Though grapevine provides innumerable utilities to the organization, still it is not free from defects.
Therefore, managers should try to use grapevine in a way so that the organization can take the highest benefits from it.
Grapevine is a form of informal communication, operates both in internal and external informal channels which can contribute to and benefit the organization.
Therefore, it is found in all organizations. It does not follow any prescribed or predetermined rule and spreads any information quickly.
Through the grapevine, information flows in different directions linking almost every one of an organization.
It is governed by social and personal relationships rather than officially recognized rules and formalities.
Grapevine operates both in internal and external informal channels. It passes opinions, suspicions, and rumors that generally do not move through formal channels.
By nature, the grapevine is a channel of horizontal communication.
However, in fact, it does not follow any set pattern. It effectively operates horizontally, vertically and even diagonally.
Grapevine is a natural outgrowth person-to-person informal communication channel through which information flows horizontally, vertically or diagonally without following any set rule or regulation among the people within or outside the organization.
5 Ways to make Grapevine Beneficiary to Organization
Grapevine in Business Communication
- Providing real news to the grapevine initiators.
- Considering grapevine as a pulse feeling tool.
- Contradicting the false rumor.
- Allowing workers in the decision-making process
- Developing a good organizational climate.
Providing real news to the grapevine initiators
Managers should identify the people who take an active part in grapevine channels and provide them with real news so that they can transmit real facts to the grapevine channels.
This will eventually, resist transmission of rumor, untrue and distorted messages.
Considering grapevine as a pulse feeling tool
Since grapevine is an important source of receiving feedback, managers should use it as a tool for feeling the pulse of the employees.
Contradicting the false rumor
If any false rumor occurs in the organization, management should immediately contradict and protest the rumor through formal channels. As a result, the feeding of false rumors will decrease.
Allowing workers in the decision-making process
If the workers are allowed to take part in the decision-making process, they will be well informed of the facts.
In such a situation, there will be nothing to suspect and to create a false rumor.
Developing good organizational climate
Good organizational climate impels the employees to develop a sense of belongingness, to maintain status, chain of command and self-respect, and to enhance satisfaction.
All these will facilitate the occurrence of grapevine in the most desired and effective way.
At last, we can say that though the organization cannot hire and fire the grapevine, it can ensure an environment where people can practice grapevine in the most desired and effective way.
4 Patterns or Types of Grapevine
The grapevine communication is usually horizontal in nature. But it can be horizontal, vertical and diagonal. Prof. Keith Davis has classified grapevine into 4 types.
- Single Strand Chain
- Gossip Chain
- Probability Chain
- Cluster Chain