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Spring 2012 Master of Business Administration Semester I MB0039 Business Communication - 4 Credits (Book ID: B1128) Assignment Set-

- 1 (60 Marks) *Note: Each Question carries 10 marks. Answer all the questions. Q1. List the importance of effective communication in the workplace. Ans: Effective communication in the workplace means improving employee communication skills Effective communication in the workplace is the backbone of any business. Without it, you could miss out on important opportunities, waste time and cause your employees and customers to become frustrated. But not everyone is a born communicator, and there is always room to improve. That's why it's important to train your staff to create effective communication in the workplace. Removing roadblocks to effective communication in the workplace: When a problem arises, it's often due to poor communication in the workplace. Particularly in this digital age when we rely so heavily on emails and phone calls to get things done, vital information can become lost or misinterpreted if not communicated clearly. Arming your staff with good communication skills enables them to work efficiently, effectively and navigate any potential issues that may arise. Everyone is different: People have different styles of communication in the workplace. And while there is no right or wrong way to go about it, you can ensure that your staffs are understood by teaching them how to adapt their style to the needs of others. With appropriate training, your employees will be able to identify their own communication style in the workplace, understand how this influences the process, and develop strategies to get the best results. Effective communication in the workplace is a two-way street: Communication skills don't simply mean the ability to talk and write effectively they also rely heavily on listening and negotiation. Through training, employees will be able to practice their active listening and problem-solving skills and develop the means to influence outcomes. A professional training organization can help your employees develop effective communication in the workplace by teaching: a) the importance of effective communication b) different styles of communication c) awareness of non-verbal communication, such as body language d) how to improve written communication skills e) how to communicate with confidence

f) how to tailor communication for an intended audience g) how to manage workplace conflicts or issues h) Negotiation and influencing skills. i) Active listening skills and how to ask the 'right' questions. Benefits of training to improve communication in the workplace a) By developing better rapport with co-workers, employees are likely to be happier and more successful in their roles. b) Improving employees' morale will make them more likely to remain loyal to your business Q2. Explain the different aspects of non-verbal communication. Ans: A) KINESICS: This is the most often studied & important area of non verbal communication & refers to body movements of any kind. Different body movements can express inner states of emotions. FACIAL EXPRESSIONS: can convey feelings of surprise, happiness, anger &sadness. EYE MOVEMENTS: such as wide open pupils express feelings of surprise, excitement or even fear. Direct eye contact is an indication of intensity & interest, while lack of it can convey feelings of nervousness & guilt. GESTURES: such as movements of the hands while giving a lecture or presentation indicates a high level of involvement in what you are saying. On the Other hand, shuffling of the feet is a sign of nervousness & speaking with ones hands in ones pockets is considered to be casual or even rude. HEAD MOVEMENTS: like nodding the head can convey interest, appreciation, agreement or understanding. BODY SHAPE: is not within ones control but can be stereotyped to convey certain meanings. POSTURE: is within our control. In formal settings such as job interviews or classroom settings, it is essential that you maintain an erect posture to convey that you are attentive, since slouching or a relaxed posture conveys a casual attitude. PHYSICAL APPEARANCE: including the way we dress & jewelry & make-up that we wear can convey an impression of formality or informality. B) PROXEMICS : Proxemics is derived from the word proximity or closeness & is The communication term for personal space & distance. The space & distance which we choose to keep from people is also part of non verbal communication. Each of us has our own inner & outer circles, which differ for different people. Our inner most circle is a intimate space, into which we generally admit only select people such as family & close friends. Next comes a personal space This might include other friends & colleagues or coworkers. These two spaces involve communication of an informal nature. Most of us also have a social & public space, which includes official or Workplace relationships, where the communication is of a more formal nature.3. TIME LANGUAGE: This refers to the meaning or importance attached to time &varies between people. One person may value time more than another. Similarly, time language also varies across cultures. We convey messages to others through the time we spend on a work related activity or by the importance that we give to time. Arriving early at work or for a job interview shows interest, involvement & seriousness. Spending time with an employee & giving him

