Advantages and disadvantages of downward communication or Downward communication is widely used in almost every organization because of its various advantages. There are also demerits of downward communication and Disadvantages of Downward Communication and the Merits of downward communication or advantages of downward communication are discussed below:
Advantages of Downward Communication
- To inform: Top level management informs the lower level employees of the organization about the policies and procedures through downward communication.
- Delegation of Authority: Downward communication helps the management to delegate authority among the employees. It also helps to distribute workload to the workers so that they can know their area of responsibility as well as authority.
- Explaining Policies: Downward communication is widely sued by the managers to explain polices and organizational procedures to the lower level employees to make them acquainted with the organizational culture.
- Maintaining Discipline: In downward communication system, a chain of command is established that helps to develop a sense of discipline among the employees.
- Increasing Efficiency: Though downward communication top level executives provide the lower level employees with necessary instructions and suggestions. This instructions and suggestions system helps the subordinates to perform their job properly that in turn increases the efficiency in the organization.
- No Bypassing: Downward communication flows very systematically from upward to downward. Here no superior can send any message to any subordinate by bypassing his immediate next subordinate.
- Building Good Relationship: In downward communication information flows very systematically that helps to build and maintain a harmonious relationship at all the levels of the organization.
So, from the above discussion, it is clear that downward communication offers various benefits to an organization. Every organization following downward communication system must capitalize these advantages or opportunities. Business Communication
Disadvantage of Downward Communication
Though downward communication offers many advantages it also has some advantage. The demerits of downward communication are discussed below:
- Under communication and over communication: Downward communication is often marred by either under communication or over communication. Under communication occurs when the superior talks too little or gives incomplete instructions to the subordinates. And over communication takes place when the superior talks too much or gives instructions repeatedly. Under communication and over communication may lead to the lack age of confidential information.
- Lack of Feedback: Downward communication lacks in feedback. After getting message from the superiors the subordinates cannot pass out their feelings to their boss if there is not any upward communication system. Lack of feedback may result in incomplete understanding or misunderstanding or unsatisfactory performance.
- Delay in Exchanging Information: If the line of communication in the downward communication system is very long. It takes too much time to transmit information to the lowest level workers. By the time information reaches them, it may lose its significance much.
- Loss of Information: In downward communication, if the message is not fully written, some of its part may be lost at the time of transmission. It has been experimentally verified that only 20% of the information sent downward through five levels of management finally reaches at the workers level.
- Distortion of Information: In the long lines of communication, information may be distorted because of exaggeration, making under statements, giving unconscious twists etc. Whenever a piece of information passes on from one individual to another, it may lose a little of its authenticity. By the time it reaches its destination, it may not contain even an iota of truth.
- Creation of Resentment: Downward communication is widely used by authoritative management. Here the subordinates don not get any opportunity of participating in the decision making process. They are expected to receive the policy, decisions and directives without questioning their validity that creates resentment among the employees.
In spite of the above mentioned demerits downward communication is still much more effective in the cases where the employees need direct supervision and guidelines from the top officials for performing their duties. There are more information about Types of Downward Communication in Business.