Definition of Informal Communication

Communication which does not follow any official or prescribed rules and procedure is informal communication. It follows no set of rules nor obedient to the organization's hierarchy rather it takes place outside the chain of command.

Informal communication is also termed as grapevine or grapevine communication because it is a long, widening means of communication from one point to another like a real grapevine. The grapevine has three main characteristics, which are:

(i) It is not controlled by Management.
(ii) It is largely used to self interest.
(iii) Employees believe it to be most reliable.

Informal communication or grapevine communication, occurs in the form of gossip, face to face conversation, telephone calls, email and it does not follow the chain of command. Furthermore, when employees and officers is gathering in the play ground, dinning table, club or any other social-functions, informal communication is always there.

informal communication
Informal communication occurs in the form of gossip, face to face conversation, telephone calls, email
Keith Davis points out that Organization can not 'fire' the grapevine or informal communication. It is simply there in the organization.

Although such communication spreads  rumor but it is a phenomenon that messages are accepted because information or message which is impossible to be sent through formal network, informal communication is the appropriate communication system there.