Definition of downward communication, when communication message flows form 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. What is downward communication? Meaning of downward communication, Objectives of Downward Communication.
Definition of downward communication
According to Dr. Urmila Rai, “Messages which go from the higher authority levels to the lower level are downward communication.”
In the opinion of Newstrom 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.”
So, when message flows form 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, circular etc fall under downward communication.
Objectives of Downward Communication
The main objectives of downward communication are to send instructions and information to the subordinates. It is also used for some other purposes. The objectives of downward communication are discussed below-
- To Give Direction: Downward communication is widely used to give directions to the subordinates by the supervisors. In most of the cases subordinates and junior staff are given instructions orally, individually or in groups.
- To Explain Polices: Downward communication is used to explain policies and organizational procedures to the lower level employees to make them completely understood.
- To Distribute Workload: Another important reason behind using downward communication is to distribute workload among the employees so that they can know their authority and the area of responsibility.
- To Motivate the Employees: Downward communication is used to encourage the employees to perform their job with sincerity so as to achieve organizational goals. Management uses it to motivate subordinates.
- To Inform Job Rationale: Downward communication is also used to give the subordinates information about the rationale of their job. It will help them understand the significance of their job in relation to the organizational goals.
- To Appraise Performance: Supervisors use downward communication to evaluate the performance of the employees so that they can know their forthcoming promotion or demotion.
Downward communication is done in order to carry out the above mentioned objectives of the organization.