suggestions on how to improve his performance shows interest & involvement in his career growth.4. PARALANGUAGE: Para means like or similar to, therefore paralanguage means like language. Of all the forms of non verbal communication, Paralanguage is closest to verbal communication. It refers to the tone of voice with which something is said. In other words, it is how something is said, & notwhat is said. The tone of voice includes the pitch, the pace, the emphasis on Words & the volume & can convey different moods & emotions.5. PHYSICAL CONTEXT: This refers to the physical environment or surroundings within which we communicate & includes two aspects. COLORS: are known for their symbolic meaning & have associations with different feelings. LAYOUT: in a work environment refers to the size of an office, or the arrangement of furniture. DESIGN: refers to the type of chairs, desks or carpeting. Q3. Write short notes on (a) Upward communication (b) Downward communication (c) Horizontal communication. Ans: Formal Communication Network A formal communication network is one which is created by management and described with the help of an organizational chart. An organizational chart specifies the hierarchy and the reporting system in the organization. Therefore, in a formal network, information is passed on only through official channels such as memos, bulletins and intranet (email within the organization).The organizational chart implies that information can flow in any of threedirections: UPWARD COMMUNICATIONDOWNWARD COMMUNICATIONHORIZONTALLY COMMUNICATION 1. UPWARD COMMUNICATION: This may be defined as information that flows from subordinated to superiors. Some of the reasons for upward communication include discussing work related problems, giving suggestions for improvements & sharing feelings about the job & co-workers. This type of communication has both benefits & disadvantages. One of the biggest benefits is problem solving. Another benefit that could arise upward communication is that valuable ideas &suggestions may sometimes come from lower level employees. A third benefit is that employees learn to accept the decisions of management& thereby work as team. Biggest problem associated with this type of communication is that it may Lead to handing down of decisions by superiors. When subordinates frequently seek the superiors guidance, the latter may adopt an authoritarian approach & merely give instructions, disregarding the subordinates opinion Completely. 2. DOWNWARD COMMUNICATION: This may be defined as information that flows from superiors to subordinates. The most common reasons for downward communication are for giving job instructions, explaining company rules, policies & procedures & giving feedback regarding job performance. A number of studies have indicated that regular downward communication in the form of feedback given to employees is the most important factor affecting job satisfaction. Therefore organizations today are trying to encourage more of this type of communication. This type of communication has both benefits & disadvantages. Downward communication that provides regular feedback will be

beneficial if the feedback or review of performance is constructive. A constructive review is one where manager counsels an employee or advises him on how to improve his performance. On the other hand, a destructive review can destroy employee morale & confidence. Regular downward communication also creates a climate of transparency or openness, where information is passed on through official channels, rather than through rumors. The problems with this type of communication are the danger of doing Destructive reviews & that of messages overload. This means that superiors many sometimes burden their subordinates with too many instructions leading confusion. 3. HORIZONTAL COMMUNICATION: This type of communication is also known as lateral communication. It may be defined as communication that Place between co-workers in the same department or in different departments, with different areas of responsibility. The reasons for this type of communication are for coordination of tasks, sharing of information regarding goals of the organizations, resolving interpersonal or work related problems &building rapport. The biggest potential benefit of horizontal communication is the sense of teamwork that is created. Regular communication of this type ensures that all co-workers work together towards achieving a common goal in the overall interest of the organization. The biggest potential problem is that conflicts such as ego clashes are bound to arise, when co-workers at the same level communicate on a regular basis. Q4.Explain the different barriers to listening .List the differences between Discriminative listening and comprehension listening. Ans: BARRIERS TO LISTENING Listening is not easy & there are a number of obstacles that stand in the way of effective listening, both within & outside the workplace. These barriers are categorized as follows: A) PHYSIOLOGICAL BARRIERS : Some people may have genuine hearing problems or deficiencies that prevent them from listening properly. Once detected, they can generally be treated. Other people may have difficulty in processing information or memory related problems which make them poor listeners. Another physiological barrier is rapid thought. Listeners have the ability to process information at the rate of approximately 500 words per minute, whereas speakers talk at around 125 words per minute. Since listeners are left with a lot of spare time, their attention may not be focused on what the speaker is saying, but may wander elsewhere. B) PHYSICAL BARRIERS : These refer to distractions in the environment such as the sound of an air conditioner, cigarette smoke or an overheated room, which interface with listening process. They could also be in the form of information overload. C) ATTITUDINAL BARRIERS : Pre-occupation with personal or work related problems can make it difficult to focus ones attention completely on what a speaker is saying, even if what is being said is of prime importance. Another common attitudinal barrier is egocentrism or the belief that you are more

