Vertical communication is the type of communication where information or messages flows between or among the subordinates and superiors of the organizational. Vertical communication can be subdivided into upward communication or down-top communication and downward communication or top-down communication. Some important definitions of vertical communications are given below:
According to Stoner and his associates, “Vertical communication consists of communication up and down the organization’s chain of command.”
According to Bovee and his associates, “Vertical communication is a flow of information up and down the organization’s hierarchy.”
According to Ricky W. Griffin, “Vertical communication is the communication that flows both up and down the organization, along formal reporting lines.”
The graphical presentation of vertical communications is as follows:
So, vertical communication is the communication where information or messages flows within the top level of the organizational structure and bottom level of the organizational structure.
Advantages of Vertical Communication
Without communicating with superiors and subordinates, no organization runs a single day. Communication between the upper level and the lower level employee is very much essential for organization. Some advantages of vertical communication system are as follows:
- Conveying message of subordinate: Through upward direction of vertical communication system, the upper-level management covey their suggestions, complains and recommendations to the subordinates.
- Maintains good labor-management relations: There is a systematic flow of information under his communication system, so a good relationship can be developed between superiors and subordinates.
- Maintains organizational discipline: There is a chain of command in vertical communication system. So, a sense of discipline may be developed among the employees.
- Explaining policies and plan: Through vertical communication system, upper-level management can send the policies and procedures to the subordinates.
- Effective decision making: Superiors needed various information to take decision making in the organization. With the help of vertical communications, superiors collect information from subordinates.
- Help in decentralizations: Duties and responsibilities can be delegated among departments thorough vertical communication.
- Avoid by-passing: Under this communication system superior and subordinates exchange message directly. So there is no chance to by-passing.
- Maintains chain of command: proper chain of commands is easily maintained through vertical communication system.
- Assigning jobs and evaluating performance: Vertical communication facilitates job assignment and job evaluation of the employees.
- Increase efficiency: Necessary instructions are sent to subordinates and they perform their duties and responsibilities accordingly that is help to increase efficiency both superior and subordinate.
Disadvantages of Vertical Communication
In spite of having many advantages vertical communication, there are some disadvantages which are given below:
- Delay process: Vertical communication system is a delay process. It maintains long chain of command in large organization to exchange information.
- Disturbing discipline: In this communication, if the boss’s role of direction is seen by doubtful eyes by the subordinates, the chain of command and discipline may be broken.
- Efficiency reduces: Downward direction of vertical communication is commanding in nature. So, there is no opportunity of the workers to become efficient.
- Loss or Distortion of information: Information may be fabricated by the employees to maintain lengthy channel. So, through his communication information may lose its originality.
- Reduces relationships: By this communication system relationship between superior and sub-ordinate may be reduced due to inability and inefficiency.
- Slowness system: Vertical communication is the slowest communication method because it requires passing through the various levels of an organization. For this, it may become ineffective.
- Negligence of superiors: In this communication, superiors can neglect to send messages to their subordinates.