In Communication, Organizational Communication - Assignment on March 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Vertical Communication consists of communication up and down the organization’s chain of command. Downward communication starts with top management and flows down through management levels to line workers and non-supervisory personnel. The major purposes of downward communication are to advise, inform, direct, instruct, and evaluate employees and to provide organization members with information about organizational goals and policies. This is what Hockaday is doing at Hallmark. The main function of upward communication is to supply information to the upper levels about what is happening at the lower levels. This type of communication includes progress reports, suggestions, explanations, and requests for aid or decisions. At Hallmark, Hockaday participates in both downward and upward communication processes.

Problems of vertical Communication: Downward communication is likely to be filtered, modified, or halted at each level as managers decide what should be passed down to their employees. Upward communication is likely to be filtered, condensed or altered by middle managers who see it as part of their job to protect upper management from nonessential data originating at the lower levels. In addition, middle managers may keep information that would reflect unfavorably on them for reaching their managers. Thus, vertical communication is often at least partially inaccurate or incomplete.

Problems in downward communication exist when managers do not provide employees with the information they need to carry out their tasks effectively. Managers are often overly optimistic about the accuracy and completeness of their downward communication. In fact, they can fail to pass on important, information (such as a higher level change in policy) or to instruct employees adequately on how to perform their duties. This lack of communication is sometimes deliberate, as when managers withhold information to keep employees dependent on them. The net effect of incomplete downward communication is that employees can feel confused, uniformed or powerless and might fail to carry out their tasks properly.


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