Organizational Communication

Organizational Communication is "a system of pathways through which messages flow; patterns of interaction among people who comprise the organization" (Walker, 2004). It can be either formal or informal communication.

In organizational communication, formal communication is communicating specific, structured messages through other channels, like charts or hierarchies. There are three types of channels in formal communication: upward, downward, of horizontal. In upward communication, messages are sent from the bottom levels of an organization up. These can be messages sent from a regular employee, to the management, to the CEO or president of a company. Downward communication occurs when messages of communication are sent down, from the CEO or management to an employee. Finally, horizontal communication is communicating across the same level of work, for example employees sending messages to and from each other in the line of work. 

The informal communication in the organizational field of communication is defined as "episodes of interaction that do not reflect officially designated channels of communication" (Walker, 2004). Basically,  people in informal communication can talk and communicate freely amongst themselves, not necessarily in a group either.


Here is a chart showing the flow of communication in the workplace.