knowledgeable than the speaker & that you have nothing new to learn from his ideas. People with this kind of closed minded attitude make very poor listeners. D) WRONG ASSUMPTIONS : The success of communication depends on both the sender & the receiver, as we have seen in an earlier unit. It is wrong to assume that communication is the sole responsibility of the sender or the speaker & that listener have no role to play. Such an assumption can be a bog barrier to listening. Another wrong assumption is to think that listening is a passive activity, in which a listener merely absorbs the thoughts of the speaker. Yet another barrier of this type is to assume that speakers are more powerful than listeners. Speakers are seen as being in command of things, whereas listeners are seen to be weak & lacking authority. E) CULTURAL BARRIERS : Accents can be barriers to listening, since they interfere with the ability to understand the meaning of words that are pronounced differently. The problem of different accents arises not only between cultures but also within a culture. Another type of cultural barrier is differing cultural values. The importance attached to listening & speaking differs in western & oriental cultures. Generally, Orientals regard listening &silence as another a virtue whereas westerns attach greater importance to speaking. Therefore this would interfere with the listening process when two people from these two different cultures communicate. F) GENDER BARRIERS : Communication research has shown that gender can be a barrier to listening. Studies have revealed that men & women listen very differently & for different purposes. Women are more likely to listen for the emotions behind A speakers words, while men listen more for the facts & the content. G) LACK OF TRAINING : Listening is not an inborn skill. People are not born good listeners. They have to develop the art of listening through practice & training. Lack of training in listening skills is an important barrier to listening, especially in the Indian context. H) BAD LISTENING HABITS : Most people are very average listeners who have developed poor listening habits that are hard to shed & that act as barriers to listening. Another habit is to avoid difficult listening & to tune off deliberately, if the subject is too technical or difficult to understand. Sometimes, the subject itself may be dismissed as uninteresting because the listener does not want to listen. B. DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN DISCRIMINATIVE LISTENING& COMPREHENSION LISTENING. a) DISCRIMINATIVE LISTENING: This is the most basic type of listening, whereby the difference between the sounds is identified. Unless the differences between the sounds are identified, the meaning expressed by such differences cannot be grasped. Once we learn to distinguish between sounds in our own language, we are able to do the same in other languages. One reason why people belonging to one country find it difficult to speak the language of another country is that they find the sounds similar & cannot understand the subtle differences. b) COMPREHENSION LISTENING : Once we have learnt to discriminate between the different sounds, the next step is to try to comprehend the meaning of these sounds. In order to do this, we require a dictionary of words,

along with the rules of grammar & syntax. Apart from the verbal communication, we also need to Understand the meaning conveyed by the speakers nonverbal behavior. This can be achieved by closely observing various aspects of the speakers body Language & tone of voice. Q5.Discuss the principles of business writing Ans: PRINCIPLES OF BUSINESS WRITING Having dealt with writing in general, we will now go briefly into the specifics of business writing. The language, style and tone of business writing are very different from general writing. Therefore, we will examine these aspects in some detail. 1. TONE We discussed tone of voice or paralanguage in an earlier section on non-verbal communication. It was pointed out that the spoken words, however perfect, can convey a negative message, if the tone of voice is not consistent with what is said. Tone is equally important in conveying written messages, particularly business related messages. In written communication, tone refers to the way a statement sounds, which in turn, depends on the choice of words. A sentence or statement may be grammatically perfect, but may convey a negative message, if the choice of words is wrong. There are certain aspects of tone in written communication. ASPECT 1 You failed to meet the sales target. The above statement has a negative tone, since it emphasizes what could not be achieved. The same idea could be expressed in a more positive tone, by emphasizing what could have been done instead. ASPECT 2 With a little extra effort, you could have achieved the target. The example shows that even a negative idea can be expressed in positive language through the use of appropriate words. The tone of business communication should also be confident. You should avoid language that makes you sound unsure of yourself. ASPECT 3 I hope you will agree that my qualifications match your job profile. Beginning the sentence with I hope creates the impression that you lack confidence in yourself. It might be better to say On reviewing my bio data; you will find that my qualifications match your job needs in the following respects. While it is important to be self assured, avoid sounding over confident & pompous. ASPECT 4 Another aspect of tone is to sound courteous & sincere. This builds goodwill & good relations & increases the likelihood of a message achieving its objective. Avoid statements such as following: You sent your complaint to the wrong department. You should have sent it to the shipping department. These sounds very discourteous & rude when responding to a customer complain. Instead, it might be better to say we have sent your complaint to the concerned department, which will be contacting you shortly. 2. EMPHASIS & SUBORDINATION

