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MNG81001 Management Communication of Synchronous and Asynchronous

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Your Sydney HQ is developing a new marketing team with team members located in New York, Beijing and Mumbai. This will necessitate the establishment of a virtual team spread over four different time zones to use both synchronous (real time) and asynchronous (not concurrent) communication.  A number of the team have expressed concerns about how it will all work, and meetings might be scheduled when one part of the team is about to go to lunch, while the other part is asleep.

To help 'sell' the idea to the team, your boss, the Marketing Director, is planning a virtual meeting with all team members. She is aware of the concerns and knows how important the presentation will be in creating a favourable association with virtual teams, as well as a good opportunity to build engagement, trust and candour among the team members.

To prepare for the virtual meeting she has asked you to: (i) evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of synchronous and asynchronous communication, and (ii) develop recommendations on how to use both synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, to not only be productive, but to maintain positive working relationships.




Subject: The advantages and disadvantages of synchronous and asynchronous communication

This memo is to shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of synchronous and asynchronous communication in business. The benefits of forming a virtual team are also stated in the memo.

Advantages of synchronous communication

Synchronous communication is one of the simplest form designing that can be adopted by a company. The manner in which the networks are developed help in conducting an easy arrangement of communication between two servers. The outcome of the transmission can be known immediately so that no pressure can be maintained on the servers.  Oztok et al. (2013) observe that the handling of errors in this type of communication is easy mainly because it is less complicated. The usually time of response between the two servers are less and as a result, the margin of errors between the two servers is limited. Hence, it can be said that such a mode of communication can be used to provide simple messages from one service to another. However, certain disadvantages also exist that shed doubt over the application of synchronous communication in the organisations.

Disadvantages of synchronous communication

The disadvantages of synchronous communication can be the fact that the services have to be always ready to respond. Due to the simple manner in which the networks have been designed, it is necessary that the services have to be well maintained. Small errors in the service may have a huge impact on the method of communication adopted by the companies. The information that is held up due to the blockage can be tied up and after the blockage is removed, it may get misinterpreted. This can cause a huge problem in the servers, as the loss of information can be valuable for the company. Cleveland-Innes and Ally (2013) are of the opinion that the servers require the connection-oriented protocol. This can be a major cash flow for the company as in order to provide proper service, the connection of the servers needs to be strengthened. Hence, this can be considered as a huge backdrop for the company.

Advantages of asynchronous communication

The advantages of asynchronous communication are that a request made can be targeted to specific servers of a computer. This provides proper services to the companies as the services can be made available upon request. Companies can use this in order to communicate properly with one another by using only computers as a preferred mode of communication. It also stops from any blockage of a signal. This is done by the use of connectionless transmission of signals. This is a huge advantage, as the signals need to be clear in order to ensure a smooth transaction of services from one place to another (MacDonald, García-Carbonell and Carot-Sierra 2013). This also provides fewer opportunities for data being hacked as the information can flow easily without having any disturbance from external sources. However, despite the various advantages the asynchronous communication also has certain disadvantages that can hamper the progress of a company.

Disadvantages of asynchronous communication

One of the biggest disadvantages of asynchronous communication is the fact that the response time of the servers and signals are unpredictable. This usually occurs due to natural factors that lead to the failure of the networks. Hence, the information may not receive the receiver on time and it may cause serious loss of business. Apart from this, other disadvantages include complexity while handling errors. If any mistakes are made in the database, the complex nature of the networks makes it more problematic for the organisations. Hence, the errors cannot be mitigated in a proper manner. According to Giesbers et al. (2014), asynchronous communication is harder to design owing to the complex nature of the network path. This is because the safety of information, as well as smooth flow of information, needs to be made in order to satisfy the people using the system.

Benefits of working as a virtual team

According to Hoch and Kozlowski (2014), virtual teams are growing in large numbers in modern business. The reasons for the growth of these teams are the fact that such teams can be easily afforded by the companies. These teams are required for providing support to the companies and pay less to these employees as compared to other employees. The companies provide no overhead costs to the employees as the communication is done via an online system that is available to the employees. It also provides flexible support in a way that the vacancies of a company can be fulfilled with the help of virtual teams (Gilson et al. 2015). Every company can set up the policies of a company based on the level of need for an organisation. Hence, this can be considered as advantages of virtual team.


Cleveland-Innes, M. and Ally, M., 2013. Affective learning outcomes in workplace training: A test of synchronous vs. asynchronous online learning environments. Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education, 30(1).

Giesbers, B., Rienties, B., Tempelaar, D. and Gijselaers, W., 2014. A dynamic analysis of the interplay between asynchronous and synchronous communication in online learning: The impact of motivation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 30(1), pp.30-50.

Gilson, L.L., Maynard, M.T., Jones Young, N.C., Vartiainen, M. and Hakonen, M., 2015. Virtual teams research: 10 years, 10 themes, and 10 opportunities. Journal of Management, 41(5), pp.1313-1337.

Hoch, J.E. and Kozlowski, S.W., 2014. Leading virtual teams: Hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and shared team leadership. Journal of applied psychology, 99(3), p.390.

MacDonald, P., García-Carbonell, A. and Carot-Sierra, J.M., 2013. Computer learner corpora: Analysing interlanguage errors in synchronous and asynchronous communication.

Oztok, M., Zingaro, D., Brett, C. and Hewitt, J., 2013. Exploring asynchronous and synchronous tool use in business. Computers & Business, 60(1), pp.87-94.

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