Wheel Network in Business Communication

In a wheel network, information flows to and from a single person. In such a network, the manager plays a vital role to spread information. Employees in the group communicate primarily with that person rather than with each other. Here the primary communication occurs between the members and the group manager and then the group manager shares the information with all. Such a communication network is a fast means of getting information to employees since the person at the hub of the wheel can do so directly and efficiently. It is the feature of a typical workgroup.

Wheel network is an information flow to and from one central member of the group. This network of communication is found in highly formal organization structures where the task-aimed approach to leadership is preferred to the employee-oriented approach.

The wheel network relies on the leader to act as the central conduit (channel) for the entire group’s communication. Here all subordinates receive commands from one superior. It is a style of communication where the leader is the only one to receive or give communication. This communication network is found in highly formal organization structures where a task-oriented approach to leadership is preferred to an employee-oriented approach.

Common Characteristics –

  • Information passes only from authority.
  • Less chance of misunderstanding.
  • Follow the process of a goal-oriented approach.

This is a highly centralized type of communication network where each subordinate receives commands or instructions from a single authority or superior ‘A’ and wants immediate feedback. This one person has to know everything about the business and relays all messages. The superior communicates the information to subordination to subordinates while the subordinates do not communicate amongst themselves. Employees have an exact idea of how decisions are made and how communication is handled.

An advantage of the wheel and spoke network is that it relays instructions and orders directly from the highest level to any subordinate levels. Though direct and efficient, the wheel network has its disadvantages and may not be appropriate for some situations or for companies with a greater number of people. Larger businesses will not have the resources to deploy this mechanism. If the leader is not responsible, dedicated, or communicative, the whole business will suffer. Likewise, a company with many employees needs more decision-makers or nothing would get done. It should also be kept in mind that this way of communication is very effective and the miscommunication is the least.