Effective Communication - Models

A model is a thing used to follow or imitate. Models of communication provide inputs for setting a standard communication system and ensuring effective communication in a business organization. They are examined from organizational perspectives. Each organization sets up its own communication system mostly deriving inspiration from popular communication models.

  • Models of communication are conceptual models that are used to explain the human communication process.

  • Models are visual representation of communicating process.

  • The first formal communication model was enunciated by Claude Elwood Shannon in 1948 and was published with an introduction by Warren Weaver. This model is popularly known as the Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication.

In the following sections, let us discuss the basic models of communication for easy understanding of theirs which will help us to prepare a model of effective communication in businesses and other areas.

One-Way Communication Model

It is also known as the linear model of Communication as it occurs in a straight line from sender to receiver and serves to inform, persuade or command.

In this type of communication, information is only transmitted from one point to another or to many points at a single point of time.

There is no transmission of information from the receiving point. Here, the recipient is passive.

One-way communication is mostly used to transmit current information like weather information, information about looming calamites, programs and public observations at press conferences and through radio and TV broadcasting. The accurate time and intensity of weather phenomena are transmitted or communicated through the medium of one way communication.

Like in two-way communication, in one-way communication the sender and recipient of the information may be not only people but also computers or automatic devices.

It consists of the sender encoding a message and transmitting it though appropriate channel to the receiver in the presence of noise.

It assumes that there is a clear-cut beginning and end to communication.

The Aristotle Model of Communication can be said to be a one-way model of communication in which the sender sends the information or a message to the receiver to influence them and make them respond accordingly. This model is considered to be the golden rule to excel in public speaking, seminars, lectures where the sender makes his point clear by designing an impressive content, passing on the message to the second part and they simply respond accordingly.

Aristotle was the first to take an initiative and design the communication model.

The lack of feedback from the receiver is one major drawback of this model.

In this type of model, the sender is the active member and the receiver is the passive one.

Transactional Model

‘Transactional’ simply means the exchange or interaction between people. It is based on the basic premises of ‘exchange’ or ‘give and take’.

Hence, the transactional model of communication refers to the exchange of messages or information between the sender and the receiver where each take turns to send or receive messages.

This model is the most general model of communication as even our daily interactions are instances of transactional model communication.

Transactional model becomes more efficient and effective when the participants are of similar environment, know each other and share same social system. Each person in the process reacts depending upon factors such as their background, experience, attitudes, cultural beliefs and self-esteem.

Proper choice of channel enhances the efficiency and reliability of the communicated message.

Interactive Communication Model

Interactive communication model is also known as the convergence model.

According to this model, exchange of ideas and messages takes place both ways form sender to receiver and vice versa.

The communication process occurs between humans or machines in both verbal and non-verbal ways.

The sender channels a message to the receiver and the receiver then becomes the sender and channels a message to the original sender.

It emphasizes feedback indicating that communication is not a one-way but a two-way process.

Instead of information being sent one way, from the sender to the receiver, both participants send information back and forth.

Wilbur Schramm, a scholar and an authority on communication, also proposed that both the sender and receiver interpret the message, rather than accurately assessing the message’s meaning.

In this model, however, feedback is not simultaneous and usually takes time as this model is mostly used for Internet.

Components of Interactive Model

In this section, we will consider the components related to the interactive model of communication. This is one of the major models of communication −

  • The sender and receiver act as both encoder and decoder and the sources of the message.

  • Message is the information to be communicated.

  • Feedback, that is, when the decoder forms a second message after receiving the first message.

  • Field experience is the experience and knowledge which affect the message formation and interpretation. Such knowledge and experience are often shaped by cultural, psychological, social and situational setting in which the message is formed and is interpreted.

  • Interactive model also espouses the concept of noise and barriers to communication like language, network problems, improper channel selection which affects the communication model.

  • Internet, social media, interactive marketing. ATMs, online shopping, chat room are examples of interactive communication model.

Effectiveness of Communication Models

Communication models are authentic outcomes of systematic study of various aspects of communication. A model of communication gives a wholesome understanding of a system or structure by which people can understand similar systems or structure.

Consider the following important points related to the importance of communication models −

  • Communication models help identify and understand the components and relationship of the communication process being studied.

  • Models represent new ideas and thought on various aspects of communication which helps us to plan for effective communication system. They act as stimulant for the researchers and students of communication.

  • Models are pictorial representation of communication process.

  • They are used for research and investigation in the field of communication.

  • As communicating is a rigid process to understand, communication model can be an essential source to understand such rigidity.

  • Models predict for more effective communication in future. They also predict the success or failure of a particular communication process.

  • Models help explain a phenomena by providing information in a simplified way which otherwise be complicated or ambiguous.

  • We can use the models of communication to analyze real problems and prevent the occurrence of future problems.

The relevance of communication models cannot be over-emphasized. They add towards realizing effective communication system.


  • Models of communication provide inputs for setting a standard communication system and ensuring effective communication in a business organization.

  • The different models are −

    • One-Way Communication Model

    • Transactional Model

    • Interactive Communication Model

  • Communication models are authentic outcomes of systematic study of various aspects of communication.