Horizontal and vertical communications are the two different types of internal communication. These two types of communications differ in the following ways:
- Meaning: When information flows between persons holding the same position in the organization, it is called horizontal communication.
- Purpose: The purpose of horizontal communication is to coordinate the activities of various departments and divisions of the organization.
- Information flow: In this communication, information flows between people holding same ranks and status.
- The degree of formality: Horizontal communication enjoys the greater degree of informality.
- Method of communication: Horizontal communication is mostly done through oral media.
- The possibility of distortion: Messages of horizontal communication are usually free from distortion.
- Length of communication line: Horizontal communication occurs is a short line as it happens directly between sender and receiver.
- Meaning: When communication occurs between superior and subordinates, it is called vertical communication.
- 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.
- Information flow: In this communication, information flows from superior to subordinates and vice-versa.
- The degree of formality: Vertical communication is more formal than horizontal communication.
- Method of communication: Vertical communication is mostly done through written media.
- The possibility of distortion: Messages of vertical communication may suffer from distortion.
- 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.