Through these various channels, it is important for a manager to get his/her ideas across and then listen, absorb, glean and further communicate to employees. It brings them closer and gives them immense satisfaction. Simply select your manager software from … The informal channel of communication is considered the unofficial way of sending information within an organization. With organizations constantly growing in size, formal channels help to bridge the gap in the communication process. While it has its advantages, it may also prevent vital information from reaching the top management. An example of an informal communication channel is lunchtime at the organization's cafeteria/canteen. Formal communication, in whichever direction its movers are always planed, dictated and guided. Relieving Frustration; The communication which does not follow any pre-defined channel for the transmission of information is known as informal communication. Informal communication is casual and carefree while formal communication can seem cold and distant. It does not follow any prescribed or predetermined rule and spreads any information quickly. Informal Communication usually takes place due to the influence of various factors that are more emotional and psychological in nature. This results in the generation of a rumour mill, which is a grapevine. proper communication channel while interacting with other employees from all levels of hierarchy. The Journal of Business Communication (1973) 1994 31: 2, 111-122 Download Citation. A good business organisation will ensure that these are carefully planned and designed to its needs. It is also known as grapevine communication. Importance 7. The Informal channels of business Communication are the casual and unofficial form of communication wherein the information is exchanged spontaneously between two or more persons without conforming the prescribed official rules, processes, system, formalities and chain of command.  Informal communication includes the non official or un-regulated communications, Ex. Then a … Its essential feature is that although it operates side-by-side of formal channels, it is way fast than it in terms of spreading news and gathering information. Informal communication does not follow authority lines as in the case of formal communication. The term often used to describe this type of communication is grapevine, as information transfers through informal channels and networks called the organizational grapevine. The organisation as a whole and formal communication channels - establishing and maintaining formal and informal channels of communication downward, upward and horizontally. To see this page as it is meant to appear, please enable your Javascript! Internal channels are an important tool but even businesses that master communicating with the outside world may not use internal channels as effectively. The nature of such communication is nowhere described in the formal communication systems, but the organization … Image Guidelines 5. When the formal “party line” must say one thing for political or other reasons, the informal network sets the record straight. J. David Johnson, William A. Donohue, Charles K. Atkin, and Sally Johnson. This is because it runs in all directions irrespective of the formal structure. Informal channel of communication is an unofficial and unstructured channel which is not prescribed by the organization but exists due to personal and social needs of people working in an organization. It will often have to take a circuitous formal route where the intervening links may be meaningless. A downward communication is defined as the type of communication in which flow of information in an organization comes from the top management down to those at the lower levels in the organization or establishment. In business life, grapevine owes its existence to man’s gossipy nature. Conduct group events and meeting frequently to increase worth of Employees so they don’t feel the need to act through Grapevines, Keeping all employees well informed about the plans for the present and future so nothing is left for imagination, Employees must have easy access to Managers so they don’t get the feeling of being kept at dark about things, Managers must be able to create positive relationships with the so-called leaders among the Grapevines so that they get updated information about the happenings at all points of time, Managers must casually interact with employees about any personal or official issues faced by them so that they do not seek help through Grapevine, The Manager should take genuine efforts to change his own style if required taking periodical feedback from the sub-ordinates reporting to him. Formality demands that the information flow take a specific route only. Depending upon the means, structure and nature of communication, channels can be categorized into formal and informal communication channels. The feedback through this channel is much faster than a formal channel of communication. A grapevine is less credible than a formal channel of communication. 3 EVALUATING INFORMAL COMMUNICATION CHANNELS: With reference to the film clip, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of informal communication channels for the organisation. Formal communication channels provide structure toward productive outcomes. The grapevine communication is a type of communication which is normally based on rumors. Meetings that happen inside the office space between the Top Management are typically formal in nature. Formal channels deter a free flow of information. The purpose of informal communication includes sharing of information, establishing personal contacts, making friendship, influencing and motivating others, resolving conflicts, supplementing official channels, getting relaxation, searching escape from monotony of work, etc. This research compares formal and informal organizational communication structures, specifically focusing on salience, channel factors, and channel usage. 