QS Study

Differences between Horizontal and Vertical Communication

Horizontal and vertical communications are the two different types of internal communication. These two types of communications differ in the following ways:

Horizontal Communication

  1. Meaning: When information flows between persons holding the same position in the organization, it is called horizontal communication.
  2. Purpose: The purpose of horizontal communication is to coordinate the activities of various departments and divisions of the organization.
  3. Information flow: In this communication, information flows between people holding same ranks and status.
  4. The degree of formality: Horizontal communication enjoys the greater degree of informality.
  5. Method of communication: Horizontal communication is mostly done through oral media.
  6. The possibility of distortion: Messages of horizontal communication are usually free from distortion.
  7. Length of communication line: Horizontal communication occurs is a short line as it happens directly between sender and receiver.

Vertical Communication

  1. Meaning: When communication occurs between superior and subordinates, it is called vertical communication.
  2. Purpose: The purpose of vertical communication is to provide necessary orders, instructions, and directives to the subordinates in the downward direction and receiving a suggestion, opinion and feedback from the subordinates in the upward direction.
  3. Information flow: In this communication, information flows from superior to subordinates and vice-versa.
  4. The degree of formality: Vertical communication is more formal than horizontal communication.
  5. Method of communication: Vertical communication is mostly done through written media.
  6. The possibility of distortion: Messages of vertical communication may suffer from distortion.
  7. Length of communication line: Vertical communication passes through a long line of communication.

The direction brings to the conclusion that horizontal and vertical communications are the two opposite patterns of communication.