Difference in between Horizontal and also Vertical relationship

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Horizontal and vertical relationships are two vast classifications of the miscellaneous relationships the an individual deserve to have with others over the course of a lifetime. Most of this relationships are social ones, from the different members that the family members to friends come partners. At the very same time, horizontal and vertical are supplied to define the relationship between an individual and something much more abstract such as the federal government or the god of that individual’s religion.

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The words horizontal and vertical do mostly refer come the direction, most evident as to who room the members that that details relationship, as will certainly be discover further. However, even a timeless horizontal relationship deserve to take ~ above the characteristics of a upright relation and vice versa. So aside from the members of each type of a relationship, the two also differ in your characteristics and the context that maintains the relationship. More about these 2 classifications and also their differences are debated further in the adhering to sections.

What is a Horizontal Relationship?

Horizontal relationships refer to relationships wherein it is defined and maintained by equality in both standing and also obligation. Democracy, reciprocity and also cooperation are obvious qualities in horizontal relationships. In family members for example, a husband and also wife relationship and also sibling relationships space horizontal. These species of family members relationships are likewise called intragenerational relationships. The members are additionally equal in knowledge and also wisdom, or at least fairly so. Other examples of horizontal relationships are those between friends, equal partners, peers, and colleagues.

Some relationships, also when over there is a clear difference in standing in between members have the right to still be explained as horizontal. For instance, a teacher and student might not have the same knowledge and also authority in ~ a classroom but can quiet be explained as a horizontal relationship when the college student is invite to speak truthfully and confidently. The very same is true in democratic governments where the people have liberty not just to slam the government, but likewise a responsibility to take component in governance. A connection stops being horizontal when arguments between that is members are resolved via a mediation of a 3rd party. This is the situation for instance when disagreements in one equal relationship arise and one party is coerced to perform an responsibility by strength of the law.

Even though rooted in equality, horizontal relationships deserve to still go wrong. If the relationship is not properly preserved by its members, it have the right to lead to bitter rivalry and competition instead of cooperation. An ext serious consequences in the bigger scale have the right to be checked out in relationships between nations that cause a war of mutual fear and also defense together what taken place in the Cold War between the unified States and the former U.S.S.R.

What is a vertical Relationship?

Vertical relationships are those where among the members has greater standing, whether due to power and also authority or knowledge and wisdom. This relationships space by nature hierarchical and needs to it is in benevolent in order to duty properly. Grandparent, parent and child relationships room the most common. These family members relationships are also known together intergenerational relationships. In the wider society, plenty of relationships are traditionally vertical and are helpful in terms of imparting knowledge, distributing goods and keeping order. Teacher and student, employer and also employee, warden and also prisoner, and also governments and its world are every vertical relationships. No matter the amount of flexibility given, it is quiet clear where the greater standing lies in this relationships.

As described above, upright relationships deserve to be contextualized together horizontal relationships. Any equal cooperation can end up being unequal too whenever among its members gains power over the other. A husband and wife relationship becomes vertical as soon as they seek the mediation that the court for their household arguments. Sibling relations end up being vertical as soon as one son is favored by parents end the other because of some virtue or achievement.

With its ordered nature and the inherent difference in power and authority in between members, upright relationships conveniently get the end of hand. Abuse that power and also authority is tyranny and leads come dictatorial regimes in a government, and also the oppression outcomes in revolts. On a better scale of power imbalance, much more powerful nations tend come conquer and subjugate less powerful ones, as has been the situation in lot of history.

Difference in between Horizontal and Vertical Relationships


Horizontal relationships space relationships whereby members have equal was standing whereas vertical relationships room those whereby one member has better power, authority, expertise or wisdom over the other.


Horizontal relationships are defined by democracy, reciprocity and also cooperation if vertical relationships are defined by a hierarchical nature and also by benevolence.

In families

Also called intragenerational relationships, these space the relationship between husband and also wife and sibling relationships. Vertical relationships are additionally called intergenerational relationships, those between grandparent, parent, and also child.

In government

Although most governments are traditionally vertical, autonomous governments have horizontal connection with its people who have actually the freedom and also responsibility come take component in governance. Authoritarian governments, ~ above the various other hand have actually a vertical connection with that is people.

In law

Horizontal relationships in law are those wherein the objectives and also obligations in a partnership room met willingly through its members. A partnership is vertical once a 3rd party procedures in and also one the the members is forced to meet its obligations by forced or pressure of law.

At work

Colleague relationships room horizontal relationship while employer and employee space vertical relationships.

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Horizontal relationships often tend toward bitter rivalry and also competition rather of collaboration while vertical relationships tend toward tyranny and also oppression.

Horizontal vs upright Relationships



Horizontal and also vertical relationships space terms supplied to describe the nature that a relationship. Horizontal relationships are those whereby members have actually equal standing while vertical relationships room those wherein one member has higher standing in regards to power and also authority or knowledge and wisdom.Horizontal relationship are identified by democracy, reciprocity and also cooperation when vertical relationship are characterized by its hierarchical nature and benevolence.Relationships go wrong when horizontal relationships turn right into rivalry and competition while upright relationships come to be tyrannical and oppressive.