Limitations of Downward Communication - QS Study
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Limitations of Downward Communication

Though downward communication provides many advantages to the organization, it is not free from limitations. Its main limitations / disadvantages are discussed below:

Time consuming: Downward communication is a delayed process. In this communication, information flows through different levels of hierarchy. As a result, when information reaches to the lower level workers, it may have lost its significance or utility.

Distortion of information: Downward communication also suffers form problem of distortion of message. People have the tendency to modify or manipulate information. Therefore, whenever information is passed from one individual to another or from one level to another, authenticity of information is lost.

Lack of explanation: In most cases, downward communication contains messages without necessary explanation and clarification. For this reason, subordinates fail to understand the message accurately.

Deterioration of relationship: Heavy reliance on downward communication also deteriorates labor-management relationship. Because, it does not provide any scope of direct communication between them.

Lack of feedback: Absence of feedback is another major drawback of downward communication. The top-level executives usually place little or no importance to the messages received from subordinates. Superiors hardly seek feedback from the subordinates. Due to negligence of the superiors, subordinates also seldom send feedback. As a result, communication becomes ineffective.

Lack of enthusiasm: Managers send orders, instructions. and advices to the subordinates through downward communication. This loan of communication energizes and activates the employees. Therefore, delay in the downward flow of information adversely affects the enthusiasm of the employees

Creation of frustration: Downward communication is directive in nature. This type of communication hardly allows the subordinates to discuss any matter with their superiors. Moreover, the subordinated are compelled to follow the orders and instructions of the superiors. Such activities create frustration in the mind of the employees.

From the above discussion, it appears that downward communication is not always effective and successful. Therefore, along with downward communication, managers should use other forms of communication.