Effective upward communications provide employees with opportunities to be heard. This can provide a manager with insights into the informal as well as the formal patterns that control the flow of communications within a department. Professional Atmosphere – An organisation characterised with good formal communication reflects a professional atmosphere. Oral downward communication may take place by means of instructions, meetings, the telephone, loudspeakers and even the grapevine. While being on work, one wishes to talk and spend time for matters other than work such as taking lunch together, discussing about a common hobby in tea break, venting out after having a scolding from boss, etc. With informal communication, they may clear out any misunderstanding or grudges and regain cordiality. It flows from individuals in higher levels of the organisation to those at lower levels. When managers attempt to communicate with other people the problems that can arise can be traced to perceptual and interpersonal style differences. These channels exist with or without authorised patronage. It should not repeat the rumour. A rumour can be defined as an unverified belief that is in general circulation inside the organisation (an internal rumour) or in the organisation’s external environment (an external rumour). It is very useful when information is required to be communicated very quickly. Third, upward communication may not be a genuine communication and rather may be a fabricated one for want of superior’s praise and being in his good books. horizontal; formal; informal; vertical 33. There is no fixed number of communicators in informal communication. A periodic publication the medium usually selected to accomplish these purposes. Unlike internal communication, external communication flows outward. It provides them a feeling of being human having their own individual identity rather than just instruments to fill up the positional roles. Physical Barriers to communication are. Thus, communication in an organisation flows through following two channels: Formal communication refers to exchange of information and messages within an organisation through formally established channels and is concerned with exchange of official information. Employees in turn use this information for performing their jobs as per the expectations of their superiors. Also, informal communication systems such as the grapevine can be used by managers to benefit programmes, policies, or plans. It may be defined as that information which is circulated through grapevine without any authentic evidence of its existence. ii. Downward communication performs the following functions: (iii) Removes misunderstanding and suspicion. For example going for shopping in office hours, extending coffee breaks, etc. Grapevine communication is a form of informal communications in business that develops within an organisation. Such communication may help to save time and to speed up action. For horizontal communication managers can appoint committees of representatives from the departments. Management does not control it, and it is very difficult for management to stop it. (iv) The confidential information often leaks out through informal communication. Formal communication is compared to arteries of a living being, whereas, grapevine or informal communication are like veins. Formal channels are deliberately created to regulate the flow of communication. In large organisations, the process of communicating with employees is undertaken by a staff of communication experts whose usual function is to produce a publication aimed at three purposes – (i) to explain the organisation’s plans and programmes as they are implemented; (ii) to answer complaints and criticisms; and (iii) to defend the status quo and those who are responsible for it. If downward communication lacks clear instructions and guidelines to do the work, then it may not only be proved to be futile but would also hamper the employee morale. It is not required to be designed and planned in advance. This communication stream is used by the top level managers to convey work-related information to the employees at lower levels. Lateral communication is between . Formal communication works like watertight compartments without giving any flexibility to people to develop bondings and affiliations. Grapevine is the formal flow of communication in organizations. There is a saying “Too much of familiarity breeds contempt.” Same holds true for informal communication also. But distortion may arise in reports due to fear of displeasing the boss, due to desire to make a favourable impression, etc. Rumour is the most undesirable and severe repercussion of grapevine. It serves as a measurement of effectiveness of downward communication. Both can complement and supplement each other. Interpersonal communications travel from individual to individual in face-to-face and group settings and the forms vary from direct verbal orders to casual, nonverbal expression. Thus, it is developed and built upon social associations among people free from their hierarchical positions and status. Thus informal communication promotes co­operation on sound lines. (v) Feedback – Informal communication may also provide feedback to managers on possible effects of a decision taken by the management. it does not follow horizontal or vertical communication. By having informal affiliations, work becomes amiable and people around appears like a family. The channels can be both informal and formal. Lack of Evidence and Problems in Accountability Fixation: Informal communication, being primarily oral in nature, does not keep a check on what is being said and by whom. It is framed at the desire of people and they only control it. Organisations are a formal structure with clearly defined hierarchical positions on one hand and on the other hand, within this formal set-up, people develop their own interpersonal linkages. This gap is filled by informal communication. Upward Communication 3. A communication channel is the route through which messages flow from the sender to the receiver. 