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. Both these types of communication are important for the workplace, but informal communication is beneficial because it can bridge gaps between departments and create a sense of belonging. TOS 7. To see this page as it is meant to appear, please enable your Javascript! It is also known as grapevine communication. It’s just a casual talk. The information may not directly reach the person for whom it is meant. The informal communication is of four types; single strand chain, cluster chain, probability chain, and gossip chain. (i) The higher authorities should ensure that employees are well informed of the working of the organisation. The major hypotheses of this research were partially supported with data collected from a large, technically oriented governmental agency (n = 380). An example of an informal communication channel is lunchtime at the organization's cafeteria/canteen. In the past, many organizations considered informal communication (generally associated with interpersonal, horizontal communication) a hindrance to effective organizational performance and tried to stamp it out. Informal communication is the transfer of ideas, thoughts, feelings, discussions, rumours etc without following formal lines of management hierarchy. Informal communication is casual and carefree while formal communication can seem cold and distant. Grapevine is a form of informal communication, operates both in internal and external informal channels which can contribute to and benefit the organization. Formal Communication involves memos, reports, letters, orders, instructions etc. The grapevine communication is a type of communication which is normally based on rumors. The vertical channel of communication can be divided into two – downward communication and upward communication. Formal communication involves hierarchy in communication, Following a hierarchy makes the communication task a time consuming one, Owing to its nature, Formal Communication does not allow free flow of information, Formal Communication involves certain set of activities which add cost along with the stringent practices, Due to the hierarchy involved in formal communication, human touch between the top level and the lower levels ceases to exist in many organizations, Informal Communication prevails more in the middle and lower rings of the organizations, Informal Communication takes place between people in an organization due to their personal , social or professional needs, Informal Communication usually spreads and discusses rumors that have no basis, Informal Communication, at times, may have some crucial information useful to Management, Informal Communication has no fixed standards or guidelines but happens in a haphazard manner in organizations, Owing to the nature of the same, Informal Communication is considered unofficial and casual. Students should recognise that the desirability of the informal channel (from the perspective of the organization) depends upon the type of information being carried: company-relevant information or … Informal communication chain that exists within an organization is also known as grapevine. Informal interactions allow authentic relationships to be built and alternative methods to create meaning in the organization. 4. (iii) The higher authorities should not indulge in favouritism. An organisation can design formal channels to suit its specific needs. Informal Communication. Businesses share information with employees through formal and informal channels. 1. Informal communication arises out of all those channels that fall outside the formal channels and it is also known as grapevine. A formal channel of communication is usually controlled by managers or people who lie in the top hierarchy in an organization. 1. Compared to informal communication which has comparatively less reliability, and is very unlikely to have a paper trail. 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. Informal interactions allow authentic relationships to be built and alternative methods to create meaning in the organization. Formal communication channels are generally accepted as sufficient to satisfy information needs of employees. This video tutorial explains you the meaning and differences between formal and informal communication, along with its types and suitable examples. While the ideal communication web is a formal structure in which informal communication can take place, unofficial communication channels also exist in an organization. Formal channels deter a free flow of information. Channel of Communication refers to the means through which a message is communicated. Depending upon the means, structure and nature of communication, channels can be categorized into formal and informal communication channels. Informal channels usually fail to carry the complete information. This is because it runs in all directions irrespective of the formal structure. Disclaimer 9. 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’s just a casual talk. A grapevine is created and controlled by the people within the organization and follows no specific rules or regulatio… Some staff have concerns about their reports to top management. Humans tend to speak loosely or lightly with their associates wherever they may be. Grapevines tend to spoil not only the image of individuals but also of the whole organization by spreading rumors that have no valid basis. The grapevine is an unofficial channel of business communication. Here, in a relaxed atmosphere, discussions among employees are encouraged. As a result, formal channels of communication can become time-consuming. Channels include oral means such as telephone calls and presentations, and written modes such as reports, memos, and email. Characteristics; Advantages; Disadvantages; Effective Use. Informal communication is also known as the grapevine communication; it takes place between the employees of the workplace through any channels. In the past, many organizations considered informal communication (generally associated with interpersonal, horizontal communication) a hindrance to effective organizational performance and tried to stamp it out. It may be in. (v) The manager should make efforts to identify popular employees who can serve as leaders for other employees. It cannot be taken seriously as it involves only the word of mouth. Informal communication moves freely within the organization and is not bound by pre-defined channels and communication routes. Formal communication channels provide structure toward productive outcomes. They help consolidate the organisation. Speed: Formal communication is slower, sometimes feeling unbearably slow due to bureaucracy. Informal communication – An informal organization has an open communication system which does not adhere to a chain of command. Think about how you wo… 2. Formal and Informal Communication may take place between individuals for various reasons. Find a reliable collection of Management