Communication in an organization carries innumerable kinds of messages which may be difficult to map out; but it may be possible to classify communications in regard to how to transmit. Or who communicates to whom, or what kinds of relationships communication develop. Thus, communication may be grouped on the following basis.
1) On the basis of direction of formal communication: within an organization, communication may flow inter -scalar or intra-scalar communication means when it flows between two persons at different managerial levels. It may further be classified as downward when it flow from higher level to lower level, i.e., from superior to subordinate or upward when it flow from lower level to higher level, i.e., from subordinate to superior. Intra-scalar communication flow between persons at the same hierarchical level. It is also known as horizontal or lateral communication.
a) Downward, and
b) Upward communication.
II. Horizontal or lateral communication, and
III. Diagonal communication.
I. Vertical communication: upward and downward flow of messages constitutes vertical communication. Information is transmitted from top management to the employees working in the organization or vice. As it is not have a direct interface on all occasions, especially when the number of people working is high, messages traverse or percolate down with the help of a go-between or an opinion leader. In such situations, probability is high that message might get distorted as it travels from one person to another.
a) Downward communication: downward communication moves from top to the bottom, i.e., from the CEO downwards. It travels through senior executives to junior level functionaries, from the controlling office to the branch, from the controlling office to the branch, from the head of the division to the head of the unit. Corporate goals, business priorities, motivational letters, work related instructions, newsletters, letters from the CEO/general manager's desk are all typical examples of downward communication.