Direction used for Communication – Types of Organizational Communication | OB

commmDirection used for Communication(channels/system)
Types of Organizational Communication | Organizational Behaviour
Management Notes

Communication is the process of sharing information between two or more individuals or groups to reach a common understanding.On the basis of the direction of flow or channels used communication can be of four types: upward, downward, horizontal, and diagonal or lateral.

  • Vertical channels (downward and upward):
  • Downward (superior-subordinate communication):

Traditionally, it most commonly used method in vertical channels. It represents the flow (initiation) of information from the top level (superior) to the lower level (subordinate) of the organization. The downward communication can take place through written media (handbooks, manuals, letters, posters, circular, periodicals, notices etc.) , oral media (direct verbal orders, meetings, telephone calls etc.

  • Upward (subordinate-superior communication):

It is initiated channel and just opposite to downward communication. It encourages employees to participate in the decision-making and submit valuable ideas and suggestions. The downward channel is directive in nature whereas upward is non-directive(in request form).The various means used in it are meetings/discussions with seniors, performance reports to seniors, suggestions boxes, employee attitude surveys, grievance procedures, etc.

  • Horizontal (interactive) communication:

This channel communication is also called the interactive communication because the basic idea is to share information and bring higher degree cooperation. It refers to the transmission of information among positions of the same level. It is more of an informal nature. This channel more urgent when the becomes larger and more it saves time and coordination, and it is neither good nor bad in itself – the way it is used determines positive and negative results. Managers should allow it with sufficient precautions.

Most frequently used means in these types of communication are the informal face-to-face conversation, telephone conversation, memos, and notes, etc.

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