The advantages of grapevine communication may compensate for its disadvantages.
The advantages of grapevine or informal communication fall in three main categories:
1. The grapevine increases cohesion among people at work. People use the grapevine to talk mainly about work, and some of the time(less than 20%) people use the grapevine to talk about personal matters. Both work and personal conversations that take place through the grapevine bring people together.
2. The grapevine fills an information vacuum. When formal or official communication is missing, people will start speculating and filling in the gaps with rumors. Most of the work related rumors that get spread through the grapevine tend to be accurate. The same can't be said about gossip, which also travels though the grapevine.
3. The grapevine works as a deterrent for people to avoid taking actions that may get them to be the subject of a rumor. People may stick to the unspoken rules of behavior to stay clear of the grapevine.
In conclusion, grapevine communication's main advantages are that creates or increases team cohesion, fills in information gaps, and serves as a deterrent for inappropriate behavior at work.
Even though the grapevine serves a useful purpose, it also poses some disadvantages for the organization where it lives.