. Good communication helps to establish and disseminate goals of an organization, develop plans for their achievement, organize human and other resources in the most effective and efficient way, select, develop and appraise members of the organization, lead, direct, motivate and create a climate in which people contribute and control performance (Nelson, 2006). In football clubs in Obudu, communication serves as a medium through which information is passed among the club administrators. Communication helps the club administrators in enquiring, persuading or stimulating actions towards achieving the stated objectives of the football clubs in Obudu. Communication is broadly divided into different types which include: intrapersonal, interpersonal, lateral, and vertical communication (Micheal, 2000).
Intrapersonal communication technique is a type of communication. Intrapersonal communication is the basic level from which all other forms of human communication are derived. According to Micheal (2000), intrapersonal communication is a communication that involves an individual sending and receiving messages internally. It is a communication that deals with one’s self, which include; dreaming (especially, daydreaming and lucid dreaming), talking to oneself, internal monologue and gesturing while thinking. Cunningham (2002) stated that intrapersonal communication functions as one’s thought process that is, communicating within oneself. In this form of communication, the sender and receiver is one and same person. Intrapersonal communication comprises of mental processes that functions every time one communicates. Parker (2003) stated that advantages of intrapersonal communication include; the ability to focus on individual work, studying without distractions, planning ahead and finding solutions to issues. Parker (2003) further stated that intrapersonal communication helps in developing strong sense of self-management and self confidence which leads to working with and forming friends more easily. Intrapersonal communication occurs within an individual which involves the evaluating of and reacting to internal stimuli, and these evaluative and reactive processes help human beings to cope with and understand ideas, events, objects and experience (Miner, 2005). Generally, in football club administration, intrapersonal communication enables the administrators to access their individual abilities and shortcomings without distractions, which help them to develop self-confidence to discharge their duties effectively, even among football club administrators in Obudu, Cross River State.
Another type of communication is interpersonal communication which involves interaction between two or more people. Micheal (2000) defined interpersonal communication as communication that involves sending and receiving information between two or more people. According to John (2002), interpersonal communication is a type of communication in which the sender is one person while the receiver can be one or more persons, the feedback message is usually personalized and the feedback is immediate. Interpersonal communication is the essence of most group discussion. Interpersonal communication include: formal, informal, verbal and non-verbal communication being that all involves sending and receiving information, (John 2002). Freitas (2006) stated that interpersonal communication helps to maintain link between people, interacting with colleagues and resolving conflict. In football club administration, interpersonal communication help administrators to interact with the players, seek information from colleagues and discuss their duties and responsibilities. The duties of football club administrators make it paramount to get in close touch with the players by way of achieving the objectives of the club, resolution of conflicts and allocation of resources which is done through interpersonal communication.
Lateral communication is another type of communication that can be used by football club administrators. According to Prats (1993), lateral communication is the flow of messages across functional area at a given level of an organization. Lateral communication involves not only the movement of information from the upper levels to the lower levels of the organizational hierarchy but also involves primarily the quality of information shared among peers at similar levels (Spiker,1997). Charnov (2000) stated that lateral communication occurs among coworker, during staff meetings and informational presentations, throughout shift changes and among employees regardless of peer types. Lateral communication’s main objective is to keep organizational personnel informed of all current practices, policies and procedures. Charnov (2000) further stated that the advantages of lateral communication include: the exchange of good rate of ideas between staff of same level, increases efficiency of staff in an organization, most appropriate for giving instructions and ensures that everyone works towards same goal of achieving success in the organization. Rowels (2002) opined that lateral communication is in greater use and substantially encouraged in organizations that are more organic in operations, and such organizations adopt the principle of manage by exception which emphasizes a high degree of delegation and team work. Generally, in football club administration, lateral communication enable club administrators to communicate directly without going through several channels of communication in the club, even among the club administrators in Obudu, Cross River State.
Vertical communication is the most common type of communication used in organizations. Wahl-Jorgenson (2004) defined vertical communication as communication between senior managers through the middle management to the workforce. Vertical communication is the official communication that takes place between superiors and subordinates (Mirjaliisa, 2004). The purpose of vertical communication is to control the flow of information and decision making within an organization. In vertical communication, employees become mechanized and want to play by the books, and as a result, they become less creative. Gehrke (2009) stated that the advantages of vertical communication include: maintenance of strict discipline through the use of official channels in passing across information, ensures the proper implementation of official functions, ensures proper feedback, ensures coordination among employees and ensures the authenticity of information passed across in the organization. In football club administration, vertical communication helps the administrators to ensure that the information that is circulated in the club is dependable and documented for future referral, and this is equally obtainable among the club administrators in Obudu, Cross River State. In order to ensure the effective flow of communication in football clubs in Obudu, there is need to know the different communication techniques.
Techniques are ways in which tasks are accomplished. Chambers (2006) defined technique as a procedure used to accomplish a specific activity or task. Communication techniques are different skills that help an individual to pass information effectively. According to Joseph (2006), communication techniques are core competencies expected from coaches which enable them to communicate with their athletes at all levels especially, in order to improve performance and productivity which can take the form of face-to-face conferences, letters, meetings, and the use of notice boards. Donald (2007) stated that effective communication techniques in football clubs serve as a matrix that link together the club administrators and players, while ineffective communication techniques lead to misconceptions which strangles administration of football clubs. In football club administration, communication techniques play an indispensible role in the effective administration of the club and achieving the stated objectives by the administrators and players. Effective use of communication techniques help football club administrators and the players to understand themselves and enable them to work for the success of the club. Communication techniques are strong, and raise the chance of good ideas and best practices to be shared openly by both the administrators and the players in the club. In this study therefore, communication technique is defined as the ways of passing, receiving and sharing information and ideas between football club administrators and players using formal, informal, verbal and nonverbal communication. Watzlawick (2007) identified verbal, non-verbal, formal and informal as different communication techniques.
Formal communication is a form of communication technique that occurs in a set of formal format, which include all sorts of business/corporate communication (Samuel, 2004). According to Anderson (2004), formal communication technique is written, oral or graphic which follows the lines of authority and accountability, and the communication channel flows in three directions namely: downward, upward and horizontal communication. Downward communication involves the flow of communication from higher level to the lower level, while upward communication flows from lower level to the higher level, and horizontal communication involves exchange between departments as means of coordinating their activities, which occurs across the same level (Anderson, 2004). Formal communication technique is straightforward, official, always precise and has a straight and rigid tone to it. In Obudu, the football club administrators use formal communication technique for sending across official information to all concerned through official meetings, conferences and written memos in order to avoid gossip and misunderstanding. In this study therefore, formal communication technique is defined as the sending and receiving of information through the official led down channels in football clubs in Obudu by the club administrators.
Informal communication technique involves sharing of information between friends and family. According to Samuel (2005), informal communication technique is a form of communication that occurs between people that have close rapport with each other, which can be between friends or family. In a business environment, informal communication is sometimes called grapevine, and occurs in conversations, through electronic mails, text messages and phone calls between socializing employees (Freitas, 2006). Informal communication or grapevine stretches throughout the organization, in all directions irrespective of the authority level. Freites (2006) opined that employees rely on the grapevine when they sense uncertainty in the organization, when there is preferential treatment of managers with certain employees, when they feel threatened and insecure, when under stress, when there is an impending change and when communication from management is limited. Informal communication technique does not have any rigid rules and guidelines, and the conversations need not necessarily have boundaries of time, place or even subjects for that matter since its all friendly chat. Informal communication technique enables football club administrators to freely discuss and seek information on the going-on in the club without documentation or following the authoritative channels. Football club administrators in Obudu football clubs use informal communication techniques to freely discuss and share ideas about the club among themselves without the need to follow the authoritative channel. Therefore, in this study, informal communication technique is defined as the sharing and receiving of information by football club administrators in Obudu through grapevine.
Verbal communication technique is the form of communication that has to do with the use of words and sounds in the process of communication. Demarais (2004) defined verbal communication technique as a form of communication that uses sounds and languages to relay messages, and it serves as a vehicle for expressing desires, ideas and concepts which is vital to the process of learning and teaching. Key components of verbal communication technique are sound, words, speaking and language. According to Watzawick (2007) verbal communication technique is the use of spoken words in the communication process which can be face-to-face, or a conversation over the phone or on the voice chat over the internet. Verbal communication can be used to inform, inquire, argue and discuss topics of all kinds which are important in forming bonds and building relationships with people. Verbal communication technique does not require lots of repetitions because the information is clear, can be used everywhere and speech can be direct and to the point (Watzlawick, 2007). Verbal communication techniques enable football club administrators in Obudu football clubs to clearly voice out the expected results from the players and among themselves, and equally give advise where necessary. Verbal communication is defined in this study as the use of words in passing information by club administrators in football clubs in Obudu.
Non-verbal communication technique involves the non use of sounds, language and words in the process of communication. Watzlawick (2007) defined non-verbal communication as a form of communication technique that involves the use of body language, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact in the process of communication. Non-verbal communication technique refers to the process of communication through sending and receiving information without words. It is a type of communication that involves the use of facial expressions, body posture, hand gestures, pictorial representation, sign boards, painting and sketches in the communication process. According to Anderson (2007), non-verbal communication technique is used to express emotions, interpersonal attitudes, to accompany speech in managing the cues of interaction between speakers and listeners, for self-presentation of one’s personality and for rituals such as greetings. In Obudu, non-verbal communication technique help the club administrators to send and receive information without the fear of the information being decoded by an external person, especially, the players during the field of play. Even though the whole process of communication seems simple, in sports, the effectiveness of communication techniques depend on the administrator’s ability to deal with the different factors that hinder effective communication in football clubs. Non-verbal communication technique is defined in this study as the use of expressions, sighs and pictures in passing information by football clubs administrators in Obudu.