A business writer can be compared to an artist or a musician. Just like an artist or a musician tries to make certain elements stand out, so too does the business writer. An important principle of business writing is to emphasize important ideas and to downplay unimportant ideas, so as to make the reader understand what you consider to be significant. Generally, pleasant and important thoughts are emphasized, while unpleasant and insignificant thoughts are subordinated or de-emphasized. Several techniques for emphasis may be used by the business writer: Place the idea in the first paragraph or in the last paragraph, in order to get attention. Put the word that you wish to emphasize first or last in the sentence. Example: Success comes through sincere efforts. Failure will result without them. OR, the event was a success without your efforts; it would have been a failure Use the active voice to emphasize the doer of the action and the passive voice to emphasize the receiver of the action. Example: John made the presentation is in active voice. The presentation was made by John is in passive voice. Use words such as primary major & significant to lay emphasis. Example: Cost is a significant factor to be taken into consideration. Use repetition Example: The Tata Nano is an inexpensive car. Inexpensive to purchase & inexpensive to maintain. Number the ideas, so as to rank them in the order of importance. Example: The main reasons for his poor performance are 1. Lack of training 2. Lack of team skills and 3. Lack of motivation. Use visual elements such as bold type, capital letters, and bigger font size & underlined words to emphasize key ideas. Example: The Reva electric car is 25% LESS POLUUTING than other cars. To stress what is known as the you attitude rather than the me attitude. Example: Instead of saying our bank will be open 24 hours, say You will be able to round-the- clock banking service. 3. WRITE AT AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF READABILITY A third very important rule of business writing is to tailor your writing to your audience and to make it simple enough for even a layperson to read and understand. As pointed out in an earlier section, readability is determined by the length of words and sentences. Robert Gunning developed what is known as the Fog Index or readability formula to measure the readability of a piece of writing .According to this formula, the appropriate reading level in business writing should be between 8 and 11

Calculation of the Fog Index involves the steps 1. Select a written passage of approximately 100 word 2. .2. Calculate the average length of a sentence by dividing the total number so words in the passage by the number of sentences. 3. 3. Find the number of difficult words. A word may be defines as difficult if it contains three or more syllables. Determine the number of difficult words per hundred, by dividing the total number of words in the passage into the number of difficult words, then by multiplying this figure by100. 4. Add the number of difficult words per hundred & the average sentence length.5. Multiply the figure obtained in 4 by 0.4, to calculate the reading grade level for which the passage was written, or the Fog Index. Ideally, the Fog Index should be between 8 and 11 for most business writing, indicating that a reader between the eighth grade and the eleventh grade should be able to understand it without difficulty

Q6. Explain the advantages of oral communication with the help of suitable example. Ans: ADVANTAGES OF ORAL COMMUNICATION Oral communication has some advantages compared to written communication. These include: 1. Personal quality 2. High interactivity 3. Possibility of making immediate contact 4. Instantaneous feedback 5. Control over the receivers attention. Oral communication was also classified into oral face-to-face communication (meetings and presentations) and oral non face-to-face communication (tele conferencing, telephone and voice mail). While face-to-face meetings are more effective than non face-to-face communication in most ways, they are expensive and impractical sometimes, due to the distance factor. Oral face-to-face communication 1. Meetings 2. Presentations Oral non face-to-face communication 1. Teleconferencing 2. Telephone 3. Voice mail EXAMPLE: Several retailers like Walmart, the worlds largest retailer, make use of Teleconferencing to keep their US headquarters in touch with their store managers worldwide. Some headquarters also make use of the facility to conduct preliminary interviews & shortlist candidates based in other countries before inviting them for a face-to-face interview.

