Meaning of Downward Communication

Meaning of Downward Communication

Meaning of Downward Communication

Downward Communication is that communication in which information flows from superior to subordinates. Through downward communication, managers communicate organizational goals, policies, procedures, orders, instructions, decisions etc. to their subordinates.

In the process of downward communication, messages of the top executives reach the lower levels moving through the chain of hierarchy. Downward communication can be of written or oral. Written forms of downward communication are manuals, handbook, notices, electronic news displays etc. whereas, face- to -face conversation, telephonic conversation, speeches, meetings etc, are the oral media of downward communication.

In the following, some quotations on downward communication are cited:

  • In the opinion of Weihrich & Koontz, “Downward commutation flows from peoples at the higher level to those at tower levels in the organizational hierarchy.”
  • Newstrom and Davis defined, “Downward communication in an organization is the flow of information from higher to lower levels of authority.”
  • According to Rickey W. Griffin, “Downward communication occurs when the hierarchy from superiors to subordinates.”
  • E. Boone, Kurtz, and Block said, “A message that flows from a supervisor to a supervisee is known as downward communication.”
  • Bartol and Martin opined, “When vertical communication flows from a higher level to one or more lower levels in the organization, it is known as downward communication.”
  • According to Himstreet and Baty, “Downward communication is that from superior to the subordinate-from boss to the employee and from policymakers to operating personnel.”

The flow of downward communication is shown below:

In conclusion, we can say downward communication occurs when messages flow from upper level to lower levels by following the organizational hierarchy. The objective of downward communication is to carry organizational objectives, plans, policies, and procedures from the higher level to lower levels of the organization.