The office grapevine
• Unstructured and Informal network formed on
social relationship rather than organizational
charts or job descriptions
• Informal vehicle through which message flow
throughout the organization.
• stretches throughout the organization in all
directions irrespective of the authority levels.
• Despite existence of formal channels in an
organization, the informal channels tend to
• exists more at lower levels of organization.
Four Types of Grapevine Chains
Single Strand Chain
Single Strand Chains
It flows like a chain, i.e., ‘A’ tells
to ‘B’ who tells it to ‘C’ and so on.
The longer the strand the more distortion and
Most inaccuracies occur in this chain
One person tells to other people
This chain passes a message regarding a
Generally considered to be slow in passing the
Information may move from anybody to anybody.
This chain is found when the information is somewhat
interesting but not really significant.
Only some people in the organization will get to
know the information
Individual communicates with only those
individuals he/she trust
Cluster chain is the dominant grapevine
pattern in an organization
Most informal communication flows through
‘A’ tells something to a few selected individuals and
then some of these individuals inform a few other selec
Serves as an
• carries partial information
• does not clearly depicts the complete state of
• not trustworthy always
• productivity of employees may be hampered
• hostility against the executives.
• hamper the goodwill of the organization.
How to handle grapevine?
• Silence not always golden
• Keep an open culture
• Communicate ASAP
• Keep them busy
• Eliminate uncertainty