4. Formal communication typically occurs through prescribed reporting channels established by a company's hierarchy structure. Informal communication is information exchange that occurs outside of the official communication processes of an organization such as events, meetings, formal messages and documentation. Report a Violation, Informal Communication: Meaning, Characteristics, Advantages and Limitations, Difference between Formal and Informal Communication. A grapevine is created and controlled by the people within the organization and follows no specific rules or regulations. It’s just a casual talk. Channels Used in Informal or Grapevine Communication: Formal and Informal Channels of Communication Informal Communication information shared without any formally imposed obligations or restrictions if an organization’s formal communication represents its skeleton, its informal communication constitutes its central nervous system (Behavior in Organizations, p. 307) eng. A communication may pass through various points or positions in an organization. Upward Communication flows upward from the subordinates to superiors in the form of suggestions, opinions, grievances, reports, applications for grant of leave etc. Open access journals for librarians. (i) The higher authorities should ensure that employees are well informed of the working of the organisation. It happens among members of informal social groups such as, friends and family. Bhatia, Non Verbal Communication – Sign, Body, Para Language, Types of Communication – Upward, Downward & Horizontal, Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management, Mutual Fund – Meaning, Types, Advantages, Mutual Funds in India, Merchant Banking – Meaning, Significance, Functions, Bank Mandate, Power of Attorney, Banker`s Lien, Right to Set-off, Garnishee Order and Attachment order, Banking Instruments & Banking Transactions, Corporate Banking – Services, Clientele, Products & Pricing, KYC – Know Your Customer – Meaning, Objectives, Norms. Differences Between Formal and Informal Communication Channels. Informal communication – An informal organization has an open communication system which does not adhere to a chain of command. It is wise to understand that Grapevines are indispensable, hence the management must take appropriate measures to exert some control over the information spread through grapevines. In practice, informal communication enjoys many advantages or merits. Formal and Informal Channels of Communication Informal Communication information shared without any formally imposed obligations or restrictions if an organization’s formal communication represents its skeleton, its informal communication constitutes its central nervous system (Behavior in Organizations, p. 307) eng. Copyright 10. If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. This will avoid people from gossiping in the Grapevine, Managers as well as the Management must send out clear signals that rumors that may act as character assassination are strictly prohibited, Difference Between Formal and Informal Communication Channels, Distinction between Formal and Informal Channels – Business Communication – R.C. Prohibited Content 3. The more the uncertainty, the greater the rumourmongering. 1. Informal communication as unintended behavior. Informal communication that is also called as grapevine is typically used for personal communication with friends and family members. As people go about their work, they have casual conversation with their friends in the office. (vii) Managers should not indulge in loose talk. A good example of an informal communication is the grapevine communication. Subscribe now and be the first to receive all the latest updates! Information that passes through informal means is not official but may be merely rumors or gossips. As a result, the receiver does not get the essence of the whole message. Reliability: Formal communication is the more reliable form, as there is a paper trail. It is a formation which builds on the basis of connection like social connections or friendships. Grapevine Information that is secret or speculative that is nonetheless spread through networks of social connections. A rumour, thus, may spread like a wildfire. The informal communication is characterized by an indefinite channel of communication, which means there is no definite chain of command through which the information flows. Informal Communication Channels The strict hierarchical web of communication cannot function efficiently on its own and hence there exists a different communication channel. Hence, it has also been referred to as an organization’s ‘main line of operational communication’. Content Guidelines 2. It is established for societal affiliations of members in an organization and face-to-face discussions. Business Communication: 4 Directions of Business Communication – Explained. The term ‘open secret’ in an organisation can often is attributed to such leaks. Interpretation: Message sent to subordinates requires explanation or interpretation and informal communication is the valuable means here. ADVERTISEMENTS: Read this article to learn about Informal Communication. Informal interactions allow authentic relationships to be built and alternative methods to create meaning in the organization. It happens among members of informal social groups such as, friends and family. Formal Communication happens between the representatives of an organization and its customers. Effective Use. Formal Communication also includes flyers and branding material prepared by an organization to communicate information pertaining to its services to the outer world. The informal communication arises as a result of employee needs for information which are not met by the formal channels. The communication in office or organization taking place through the officially designated channel or the pre-defined channel is known as the formal communication. Informal communication is communication outside the organization's formally authorized channels. The information may not directly reach the person for whom it is meant. It cannot be taken seriously as it involves only the word of mouth. Information through grapevines spread very fast and flows in every direction. When incomplete information spreads out among the employees, it gives rise to all sorts of ambiguities spoiling the peace in the environment. (v) The manager should make efforts to identify popular employees who can serve as leaders for other employees. Informal Channel of Communication / Grapevine: Other characteristics of grapevine are:. Probability chain: Each randomly tells a number of people. It is an official channel that is deliberately structured to form a communication chain in and organization to achieve organization goals. The following are illustrative examples of formal communication. To put it in a nutshell, Grapevines can be used to spread information that the management wants to be spread in an unofficial manner from time to time, Tips for using Grapevines in an effective manner, Picture Credits: Distinction between Formal and Informal Channels – Business Communication – R.C. Formal communication typically uses the official communication channels of a firm. Good formal channels of communication reflect professionalism. Typically there are multiple channels of communication in an organization: online and face-to-face, written and verbal, official and unofficial. Cluster chain: Some tell selected others. It prevents the top-level management from getting bogged down with the irrelevant nitty-gritty (the practical details) of information and leaves it free for bigger decisions and overall management. Thus, only necessary information gets filtered and sent to the top. It is established around the societal affiliation of members of the organization. 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