anagerial Communications and Decision Making in banking solutions


With all its limitations, there is one fundamental insight underlying management science. It is that an institution or an organization is
a system, whose parts are human beings with a variety of skills, knowledge
and techniques, who are involved in a joint venture. And the main characteristic
of a system is the interdependence of its parts. The primacy attaches to the
whole and the parts have to be integrated to form the whole; primary emphasis,
thus, has to be on the whole, and the contribution which the parts make to the
whole, rather than on the mere technical efficiency of the parts. Technical
perfection of a part may sometimes damage the system as a whole. It is a
sad irony that in spite of this insight, management science has emphasized
the efficiency of the parts -- precision of the tools at the expense of the
health and performance of the whole.
With this characteristic feature of interdependence, a system cannot
function unless the parts move in harmony. This implies communication within
the system -

- each part understanding its relationship with the others and
with the whole system. Communication does not mean mere provision of information; it has to be meaningful and relevant information that demands action.
Information pre-supp9ses communication but there can be communication even
without information. h
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So one must understand what communication means. Communication as
an action oriented system has to convey signals for action, for decision
preparation and decision making. Each part has to act -- take a decision or
communicate the need for decision to other parts or to the center. So communication has to deal with decisions. These decision signals also perform
another function -- they function as performance indicators of the part as
well as the whole. 

The test of a good communication system is the economy
of information and signals with which it functions.
Communication is an interpersonal phenomenon. Communication does
not depend on the communicator; it vitally depends on the recipient, his
understanding of the relevance of the information or message conveyed. The
recipient will not act unless he understands precisely the full implications
of what is conveyed. This understanding, this perception of the meaning is
not a matter of logic nor is it a matter of information. This perception
depends on his range of perception and what he expects to perceive.15 if
the information conveyed is not within the recipient's range of perception
or his range of expectation, that information has no meaning. Effective
communication implies, thus, such communication which the recipient can understand and act upon. Communication has no meaning unless it is related to
action -- that is, to the perception and motivation of the recipient.
An utterance from the center has no meaning, however, clearly spoken
or drafted; for the center may not understand the perception capacity or
motivation of those who have to act. 16 Commands or orders do not improve thunderstanding or motivation of the recipients. Communication has to start
from the recipients -- how they understand their problems, how they intend
to act or how they want the center to act. So there has to be listening by
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the center to what the recipients want to convey.17 Communication, thus,
has to be upward; it has to start with the recipient rather than the emitter
-- this is what is implied in the concept of listening. But this listening,
too, may not be operational unless it is related to what both the recipients
and emitters have in common. The upward communication has to be focused on
something that is common to both, and that something are the objectives.
It is in terms of these objectives that the subordinate should communicate
upward what his major contribution should be and for which he should be held
accountable. The supervisor may disagree and see the reality- differently,
but he understands what is conveyed and the subordinate understands why he
has to act differently. Thus the perception of both is focused on concrete
objectives -- objectives that are real to both; hence communication is
possible. This is what is meant by management by objectives.
In a number of development banks, there is a plethora of information
upward as well as downward -- but no meaningful communication. Let us take
the case of projects for which assistance is requested. The Appraisal
Department may- furnish a statement of the various projects for which assistance
is sought and classify them into their different stages of appraisal. But such
a statement has no meaning for top management; it may just file it even without
reading it as this information has no decision signals for top management.
But suppose the Appraisal Department has to function within the
framework of certain objectives such as: (a) no appraisal should take more
than two months and,if a project does require more time, specific problems
of that project and their possible solutions should be discussed with top
management; (b) a project with complex technology or uncertain demand for its
products should be sent for appraisal to a consultant for a thorough examination within fifteen days after the application is received; (c) the specific
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problems related to a project by a new entrepreneur or in a backward area
as well as the proposed solutions should be discussed with top management;
(d) a viable project requiring larger assistance than what the institution
can provide should be sent to top management with concrete suggestions with
regard to the possible ways of raising the required finance; (e) if a
project requires modification to be viable, the possible modifications and
the related action programme should be sent to the top management and so on.
If such objectives are laid down, the Appraisal Department would
know what is expected of it, the decisions that it has to take and the
decisions that it should suggest to the top management. And the information
which the top management gets is action oriented; it suggests the decision
problems that it has to face. Thus there is a deadline and a firm commitment
to action; and there are precise indicators of performance.

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