Week 5 Response

I’m trying to study for my Law course and I need some help to understand this question.

PLEASE RESPOND TO EACH DISCUSSION POSTS WITH 175 words each and point out either 2 weaknesses with their post or add 2 additional supporting points. also there must be 2 additional references for each response!!


  1. One of the most interesting items in the communication realm of organization management is the informal grapevine. The informal grapevine has the capacity to undermine the official communication function of a criminal justice organization. Discuss what a grapevine is and the best methods to counteract it.

1)A grapevine has been used as slang terminology as it relates to communication. An informal grapevine is described as an unofficial form of communication that happens in an environment or organization as a result of a rumor (Jian, 2013). “Through the grapevine” communication has a tendency to move quicker throughout the organization than information that is valuable and useful (Crampton & Hodge, 1998). Most of times the rumors are not true, even though employees may believe the rumor. Informal grapevine communication can be very damaging to an organization due to the potential harm that it can cause. Most of the time, the rumors can be based on changing within the organization, job security, or even the structure of the organization (Tucker, 2019). When employees who do not engage in grapevine communication or rumors get involved it can be detrimental to the dynamics and trust of the organization (Jian, 2013). Regulation of grapevine communication can be difficult due to the communication spreading so quickly (Crampton & Hodge, 1998).

The best way to avoid informal grapevine communication is to effectively communicate from the beginning. Once effective communication has been established, all persons involved will know the situation at hand so there is no confusion as to what the situation is (Jian, 2013). Also, supervisors can hold face to face meetings so that any questions or confusion can be cleared in the moment rather than waiting until the statement or situation becomes a rumor. It should be the supervisor’s job to counteract grapevine communication as soon as possible to protect the organization as a whole, as well as the employees (Tucker, 2019). There are many ways grapevine communication can be handled. Employees can report the rumors to their supervisors which will bring awareness to the situation, employees an choose to ignore the rumors, or supervisors can advise employees of a specific plan in place which can create a sense of honesty and stability for employees as they continue to be in the loop of things (Tucker, 2019).

Crampton, S. M., Hodge, J. W., & Mishra, J. M. (1998). The informal communication network: Factors influencing grapevine activity. Public Personnel Management, 27(4), 569-584. doi:10.1177/009102609802700410

Jian, G. (2013). Informal communication and the grapevine

Tucker, B. P. (2019). Heard it through the grapevine: Conceptualizing informal control through the lens of social network theory. Journal of Management Accounting Research, 31(1), 219-245. doi:10.2308/jmar-52064

2)Informal grapevine information happens within both large and small organizations. What this is, is when communication is rapidly being spread throughout an organization and the source is not a supervisor. Grapevine information in a sense is “hear say”. Within large organizations, information is constantly changing. In order to keep up with this ongoing transformation, employees will inherently speak to each other to gather more information. They are surrounded by each other for hours and hours, day after day. By nature, coworkers will begin to speak and converse with each other. Humans also want to have a sense of belonging. Conversations about work allows them to bond because that is something they have in common.

Grapevine information also happens because employees want to know what is going on. They do not want to feel out of the loop because then they may lose confidence and trust within the organization. Sometimes as a leader, this closeness between coworkers in beneficial. Now they may be more willing to work together and feel like a team. They have a shared unity to accomplish the same goals. The exact opposite can occur as well. For example, they could develop an “us against them” mentality. Supervisors versus employees or coworker versus coworker. The mob mentality kicks in and if a supervisor or other leader does not stop it, then the entire organization can be undermined.

Another downfall of grapevine information is its lack of authenticity. Information may not be repeated verbatum and by the time it gets to the last person, the context has completely changed. Everyone has played the telephone game and witnessed how a message is altered as more people listen and respond. Exodus 23:1 (ESV) says, “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.” The intent of grapevine information may not be malicious, but sometimes it will inevitably happen. The focus of the information being spread could be with kind spirits, but may inadvertently be twisted and misconstrued. There are no supervisors or anyone with authoritative positions listening to grapevine information so employees may be more willing to fabricate information as well. Grapevine information spreads like wildfire and it may be hard to nip rumors as soon as they happen. Rakess and Cox (1993) state, “Details frequently become omitted, declining sharply in number at the beginning of the series a dropping at a slower rate afterwards. Messages are simplified or shortened.” The most predominant issue is still how the intended information does not adequately reach the anticipated receiver.

Additional issues with grapevine information is when an employee does not understand something. They may have questions or require more information, but never receive it. Then if a leader does get involved and tries to help the situation, other employees may feel like they are being micro managed. This will cause friction between employees that are confident in their work and leaders that are trying to ensure everyone understands the mission.

To counter grapevine information, as a leader I would be extremely transparent. I will filter the information that I need to, while also providing necessary information to my employees. In theory, the more information that I deliver to them, the less likely they will to spread grapevine information because they already have the information that they are requesting. I would sit down and have syncs with them with an open floor. Then, they would be able to bring up any rumors or misinformation so that I can address it and set the record straight. I would explain why grapevine information could be detrimental to an organization. I would also attempt to find out where the information is coming from. If I did find out that employees were spreading false rumors, I would have a one on one conversation with them. Lyden (1964) states, “Finally, the authors found that personality may be related to grapevine communications.” During the hiring process, we must be aware of the types of people that we are considering for employment. This will help us as leaders put the right people in the right positions. The boundaries of spreading grapevine information would also be addressed so that I can explain why they can be detrimental to the organization.


Lyden, F. (1969). Communication by Grapevine. Public Administration Review, 29(3), 304-305. doi:10.2307/973548

Rakes, T., & Cox, G. (1993). Using the “Grapevine” to Effect Change in Schools. The Clearing House, 67(1), 17-20. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/301887