Meaning of Grapevine Communication
Grapevine is a form of informal communication. It arises due to the co-existence of people. Therefore, it is found in all organizations. It does not follow any prescribed or predetermined rule and spreads any information quickly. Through the grapevine, information flows in different directions linking almost everyone of an organization. It is governed by social and personal relationships rather than officially recognized rules and formalities.
Grapevine operates both in internal and external informal channels. It passes opinions, suspicion, and rumors that generally do not move through formal channels. By nature, the grapevine is a channel of horizontal communication. However, in fact, it does not follow any set pattern. It effectively operates horizontally, vertically and even diagonally.
Some quotations of grapevine are given below;
According to L.C. Bovee and other, “Grapevine is an informal channel of person-to-person communication that is not officially sanctioned by the organization.”
Ricky W. Griffin timed, “The grapevine is an informal communication network that can permeate as an organization.”
Ivancevich said, “An informal communication pathway that is recognized as a part of organizational life is called grapevine.”
Newstrom and Davis have defined, “Grapevine communication as “An informal system that arises spontaneously from the social interaction of the people in the organization”.
In the words of Heimann, “The grapevine is a natural outgrowth of the informal organization, the social interaction of people and their natural desire to communicate with each other.”
From the above discussion, we can say that grapevine refers to the informal communication channel through which information flows horizontally, vertically or diagonally without following any set rule or regulation among the people within or outside the organization.