Differences between Horizontal and Vertical Communication - QS Study
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.