One-Way Communication: Definition, Advantages & Examples

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Susan Fenner

Susan has an MBA in Management from the University of North Alabama. She teaches online and campus-based Business courses.

Communication involves the transfer of information from one party to another. This lesson discusses one-way communication and its advantages and applications.

What Is One-Way Communication?

In one-way communication, information is transferred in one direction only, from the sender to the receiver. There isn't any opportunity for the receiver to give feedback to the sender.

Bob is going out of town on a weekend business trip this morning. He wants his secretary to order lunch for the executive board meeting next week. As Bob heads out the door, he jots down a note for his secretary and leaves it on her desk.

The model of one-way communication looks like this:

Sender (Bob)-----------> Message (Order lunch) ---------> Receiver (Secretary)

One-way communication is frequently used when the sender wants to give factual information or when they want to persuade or manipulate their audience and gain their cooperation.

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Human Resource Management: Hiring and Staffing

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 What Is One-Way Communication?
  • 0:44 Examples
  • 3:54 Advantages to One-Way…
  • 4:38 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed


It's 6:00 a.m., and Julie is getting ready to leave for class. She flips on the television just in time to catch the weather report. She's excited to hear that cooler weather is predicted for the day, and she can finally wear the new sweater that she bought last summer. Julie takes it out of the dresser and removes the tag with the washing instructions, noting that the sweater should be hand-washed in cold water and laid flat to dry.

Once dressed, Julie heads to the kitchen. She checks the labels on the boxes of cereal and selects the one that has the lowest calorie count. Then, she grabs the newspaper and sits down at the table. She'll have just enough time to scan the news while she eats, and then head out the door to class. She doesn't want to be late. She's looking forward to Dr. Sam's lecture on Tennessee fainting goats.

On the drive to the campus, Julie pops her favorite CD into the car's player. She's singing along, not watching her speed, when she notices a billboard on the side of the road. It's a public safety message warning drivers to buckle up and slow down. Oops! Julie backs off the gas pedal and maintains a safe speed for the rest of the drive.

Think about Julie's morning for a minute. Did you notice any examples of one-way communication?

Check your observations against the list here:

  • The weather report on television
  • The sweater's tag with washing instructions
  • The nutritional label on the cereal box
  • The morning newspaper
  • The recorded music on the CD
  • The billboard message
  • Dr. Sam's lecture (if he only lectures and doesn't open up a discussion with the students)

How did you do? Did you spot all of them?

Now, think about how this type of communication can apply on the job.

Monday, at 7:00 a.m., Tom pulls into the parking lot at the foundry where he has been the foreman for ten years. He drives past the spaces closest to the entrance. Each of these slots has a metal sign indicating the spot is reserved for management. After parking his car across the lot, Tom goes into the building and punches the time clock. Taped to the top of the clock is a note warning employees that they will be fired if they punch a time card for someone else.

As Tom makes his way back to his tiny office in a corner of the shop, he notices the new cafeteria menu has been posted on the bulletin board by the water cooler. He doesn't bother to read it. If it's Monday, it must be meatloaf.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it now
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account