6. While some messages are passed through formal communication, some others may spread through informal deliberations, grapevine, etc. Ambiguous rumours because their lack of clarity makes it difficult to quickly refute and dismiss the rumour. Horizontal or lateral communication is very advantageous. Inflexible – Formal communication is rigid in nature. Falsified facts travelling through the rumour mill can be corrected by feeding accurate information to primary communicators or liaison individuals. It does not allow any individual to exercise discretion in initiating changes. It may be disadvantageous if downward communication is used as a tool to exercise authority. Informal or Grapevine communication is an indispensable part of entire communication system. Most prominent problem with this kind of communication is scope of ego-clashes as people are of the same level. 5. There are four forms of formal communication as it flows in three directions: 1. Informal communication is technically known as the grapevine. It may be a potential problem, a creative idea, a feeling of personal satisfaction. It is difficult to erase a rumour from the minds of the people. These reports may be used to measure performance, to control costs, to check conformance with policies and procedures, etc. Similarly, it may receive complaints and suggestions from these agencies. Horizontal communication takes place mostly through meetings, conferences, telephones, letters, memos, manuals, etc. If not coordinated properly, lateral communication may cause delays and rift in the departments. Liaisons have been referred to as “the ‘cement’ that holds the structural ‘bricks’ of an organisation together; when the liaisons are removed, a system tends to fall apart into isolated cliques.”. It generally takes place when members cannot communicate effectively through other channels. Feedbacks in formal structure are usually manipulated and fabricated, thus non-reliable. The purpose of this research is to review literature concerning factors associated with the operation of the grapevine, which is the informal communication network that exists within organizations. The channels of communication are: 1. Some studies suggest that upward communication is the most ineffective of the three formal communication channels. Grapevine communication is associated with ............................. communication, 34. ii. Discussion may be made on any topic of interest to the group and with any person irrespective of his position in the organisation chart. Informal communication, generally associated with interpersonal, horizontal communication, was primarily seen as a potential hindrance to effective organizational performance. Following formal communication for official purposes make information more structured, systematic and relevant. However, managers need to do much more than just inform people what they need to do to support the plan. Once a rumour’s theme is known and accepted, people distort future messages to conform to the rumour. There may be four types of formal communication in the organisation: (a) Single Line of Chain Network – In this type of network one person communicates with one person only. In other words, it refers to information moving from superiors to subordinates. Curbs Creativity – Under this communication system, everybody performs their duty by following specific fixed system. One of the most commonly used media of upward communication is periodic performance reports from subordinates. For example, the production and marketing departments should be well informed of each other’s functioning as marketing schedule and production schedule are interdependent. Formal communication may also take place between an enterprise and the external environment. Important rumours have staying power because their information concerns people. 3. (Points : 25) Introduction: Grapevine communication is an informal form of communication in an organization. In the 5 Parts series which can be referred using below , the first four parts contains important short study notes useful for your paper 1 preparation while the 5th part contains solved question papers of last almost 12 years MCQ Question. It is difficult to achieve, especially in larger organisations. Newstrom and K. Davis said, “Grapevine is an informal system that arises spontaneously from the social interaction of the organization.” Business Communication. For example, if a level five employee wants to communicate with level two employee, he has to cross all intermediate levels which slowdowns the process. Rumour is generally incorrect through it may by change be correct. (ii) Dynamic and Quick – Informal communication is dynamic and reacts quickly. Oral Communication – Informal communication more often uses oral mode and seldom written mode is used. Upward communication has certain limitations also. Large organisations, where there are many people who are working closely, create certain unofficial or informal communication channels. (i) Misinforming and Misleading – It very often carries half-truths, rumours and distorted information with an alarming rate of speed. From such small seeds the rumour grows to immense size. (iii) Its speed is very fast because it is free from all barriers. Research suggests – (i) organisations have several grapevine systems, (ii) information travelling in a grapevine does not follow an orderly path, and (iii) organisationally related grapevine information is about 75 per cent accurate. (iv) It helps to develop good relations between leaders and his subordinates. UGC NET Study materiel on Communication Topics for NET Exam has been covered entirely based on topics provided in syllabus. For example, rumours run rampant