Communication can be classified on the following bases:

1. On the basis of organisational structure :

(a) Formal Communication :

Communications which are sent through the formal or officially recognised channel are called formal communications. Generally, orders, instructions, decisions of the superior officer are communicated through this channel.


(b) Informal Communication :

Informal Communications are also known as ‘grapevine’ communications. In case of informal communication formal channels are not used. Informal communications arise out of the day to day routine and meetings among the peers.

2. On the basis of direction of Communication

(a) Downward Communication :


Communication flowing from superior to subordinates are called downward communication. Generally orders, instructions, decisions of the superior are communicated through this channel.

(b) Upward Communication :

Communication flowing from the subordinates to superior are called upward communication. It includes reports, suggestions, complaints, etc. Upward communication enables the management to evaluate the effectiveness with which its orders have been carried out and also to know the grievances or suggestions of the subordinates.

(c) Horizontal or Lateral Communication :


Communication among personnel who are working at the same level of the organisation is called Horizontal Communication. For example communication among functional managers is horizontal communication.

(d) Diagonal Communication :

Communication between people who are neither in the same department nor at the same level of organisational hierarchy is called diagonal communication.

3. On the basis of the way of expression, communication can


be classified into two types viz.,

i) Oral or verbal communication

ii) Written communication

Oral Communication :


In case of oral communication, communication is made face to face or through telephone or intercom system.


1. It saves time and money.

2. It is more effective as it establishes personal contact.


3. It helps to clarify the doubts in the minds of the receiver.

4. It helps the communicator to pin point the important message.


1. It will not act as a permanent record for future reference.

2. It can be misunderstood by the receiver, if the communicator is poor in vocal expression.

3. It is not suitable for lengthy communication

4. It is also not suitable for a subject that has to be kept as a record.