1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the current information-driven and technologically based global economy, organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on the cumulative knowledge of their employees, suppliers, customers, and other key stakeholders. An organization’s ability to share this knowledge among organizational members is key to its competitive advantage (Bock, Zmud, Kim, & Lee, 2008; Brown & Duguid, 2010; Small & Sage, 2013). Information flows in a circular format, similar to water flows from one place to a different even into people’s homes, outlets and offices like fossil fuel flowing in pipelines into people’s cars and generators, thus will information diffuse each side of society. An example is once a coach in every category passed information to students and needs a feedback from them. In line with Opara (2012) opined that information is the life blood of contemporary organizations. That’s to mention that while not information, a corporation is certain to collapse. Information is required to regulate the everyday running of an organization. Olowu (2009) says that info entails information, facts, imaginations, ideas, opinions, cultural values in a very form of media which has print, audio-visual materials and electronic processes. This shows however info flows among and between cultural teams. The dynamic facet of knowledge flow represents a vital a part of Jewish calendar month (2010) different conceptualization that focuses on dealing (e.g. information to information, information to knowledge). This suggests that information square measure necessary to supply information that successively critical for making information that’s sent (e.g. via paper, network, speech, discernible action). Aguolu (2010) sees information because the message of human experience; that's, what's transmitted as signal, or an information, that it assumes a response within the receiver, and so possesses a response potential. The message can be made on any subject, in any language and in any medium. Information flow is critical to an organization’s competitiveness and requires a free flow of information among members that is undistorted and up-to-date (Childhouse & Towill, 2012; Li & Lin, 2013; Moberg, Cutler, Gross, & Speh, 2010; Rahman, 2009; Tan, Lyman, & Wisner, 2010). However, extensive information flow within organizations still appears to be the exception rather than the rule (Bock et al., 2008; Davenport & Prusack, 2010; Li & Lin, 2013). According to Li and Lin (2013), intensified competition and globalized markets are some of the challenges associated with getting products and services to the right place at the right time and at the lowest cost. These challenges, for instance, have forced organizations to realize that it is not enough to improve their efficiencies; rather, their entire supply chains have to be made competitive. One way for organizations to do this is to support information flow among their work groups (Li & Lin, 2013). This research will explore factors affecting organizational information flow as it relates to individuals within and between work groups. A review of the literature on organizational structure and information flow was conducted to examine the research in this area.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Communication in an organization plays a very important role in the attainment of its goals and objectives. An efficient communication system and information flow in an organization is a prerequisite to making them relevant and relate well with society. Unfortunately, as reported by Mtawali (2011), there seems to lack a coordinated and efficient communication policy in different organizations. Numerous inquiries on the affairs of some organizations are an indication of an existing information gap between them and the various units in the organization. Ignorance portrayed by members of staff in differs organizations on what may be regarded as obvious issues is a clear demonstration of lack of efficient communication structures in these organizations. Further, lack of corporate image and identity among most of the organizations is also an indication of a missing link among the various departments of these organizations. The organizational structures of some organizations are moulded along foreign organizations, as the whole idea of organizations is new to Africa. This restricts communication flow within the organizations, leading to problems of distortion and omission and ultimately failing to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization. Not much has been researched locally on organizational communication. There is need to evaluate the organizational communication structures of organizations to find out how relevant and effective they are in this era of information technology.
1.3AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine factors affecting information flow in an organization. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the extent of information flow within an organization.
2. To examine the patterns of communication system in an organization.
3. To examine the factors that influence free flow of organizational communication.
4. To examine various challenges to effective communication within an organization.
5. To examine the relationship between effective information flow and organizational performance.
6. To suggest ways of improving communication system in an organization.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the extent of information flow within an organization?
2. What are the patterns of communication system in an organization?
3. What are the factors that influence free flow of organizational communication?
4. What are the various challenges to effective communication within an organization?
5. What is the relationship between effective information flow and organizational performance?
6. What are the ways of improving communication system in an organization?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01: There are no factors affecting information flows in an organization.
H02: There is no significant relationship between effective information flow and organizational performance.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will build a knowledge base of factors affecting information sharing in organizations context; this information will be useful to academic institutions, research organizations, disaster prone communities and organizations community. The findings will be valuable to organizations as they will provide knowledge and understanding on the extent of information sharing and factors affecting information sharing. Thus organizations can develop information sharing strategies that encourage and promote practices that seem to be affecting information sharing. It will also help information managers in organizations to deepen the understanding of the realities and conditions of collaboration between staffs and those that partner with the organization and to identify specific factors that are positively or negatively impacting on free flow of information among the entities. The information that the study will gather can also be utilized by future researchers and scholars who wish to do studies in the same area or on specific elements related to information sharing. It is this light that the research also aims at filling an existing academic gap.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the assessment of factors affecting information flow in an organization.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Upward communication: Process of information flowing from the lower levels of a hierarchy to the upper levels (Mumby, 2013).
Downward communication: Flow of information and messages from a higher level inside an organization to a lower one (MacLeod & Clarke, 2014).
Peer to Peer communication: Communications where information flows horizontally from colleagues at the same level in the organization to other colleagues at the same level (Wilcox & Cameron, 2011).
Communication: The exchange of meaning, facts, thoughts, opinions or emotions that require presentation and reception, results in common understanding between or among parties.