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Paper Topic:

Define and give examples of downwards, upwards and horizontal organizational communication. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different forms of communication.

1 . Introduction - Organisational Communication

Organisational communication happens at different levels and in different forms . Without communication a firm cannot operate . Indeed communication skills are considered as a critical ability at work . In this respect it is important that both managers and employee select the best form communication , which is determined in line with the level of communication adopted . In this we will first define downwards upwards and horizontal communication levels . We will then proceed by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the main forms of communication present in an organisation p

Levels of Formal Communication

Upward Communication

Upward organisational communication comprises messages from employees to management at both operational and executive level . The opportunities for upward communication are highly dependent on organisational features and structures . Brewer J . noted that higher upward flow of communication arises whenever management and staff work roles are distinguished professionally rather than bureaucratically . Brewer J further precludes that the need for upward communication is high only when significant distinction between superior and subordinate roles is present , in which the manager tasks are remote from operational problems and separation exists between staff and management . This author was criticised for the latter statement because detractors contend that that it contradicts the first contention

In this respect , upward communication should not be solely regarded in terms of written reports , but should also include consultation between individuals at different hierarchical levels . For example , a lecturer will utilise upward communication by discussing with the headmaster about problems he might encounter with some students

Downward Communication

Downward organisational communication is the contrary of upward communication . In this style of communication , the message is arising from higher hierarchical levels like managers , while the recipients are at a lower level such as employees . Downward communication can arise in two different styles , in an authoritative system and a participative way . Authoritative style of communication originates when higher level management are dictating tasks and procedures

The participative method entails discussions with subordinates about tasks requested . In this system upward and downward communication will probably arise . For example , functional budgets set by executive management are negotiated with operational managers in the participative scheme with the aim of reaching the optimal plan . During such negotiations top management will propose the functional budget leading to downward communication and departmental managers will provide a feedback on its applicability and desired amendments , thus generating upward communication too . In communication it is always ideal that there is a two flow of messages from both parties

Horizontal Communication

Such organisational communication is considered essential whenever the creation of routine and standardised instructions is complex and decisions ought to be made by staff close to the operation irrelevant of their rank . Horizontal communication arises within the same section or between separate departments at the same hierarchical level . This type of communication is useful in libraries and colleges because it supports coordination of decision making

Brown W . elaborates further on the aforementioned points by stating that in to have effective horizontal communication it is...

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