What is Downward Communication in Business?

By | August 23, 2015

What is Downward Communication when communication (message) flows from a superior to a subordinate, it is called downward communication. The managing director communicating with the departmental heads, a manager giving instructions to an assistant manager or a supervisor all are engaged in the process of downward communication. The common purpose of downward communication is to give instructions and information to the subordinates. Definition of downward communication or, Meaning of downward communication and Types of Downward Communication in Business.

What is Downward Communication?

According to Dr. Urmila Rai, “Message which go from the higher authority levels to the lower levels are downward communication.”

In the opinion of Newstom and K. Davis, “Downward communication in an organization is the flow of information from higher to lower levels of authority.”

Bartol and Martin Said, “When vertical communication flows from a higher level to one or more lower levels in the organization, it is known as downward communication.” The flow of downward communication can be shown as below:
What is Downward Communication

So, when message flows from upward to downward, it is considered as downward communication. Downward communication (messages) may be written in the form of letters, notes, circulars, notices or they may be oral in the form of intercom-calls, face-to-face talks, and lectures etc. orders, individual instructions, policy statements, job sheets, circulars etc. fall under downward communication.

How to make Downward Communication Effective

Downward communication can be hampered by several factors but it can be made effective if some guidelines are followed. The ways of making downward communication effective are discussed below:

  • Introducing Participate Management System: Participative management system always allows employees to cooperate with the management. Authority must introduce and ensure participate management system in the organization to make downward communication effective.
  • Good Labor Management Relation: A good labor management relation is a must for effective downward communication. Employees easily carry out the orders and instructions of the superiors if there is a good labor management relationship in the firm.
  • Avoiding Autocratic Attitude: In autocratic management system the higher authority directs the subordinates to perform certain duties without adequate power. In such situation employees try to avoid responsibility. So, autocratic attitude of management must be avoided in order to make downward communication effective.
  • Encouraging Employee for Participation: Employee participation in decision making process must be encouraged to make downward communication fruitful. Because employees think they important if they can participate and they carry out the decision without hesitation.
  • Sending Complete and Clear Message: Executives often send incomplete and unclear message to the employees that make them confused. So, managers must send complete and clear message to the subordinates so they can best understand the message of downward communication.
  • Avoiding Suspecting and Neglecting Attitude of Management: Sometimes management shows suspecting and neglecting attitude towards the employees. In such situation employee don’t trust the executives and don’t want to carry out their directions. So, management must avoid suspecting and neglecting attitude towards the employees.

The above mentioned guidelines must be followed in order to make downward communication effective. There are more information about What is Nonverbal Communication in Business?

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