Informal Communication Types:Advantages,Disadvantages

Informal Communication Types

Informal communication types are explained as Follows:

1. Single Strand Chain: Under this communication pattern, the information flows from one person to the next person in the network. Such as, one person will give information to another person who will communicate it to the next person and similarly the third person will also communicate the same message to the next person in the network and so on. This type of chain is less reliable and accurate to pass on the message. Here, the communication process is linear.

2. Gossip Chain Network: In the gossip chain network, there is an individual who tells the message to all other members in the network directly. He is generally the central person who seeks out and transmit information to all that he has obtained. Here, every person in the network communicates with each other informally. This network is often used when the subject matter is unrelated to the nature of the job.

3. Probability Chain Network: Under this communication pattern the information passes randomly from persons to persons. Such as, there is an individual who acts as a source of message selects any person randomly in his network to communicate the message. That second person will again, select another person randomly and passes on the message to him, likewise the communication flows to different people chosen randomly. Here, the source of information for each member of the network is different. This communication pattern is used when the information is interesting, but not significant.

4. Cluster Chain: In this network, there is an individual who, acts as a source of a message, transmits information to the pre-selected group of individuals out of whom few individuals again tell the same message to other selected group of individuals. Likewise, the chain continues, and the message reaches to all in the network.This pattern is similar to the telephone tree, wherein one person calls other two persons, then these two persons call other three persons and again these three persons are expected to call other three persons. Likewise, the information gets transmitted to all persons connected to the telephone network. This is the most common form of informal communication network.

Meaning and Definition of Informal Communication

Informal Communication is the communication among the people of an organisation not on the basis of formal relationship in the organisational structure but on the basis of informal relations and understanding.

Informal Communication does not function in the lines of authority like formal communication. It is all about communal Relationship among the members of the organization. Under this communication takes place through gesticulation, moving of head, smiling and by remaining quiet. For example, a superior wants to complain against his subordinate to his higher officer and at the same time he is afraid of giving it in writing. This can be conveyed to the higher officer through informal communication, say during the course of a conversation.

Characteristics of Informal Communication

1. Complements Formal Channel of Communication: Informal communication supports the formal flow of communication, no matter whether the information is flowing in downward,upward, or horizontal direction.

2. Transmits Information at a Faster Pace: Information moves at a greater speed through informal channels than that of the formal channels of communication.

3. Spreads False Rumours and Destructive Information: Informal communication is very less likely to be used in the direction of achieving organizational objectives. This is due to the reason that it proliferate the gossips and hostile information in the organization.

4. Both Written and Oral: Through informal communication has a tendency to be conducted orally, it may also take place through handwritten or types documents.

5. Less Accurate: Informal communication is under-judged as less accurate because it makes the error look more intense, which in turn overshadows the numerous accuracies of it.

Advantages of Informal Communication

  • Safeguard Emotions.
  • Organizational Harmony and Unity.
  • Supplement to Other Channels.
  • Quick Transmission.
  • Feedback: The top management receive necessary feedback from employees through informal communication.

Disadvantage of Informal Communication

  • Distortion: One of the most serious disadvantage of Informal Communication is distortion. Grapevine spreads unwarranted,uncalled for and distorted information which can be obstructive for the employees.
  • Incomplete Information: Information is likely to be misunderstood or misinterpreted because information in grapevine is generally considered incomplete.
  • Destructive Speed: The rapid speed with which information travels in a grapevine can be detrimental and obstructive. Any rumours or misleading messages can spread and cause far-reaching damages before it reaches the top management and they are able to take any corrective measures.
  • Leakage of Information: Top management should be very careful and cautions while using informal communication because the grapevine often leads to the disclosure of sensitibe and confidential information.
  • Lack of Authority: Generally, information transferred through informal communication channel is trivial talk or gossip without any supporting proof and evidence. Thus, it is not authentic and sound. In that event, the information loses its authenticity.