Communication barriers in a Swedish academic workplace: An exploratory study
Abstract: “The greatest problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished”,says the author George Bernard Shaw (Shaw, 2011). This simple phrase indicates howfrequent unsuccessful communication processes are among individuals in daily life. Likeany other human activity, communication could be disturbed when barriers tocommunication appear. This study aimed to explore six significant communicationbarriers through conducting in-depth interviews: linguistic, cultural, mechanical,hierarchical, gender and personal biases, and how they could affect communicationamong ten coworkers in a Swedish academic workplace. The results of the studyconfirmed that some of these barriers do exist to some participants (coworkers), such asmechanical and gender barriers, while to others these barriers were not present as muchand in some cases not at all. All ten participants agreed that hierarchical barriers werenowhere to be seen as well as personal biases while linguistic barriers were apparent butonly on a small scale. As for the cultural barriers, the participants did not believe theyexisted. This result was related to a potential lack of knowledge in differences betweencultures. The participants confirmed that overcoming the abovementioned barriers whenthey occur is of high importance and should be done instantly in order to ensuresuccessful organizational communication.
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