in a company shortly after it has been acquired by another firm. Although they may not always be successful in convincing the general public that their actions are public- minded, they must try to win and maintain the support of their employees. Positive side. It helps in exercising control over subordinates and in fixation of responsibility. Downward communication is used by the managers for the following purposes: ii. So, grapevine is an informal, unofficial and personal communication channel or system that takes place within the organization as a result of rumor and gossip. This preview shows page 11 - 18 out of 21 pages. Managers are better able to understand behaviour and core capabilities of their employees and may make use of it for better performance. The message should contains facts and not opinions. No formal decisions can be taken on the basis of such informations. Disclaimer Copyright, Share Your Knowledge There are four forms of formal communication as it flows in three directions: Downward and upward flows are two types of vertical communication: Downward communication refers to the flow of information from a superior (high level) to a subordinate (lower level). iii. It may take the shape of discussing problems, venting out personal issues, seeking and giving suggestions, having fun together, etc. It may take place between any employees of an organisation irrespective of his position in scalar chain of command. Grapevine or the informal channels of communication help to improve managerial decisions and make communication more effective. Points : 25 Introduction: Grapevine communication is an informal form of communication in an organization. Lateral communication suffers from certain limitations also. An attempt is made to make the flow of information orderly so that it flows smoothly and timely to the points where it is required. Good informal structure compliments the existence of formal structure in many ways. An important part of downward communication is information about the objectives, policies and programmers of the enterprise. The rumour gets twisted and distorted as it passes from person to person. a. Grapevine communication b. Thus, for organisations being a cluster of people working for common goals and objectives, communication is a life giving tool. 4. Share Your PDF File Being a network of networks, grapevine communication conglomerates gossip, rumors, and official information. It exists outside the official network but continually interacts with the formal communication. Communication channels are broadly of two types: Formal communication follows the routes formally laid down in the organization structure of the enterprise. The manager who understands and examines the formal flow of communication is better able to appreciate the barriers to effective organisational communication, as well as the means for overcoming them. Therefore, he should learn to use it for the benefit to the organization. It is not subject to any permissions, notices or approvals. For example, the effectiveness of downward communication is directly dependent on whether it is being complemented by effective upward communication and vice versa. Welcome to EconomicsDiscussion.net! It is a complex web of oral information flow linking all the members of the … TOS4. Sociometry helps in the study of informal pathways. The use of the term grapevine is originated during the Civil War, when telegraph lines were strung loosely between trees and soldiers said the wires resembled a grapevine. Means of Expression – People may feel suffocated while obeying organisational rules and regulations and following formal structures. The oral message used to remove a rumour should be confirmed in writing and it should be circulated quickly. Informal communication, being deliberately initiated by people, has the following advantages: This medium of communication which is purely informal and unofficial is initiated as and when desired by the communicators. It is also known as horizontal communication. Upward communication performs the following important functions: i. It provides for close contact between members of the organization. (i) Faster Speed – Communications are transmitted at a faster speed. First, management should keep the informal groups informed all concerned organizational matters in a systematic way. He can also use the grapevine to make certain facts known about which he does not like to make an official statement. The subordinates use upward communication to convey their problems and performances to their superiors. One plant manager routinely meets each Monday at 7.30 A.M. with each department head to go over the upcoming week’s work schedule, to review progress toward objectives, and to anticipate any problems that will require the attention of more than one department. The grapevine can provide yet another communication vehicle to keep the work force informed about job-related matters. This type of information communication goes up, sideways, down, and diagonally in an organization, and it spreads the information by using separate means from the formal channels of communication. Grapevine is an informal channel of business communication. External Communication. While communicating informally, people do not present an artificial face and are frank in their discussions. (1) Single Standard: Informal communication refers to exchange of ideas, views, information and opinions among organisational members without following any prescribed pattern, not falling within the boundaries of rules and regulations and primarily non-official in nature. (ii) It helps to develop better understanding between subordinates and his immediate superior. Developed by, Business Communication Objective Questions and Answer. The following important advantages of formal communication: (i) It helps to maintain the line of authority of executive. It provides feedback on how well the organization is functioning. Sometimes, rumour arises due to pure maliciousness on the part of employees. The officially prescribed path of communication is orderly in nature. 