Demerits or Limitations of Grapevine
Grapevine is regarded as an appropriate channel of transmitting a message that cannot be sent through formal channels of communication. However, the grapevine is sot free from limitations. The limitations /demerits are discussed below:
- Distortion of information:
The most damaging aspect of Grapevine is the transmission of distorted information. At times, details of a message are lost, as it is subject to filtering by many people. Since it is an informal channel of communication, people transmit the baseless and distorted message that may harm the organization. Information received through grapevine might not be true. Sometimes people might put in new details to it.
- Providing incomplete information:
Another key drawback of Grapevine is that is transmitting incomplete information. Though the message is true, it creates misunderstanding due to the inadequacy of information. Under this system, usually, the employees do not follow the formal consent system. So it creates the opportunity to develop misunderstanding.
- Swift transmission of the message:
The swiftness through which information reaches to its destination may even be damaging. Its speed makes it difficult for management to stop undesirable rumors. In an informal communication system, utmost communication is made by open conversation. Another great disadvantage of grapevine communication is the fact that it can damage an organization’s goodwill.
- Spreading rumor:
Grapevine is highly criticized for spreading rumor and untrue information in the organization. Grapevine carries spiteful and destructive rumors, which can generate a doubtful and stressed situation in the company. Sometimes people hide the real facts and transmit the manipulated picture through the grapevine. This may damage the working environment and produce conflict in the organization. Grapevine information since it is the most part based on rumors tends to bring along with it incomplete information which ends up not giving the actual state of affairs in an organization.
- Lack of legal acceptance:
A grapevine carries messages so speedily that it is complicated to manage or standardize the flow of Communication. Communication through the grapevine is not guided by any set rule or regulation. So the message of the grapevine cannot be used as a reference as the message has no legal base. Under an informal communication system, no recognized rules or strategy is obeyed. So it is very much complicated to manage the information.
- The threat to secrecy:
Grapevine also acts as a threat to the secrecy of the organization. Management must maintain the secrecy of some critical issues for the interest of the organization. But grapevine is very powerful and can collect the secret information by breaking the strong security measure of the organization. If not managed correctly, it can have severe implications. So it is unattainable to preserve the confidentiality of the information.
- Affects Productivity
A grapevine, at times, can acutely obstruct the development or efficiency of a company. This is when employees become unproductive thanks to the grapevine. Grapevine communication can make organizations lose a lot of money because thanks to grapevine employees waste work hours talking about the newest rumor circulating around them. The organization pays extremely for this.
From the above discussion, we can say that grapevine has a very negative influence on the organization. It can hamper organizational solidarity, cohesiveness, and harmony. Therefore, management must be very careful and vigilant to overcome the above-stated demerits of grapevine.