communication can be defined as passing information outside the official
channels. It’s a system
established by the employees themselves, thus meaning informal communication
uses the workers own channels of communication (e.g grapevine).
It can dictate
what happens particularly if the formal system has been broken down.
Can support or undermine the formal structure.
There is a danger of confusing informal with oral communication. This
is incorrect as you can communicate written messages to the “wrong”
person just as easily as oral ones.
place within the official channels, i.e. the lines of communication approved
by senior management. An example
would be a marketing manager talking to the marketing director: his or her
immediate boss. Within that channel any form of communication is regarded as
channels, are established by the organisation and is accepted and recognised
by employees and managers. Formal
Network is split into two different areas which are:
In this network
information must pass through a central position. This is good for simple problems which are quick and have a
few errors. There is a problem
that the centralised position can become overloaded.
Centralised networks can be put into three categories which are: the
Y, the wheel and the chain.
The Y chain is
an example of formal communication within a hierarchy such as in the police
force or civil force
The chain is
where one person passes information to the others, who then pass it on.
This approach tends to be the formal approach adopted hierarchical
organisations, such as the Civil Service.
The main advantage is that there is a leader at the top of the
hierarchy who can oversee communications downwards and upwards to different
areas of the business.
One problem may
be the isolation felt by those at the bottom of the network. Their motivation
may be less than others if they feel at the periphery.
In the wheel
pattern there is a person, group or department that occupies a central
position. This network is
particularly good at solving problems. If, for example, the North West region
of an insurance company had been asked to increase sales by central office,
then the North West regional manager would be at the centre of policy
initiative communicating with local managers about the best way forward.
The leader in this network is the regional manager.
An example is a head office communicating with a salespeople operating
that is generally passed around to all party members. They are used in complex problems (quicker and fewer mistakes
and a more satisfied group). Decentralised
networks can be put into two categories which are; the circle and all
In a circle,
sections, departments etc. Can communicate with any two others as shown in
the diagram. This type of
communication may occur between middle managers from different departments at
the same level of the organisation. The
main problem with this type of network is that decision making can be slow or
poor because of a lack of co-ordination.
THE “ALL CHANNEL” NETWORK
channel” communication system might be used in small group workings.
It provides the
best solution to complex problems due to its participatory style, and more
open communication system. This
type of network may be used when the department decides to “brainstorm”.
disadvantages are that it is slow and it tends to disintegrate under time
pressure to get results when operated in a group.