What are the important functions of Communication?

Communication serves four vital functions in society. Roy summarized these functions as follows (39):

Functions of Communication

i) Information function:

The basic requirement of adapting and adjusting oneself to the environment is information. There must be some information about what is going on in the environment which concerns the people. The receiving or giving of information underlines all communication functions, either directly or indirectly.

ii) Command or instructive function:

Those who are hierarchically superior in the family, society or organization, often initiate communication either for the purpose of informing their subordinates or for the purpose of telling them, what to do, how to do when to do etc.

The command and instructive functions of communication are more observable in formal organizations than in informal organizations.

iii) Influence or persuasive function:

According to Berlo (1960), the sole purpose of communication is to influence people. Persuasive function of communication i.e. to induce people is extremely important for extension in changing their behaviour in the desirable direction.

iv) Integrative function:

A major function of communication is integration or of continuously offsetting any disintegration at the interpersonal or at the organizational level. This helps in maintaining individual, societal or organizational stability and identity.