What is Communication Network?
A communication network is a pattern or form that is implemented in the organization to communicate information effectively. The communication network is the established system where the message may flow in one or too many directions in the organization based on requirements.
Broadly there are two types of communication i.e. formal and informal. Depending upon the nature and size of the organization and types of communication, different communication networks can be implemented based on their effectiveness. In large organizations, it is complex to develop an effective communication network. In such organizations, the main communication network is divided into many subnetworks that maintain links with the main network for their effectiveness.
The communication network is helpful to determine speed, accuracy, and smoothness through which the messages flow in the organization.
4 Types of Communication Network
There are four types of communication networks consisting of wheel, chain, circle, and all-channel networks.
#1 Wheel Network
Under the wheel communication network, the leader of the organization works as a central person to accumulate information and disseminate it to all the members. In-wheel network, the top-level manager is the source of information. He provides information within and outside the organization. Within the organization, he provides information to subordinates and also accumulates required information from them.
In this network system, subordinates have no authority to communicate with each other to exchange official information. Similarly, the manager receives all the information coming from outside. It is faster and suitable for simple routine types of works. However, it is the most authoritarian type of network.
In short, in the wheel network, a top-level manager is the source of information, he collects, generates, and disseminates information to all the organizational mechanisms.
#2 Chain Network
The chain network has all the appearance of an organizational chain of command. It is the vertical upward and downward form of the formal chain of communication. In this communication network, a person can communicate only with his immediate superior and subordinate.
In this structure, information of an organization is communicated in a chain from the upper level to the subordinate levels and also subordinates levels to the upper level in the sequence. This type of network is common in all organizations where the hierarchy of authority and responsibility are clearly defined among the members.
In short, a chain network is the vertical form of communication in which a person can communicate only with his immediate superior and subordinate.
#3 Circle Network
It is a horizontal or sideward form of a circle network. In this network, a person can communicate to another person next to his right or left but not with any other member of the group. Such a network offers a wider option of channels and provides satisfaction to members.
In short, a circle network is the horizontal form of communication in which a person can communicate only to the person next to his right or left.
For example, in a meeting, a member converses with the member on his right or left. Similarly, in the formal organizations, a production manager communicates to the marketing or finance manager to get official information.
#4 All Channel Network
In all channel networks, all members can communicate with all the members without any formal restrictions.
It is an informal form of the network where all members can communicate their ideas, views, and suggestions to all the members of the group. In this communication structure, members have no restrictions and boundaries to convey their information.
Members have more freedom to flow information among the group members. The leader of the group does not hold exceptional power to control group members. Therefore, it is known as an open communication network.