Diagonal communication

Diagonal communication
See also

Communication processes in the organization (both single- and two-way, direct and indirect) are traditionally considered in the vertical, horizontal and diagonal system.

Diagonal communication is a way of communication between employees from different organizational units and from different hierarchical levels [1]. Diagonal communication occurs then, when communication within the company exceeds the formal hierarchy and is often determined by informal, free cooperation employees at different levels of the organisation, in any vertical position. Its main criteria are goals, needs or also the effectiveness of cooperation in the enterprise [2].

The role of diagonal communication in the organisation[edit]

Communication is a process that consists in the following processes people seek to share meanings through symbolic messages. The communication process has an impact on the attitudes of employees the organisation, its activities, involvement (or lack thereof) spend most of their time with the organisation in which they work the timing and condition of which depends on their behaviour [3]. Communication intentions there is a coordination of behaviours of people who take up communistic activity. The agreement of opinions, beliefs or attitudes, in particular in the face of reality. An important objective of communication is to improve cooperation between two people (groups of people), leading to the implementation of joint undertaking [4]. It is internal communication enables the acceptance of the actions taken by the management and a process of information transfer, which aims at arousing among the following employees understand all decisions taken in the area of organisation and management of the company and building attitudes of loyalty and identification with the company. Internal communication is an important motivation factor and the basis for their involvement [5]. Good communication between members of the organisation can be improved the effectiveness of each of them and of the organisation as a whole. Activities in the field of internal communication were not so long ago considered and treated by managers as secondary, less relevant to external communication activities. Research showed, however, that the productivity of an employee who is well notified shall be increased by approximately thirty per cent in relation to average worker [6].

Effects of diagonal communication[edit]

Effects of diagonal communication [7]:

  • stimulating the creativity of employees,
  • increasing the efficiency of employees,
  • development of a strong organisational culture, based on accepted ones values,
  • allows managers to focus on the needs of employees,
  • improving relations between managers and subordinates,
  • improving relations between colleagues,
  • increasing employee motivation,
  • preparing employees for shifts,
  • reducing workers' resistance to change, etc.

Elements of the diagonal communication process[edit]

Elements of the diagonal communication process [8]:

  • definition of objectives,
  • segmentation of information recipients,
  • budget planning,
  • selection of communication methods and tools,
  • clarification of the timetable for action,
  • assigning specific actions and responsibilities to employees,
  • assessment of the feasibility and relevance of the objectives defined.

Principles of effective diagonal communication[edit]

Principles of effective diagonal communication:

  • adapting the information message to the recipient - its value,
  • perception, level of understanding, information needs - so that information was understandable, relevant and reliable for the recipient,
  • ensuring the quality of the communication process (resulting from (e.g. the relevance, simplicity, reliability of the message as well as understanding and commitment on the part of the recipient),
  • Involvement of all managers in the communication process levels,
  • internal communication is effective when the organisation's culture is based on trust and when the values proclaimed, accepted behaviour is reflected in the way of communication [9].

The perception of information in diagonal communication is affected[edit]

The perception of information in diagonal communication is affected:

  • personality and intellectual development;
  • emotions and psychological attitude of the recipient to the sender of the message,
  • motivation and environmental conditions,
  • perception [10].

Barriers to diagonal communication[edit]

  • distortion of the motif (the viewer often listens selectively, receiving from the information provided, those which confirm his convictions and ignores those to which he has prejudices),
  • excessive self-absorption [11],
  • demonstration of defensive behaviour,
  • lack of trust (a significant obstacle when the sender is perceived as being as an unbelievable person who does not have the knowledge in a given field, transmitting conflicting and inconsistent information or retaining it for the benefit of:
    • the name and address of the person concerned,
    • the identity of the person concerned),
  • attitude towards the sender (particularly negative),
  • emotions (anger, hatred, jealousy, joy),
  • linguistic differences (e.g. use of jargon, words incomprehensible to the recipients),
  • incompatibility of verbal and non-verbal transmissions [12].


  • Comfort L. K., (2007). Management in Hindsight: Cognition, Communication, Coordination, and Control. Public Administration Review. Special issue, University of Pittsburgh, pp 189-197.
  • Ferguson S. D., Lennox-Terrion J., Ahmed R., Jaya P.(2014). Communication in Everyday Life. Personal and Professional Contexts, Canada: Oxford University Press, pp 464.
  • Newman A. and Scott O.(2013).Business Communication: In Person, In Print, Online. 8th ed. Mason: South-Western.
  • Lindell M. and Perry R. (2004). Communicating environmental risk in multiethnic communities. Thousand Oaks, CA; Sage Publications.
  • Trenholm S., Jensen A. (2013). Interpersonal Communication Seventh Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, pp 360–361


  1. (Trenholm, Jensen 2013 pp. 360–361)
  2. (Trenholm, Jensen 2013 pp. 360–361)
  3. (Comfort 2007 pp. 198-204)
  4. (Comfort 2007 pp. 198-204)
  5. (Comfort 2007 pp. 198-204)
  6. (Comfort 2007 pp. 198-204)
  7. (Lindell, Perry 2004, pp. 133-137)
  8. (Lindell, Perry 2004, pp. 133-137)
  9. (Newman, Ober 2017, pp. 55-58)
  10. (Newman, Ober 2017, pp. 55-58)
  11. (Lindell, Perry 2004, pp. 133-137)
  12. (Ferguson et all. 2013 p. 475)

Author: Justyna Wąsiołek