The exchange of information between people at the same level as an organizational hierarchy is called horizontal communication. This communication supplies information neither to superiors nor to subordinates. Rather, information is exchanged between people holding the same rank position. Or status. The need for horizontal communication arises for coordination of activities performed by various departments and divisions. As the organization becomes large and complex, horizontal communication becomes increasingly important. Some definitions of horizontal communication are given below:
In the opinion of Quible and others, “Horizontal communication is the communication between individuals of equal hierarchical ranks.”
According to R.W. Griffin, “Horizontal communication involves colleagues and peers at the same level of the organization.”
L.C. Bovee and others defined, “Horizontal communication occurs between works at generally equal levels in an organization.”
Ricks and K.F. Gow said, “Horizontal communication occurs between workers at generally equal levels in an organization.”
Boone, Kurtz and Block defined, “In horizontal communication (sometimes called lateral communication), people at the same organizational level communicate with one another.”
John M. Ivancevich and others said, “Horizontal communication occurs when the communicator and the receiver are at the same level in the organization.”
Graphically we can present horizontal communication in the organization.
In the above diagram, the arrows in horizontal lines depict horizontal communication.
In conclusion, we can say that horizontal communication is the exchange of information among the people holding the same position, rank and status in the organization hierarchy.
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