Master of Business Administration Semester I MB0039 Business Communication - 4 Credits (Book ID: B1128) Assignment Set- 2 (60 Marks) *Note: Each Question carries 10 marks. Answer all the questions.

Spring 2012

Q1. List the differences between extensive reading and intensive reading Ans: Intensive reading It is related to further progress in language learning under the teacher's guidance. It provides a basis for explaining difficulties of structure and for extending knowledge of vocabulary and idioms. It will provide material for developing greater control of the language and speech and writing. Students will study short stories and extracts from novels, chosen for the standard of difficultly of the language and for the interest they hold for this particular group of students. Intensive reading is generally at a slower speed and requires a higher degree of understanding to develop and refine word study skills, enlarge passive vocabulary, reinforce skills related to sentence structure, increase active vocabulary, distinguish among thesis, fact, supportive and non-supportive details, provide socio cultural insights. Extensive reading It develops at the student's own pace according to individual ability. It will be selected at a lower level of difficulty than that for intensive reading. Where frequency word counts are available for the language being learned, extensive reading will conform to a lower frequency word count than intensive reading. Material will be selected whose choice of structure is habitually less complex and whose vocabulary range is less extensive. The purpose of extensive reading is to train the students to read directly and fluently in the target language for enjoyment without the aid of the teacher. Where graded texts are available, structures in texts for extensive reading will be already familiar, and new items of vocabulary will be introduced slowly in such a way that their meaning can be deduced from context or quickly ascertained. The student will be encouraged to make intelligent guesses at the meaning of unfamiliar items. Material consists of authentic short stories and plays, or informative or controversial articles from newspapers and magazines. A few adaptations of vocabulary and structure will be made. The style of writing should entail a certain amount of repetition without monotony. Novelties of vocabulary should not coincide with difficulties of structure. It means reading in quantity and in order to gain a general understanding of what is read. It is intended to develop good reading habits, to build up knowledge of vocabulary and structure and to encourage a liking for reading, Increase total comprehension, enable students to achieve independence in basic skill development, acquaint the student with relevant socio-cultural material, and encourage recreational reading Q2. Explain the different advantages and disadvantages of intranet. Ans: Advantages of Intranet a) Intranets offering workforce productivity which can help user to find and observe information very fast. User may also use applications according to their roles and tasks.




e) f)

Through web browser a user can get access to entire contents of any website from anywhere or any time. Intranet also increase the ability of employees by performing their job confidently very fast, and accurately. Intranet permits business companies to share out information to employees according to their need or requirements. Employees may also link to appropriate data at their expediency. The best advantage offered by intranet is communications within an organization or business company, landscape or portrait. Intranets are helpful to converse planned initiative that has an international reach all through the organization. The well known examples of transportation are chat, email, and blogs. An actual world example of Intranet is Nestle had a number of food processing plants. The most significant advantage of Intranet is Web publishing which permits burdensome corporate knowledge to be continued and effortlessly access all through the company using Web technologies and hypermedia. The familiar examples of web publishing consist of training, news feed, company polices, documents, and employee manual. Intranet can be accessed general internet standards such as CGI applications, Flash files, and Acrobat files. Each unit can bring up to date the online copy of a document and intranet always provides the most recent version to employees. Intranet offering business operations and administration solutions because it also is used as a platform of mounting and organizing applications across the internet world. Another advantage of Intranet is time saving because there is no need to maintain physical documents such as procedure manual, requisition forms, and internet phone list. Disadvantages of intranet

Intranet has great features for interconnected manners but has some disadvantages too a) Management does need to stop control of specific information, this problem can be minimized but with appropriate prudence. b) The other disadvantage of Intranet is security issue. c) Intranet gathered everything in one location which is really good but if it is not prearranged then you will spoil everything. d) The cost of intranet is very high but has lots of advantages after implementing.

