Lateral Communication

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  • The practice of dissemi nating information from person to person within the same level of an organization or between departments or divisions within an organization. The term lateral com munication is often used interchangeably with horizontal communication, and both terms can be used in refer ence to communication between or among different organizations.

    Lateral/horizontal communication differs from downward communication because it is not hierarchical, meaning it does not call for top management to pass information down through various layers of supervisors to workers on the lowest rungs of an organization. Lateral communication is collaborative, linking personnel as they accomplish the tasks of their jobs.

    Lateral communication has replaced downward communication as the norm in organizations as varied as small companies, not-for-profit entities, corporations, and global consortia. Integral ...

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