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Horizontal Communication

When employees of same level communicate with each other then it is labeled as Horizontal Communication.It helps employees to perform the task efficiently. In the words of R. Paland Korlahalli, Communication between department or people on the same level in the managerial hierarchy of an organization may be termed as horizontal or lateral communication. Thus it can be stated that exchange of information between same level employees of different departments in horizontal communication.

Importance of Horizontal Communication

Horizontal Communication is extremely important for promoting, understanding and co-ordinating among various departments.Not much imagination is need to visualize the emracing situations that the lack of coordination might create in an organization.The purchasing department might keep on purchasing material which is neither immediately needed nor can be adequately stored. The stores may report shortage of material when production is fully given up. Scarcity of raw material may cause the production to slow down but the sales department may continue booking orders free flow of horizontal communication among various departments can easily avert the incidents of such situations.

Methods of Horizontal Communication

Horizontal Communication is most effectively carried out through oral means. Face to face exchanges of views or a brief conversation over the telephone is very convenient for horizontal communication. Formal channels tend to move managers status conscious so that they express their views in extremely measured items. Due to the free flow of information and freedom of expression, there is immediate feedback and all misunderstanding and doubts are sorted out.

Advantages of Horizontal Communication

Better Understanding
It ensures better understanding, accordingly employees of different divisions are able to perform their job more efficiently. Direct communication by breaking the vertical channel strengthens the bondage between employees of different departments which helps to boost up co-ordination.


Increases Productivity
Horizontal communication minimizes the problems of understanding among various departments. As a result, productivity increased. Decisions are made by top management but they are executed by the lower level employees. When lower level employees allowed communicating with each other through horizontal communication, it helps to realize the policy and ensures better implementation of decision. It not only increases the level of co-ordination, but also facilitates the task of motivation. Due to the free flow of information, cordiality among the employees increases considerably. Better understanding and cordial environment also boosts up the morale of the employees.

Better Implementation of Decision


Cordiality Employee Morale

Disadvantages of Horizontal Communication


Lack of Control
Sometimes too much horizontal communication creates problem for the management and controlling may become difficult as the horizontal communication increases.


By passing the vertical channel, horizontal communication allows the employees to communicate freely but sometimes it leads to personal conflict.


Time Consuming
Communication in addition to vertical instruction may delay the implementation of decision.


Lack of Discipline
As strict rules are not followed, organizational discipline also can be hampered in horizontal communication.