Q3. List the different principles of business letter writing. Ans: The principles of Good Business Letter can be described in the following ways:

1) Knowing the Addressee Good Business Letter should contain the relevant information about the knowledge of subject and the person to whom it is addressed. It will create maximum influence on the reader and will benefit in best possible way. 2) Writing Naturally Good Business Letter should have genuineness in expression of thoughts or ideas. It should be written in soft spoken language and the reader should believe that we are in conversation with him. 3) Writing clearly and Without Ambiguity Good Business Letter should be free from any confusion or ambiguity. It should insured clarity of thoughts with no omission of words, no faulty punctuation and no disorderly arrangement of facts. There has to be affixation of full stops and commas at right places so that there is no change in the sense or subject of the matter. Besides this, there has to be proper specification of numbers and figures to maintain the authenticity of the matter. The faulty punctuations or faulty words may prove disaster or failure for the business relations. 4) Writing Completely Good Business Letter should have all the relevant facts and complete information so that there are no unnecessary queries. The letter should be complete in all aspects and everything should be described or written specifically. 5) Courtesy and Consideration The courtesy in business correspondence is simply not restricted to obligatory words like Thank you or Please but implies to promptness in attending to the letters. It is important to acknowledge letters when it is not possible to give immediate replies. There has to be politeness in declining business proposals or saying no and it has to be done in decent manner. In business, courtesy begets courtesy, so there has to be congenial and friendly with business associates and parties . 6) Avoiding Jugglery or Jumbling of Words It is important that the language of the letters should be simple and should not be like essay or article from literary point of view. It has to be written in short sentences with simple words. The letter should not have typical or difficult words and it should be refrained from verbose or prosaic style of writing. 7) Avoiding the use of commercial words/phrases/abbreviations The use of commercial words/phrases/abbreviations should be avoided as they have become obsolete and out of practice. There are some important commercial terms that cannot be substituted, yet they should be minimize or avoided in the letters.

8) Effectiveness Good Business Letter should be concise, precise, relevant, concrete and consistent so that it is easily understood by the reader and its

contents should be fully followed. The letter should be arranged in the relevant way so that the important facts should be given prime importance. It should be followed by other important facts in continuation so that the entire letter becomes link chain. The letter can be divided into small paragraphs and each paragraph should contain specific type of information. It should be not too short or too lengthy as this may prove monotonous or irrelevant in a business letter to the reader. 9) Planning the Letter The writer of the letter should have good thinking power and should plan out its contents before writing the letter. It helps in assorting all relevant facts, figures and places so that the letter becomes more useful and result oriented. The following steps are to be taken for planning a letter and they are as follows:

a) Collecting facts or information It refers to collecting all the relevant facts or information to be included in the letter. B) Selecting right or accurate style/approach It implies to the initiation of letter and can be done through three approaches or styles. They are: 1) Direct In this type we can jump into main issue or conclusion before giving any type of preface or introduction. For example Enquiries, Quotations, Orders etc. 2) Indirect It involves making indirect or preface for the main information, issue or subject. 3) Persuasive It should be written in a way that the reader should be motivated and its content should arouse his interest to create a demand for the business. For example sales executive offering lucrative offers to sell his products through effective business letter writing. c) Arranging Facts, Figures and Places The collected information of the relevant facts, figures and places should be arranged and assorted properly so that the letter becomes link chain and should be able to satisfy readers. 10) Checking or Revising the Letter The business letter should be revised and checked thoroughly before signature and dispatch. It is done to assure accuracy, clarity and effectiveness of a business letter. It should be free from faulty words, faulty punctuation, and incomplete information etc for congenial and prosperous business relations.

Q4. Write short notes on (a) corporate identity advertising (b) institutional advertising. Ans: Corporate Advertising Corporate advertising not only has different objectives, it has also become wider in scope, going beyond its traditional role of image building. Today, it encompasses many different types of advertising. Some of the most important ones are explained below. 1. Corporate Identity Advertising This type of corporate advertising is done purely to communicate the organizations Corporate identity, such as its name, logo, trademark or brand name & slogan. When The organizations identity changes, this is communicated through corporate advertising . Example: The American fast food outlet, Kentucky Fried Chicken changes its name toKFC to remove the association with fried, greasy chicken. This name change was Communicated through corporate identity advertising. 2. Institutional Advertising This type of corporate advertising is aimed at special publics such as the media, suppliers & dealers to correct communication problems with them. Q5. Discuss the different types of business reports. Ans: Types of Business Reports Reports may be classified based on several criteria, including the following whether they are internal to the business, or are used outside the business.1. Periodic reports: These are reports that are prepared on a regular basis for both internal & external audiences. Their purpose is solely to inform. Examples of this type of report are --a. Routine management reports: These are reports such as equipment reports& sales updates & are prepared for internal audiences. b. Compliance repots: These are submitted to external stakeholders, such as the government, stating compliance with regulations such as environmental norms. c. Progress reports: These reports may be prepared for both internal audiences such as top management & shareholders as well as for external audiences such as customers. A project report stating progress on a long term project is an example of this type of report.

