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:
The first major limitation of upward communication is the slow movement of information up to the higher levels. As a result, messages may reach the intended destination when it has little or no utility. It is a significant constraint of upward communication is the long and slow association of information to the higher authority.
- 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. If the superiors do not take any assessment in the assistance of upward communication, the employee’s loss assurance in their superiors and workflow may also hamper.
- 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. Usually subordinate is unenthusiastic to take the proposal to upward communication for a dissimilar reason.
- Distortion of the 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 system, subordinates eagerly distort the message because they fear if they tell the original fact to their bosses, they may appear some problems. In this way, subordinates try to gain their own interests and get relief from accountability.
- Flattering the superior:
In order to convince the superiors, subordinates can take the help of flattery. 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. Most of the lower-level employees are not aware of many aspects of an organization. The decision taken on such incomplete information will be wrong to provide the organizational purpose.
- By-passing the intermediary superior:
In some cases, subordinates send messages to the top-level managers by by-passing their intermediary superiors. This proves destructive in two ways. The officers who have been bypassed undergo underestimated while the top officer makes hesitation on the worker’s intentions. The relations become reduced between superiors and workers and works are damaged. This hampers the relationship between superiors and subordinates. This is harmful to any organization.
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. The criticism placed by the subordinates may be interpreted as a sign of their personal weakness or limitation. For this reason, subordinates hesitate to transmit information in the upward channel. Many employees fear to correspond and allocate their ideas, positive suggestions and opinions with the superiors.
- Unwillingness to Admit Failure
Many employees in the subordinate are anxious about their jobs and doubtful about their future prospects. Sometimes subordinates don’t send the information to their superior enthusiastically. So, the communication structure may be disrupted. They, therefore, feel unwilling to discuss their on-the-job problems with their superiors.
- Changes of information:
In upward communication, subordinates may modify their correct information. On many occasions, it is found that employees for their self-interest or to get assistance from responsibility edit the data or information before it is conceded to their superiors. Furthermore, they bear fear to be a good communicator. So, the top executive cannot take a perfect decision.
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 through their efficiency and sincerity.