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What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Horizontal Communication?

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Shane Richardson Profile
Firstly it is a good idea to define what exactly is horizontal communication.

According to the businessdictionary.com horizontal communication is:
• "Information exchange between departments or functional units as means of coordinating their activities."

The main advantages of horizontal communication are as follows:

• A good rate of ideas are exchanged between departments
• It encourages good communication between different departments
• Having group discussions allows a wide range of ideas from different experts to be considered
• The more ideas the more chance they will hit upon a great one

The main disadvantages of horizontal communication are as follows:

• Due to the fact both departments may be of equal powers decisions are hard to come to
• Nobody has the overall say and final decision
• It can cause in-house fighting if differing opinions boil over
• One department may always have to check with another department before pushing anything through

Horizontal communication is generally seen as a very useful approach in business - but when it is used is the key. It can certainly hinder as much as it helps if it is used in the wrong environment or situation and decisions can become almost impossible to reach with no higher authority calling it.

If this is a homework question for school or college then it is always better to try and do your own research first. You may feel asking someone else is easier but it will be severely detrimental to your development. Also you could risk failing the question if you simply copy and paste this answer. You would run the great risk of being accused of plagiarism.
Amanda Wells Profile
Amanda Wells answered
Horizontal communication is of course more democratic than the traditional top down method. This can be an advantage in itself, plus you get more participation from the workforce and more exchange of ideas and opinions. A disadvantage can be that there is often no clear command structure and time can be wasted if there is nobody obviosuly in charge of making decisions.

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