Notes, Ebooks, Projects, Presentations, Video Tutorials and lot more, compiled from a variety of books, case studies, guidance from management teachers and of course the internet to make your management studies a joyride. • Informal Communication-Informal communication is done using channels that are in contrast with formal communication channels. The informal channel of communication has the following advantages: Free Environment; Informal communication is done in a free environment. Open access journals for librarians. In an establishment, such type of communication channels do not follow any fixed procedures and can flow in any direction. This can help monitor organizational activities. Typically there are multiple channels of communication in an organization: online and face-to-face, written and verbal, official and unofficial. Therefore, it is found in all organizations. Informal communication chain that exists within an organization is also known as grapevine. This may change the perspective while making decisions. Even when the Grapevines try to leak out official information, such information tends to be half baked and incomplete. Dedicated team of professionals plan and execute communication tasks pertaining to advertising or branding which act as the face of the organization. As people go about their work, they have casual conversation with their friends in the office. It is usually held in face to face communication or talking with someone over a telephone call or message. Informal communication: The kind of communication which flows freely and without any preset rules or regulations within an organization is known as informal communication. While it has its advantages, it may also prevent vital information from reaching the top management. This will prevent the generation of rumours. It is possible to transmit information remarkably fast since there are no formal barriers and no stopping. Formal communication, as the very name represents, happens between superiors and their reporting staff in organizations. Shadow loops function at times to contradict formal communication. One of the easiest ways to get ahead of rumours is to be transparent. Formal communication does not reach everyone involved in the organization. Communication channels differ along a scale from rich to lean. Information that flows through formal channels is accurate, authentic and legally valid. Hence, the information can flow from anywhere. Characteristics 8. Informal communication occurs outside an organization’s established channels for conveying messages and transmitting information. Such type of communication takes place between managers or employees of same cadre or between superior and subordinate and vice versa. They serve as a medium for employees to meet their social, emotional and personal needs. 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. It will often have to take a circuitous formal route where the intervening links may be meaningless. Simply select your manager software from … Information through grapevines spread very fast and flows in every direction. But managers may have a negative view about these networks. Examples of Informal Communication; Purpose; Channels Used 5. Students should recognise that the desirability of the informal channel (from the perspective of the organization) depends upon the type of information being carried: company-relevant information or … A grapevine is less credible than a formal channel of communication. On the other hand, informal communication is very quick, often being instantaneous. These conversations deal with both personal and business matters. Informal communication is communication outside the organization's formally authorized channels. It is established around the societal affiliation of members of the organization. Relieving Frustration; A grapevine can be synonymous with the spreading of false or wild stories. It happens among members of informal social groups such as, friends and family. Plagiarism Prevention 4. Informal Communication Channel: Besides formal communication channel which is considered as strict way of communication, there lies an informal communication channel too in every organization that affects the chain of command. 3 EVALUATING INFORMAL COMMUNICATION CHANNELS: With reference to the film clip, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of informal communication channels for the organisation. In comparison, informal communication refers to communication which is multi-dimensional. In formal channels, the rules are well laid. Informal communication does not follow authority lines as in the case of formal communication. It brings them closer and gives them immense satisfaction. When incomplete information spreads out among the employees, it gives rise to all sorts of ambiguities spoiling the peace in the environment. The organisation as a whole and formal communication channels - establishing and maintaining formal and informal channels of communication downward, upward and horizontally. Most of the information spread in the official environment by Grapevines is undependable. A rumour, thus, may spread like a wildfire. Formal Communication happens between the representatives of an organization and its customers.  Informal communication includes the non official or un-regulated communications, Ex. Channels of Communication – Informal Communication (With Types, Advantages and Disadvantages) Communications do not flow randomly within organisations, nor do they necessarily follow the formal pathways published in an organisational chart. Reliability: Formal communication is the more reliable form, as there is a paper trail. Thus we can divide communication into two broad categories: A formal channel of communication is the means of communication normally controlled by people in positions of authority in an organisation. Meaning of Informal Communication: ‘Informal Communication’ is the communication among the people of an organization not on the basis of formal relationship in the organizational structure but on the basis of informal relations and understanding. It is, therefore, likely to be contradicted. The purpose of informal communication includes sharing of information, establishing personal contacts, making friends, influencing and motivating others, resolving conflicts, supplementing official channels, getting relaxation, searching escape from the monotony of work, etc. Grapevine is classified into four categories: Group or gossip chain: One tells all persons in his/her group. Yet it cannot be said that it is free from any flaw or limitation. Differences Between Formal and Informal Communication Channels. The informal channels spread the word to those who did not hear. Irrespective of the mode of communication, people can communicate in a formal or informal manner. The term often used to describe this type of communication is grapevine, as information transfers through informal channels and networks called the organizational grapevine. Channels Used in Informal or Grapevine Communication: The free environment means that there is no pressure on any office-big or small. (i) Formal Communication: Formal Communication refers to the communication taking place through official channels in an organisation. The more the uncertainty, the greater the rumourmongering. Mischief mongers or vested interests may use the channel for transmitting selective information. 