The pattern of contacts among the members of the organisation and flow of information among them is communication network. Network helps managers to establish contacts in different patterns through communication flows. The network depends upon the magnitude of the organisation, nature of communication channels in the organisation and the number of persons involved in the process. There can be many patterns of communication network.
The most frequently followed networks are the following:
1. Vertical Network:
The vertical network is usually between the superior and subordinate and vice versa. It is two-way communication. The immediate feedback is possible in this type of communication network. It is formal network.
2. Circuit Network:
Under this network two persons communicate with each other. Say Mr. ‘A’ sends message to Mr. ‘B’. After receiving message Mr. ‘B’ communicates the feedback message to Mr. ‘A’. So communication takes the form of a circuit. Therefore it is known as circuit network. It is similar to vertical network but in circuit network ‘A’ and ‘B’ are not necessarily superior and subordinates.
3. Chain Network:
This network of communication follows the organisational hierarchy and chain of command. All subordinates receive commands or instructions from their superior. B, C, D and E, F, G are the subordinates to A in the organisational hierarchy and receive commands from ‘A’ which follows the way shown in the diagram.
4. Wheel Network:
Here all subordinates receive commands from one superior. This is highly centralized type of communication network where each subordinate receives commands or instructions from a single authority or superior ‘A’ and wants the immediate feedback.
5. Star Network:
Under star communication network all members of the group communicate with each other and exchange information. This network is a must for group communication or where teamwork is involved. This network channel of communication is open to all members of the group. The members communicate with each other without hesitation.
The effectiveness of the above networks of communication channels depend upon their users i.e. the managers at all levels, their subordinates and other members of the organisation and above all the seriousness with which all these human resources make use of the facilities provided to them by the organisation to accomplish its objectives.