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Bcom Corporate Channels Communication and Types of Grapevine Chains

Bcom Corporate Channels Communication and Types of Grapevine Chains

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Bcom Corporate Channels Communication and Types of Grapevine Chains
Bcom Corporate Channels Communication and Types of Grapevine Chains

Corporate Communication

Q.14. what do you understand by Corporate Communication? Describe the main methods of Formal and In. formal Communication.
Explain Informal Communication? Write its utility for an organization.


A corporate organization refers to a large organization where large number of persons are employed. The exchange of information in the organization is done through communication system. The chemise Vend system of communication adopted in such large organizations is known as corporate communication. Every organization has a hierarchical line of authority along which runs a communication channel used for transmitting all written and oral messages. In a corporate organization, communication performs two main functions:
(1) It helps in the exchange of information orders, instructions, suggestions and problems etc.
2) To develop and maintain mutual relations and contacts.       


There are different ways of circulating or transmitting communication. Communication- in an organization carries innumerable kinds of messages which may be difficult to map out; but it may be possible to classify communications in regard to how to transmit, or who communicates to whom, or what kinds of relationships communication develops. Types of communication may be different according to the media and means adopted for communication. Different channels of communication can be shown with the help of following diagram:


Thus, it becomes clear? That main channel of communication can be of following two types:
(1) Formal Communication (2) Informal Communication.
(1) Formal Communication: In this system of communication, the message flows according to a fixed and prescribed way. It follows the preceded procedures rules and regulations. In simple words,
when in any organization, the communication flows from formal path laid down in the organization, and then it is known as formal comes superior communication. And subordinate positions and relationship and information is transmitter…….status, placement in the organization. For example, when an executive instructs his subordinates by virtue of his superior position to do a particular work, it is a formal communication. In the same way a clerk cannot communicate directly with the managing director of that organization. Firstly he communicates to his observer and observer communicates to the Department manager and then message is transmitted to the managing director.
In the organization, the path along which a communication is to travel is deliberately created to regulate the flows of communication so as to make it orderly, and thereby ensure that the required information flows smoothly, accurately, and timely to the points at which it is required. The term ‘through proper channels’ means communications through the channel prescribed in the organization. It is the path of the line of authority linking two positions in the organizations, It is also known as the chain/line of command. All downward, upward, and horizontal communications flows through this chain.
Types of Formal Communication: Formal Communication can be of following three types:

(1) Vertical Communication,

(2) Horizontal Communication,

(3) Diagonal Communication.
Vertical Communication: When communication flow among various levels-of-organization structure from the higher authorities to the subordinates or from the subordinates to the higher authorities is known as vertical communication. This communication system is very important for any business enterprise, because managers issue policy guidelines and instructions time to time which are to be obeyed by the employees. Even the employees use this channel to send their reports and complaints to higher authorities. This communication has two types:
(i) Downward communication: The communication said to be downward when it flows from the top to the bottom. When information comes from higher level to a lower level in the organization
structure, it is termed as downward communication. Orders, instructions, policy statements, notices, circulars, job sheets are the main form of downward communication. Both oral and written media are used for downward communication. Face to face talks, telephone and public address system are the means of oral message while circulars, notices, bulletins are the main media of written communication.

Downward Communication

Managing Director

Board of Directors

General Manager

Departmental Manager



The main objective of downward communication is to give specific instructions and directions about the job entrusted to a subordinate so that the job is performed efficiently. This channel is also
used to inform the employees about their performance and achievements and to improve their knowledge and skills.

Upward Communication: A communication is said to be upward when it moves from the bottom to the top. The flow of communication from subordinates to superiors is known as upward communication. This communication system is suggestive and advisory in nature and adopted mainly to submit reports, suggestions, complaints and grievances. Management comes to know the problems and sentiments of its workers and invites suggestions through this communication system. This increase the morale and
productivity of workers.
Upward Communication


Bcom Corporate Channels Communication and Types of Grapevine Chains
Bcom Corporate Channels Communication and Types of Grapevine Chains

The management can know the attitude, opinions and feelings of the workers regarding organizational matter through this communication. It also creates mutual confidence and trust among
various organizational members.
(2) Horizontal Communication: Communication between two or more persons working at the same level of organizational structure is known as Horizontal Communication. It is communication among individuals and groups of the equal rank or status. For example communication between marketing manager and production manager or communication between one salesman and other
salesman is horizontal communication. Horizontal or lateral communication can be shown in the following way:

The main purpose Of horizontal communication is to promote mutual co-operation and co-ordination among different persons and departments. It helps in coordinating business activities to achieve
the business objectives.
(3) Diagonal Communication: Diagonal or crosswise communication takes place when persons working at a lower level interact with those working at a higher level beyond the limits of their
reporting relationship. The person who communicate are neither in the same work unit nor in the same level of hierarchy. For example, the production manager may communicate directly with sales officer in the marketing department. Formal and informal meetings under diagonal communication facilitate coordination between different work units in the organization. This communication system boosts the morale of different employees and executives by providing them. an opportunity to interact with each other and solve the problems.


