Disadvantages or Limitations of Upward Communication
In spite of having social benefits, upward communication is not free from limitations. Its major limitations or disadvantages are discussed below:
Delay: The first major limitation of upward communication is slow movement of information up to the higher levels. As a result, messages may reach to the intended destination when it has little or no utility.
Superior’s negligence: Sometimes top executives discourage the upward flow of information and neglect the opinions and suggestions of their subordinates. It hampers the normal flow of upward communication.
Lack of subordinate’s confidence: In some cases, subordinates suffer from confidence and hesitate to communicate upward with their superiors. They feel shy to represent themselves to their superior.
Distortion of message: Distortion of message is a common problem in upward communication subordinate willingly distorts the message to convey only satisfying news to their superiors. In this way, subordinates try to gain their own interest and get relief form accountability.
Flattering the superior: Subordinates also use upward communication as a means of flattering their superiors. They often conceal the truth and try to satisfy their bosses with imaginary and fictitious information.
By-passing the intermediary superior: In some cases, subordinates send message to the top-level managers through by-passing their intermediary superiors. This hampers relationship between superiors and subordinates.
Fear: Employees often refrain from upward communication due to fear of reprisal. They think that if they communicate their problems upward, the superiors may question their positions and efficiency. For this reason, subordinates hesitate to transmit information in the upward channel.
At last, we can say that in spite of having the above stated problems in upward communication its utility cannot be denied. The panics involved in communication can easily overcome these problems though their efficiency and sincerity.