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 is up to the manager how he keeps the balance between both of the communication channels and the employees. Information that passes through informal means is not official but may be merely rumors or gossips. This type of communication moves freely in all directions, and thus, it is very quick and rapid. Subscribe now and be the first to receive all the latest updates! If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. 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. It is a formation which builds on the basis of connection like social connections or friendships. (i) It is more people-oriented then issue-oriented. Content Filtrations 6. Effective Use. In it, members of a group or unit are asked about the other members with whom they communicate. 3 EVALUATING INFORMAL COMMUNICATION CHANNELS: With reference to the film clip, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of informal communication channels for the organisation. “grapevine“ An organization’s informal channels of … Communication that takes place within the business environment is known as organizational communication. Information that passes through informal means is not official but may be merely rumors or gossips. Formal communication is any communication that is offered in the official capacity of the professionals involved. Grapevine Information that is secret or speculative that is nonetheless spread through networks of social connections. Formal communication involves utilizing the formal communication channels of an organization. Cluster chain: Some tell selected others. This form of … (ii) Activities that update knowledge should be frequent. (ix) A manager should try to get regular reviews about his style of work. It is established for societal affiliations of members in an organization and face-to-face discussions. The reaction to the decisions, policies, directives and directions often reach managers faster through this channel than through the formal one. 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. Image Guidelines 5. Probability chain: Each randomly tells a number of people. Grapevine satisfies the social needs of members, leads to more relaxed human relations (partly through the release of fantasy), serves to fill the possible gaps in the formal communication and links even those people who do not fall in the official chain of command. (iv) A manager should conduct regular meetings with the employees. After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Advantages 9. Formal and informal business communication complement each other and can strengthen the company when effectively applied. The more the uncertainty, the greater the rumourmongering. In such a situation, informal communication channels are more useful and effective. Operational activities: Formal communication channels are developed in order to regulate the day-to-day operational activities of a business. It has been observed that problems relating to work and unfavourable reactions to various organisational practices are transmitted through information communication. Formal & Informal Business Communication. It is popularly referred to as grapevine. As a result, the receiver does not get the essence of the whole message. ADVERTISEMENTS: Read this article to learn about Informal Communication. A grapevine can foster trouble within an organisation as there is no control over the information sent, received, its portrayal and perceptions. Formal communication typically uses the official communication channels of a firm. Thus, only necessary information gets filtered and sent to the top. Informal communication as unintended behavior. Encourage peer communication. It happens among members of informal social groups such as, friends and family. Communication within an Organisation: Formal and Informal Communication! The following are common types of informal communication. Some factors that foster Informal Communication in a typical office environment are: Despite the pitfalls mentioned above, Grapevines can be used in an effective manner if appropriate measures are taken by the Top Management. 2. Also managers walking around, adopting a hands-on approach to handling employee queries is an example of an informal communication channel. 1. The informal communication arises as a result of employee needs for information which are not met by the formal channels. Sociometry helps in the study of informal pathways. Internal channels are an important tool but even businesses that master communicating with the outside world may not use internal channels as effectively. A good example of an informal communication is the grapevine communication. (iv) Grapevine information travels very fast. With organizations constantly growing in size, formal channels help to bridge the gap in the communication process. Factors leading to grapevine:. Often such communication arises out of the social relations that an individual creates with other persons on the basis of common interest, likings or dislikings. 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. Over-communicate. Meetings that happen inside the office space between the Top Management are typically formal in nature. The informal channel does not have official sanction, but is an inevitable parallel to the formal channel. The communication which does not follow any pre-defined channel for the transmission of information is known as informal communication. Communication can also be classified according to the degree of ceremony or formality it has. Filtering and monitoring of information at lower levels is a double- edged sword. Upward Communication flows upward from the subordinates to superiors in the form of suggestions, opinions, grievances, reports, applications for grant of leave etc. The organisation as a whole and formal communication channels - establishing and maintaining formal and informal channels of communication downward, upward and horizontally. When the formal “party line” must say one thing for political or other reasons, the informal network sets the record straight. Informal Communication Channels The strict hierarchical web of communication cannot function efficiently on its own and hence there exists a different communication channel. Importance 7. Then a … The origin of the term grapevine can be traced to the way the botanical vine grew over telegraph wires, making telegraphic messages go in unintended directions. (iii) Grapevine transmission flows in all directions in an organisation. These groups often run rumour mills. Instead of stifling communication around co-workers, provide tools … Sociometry helps in the study of informal pathways. Informal Communication Channels The strict hierarchical web of communication cannot function efficiently on its own and hence there exists a different communication channel. that flow up and down the hierarchical system in an organization and presentations, advertising and branding materials that are presented to the public. The nature of such communication is nowhere described in the formal communication systems, but the organization … It is easy for the employees to take the explanation by informal system. Informal communication that is also called as grapevine is typically used for personal communication with friends and family members. In other words, it is communication that stems from the authority, accountability and responsibility of a job. This breeds insecurity among other employees leading to rumours. 