Main advantages of formal communication are as follows:
(1) Helpful in fixing responsibility: In this system, the responsibility of the subordinates and executives can easily be fixed. It ensures authenticity and genuineness of the matter communicated because of responsibility of the person involved.
(2) Unity of Command: Formal communication also proves helpful in maintaining the unity of command. This system helps to make coordination among different orders and directions.
(3) Sound and effective communication: In formal communication, flow of orders, instructions, suggestions etc. takes place in an orderly and authentic manner therefore it becomes more clear
and definite. There is no ambiguity in this regard. It makes communication effective and sound.
(4) Controllable Communication: In the formal communication managers have full control on the direction, nature and speed of communication. It helps the managers to exercise control over subordinates and to consolidate the organization.


(1) Delay in communication: In formal communication, it consumes a lot of time to send a message to the concerned person. It is a slow moving communication system.
(2) Distortion of message: There are more points for filtering the message because there is a long line of superiors from the top to the bottom and, at every point, the message is filtered or distorted.
Thus, it reduces the accuracy of the message.

3) Increases workload: It increases the work loaded set lines managers as all communications arc to be transmitted through them. Thus, it leaves the superior’s with little time to perform other
organizational functions well.
(4) Red-tapism; there are more chances of red tops and delay tactics in method because executives generally overlook the interests of the subordinates. As message has to pass through
prescribed routes, it tends to prevent the free flow of information.
(5) Adverse affects on the relationship: In most of the big organizations, contacts between the top executive and the subordinates at the lowest level are far remote. Very often they do not
recognize each other. This adversely affects the relations of executives and subordinates.
Informal Communication: When information’s pass from one person to another in informal manner, it is known as informal communication. It does not follow the formal chain of command and
no formal organization Chart is followed to convey messages. It is free from all formalities. It is based on the informal relations of the two persons: the sender and the receiver of the message. A general
manager may develop contacts with the workers at the lowest level and communicate certain important information relating to him direct to the workers. It is based on many factors such as personal
and social relations, religion, area, caste, customs, sentiments etc. This communication follows no set pattern; rather the news passes through different ways. It depends on nearness of contacts and not
on status of persons in the organization. Informal communication spreads among people like wild fire. It creates sensation because every person narrates the information as per his own understanding.


(1) fast and speedy Communication: It is fast channel of communication because the message has not to pass through any prescribed manner. It spreads like a wild fire from one person to
another person.
(2) Valuable feedback: Informal channel provide feedback much faster than the formal channel. Through this channel, the managers can get personal opinions of different workers on some
issue. Consequently, they evaluate their own policies themselves and find out the morale of the workers.
(3) Psychological satisfaction: Informal communication brings employees closer to each other and creates in them a sense of belongings. It strengthens group identity and maintains the organization as a social entity.


The grapevine chain can be of following four types:
(1) Single stand chain: In this type, communication flows in a straight line. The person getting the message passes it to the other in sequence. Communication flow from top to the bottom as is shown

In the above figure, A tells something to B, B tells it to C and C to D and so on till the information reaches the ultimate recipient.
(2) Gossip Chain: This type of grapevine has got much faster line model if grapevine. In this, info speed as compared to summation can be given to any person on a non-selective basis. The
source of message cannot be determined easily in this type of grapevine.


In the above figure, ‘A’ gives information to J, K, L, M, O and P on a non-selective basis.
(3) Probability Chain: In probability, one person tells other person randomly according to the law of probability. The people seek information from him tell others, others to still others and the chain
(4) Cluster Chain: In cluster type network, the individual communicates with only those individuals whom he trusts. These persons may relay the information to those whom they trust. Researchers have shown that out of the four, cluster chain is the most popular form of informal communication.


(1) Faster rate of communication: Grapevine travels at a faster rate as there is no formal line of communication.
(2) Multidimensional: It is multidimensional Communication which may be conducted on any topic of interest to any person. it may go to any extent, all limits as to direction and degree of communication are self-imposed.
(3) Provide emotional relief: It functions as a safety value for the suppressed emotions of the workers at the lower level. The workers have many fears about matters like their promotions,
retrenchment etc. Through grapevine, they express their sentiments. This works as laxative, it may not alleviate their fears but definitely brings emotional relief to them.

