Meaning of Horizontal Communication - QS Study
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Meaning of Horizontal Communication

Exchange of information between people at the same level of an organizational hierarchy is called horizontal communication. This communication supplies information neither to superiors nor to subordinates. Rather information is exchanged between people holding the same rank, position or status. The need for horizontal communication arises for coordination of activities performed by various departments and divisions. As the organization becomes large and complex, horizontal communication becomes increasingly important.

Some definitions of horizontal communication are ‘oven below:

In the opinion of Quible and others, “Horizontal communication is the communication between individuals of equal hierarchical ranks.”‘

According to R. W. Griffin, “Horizontal communication involves colleagues and peers at the same level of the organization”.

L. C. Bovee and others defined, “Horizontal communication is the flow of information across departmental boundaries, either laterally or diagonally.”

Ricks and K. F. Gow said, “Horizontal communication occurs between workers at generally equal levels in an organization.”

Boone, Kurtz and Block defined, “In horizontal communication (sometimes called lateral communication), people at the same organizational level communicate with one another.”

John M. Ivancevich said, “Horizontal communication occurs when the communicator and the receiver are at the same level in the organization.”

Graphically we can present horizontal communication in the following way:

Fig: Horizontal Flow of Communication

In the above diagram, the arrows in horizontal lines depict horizontal communication.

In conclusion, we can say that horizontal communication is information among the people holding the same position, rank, organization hierarchy.