What Is Grapevine Communication? Types, Advantages, Disadvantages

3 min readNov 16, 2020

Grapevine communication is a form of informal communications in business that develops within an organisation. Large organisations, where there are many people who are working closely, create certain unofficial or informal communication channels.

Grapevine Communication

These channels exist with or without authorised patronage. Even though they are secretly and officially patronised, they are not reliable. This kind of communication is usually known as “Grapevine” communication.

Types of Grapevine Communication

There are 4 types of grapevine communication are:

It can seep from person to person in a strictly linear fashion. The information takes time to spread in this fashion.

In some circumstances, a person goes around communicating the information or message he or she thinks which he or she has obtained.

The listeners are a selected few only. In some other condition, a person communicates information without any constraint to all those with whom he comes into contact. This is termed as Probability Chain and the message or information passed on may be interesting but not essential.

In yet another condition, one individual communicates to a few selected associates who in turn communicate the same to yet another group.

Advantages of Grapevine Communication

  • It gives mental satisfaction to the participants and gradually reduces emotional outbursts and reactions.
  • It provides informal feedback on the changes contemplated by the management.
  • Grapevine communication brings about a strong bond among peer groups.
  • It keeps the employees anticipating and acts as a buffer against Shockwaves.
  • It develops because of the involvement of the persons connected with an organisation.
  • It is fast and can supplement formal channels.

Disadvantages of Grapevine Communication

  • It may provoke sudden unexpected and unwanted reactions from emotionally unstable persons.
  • Grapevine, is definitely dangerous to the organisation health if permissible to grow without monitoring.
  • Industries and Business houses adopt one or several of these strategies to keep grapevine under reasonable control so that it does not degenerate into a rumour mill and promote unwanted gossip sessions among the staffs.
  • It has the potential to spread irrelevant gossip.
  • A transparent administration policy, interaction sessions, employee-friendly attitude, parties, fruitful meetings of peer group, and outings where all those linked with the organisation participate are few strategies to monitor grapevine and use it to the benefit for the organisation.
  • It may result in personal vilification and character assassination of persons.
  • Grapevine channels can be moderated but not eradicated.
  • Grapevine channel exaggerates or distorts the message content.

( Click on Topic to Read )

  1. Business Communication: “ K.K. Sinha, Golgotia Publishing Company.
  2. Business Communication: “M.K. Sehgal, Vandana Khetrapal, Excel Books.
  3. Essentials of Business Communication: Rajendra Pal, J.S Korlahalli, Sultan Chand & Sons.

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