1. Employee handbook, organization manual, house journal, annual reports, notices memos and committee meetings are the main media of downward communication. 2. Despite existence of formal channels in an organization, the informal channels tend to develop when he interacts with other people in organization. 5. So get the facts across before misconceptions gain a foothold. 7. 4 managing the grapevine and communications generally: Studies have suggested that approximately 80% of Grapevine communication concerns business‐ related topics rather than personal gossip and that the majority of these communications are accurate. Grapevine: Grapevine refers to an informal type of organizational communication. Rumour is an undesirable feature of grapevine. Many rumours are believed because the information is important to the acquired work force. Communications do not flow randomly within organisations, nor do they necessarily follow the formal pathways published in an organisational chart. A proper balance should be struck between the various flows of communication. Informal communication is otherwise known as ............................ communication, 37. 4. (iii) Multi-Dimensional – There is no channel of command in informal communication. The sociogram also singles out a liaison person, who is at the centre of information flow. Everyone is free to communicate with anyone and everyone in the organisation. It is normally said that informal information spreads as fast as fire in the forest. The types of informal communication are: 1. As per an analysis, around 80% of the rumors in grapevine communication are … Written downward communication involves the use of memorandums, letters, handbooks, pamphlets, policy statements, procedures, and electronic news displays. (ii) The personal motives are other dominant it transmitting information through the grapevine. He can counteract rumours or half-truths by presenting correct facts. One way of overcoming these problems is to provide multiple channels linking one position with various other positions. Such communication is helpful in coordinating the activities of different departments or divisions of the enterprise. Regular provision of such information to employees helps to create a sense of belonging, a feeling of loyalty to the organization and an active interest in the work. Current problems can be corrected and future difficulties can be headed off. Until and unless work done by subordinates is reported back to superiors, it has no meaning. Grapevine communication existed from the American Civil War to the First World War. Here in informal organization communication is done. Such networks are also described as “grapevine communication.” They may come into being through the rumor mill, social networking, graffiti, spoof newsletters, and spontaneous water-cooler conversations. The role of management is to accomplish the goals of an organization. Then a diagram of these patterns, known as a sociogram, is drawn showing the pathways used for communication. It frequently arises due to employees’ anxiety and insecurity caused by poor formal communication. ............................ communication is the most popular means of transmitting message. Crosswise or Diagonal Communication. Increases Organisational Efficiency – Formal channels of communication ensure smooth flow of information through organisational hierarchy. Such communications include comments, suggestions or any other informal reaction. Effective source of knowing feelings and attitudes of employees. (iv) Creates pride of being well-informed. Its primary objective is to fulfill basic human desire to interact for which talking and speaking is the best mode. The message acquires its own head, tail and wings on the journey. An enterprise may supply information to external agencies such as customers’ investors, government, financial institutions and the public. When communication flows between manager and outside groups like suppliers, creditors, banks, etc. In it, members of a group or unit are asked about the other members with whom they communicate. Privacy Policy3. Lateral communication may be exercised in the following ways: iv. Upward communication also fetches both advantages and disadvantages to the organisation. It facilitates people to clarify misunderstandings, understand each other in a better way, and work like a team with each other and not against each other. It allows for the flow of essential information. (iii) It helps to find out better solution of any problem. As grapevines, rumours, and gossip are deeply ingrained in organisational life. 1. It is free from all formally delegated lines of authority. Formal Communication 2. Upward communication is used by the managers for the following purposes: iv. Supplements the channels of official communication. Downward Communication 2. It is free from any chaos and is rigid enough not to allow any deviations or distortions. These documents are stored within the organisation and thus are free from any personal intervention. It flows in all directions irrespective of the hierarchy. It is difficult to erase a rumour from the minds of the people. Same is true for informal communication also. People are active on the grapevine when their own interests and interests of their friends/ colleagues are involved, (v) It operates at a fast speed because it functions through word of mouth or observation. In this form of communication, information converges a long way by passing from one person to another person leaving no indication from which point it started. Lateral communication may be defined as flow of communication that takes place at same levels of hierarchy in an organisation. 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