Management Notes

Reference Notes for Management

Grapevine communication is associated with _____communication.

Grapevine communication is associated with _____communication.


A. formal
B. informal
C. horizontal
D. vertical

The Correct Answer Is:

  • B. informal

Grapevine communication, often referred to as the “grapevine,” is a term used to describe a particular type of communication that is prevalent in organizations and social groups. It derives its name from the way information spreads through a grapevine—twisting, turning, and sometimes becoming tangled as it moves from one grape to another.

This form of communication is undeniably associated with informal communication for several compelling reasons.

Unofficial Nature:

Grapevine communication is fundamentally unofficial and operates outside the formal channels of communication within an organization or group. Formal communication encompasses official messages, announcements, and reports that are disseminated through established hierarchical structures and predefined processes.

Grapevine communication, in stark contrast, thrives in the unofficial realm, where information flows freely among individuals without the endorsement or sanction of organizational authorities. It’s like a secret network of whispers and exchanges, making it quintessentially informal.

Rapid Spread:

Another defining characteristic of grapevine communication is the rapid spread of information. Much like a wildfire, a piece of news or gossip can travel swiftly through this informal network.

As one person shares it with another, who in turn shares it with someone else, the information can quickly reach numerous individuals. However, this speed of transmission can also lead to the distortion or exaggeration of facts, a common trait of informal communication.

Personal Conversations:

Grapevine communication often takes place through personal conversations, casual interactions, gossip sessions, or informal gatherings. These settings provide fertile ground for the exchange of information in a relaxed and unstructured manner. Instead of following formal protocols and scheduled meetings, grapevine communication relies on spontaneous interactions, reinforcing its informal character.

Lack of Structure:

In formal communication, there is a well-defined structure and hierarchy. Messages follow a set path, moving up or down the organizational chart through designated channels. Grapevine communication, however, operates with minimal structure or direction.

It can flow in any direction, from one individual to another, and can even cross departmental or hierarchical boundaries. This lack of structure is a hallmark of informal communication.

Emphasis on Rumors and Speculation:

A significant aspect of grapevine communication is its penchant for rumors, speculations, and personal opinions. Information exchanged through the grapevine may not always be grounded in verified facts. Instead, it often consists of hearsay, conjecture, or subjective viewpoints. These elements contribute to the informality of grapevine communication, as it prioritizes sharing over fact-checking.

Bridges Communication Gaps:

One of the interesting aspects of grapevine communication is its ability to bridge gaps left by formal communication channels. In some cases, organizations may withhold certain information or not communicate it through formal channels.

In such instances, grapevine communication steps in to convey the information informally. This can be a double-edged sword, as it ensures that people stay informed but may also perpetuate inaccuracies or misunderstandings.


Informal communication, including grapevine communication, is characterized by its spontaneity. It doesn’t require predefined schedules or formal announcements. Instead, it arises naturally as people interact with each other during their workday or social interactions. Whether it’s a quick chat by the water cooler or a discussion over lunch, grapevine communication is unscripted and spontaneous.

Why the Other Options Are Not Correct:

A. Formal Communication:

Formal communication within an organization comprises official messages, directives, reports, and announcements. It adheres to established channels and hierarchies. Grapevine communication operates outside these formal structures, making it distinct from formal communication.

C. Horizontal Communication:

Horizontal communication involves interactions between individuals or departments at the same hierarchical level within an organization. While grapevine communication can include horizontal exchanges, it is not limited to this level. It can flow both vertically (between different hierarchical levels) and diagonally (across departments and functions), encompassing a broader range of interactions.

D. Vertical Communication:

Vertical communication primarily entails messages that flow up and down the organizational hierarchy, involving superiors and subordinates. While grapevine communication can indeed encompass vertical exchanges, it goes beyond this limited scope. Grapevine communication includes peer-to-peer conversations and interactions among individuals at various levels within the organization.

In conclusion, grapevine communication is undeniably associated with informal communication due to its unofficial, unstructured, and spontaneous nature. It thrives on personal interactions, rumors, and the rapid spread of information.

While formal, horizontal, and vertical communication have their roles within organizations, grapevine communication operates independently of these formal channels, making it a quintessential example of informal communication in the context of an organization or social group.

Its unpredictable and meandering nature mirrors the twisting path of a grapevine, reinforcing its informal character.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment