Written Communication - Meaning, Advantages and Disadvantages

Written communication has great significance in today’s business world. It is an innovative activity of the mind. Effective written communication is essential for preparing worthy promotional materials for business development. Speech came before writing. But writing is more unique and formal than speech. Effective writing involves careful choice of words, their organization in correct order in sentences formation as well as cohesive composition of sentences. Also, writing is more valid and reliable than speech. But while speech is spontaneous, writing causes delay and takes time as feedback is not immediate.

Advantages of Written Communication

Written communication helps in laying down apparent principles, policies and rules for running of an organization.
It is a permanent means of communication. Thus, it is useful where record maintenance is required.
It assists in proper delegation of responsibilities. While in case of oral communication, it is impossible to fix and delegate responsibilities on the grounds of speech as it can be taken back by the speaker or he may refuse to acknowledge.
Written communication is more precise and explicit.
Effective written communication develops and enhances an organization’s image.
It provides ready records and references.
Legal defenses can depend upon written communication as it provides valid records.

Disadvantages of Written Communication

Written communication does not save upon the costs. It costs huge in terms of stationery and the manpower employed in writing/typing and delivering letters.
Also, if the receivers of the written message are separated by distance and if they need to clear their doubts, the response is not spontaneous.
Written communication is time-consuming as the feedback is not immediate. The encoding and sending of message takes time.
Effective written communication requires great skills and competencies in language and vocabulary use. Poor writing skills and quality have a negative impact on organization’s reputation.
Too much paper work and e-mails burden is involved.


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