Horizontal Communication: Meaning, Objectives, Advantages, and Disadvantages

What is Horizontal communication?

When communication takes place between two or more persons who are subordinates of the same person or those who are working on the same level of organization, the communication is known as horizontal communication.

In other words, This type of information flows between persons at the same level in any hierarchy, whether they are from the same department or from other departments. Horizontal communication is also known as ‘Lateral communication. It is the most effective form of communication as the barrier of subordinates or boss is not present here.

Objectives of Horizontal Communication

Here are some objectives of horizontal communication:

Sharing Information and Knowledge

Horizontal communication allows individuals to share information and knowledge with their peers, which can help to improve decision-making and problem-solving within the organization.

Coordination and Cooperation

Horizontal communication thrives to maintain coordination and cooperation amongst peers or persons working at the same level in any organization.

Promoting Teamwork

Horizontal communication promotes teamwork and collaboration, allowing individuals to share ideas and work together towards a common goal.

Facilitating Communication

Horizontal communication can help facilitate communication between different departments or teams within an organization, improving efficiency and productivity.

Enhancing Organizational Culture

Horizontal communication can also help to enhance the organizational culture by fostering a sense of collaboration and community within the organization.

Improving Problem-solving

Horizontal communication can help to identify and solve problems more effectively by enabling individuals or groups to share their experiences and ideas.

Advantages of Horizontal Communication

Some advantages of horizontal communication include:

Informal and Sweet Relationship

Horizontal communication takes place at the level of the same position. Communication happens within teams and people share ideas, knowledge, and thoughts. This can facilitate informal and better relationships between the team members.

Co-ordination of Activities

Horizontal communication is very effective in facilitating coordination within teams and departments.

Departmental Communication

Horizontal communication is the best system of communication in departmental communication.

Quick Response and Solution to Problems

Since horizontal communication happens at the same level and does not follow any hierarchy; it facilitates the quick transmission of messages and solves complex problems in the organization.


Horizontal communication promotes collaboration and teamwork because it allows individuals or groups to share ideas and work together more effectively. This can lead to increased creativity and innovation within an organization.

Increased Morale

Horizontal communication can help to improve morale within an organization because it allows employees to feel more connected to their colleagues and to have a greater sense of ownership over their work. This can lead to increased engagement and job satisfaction.


Horizontal communication allows for greater flexibility within an organization because it enables individuals or groups to respond more quickly to changes in the environment or to adapt to new situations.

This can help to increase the agility and competitiveness of the organization.

Disadvantages of Horizontal Communication

Some disadvantages of horizontal communication include:

Information Overload

Horizontal communication does not follow any hierarchy and is therefore less filtered. This often results in the overloading of information.

Wastage of Time

Horizontal communication requires a lot of sorting of data which can kill the useful and valuable time of superiors.

Lack of Understanding

Horizontal communication may promote a lack of understanding among team members. Due to the same level of position in the conversation.

Lack of Motivation

Horizontal communication often fails simply because organization members are unwilling to expend the additional effort that it requires.

It may require contact with people in units, and the channels and rules of interaction may be unclear. Sometimes we do not really know these people. The need to communicate with them makes us uneasy or takes too much time.

Ignoring Vertical Communication

In horizontal communication, the same level of organizational members contacts or exchange information with each other. In most cases, they do not inform managers of the hierarchy which break down or ignore vertical communication.

Lack of Hierarchy

In some cases, horizontal communication may lack a clear hierarchy or chain of command, which can lead to confusion about who is responsible for making decisions or taking action.

Limited Control

Because horizontal communication involves multiple parties, it can be difficult for any one individual or group to have complete control over the decision-making process or the information being exchanged. This can lead to a lack of coordination and direction.

FAQs Related to Horizontal Communication

What is horizontal communication?

Horizontal communication refers to the exchange of information and ideas between individuals or groups at the same organizational level. It is also known as lateral communication.

Why is horizontal communication important?

Horizontal communication is important because it allows for the sharing of information and ideas between individuals or groups that may not have direct lines of communication. It promotes collaboration and can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization.

What are the advantages of horizontal communication?

Some advantages of horizontal communication include:
1. Improved coordination and cooperation among team members
2. Increased creativity and innovation
3. Enhanced decision-making processes
4. Greater efficiency and productivity
5. Improved problem-solving and conflict resolution

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