What is Horizontal Communication, Communication between and across the departments of people on the same level in the managerial hierarchy of an organization is called horizontal communication. It is also termed as lateral communication. It is the most frequently used channel of communication. Definition of horizontal communication, Meaning of horizontal communication, Importance of horizontal communication.
What is Horizontal Communication
According to Dr. Urmila Rai, “Horizontal communication is that which flows between persons of equal status in an organization.”
In the opinion of R.W. Griffin, “Horizontal communication involves colleagues and peers at the same level of the organization.”
Bovee and Others said, “Horizontal communication is the flow of information across departmental boundaries.”
According to Betty and Kay, “Horizontal communication occurs between workers at generally equal levels in an organization.” Business Communication
From the above discussion, we can say that when the people of the same organizational position exchange message between and among them, it is called Horizontal Communication.
Importance of Horizontal Communication
Horizontal communication is very important for promoting understanding and coordination among various departments. It is essential to establish horizontal communication in the organization to better performing the organizational activities. The importance of horizontal communication is discussed below in terms of the advantages it provides-
- Coordination: Coordination is the most important objective of horizontal communication. Coordination of factions between and among different departments and person is vitally important for smooth functioning of organizational activities. Lack of coordination may cause disastrous effect on the performance of an organization. Horizontal communication helps the concerned authority to bring coordination among the various departments of the organization.
- Overcoming Misunderstanding: Sometimes conflict is found among the heads of various departments in the organization. Horizontal communication can remove this type of conflict and misunderstanding, which is inevitable for organizational success.
- Free of Distortion: Vertical communication may produce distortion of message whereas horizontal communication helps reduce information loss and distortion as message flows here at the same levels at the same time.
- Quick Communication: Horizontal communication takes place more quickly than other communication systems, because here the information flows at the same levels of officers and there are no formal layers in the organization.
- Dynamism in Work: Horizontal communication helps to establish dynamic working environment as all the personnel in the various departments work in a coordinated way. The aim of horizontal communication is to bring congenial working atmosphere in the organization.
- Effective Departmental Communication: Horizontal communications widely used to establish effective communication between and among various departments of an organization.
From the above discussion, we can say that horizontal communication is inevitable for an organization to functioning its activities more harmoniously.