Advantage and Disadvantage of Vertical Communication

Advantage of vertical communication

Vertical communication occurs when information flows in vertical direction up to down and down to up within an organization. Thus, upward and downward communication together makes vertical communication. The merits or reasons of vertical communication are mentioned below:

  1. Bringing the people into the communication network: Vertical communication brings all the people working at various levels of an organization within the scope of communication.
  2. Informing organizational goals and plans: Vertical communication is the means of informing organization goals, plans, programs, policies etc. to the subordinates.
  3. Communicating directives of superiors: It also helps in communicating and implementing orders, instructions and advices of superiors.
  4. Conveying the message of subordinates: Through upward direction of vertical communication channels, subordinates can convey their suggestions, complaints, recommendations and opinions to their superiors.
  5. Motivating the subordinates: Through downward pattern of vertical communication, the superior can motivate their subordinates.
  6. Maintaining the chain of command: Established chain of command can be easily maintained through vertical communication. People at levels of the organization somehow come within the scope of vertical communication and communicate among them by following established chain of command.
  7. Assigning jobs a devaluating performance: Vertical communication facilitates job assignment and job evaluation in the most befitting manner. Through downward communication, superiors assign jobs to their subordinates and subordinates convey their feedback to their superiors through upward communication.
  8. Identifying the problems of subordinates: Upward pattern of vertical communication helps to know the employees attitudes and to identify their problems.
  9. Creating better relationship: Free and fair flow of information in vertical communication improves relationships between management and workers.
  10. Coordinating the efforts: Vertical communication facilitates bringing the efforts of all participants of an organization into a uniform line. As a result, organization can attain its goals.

Disadvantage or demerits of vertical communication

Though organizations enjoy many advantages from vertical pattern of communication, it is not free from limitations. Its major drawbacks or limitations are listed below:

  1. Ineffective communication: In many cases, vertical communication becomes ineffective as the sender and the receiver differ in their respective positions or designations. Due to difference in the status or position of the communications, smooth flow of information is blocked and communication becomes ineffective.
  2. Delayed process: Vertical communication occurs through a series of steps from one level to the next. This causes delay in the communication process.
  3. Reluctance of subordinates: Sometimes subordinates show reluctance to communicate with their respective superiors due to fear, distrust or threat. This creates a communication gap between subordinates and superiors.
  4. Negligence of superiors: In some cases, the superiors become negligent to send message to this subordinates thinking that closeness with subordinates will hamper their status, dignity and importance. This attitude of the superiors creates barriers to effective vertical communication.
  5. Possibility of breaking the chain of command: Possibility of breaking the established chain of command is another burning drawback of vertical communication. In vertical communication, someone may communicate by ignoring immediate subordinate or superior. This kind of communication will hamper the entire communication process in the organization.
  6. Authoritarian attitude of superiors: In many cases, downward pattern of vertical communication expresses the authoritarian tone of superiors that leads the communication in vein.
  7. Distortion of information: When vertical communication takes place through a long organizational hierarchy, information losses its original shape and becomes distorted.

Finally, we can conclude that in spite of having the above-mentioned drawbacks, organizations extensively rely on vertical communication. Therefore, the concerned parties of vertical communication should be sincere, efficient and careful enough in exchanging information among them.


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