Last modified on 13 November 2012, at 10:25

Development Cooperation Handbook/Communication Skills/Factors that may block the flow of information

There are many ways in which even the most carefully conceived, developed, and instituted system can fail to operate properly. Let’s look at some of them. This is not a complete list, since there always seems to be more ways of doing something wrong than doing it right, and once a system is changed to correct a former problem, the potential for new problems develops.

There are special problems when it comes to using the Internet or other similar technology. These include: inadequate hardware or software—not enough technology to run the system; inadequate training—people don’t really know what they are doing. The remaining problems are possible in all systems—high tech or low:

  • Lack of coordination: People don’t understand who is responsible for what.
  • Lack of overall direction: No one is looking at the “big picture,” and making sure that there is a consistency in message, style, and procedures.
  • Inflexibility: Conditions, goals, needs, and directions may change, but the dissemination system doesn’t reflect it.
  • Interference: Management or middle management directives or procedures can block the flow by creating either a real—or perceived—impediment.
  • Proprietorship: A person or department claims “ownership” and “control” of specific information.
  • Office politics: Personal “issues” or “concerns” overshadow organization goals.
  • Attitude: A bad attitude can sabotage any plan.