Formal communication flows through official channels designed in the organization chart. It is a system of passing messages and information between positions within an organization through officially designated channels. This communication may take place between a superior and subordinate, a subordinate and superior or among same cadre employees or managers. The communications may be oral or written but generally recorded and filed in the office.
Formal communication may be further classified as – Vertical and Horizontal.
Vertical communication flows vertically i.e., upwards or downwards through formal channels. Upward communications refer to flow of communication from subordinate to superior whereas downward communication indicates communication from a superior to subordinate.
The examples of upward communication are – application for grant of leave, submission of the progress report, request for grants etc.
Horizontal or lateral communication takes place between one division and another. For example, a production manager may contact marketing manager to discuss the schedule of product delivery, product design, quality etc.