(4) Provide valuable feedback: It provides necessary feedback to the managers on the possible effects of a decision or action of the management.
(5) Support to formal channel: It is difficult to transmit all information to the employees through formal channels. Certain matters which may be difficult to communicate through official channels, may safely be transmitted through the informal channel. In this way, at times, it may supplement the formal channel.
(6) Organizational Co-ordination and Solidarity: Grapevine promotes mutual co-operation, coordination and solidarity among employees. It promotes mutual dependence and faith.


(1) less credible: It very often carries half-truths, rumors and distorted facts at an alarming rate of speed. As there is no reliable source for checking the authenticity of the news and views,
members of the organization are likely to be misinformed and misled by informal communication.
(2) Incomplete information: The grapevine does not always carry the complete information. As it is very often based on guesswork or ‘whispers’ in the corridors it may not give the receiver
the complete picture of the situation.
(3) Uncontrollable: Sometimes, the messages communicated through grapevine are so erratic it becomes difficult to take any action based on them and if taken, it may lead to a difficult situation in
the organization. After all responsibility for erratic messages cannot be fixed.
(4) Damage to the organization: It may spread any kind of stories about highly responsible people “even at the risk of spoiling the image of the organization. Rumors may cause serious damage
to the organization.


Since grapevine can produce damaging effect, se some managers are highly suspicious of it and want to stop it completely, but grapevine cannot be eliminated. More you try to crush its flow it erupts with greater force. So instead of trying to curb its growth, it is much better to feed, water and cultivate it for the benefit of the organization. The following steps they be taken to make the effective
use of grapevine:
(i) The employees should be kept will informed so that they may not spread rumors.

(ii) As far as possible follow an open-door policy without creating impressions of cheap popularity.
(iii) Involve the workers in the decision making process. It will frustrate rumor mongers.
(iv) If there is false rumor, management should immediately contradict it through proper written notice or circular.
(v) Create a healthy environment to provide opportunity for personal talk.
(vi)  The grapevine may be used to feel the pulse of the employees. Sentiments, actions and reactions, opinions and thinking of the employees can be judged and understood by this system.
(vii) The active members of the various groups should be informed accurately and adequately to discourage the rumors.
(viii) To spread information, staff meetings can be convened at regular intervals.
(ix) Be a good emphatic listener so that employees feel free talk to you instead of indulging in rumor mongering. Short Answer Questions
Q.1. Explain the vertical and Horizontal Communication.
See page 50 and 51.
Q.2. Explain the Downward and Upward communication.
See page 50 and 51.
Q.3. Distinguish between formal and informal communication.               



Basis of DistinctionFormal CommunicationInformal communication,
1.Path of Communicationin the formal communication message is transmitted through
per-determined pat hand medium.
The path and medium of
communication is not predetermined. 
2.PurposeThis communication is done to achieve the organisation goals.This communication is done to satisfy the personal needs.
3.AccuracyMessage flow through this channel are accurate and authentic.Message often contain rumors and gossips. Message may or may not be true.
4.SpeedIt is a slow moving communication.Message spreads at greater speed.
5.Written or Oral


It is mainly a written communication.It is generally a oral communication.
6. Rum ours and Misunderstanding


Message are clear in writing and as such there is no possibility for
rum our and misunderstanding.
This communication spreads rum ours and creates is understanding.
7.Distortion of messageThere is less possibilities of distortion of message.There more possibilities of distortion of message.


Communication through this channel can easily be controlled.This is uncontrollable channel of communication.
9.StatusIt recognizes the status and

position of the in
person organization

It depends on nearness of contacts and. not on status of person in the


Q.4. Distinguish mutilation. Between Upward and Downward communication.


Basis of Distinction


Upward Communication


Downward communication
1. Flow of MessageMessage flow from subordinates to higher authorities.Message flow from higher
authorities to subordinates or workers.
2. Nature of messageSubordinates send their complaints, problems and Message suggestions to top
management through upward communication.
Information regarding work policies, rules, systems, goals etc. are provided through this
3.Medium of MessageOpen door policy, suggestion system, survey system, meetings etc. are arranged for this communication.The characteristics Bulletin, job sheets, manuals, posters etc. are used for down ward communication.
4.Oral or WrittenThe messages are generally given in the oral form.The message is generally
given in the written form.

Q.5.Explain the characteristics of Grapevine Communication.  
Ans. See page 55.
Q:6. Explain the limitations of Grapevine Communication.
See page 58.
Q. 7. I-low the Grapevine can be used effectively?
See page 58 and 59.

Bcom Corporate Channels Communication and Types of Grapevine Chains

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