Advantages and disadvantages of downward communication


Practically in downward communication system, the upper level acts as message sender and the lower level acts as message sender and the lower level acts as receiver of the message. Some advantages of downward communication system are as follows:

Advantages of downward communication:

  1. Increase efficiency: Necessary instructions are sent to subordinates and they perform their duties and responsibilities accordingly that is help to increase efficiency.
  2. Maintains labor-management relations: Systematic flow of information form superior to subordinates under this communication system good labor-management relation is maintained.
  3. Maintains organizational discipline: There is a proper chain of command in downward communication system. So a sense of discipline may be developed among the employees.
  4. Explaining policies and plan: Through downward communication the upper level management can send the policies, plan and procedures to the subordinates.
  5. Effective decision making: Superiors needed various information to take decision making in the organization. With the help of this communication, superiors collect information form subordinate.
  6. Facilitates delegation of authority and responsibility: With the help of downward communication, top level executives delegation of authority and responsibility to the subordinates.
  7. Help in decentralization: Duties and responsibilities can be delegated among departments through downward communication.
  8. Avoid by-passing: Under this communication system, superior send message to subordinates directly. So there is no chance to by-passing.
  9. Give direction: Downward communication is directive in nature. To give directions to the subordinates, top executives use this communication method. Subordinates are received their required guidelines from superior boss.
  10. Issuing orders and instructions: To get the work done by the employees, necessary orders and instructions should be given to employees or subordinates.
  11. Constructive suggestion: In downward communication top executives provides necessary suggestions about the job or work.
  12. Explain the complex issues: Sometimes subordinates needed proper explanation about the organizational rules, policies and work. In this situation top executives rely on downward communication top provide necessary explanations and analysis.

Disadvantages of downward communication:

In spite of having many advantages downward communication, there are some disadvantages which are given below:

  1. Problem of explanation and re-explanation: It is a main problem of downward communication. If superior’s direction is illegible in case of such communication, then re-explanation of this direction is a problem.
  2. Disturbing discipline: In this communication, if the boss’s direction is seen by doubtful eyes of sub-ordinates, the chain of command and discipline may be broken.
  3. Unnecessary delay: The channel of downward communication is lengthy. As every stage of this communication system takes time to pan the information unnecessary delay is occurred.
  4. Efficiency reduces: Morally downward communication is commanding in nature. So there is no opportunity of the workers to become efficient.
  5. Loss or distortion of information: Information may be fabricated by the employees to maintain lengthy channel. So, through this communication information may lose its originality.
  6. Reduces relationships: By this communication system relationship between superior and sub-ordinate may be reduced due to inability and inefficiency of boss.
  7. Slowness system: Downward communication is the slowest communication method because it requires passing through the various levels of an organization. For this it may become ineffective.
  8. Lack of feedback: In downward communication is a one way communication system. So there is no opportunity to provide reaction about the work to the subordinates.
  9. Time consuming: Downward communication requires passing through the various levels of an organization which needed long time to send information.
  10. Lacks in efficiency: In downward communication, employees have no opportunity to provide reactions, suggestions and showing creativity and perform according to them.
  11. Creation of frustration: Downward communication is authoritarian and directive in nature and does not allow the employees in decision making process and their creativity. For this reason employees become frustrated.
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