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. Man as we know is a social animal. Despite existence of formal channels in an organization, the informal channels tend to develop when he interacts with other people in organization. It exists more at lower levels of organization.
The dictionary gives us a definition for the grapevine which says it is "the informal transmission of information, gossip or rumour from person to person" .The grapevine is the informal and unsanctioned information network within every organization .The network helps employees make sense of the world around them and consequently provides a release from emotional stress .Keith Davis (one of the leading authors on the subject) discovered in his study that organizational Grapevine is an expression of healthy human motivation to communicate: "In fact, if employees are so uninterested in their work that they do not engage in shoptalk about it, they are probably maladjusted." Of all the things that the grapevine has been called, it is foremost a communications network. Since it is unstructured and not under complete control of management, it moves through the organization in every direction. It moves upwards, downward, and diagonally, within and without chains of command, between workers and managers, and even with and without a company.
The formal network, made up of memos, reports, staff meetings, department meetings, conferences, company newsletters and official notices is highly documented and as such has very little chance for change. However, nearly all of the information within the grapevine is undocumented and is thereby open to change and interpretation as it moves through the network. It often travels faster than formal channels. The grapevine is very useful in supplementing formal... [continues]
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