Saturday, March 24, 2007

Is grapevine a popular means of communication in the organization?

A. Grapevine communications is important to the members of an organization because it provides for communication outside formal channels. This is parallel to the informal organization of relationships that sometimes gets important work done.

Unfortunately the grapevine is often used to spread confidential and malicious information that can undermine the organization.

Management's challenge is to find a balance between being paranoid and permitting freedom of expression. If the grapevine channel has too much power it suggests that more formal communications are ineffective.

The challenge for the grapes on the grapevine is to find a balance between avoiding unethical practices and staying connected with what is going on.

(Editorial Afterthought: Leadership is tacitly represented here. The management reaction to a grapevine is likely to be rule based, the leadership response is likely to be in terms of values.)



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