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Informal communication & grapevine
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Informal communication & grapevine


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  • 1. What is told in the ear of a man is often heard 100 miles away .   Chinese Proverb
  • 2. Understanding Informal communication & Grapevine lay out of the presentation
    • Informal communication structure
    • Informal media
    • Informal networks
    • Formal vs. informal structure
    • Grapevine Meanings & definitions
    • Synonyms for understanding broad concept of the term
    • Grapevine characteristics
    • Reasons that develop grapevine
    • Examples
    • Pros & cons
    • Coping or managing grapevine
    • Preventing rumors
  • 3. Informal Communication Structures
    • Deviation from the planned communication structure
      • Direction of the flow of information
      • Leaving out people in the communication line
      • Integrating people into the communication line
  • 4.
    • Face-to-face discussions
    • Telephone
    • Voice messaging (voice mail)
    • Email
    • Instant messaging (chat)
    Informal Media
  • 5. Formal Structure vs Informal Networks ???
  • 6. Informal Networks Y D C B A Chain A J B D H I K F G E C Gossip A F B D J H C E K G I X Probability A C D F J I B Cluster
  • 7. Grapevine
    • Dictionary of chambers defines:
    • An informal chat between people, seen as a network through which the information is reliably spread.
    • Grapevine' or informal communication that travels parallel to (and sometimes ahead of) official channels in an organization or society.
    Grapevine is an informal channel of business communication. It is called so because it stretches throughout the organization in all directions irrespective of the authority levels
  • 8. Synonyms:
    • Rumor
    • Unconfirmed repots
    • Hearsay
    • Gossip
    • Talk
    • talk of the town
    • Tittles tattle
    • Scandal
    • Chat
    • Whisper
    • Buzz
    • Noise
    • Word of mouth etc
  • 9.
    • oral  mostly undocumented
    • open to change
    • fast (hours instead of days)
    • crossing organizational boundaries
    • inaccuracy:
      • deletion of crucial details
      • exaggeration of the most dramatic details
    Grapevine Characteristics
  • 10. According to Gordon Allport:
    • importance of the subject for both listener and speaker
    • ambiguousness of the facts
    • Formula:
    • R = i x a
    • “ R“: intensity of the rumor
    • “ i“: importance of the rumor to the persons
    • “ a“: ambiguity of the facts associated with the rumor
  • 11. Reasons for grapevine to develop:
    • Employees rely on the grapevine when:
    • They sense uncertainty
    • Preferential treatment of managers with certain employees
    • Their general talkative behavior
    • They feel threatened,
    • Insecure,
    • Under stress
    • When there is pending change
    • When communication from management is limited
  • 12. Examples of Grapevine Network of Communication
    • Suppose the profit amount of a company is known. Rumor is spread that this much profit is there and on that basis bonus is declared.
    • CEO may be in relation to the Production Manager. They may have friendly relations with each other .
  • 13. Pros and Cons of Grapevine Communication
    • Advantages of Grapevine Communication
    • Grapevine channels carry information rapidly. As soon as an employee gets to know some confidential information, he becomes inquisitive and passes the details then to his closest friend who in turn passes it to other. Thus, it spreads hastily.
    • The managers get to know the reactions of their subordinates on their policies. Thus, the feedback obtained is quick compared to formal channel of communication.
    • The grapevine creates a sense of unity among the employees who share and discuss their views with each other. Thus, grapevine helps in developing group cohesiveness.
    • The grapevine serves as an emotional supportive value.
    • The grapevine is a supplement in those cases where formal communication does not work.
  • 14.
    • Disadvantages of Grapevine Communication
    • The grapevine carries partial information at times as it is more based on rumours. Thus, it does not clearly depicts the complete state of affairs.
    • The grapevine is not trustworthy always as it does not follows official path of communication and is spread more by gossips and unconfirmed report.
    • The productivity of employees may be hampered as they spend more time talking rather than working.
    • The grapevine leads to making hostility against the executives.
    • The grapevine may hamper the goodwill of the organization as it may carry false negative information about the high level people of the organization.
  • 15.
    • “ the grapevine cannot be abolished, rubbed out, hidden under a basket, chopped down, tied up, or stopped“
    • don‘t try to control or restrict it
    • use it to supplement formal channels
    Coping or Managing the Grapevine
  • 16. Preventing Rumors
    • provide information through the formal system of communication on the issues important to the employees
    • supply employees with a steady flow of clear, accurate and timely information
    • present full facts
    • keep formal communication lines open and the process as short as possible
  • 17. Presented by
    • Ms Amber Nasreen
    • Lecturer for business communication and Business English