Types of Vertical Communication - QS Study
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Types of Vertical Communication

When information flows from superiors to subordinates or from subordinates to superiors, it is called vertical communication. According to its nature, vertical communication is mainly classified into the following two types:

  1. Downward communication, and
  2. Upward communication.

These two types of communication are explained below:

Downward Communication: Downward communication occurs when information flows from superior to subordinates. Superiors send information, orders, instructions, and decisions etc., to their subordinates through downward communication. 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.

Upward Communication: Upward communication takes place when information flows from subordinated to superior in the organizational hierarchy. The purpose of upward communication is to provide information to the managers from subordinates. Generally, subordinates convoy their feelings, attitudes, opinions, suggestions, complains etc. to their superiors through this communication. Upward communication initiated at the lower level of the organization and reaches the message to the top management hierarchy.