Formal organizational networks can be complicated with multiple levels. These networks can be summarized into three common small groups, the chain, wheel, and all-channel.
1. The chain rigidly follows the formal chain of command. Each member communicates with the person above and below. It reflects upward & downward communication and exists in a vertical hierarchy
2. The wheel relies on the leader to act as the central conduit for the entire group’s communication. In such network manager plays the vital role to spread information. In this setting, the main communication takes place between the members and the group manager who then will share the information with everyone. It is the feature of a typical work group. It is good when there is a strong leader
3. The all-channel network allows everyone in the group to keenly communicate with each other. In this setting, everyone in the group communicate with each other. Such a network exists in the case of informal groups. It is self managed where the group has no formal structure, leader or task to perform.
The effectiveness of each network depends on the dependent variable that concerns the individual. The structure of the wheel enables the development of a leader, the all-channel network is best if one wants high member satisfaction, and the chain is best if accuracy is most important. However, there is no single network that is best for all occasions.