8 Difference between Upward and Downward Communication

Upward communication and downward communication both are important ways of business communication but there is some certain difference between upward and downward communication.

The following are the difference between upward and downward communication:

Points of difference Downward communication Upward communication
Definition It is the process of sending a message from a superior to a subordinate. It is opposite to downward communication i.e. it flows from subordinate to superior.
Nature Such communication includes instructions, orders, advice, and the like: So, it is directive in nature. It includes suggestions, complaints and, the like so. It is nondirective in nature.
Application It is suitably found in an authoritarian environment. It is found in a democratic environment.
Purpose It is to supply the subordinates with relevant information. It serves the purpose of feedback i.e. whether the subordinates have properly received the message.
Frequency It takes place several times to give orders, advice, and directions to a subordinate. It does not occur so frequently.
Distortion People find little scope to distort the message here because such communication is authoritarian. Message can be distorted here intentionally as subordinates have expectations to be fulfilled such as job promotion.
Initiative Here, higher authority takes the initiative to make communication. Here, lower-level employees take the initiative to establish communication.
Management It is an instruction type of management. It is like consultative management.
Difference between Upward and Downward Communication
Difference between Upward and Downward Communication

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