2. Proposals: Unlike periodic reports the purpose of a proposal is to persuade. Proposals may be prepared for both internal & external audiences. Examples of proposals include research proposals &

marketing strategy proposals to top management, proposals to the government to grant funds for building a research Facility & proposals to consumers to buy a companys products. 3. Policies & procedures: The purpose of these repots is solely to inform. They are also prepared only for internal audiences. Examples include reports on company policies & procedures, written by top management & to all employees. This is part of downward communication. 4. Situational reports: These are one-time, exceptional reports that are prepared when a unique event occurs. For example, if sales of the company have shown a significant decline, a study may be carried out to determine the reasons for declining sales & a report prepared on the findings. Similarly, a market feasibility study may be carried out before launch of a new product & a report prepared, based on the study. The purpose of such repots is usually to inform, analyze &persuade.

Q6. List the different steps involved in report preparation. Ans: Steps Involved in Preparing Reports Since reports are a key to the success of any business, they should be carefully planned, organized, written and presented. A lot of groundwork should precede the actual writing of the report. We shall briefly discuss the five main steps in report preparation. 1. Planning the Report: The first question to be asked before gathering information and writing the report, is regarding the type of report that is required. Secondly, it must be remembered that most reports are required by management to solve a problem, or to make a decision. Therefore, the basis, or starting point for a report is a problem. Reports are written after a problem is analyzed and a solution to the problem is found. The problem may be of a day-to-day nature, such as determining which brand of overhead projector tore commend for purchase. Or, the problem may be a negative one, such as sales of the company showing a decline. In any case, the problem is the single fundamental issue to be addressed in the report and should be clearly determined, right at the outset. Once the problem has been defined, it must be Broken up into sub issues or sub problems, by asking the following questions: What, why, when, where and who? The next step in planning the report is to do an Audience analysis a. We have seen that reports may be addressed to internal or external audiences of an organization. Some of the questions to be asked about the audience, or the reader of the report area. Is the audience internal or external to the organization? b. Who is the specific audience or reader? Reports are written for the government & for top management should be more formal than for other audiences. c. Is the audience known to you? d. What is the level of knowledge of the audience? Is the topic familiar to the reader? If the report is of a technical nature & the reader is a layperson, the technical terms may need detailed explanation. e. What is the level of interest of the reader? If the report has been solicited or Authorized, the readers level of interest will

Be high. On the other hand, if the report is voluntary or unsolicited, it may have to sustain reader interest. The tone, length, complexity & degree of formality of the report will depend largely on the Readers characteristics. A more conversational tone, while reports on company policies& procedures addressed to subordinates would adopt an emphatic tone. 2. Selecting a method to solve the problem: After defining the problem & doing an audience analysis, a method has to be selected to collect the necessary information to solve the problem. Broadly, information may be gathered using secondary research methods such as books, magazines, newspapers, internet& other available sources or through primary research methods such as surveys that provide first hand information. 3. Gathering & organizing data: Once the method of gathering information has been selected, the actual process of gathering the information begins. Since this is time consuming & expensive, only information that is relevant to the report &the study must be gathered. The raw data should be evaluated for its usefulness& organized in a form that is meaningful to understand. Tables, charts, graphs & summaries should be used to do this. 4. Arriving at conclusion: Once the information has been checked for its validity& reliability, it must be interpreted & conclusions drawn. Correct interpretation of the data is needed for the success of the report. Sound conclusions cannot be made if the interpretation of the data is faulty. A common mistake made in the interpretation of the data is the tendency of the researcher to use subjective judgments, instead of objective reasoning based on facts. 5. Writing the report: The actual process of writing the report should begin only after a satisfactory solution to the problem has been found. A well written report that contains a bad answer is worse than a badly written report that contains a good answer.