Communication through grapevine is a matter of spontaneous feelings. Some personal matters and other situations may cause these feelings.
Keith Davis said in this regard- “The grapevine is more a product of situation than it is of the person.”
Typical examples of situations prompting grapevines include layoffs, takeovers, promotions, introduction of new technology etc. However, personal factors also encourage involving in grapevine actively. The probable causes that may activate the grapevine are discussed below:
- Emotion of employees: Some organizational issues like insecurity of service, uncertainty of promotion, prohibition to form and enter into trade unions, undermining the role of subordinates by superiors etc are likely to create emotions in the mind of workers and make them excited. Thus for relieving the emotions and cooling down the excitements, some workers tend to activate grapevine.
- The existence of informal and peer groups: Grapevine is a symbol that reveals existence of informal and peer groups in the organization. For exchanging most personal and some organizational matters, they start channeling information through grapevine.
- Exceptional information: Exceptional event or information like innovation of new products, investment in new field, providing special facilities to a particular employee etc. should be disseminated throughout the organization. If these are not disclosed to the employees, someone may activate grapevine channel.
- Job itself: It is observed that some jobs or positions such as personal assistant, personal secretary, diver etc. by their nature can hold some important messages and play active role in feeding information in grapevine.
Keith Davis pointed out in this regard that- “Secretaries to the managers are four times likely to be key grapevine communicators, compared with other employees.”
- People of talkative nature and suspicious attitude: People of talkative nature or people holding suspicion on any matter play active role in channeling information on grapevine.
- Organizational climate: Now a day, many organizations permit its employees to communicate with each other frequently. This also inspires them to activate grapevine.
In conclusion, we can say that since the above-stated issues or situations are common in every organization regardless of their size and nature, presence of grapevine is inevitable there. So it is said that- “grapevine is more a product of the situation than it is of the person.”