What Is Diagonal Communication? What Are Its Core Functions?

Diagonal Communication

Organisational Communication

Communication is a key element for maintaining the culture of mutual interaction. This is found between the members of an organisation. Organisational communication is a method of conveying messages. This done for different members of an organisation. Organisational communications are of four types. These depend upon the direction, and flow of the information. The four types of organisational communications are highlighted as follows:

  • Upward communication
  • Downward communication
  • Horizontal communication
  • Diagonal communication

1. Upward Organisational communication flows information from the low to high-rank members.
2. The flow of information from high, to low-rank members is downward Organisational communication.
3. The exchange of information between different, but equivalent departments is horizontal communication.
4. Cross-functional exchange of information is Diagonal Organisational communication (DOC). This takes place between different members of an organisation.

Considering all four types, it is clear that we cannot prioritise one over the other. All types have their own importance. But describing all types in only one article is difficult to manage. Hence, this article will give details of diagonal communication.

Examples Of Different Organisational Communications

1. Suppose the manager of Hawaii shares an employee’s progress report with the chairperson of the same company. This will be considered as upward communication.
2. Suppose the chairperson of Hawaii announces to lower staff about the arrival of a new sales representative of the same company. You will consider it downward communication.
3. You can consider this as horizontal communication. Suppose the vice president of the sales department of Hawaii sends an email to the VP of its manufacturing department.
4. Suppose the sales representative of Hawaii sends an email to the vice president of SAMSUNG. This will be considered as diagonal communication.

2. What Is Diagonal Communication?

Diagonal communication (DC) deals with all functional communications. These take place irrespective of the employee’s rank. In DC, the exchange of information can occur through any direction.

  • In DC, the information may flow from high-rank employees to lower rank employees.
  • In DC, the information may also flow from lower rank employees to the high-rank employee.
  • In DC, the information exchange may occur within an organisation. It can also take place between different organisations.

Hence, in Diagonal Communication, you can consider all formal, and informal talks. These can take place between both employees, as well as organisations of different contexts. But usually, DC is an informal way of communication. This often occurs at different events. The diagrammatic representation of DC shows a web-like network of communication. In this type, you as an employee can contact any internal or external employee of the company.

3. Core Functions Of Diagonal Communication In An Organisation

The CEO of dissertation writing services said that organisational communication is a fail-proof mechanism of exchanging information among various business entities. This route of communication is the fastest way of transferring information. This is achieved by the skipping of minor channels. In this type, you have the liberty to discuss your point of concern with any co-worker. The equality offered by this type of communication is one of the major advantages. Hence, you can use it only if you want to create a friendly environment at your workplace. In-depth analysis of DC suggests that it is the most informal way of communication. This is a result of its comparison with all other types of communications. It still plays many significant roles. These relate to improving the communicational channels of an organisation. A few of them are highlighted as follows;

1) It Enhances Team Working Abilities

Within an organisation, many projects run side by side. Many of them need cooperative efforts from different staff members. Sometimes the project coordinator needs to involve teams from different departments. Hence, in such a situation, the exchange of information occurs using the diagonal communication method.

DC also helps a manager in gathering several opinions. These are from persons having diversified analytical skills. Hence, the art of combining a variety of employees is beneficial. This is because it enhances qualities like teamwork within the employees. Teamwork is the basic element in establishing strong foundation of any business. This makes the usage of diagonal communication even more essential.

2) Ensures Greater Efficiency Of Communication

In other methods of communication, every employee is bound to follow a chain of commands. This is used for conveying a message to the lower, or higher authorities.

Like in downward communication, the higher managers communicate messages to lower managers. The lower managers then pass these messages to the technical employees. Yet, in some organisations, the middle managers act as a bridge. They help in managing communication between the lower, and the higher authorities.

Reciprocal to this, the chain follows the same entities in upward communication. But it does so in the reverse direction. Hence, sending and receiving messages from one level to another is a time-consuming process. Diagonal communication provides the fastest way of communication. This is for both internal, and external aspects of the organisation. In this route, the employee doesn’t need to wait for messages from different channels.

3) Gives Sustainable Advantage To An Organisation

Diagonal communication is one of the easiest ways to gather employees’ opinions. The tools of diagonal communication can involve any of the following;

1) Presentation
2) Announcements
3) Meetings
4) Seminar
5) Conferences
6) Business activities (like launching a new product)

Equal rights of communication irrespective of designation increase motivation. This is especially evident among the low-rank employees. Motivation brings job satisfaction. This in turn ensures the sustainability of an organisation. In short, we can say that DC is the shortest way of increasing sustainability within an organisation.

4. Disadvantages Of Diagonal Communication

Unlike any benefits, there are many disadvantages of using diagonal communication as well. Some of them are highlighted as follows;

  • It creates discipline issues within the workplace.
  • It sometimes bypasses the higher authorities from a local exchange of information.
  • Sometimes, it becomes insulting for the manager whose duty is to monitor every happening in the department.
  • It may cause the unnecessary spreading of confidential information.
  • The leakage of information from one organisation to another is a very common disadvantage in this context.
  • Excessive self-absorption, and interference of unnecessary entities. When these become a part of business operations, it is a cause for concern.
  • DC ignores the chain of command with an organisation. This is a common cause of obsession among managers.


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