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. Information gets distorted. Quality circles, team work, different training programs are outside of the … This results in the generation of a rumour mill, which is a grapevine. Informal Communication usually takes place due to the influence of various factors that are more emotional and psychological in nature. It works as a supplementary channel of communication in an organisation. Prohibited Content 3. The big downside to informal communication is that it can spread rumors and … Informal Channel of Communication / Grapevine! • Informal Communication-Informal communication is done using channels that are in contrast with formal communication channels. Purpose 4. Formal channel of communication 2. Disadvantages 9. In business life, grapevine owes its existence to man’s gossipy nature. Good managers have been known to use the informal channel to their benefit for transmitting information otherwise unfit for formal channels. Establishing formal communication channels as trusted sources alleviates the need for unnecessary informal channels. A grapevine is an informal support system developed by employees within an organisation. Formal Communication ensures that the complete organization is kept intact as a single entity irrespective of the distance between employees, managers, departments, branches etc. Rumours, un-verified information  They both exist … They also keep the managerial personnel in control. It does not follow any prescribed or predetermined rule and spreads any information quickly. Informal communication is information exchange that occurs outside of the official communication processes of an organization such as events, meetings, formal messages and documentation. Types; Importance 7. For example, a worker communicates with the supervisor, the supervisor with the manager, and so on. The feedback through this channel is much faster than a formal channel of communication. Such communication bears low cost than formal communication.Although informal communication does not follow any set rules or principle but it offers some advantages which are as follows: Meaning of Informal Communication 2. Businesses share information with employees through formal and informal channels. 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. Although informal communication channels exist in every organization, they are not officially used. Channels of Communication: Formal and Informal (with Advantages and Disadvantages) The choice of media (channel) depends upon several factors including speed of transmission, accuracy, maintaining confidentiality, urgency of message, time available, cost involved, emotional level, feedback, etc. Informal communication includes all messages transmitted in the work setting other than those that are generated specifically to fulfil work-related assignments. Usually, Informal communication is done orally and using gestures. 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. Informal communication is communication outside the organization's formally authorized channels. Report a Violation, Informal Communication: Meaning, Characteristics, Advantages and Limitations, Difference between Formal and Informal Communication. Informal communication occurs outside an organization’s established channels for conveying messages and transmitting information. This inhibits the natural flow of information. In the workplace this is accomplished by communicating what’s going on - and then communicating some more. This will reduce the tendency for distortion. (vi) As far as possible, employees should be involved in the decision-making process. Speed is the most remarkable characteristic of this channel of communication. FORMAL AND INFORMAL CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION  There are precisely these two forms of communications in every organisation. https://status.net/articles/formal-communication-informal-communication The staff do not need to search for information from informal channels. This research compares formal and informal organizational communication structures, specifically focusing on salience, channel factors, and channel usage. This communication is more flexible than formal communication because it is free from all types of formalities. Informal communication is particularly quick. It empowers employees at managerial positions with decision making and strategy development, The high level of responsibility formal communication creates improves productivity at various levels in multifold ways. Time to time they feel the need to get freed from the necessity to stick to logic or truth. There are … The channel is like the pulse of an organisation. Under this, no particular channel or chain of command is followed. It is an official channel that is deliberately structured to form a communication chain in and organization to achieve organization goals. Formal and informal business communication complement each other and can strengthen the company when effectively applied. (iii) A lack of self-confidence amongst employees leads to the formation of groups. The communication in office or organization taking place through the officially designated channel or the pre-defined channel is known as the formal communication. While the ideal communication web is a formal structure in which informal communication can take place, unofficial communication channels also exist in an organization. Unlike formal communication, informal communication doesn’t take place through the officially designated channel. Content Guidelines 2. Subscribe Now and Get the latest updates in your inbox. The following are illustrative examples of formal communication. Before publishing your articles on this site, please read the following pages: 1. In communications, a channel is the means of passing information from a sender to a recipient. Information within an organization and follows no specific rules or regulations of hierarchy among other employees deal... And is a great sign that someone has a friend in the environment regulations. 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