Downward Communication Case Study

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The Negative Impacts of Downward Communication within a University Shawn Isaacs Strategic Organizational Communication Term 4 2014 Dr. Maryjo Cochran Abstract Communication is a common term used throughout any given day, and at any given organization. The purpose of this case study is to pinpoint the negative impacts of downward communication with a university system. This case study looks to illustrate the various issues that can impact the strength of an administration, Faculty, staff, and student relationships by focusing on communication. This study will use data from a 2014 and 2015 Engage West survey from the University of West Georgia completed by faculty and staff. Additionally, information from an interview with the creator…show more content…
Kyle Marrero stated, “communication by itself without tactical outcomes does not work” (K.Marrero, personal communication, April 27, 2015). He understands that there can be an inadequacy to downward communication. In his vision for UWG he notes that an, “organization must foster an environment of upward communication” (K.Marrero, personal communication, April 27, 2015). In higher education there can be a culture where faculty and staff do not feel they can speak up. This is where inadequate communication can infect the overall organizational communication. For example, when someone asks a question that we didn’t quite hear we ask for clarification. However, this often does not come into play with a downward communication focused organization. Is a plan or action item is not communicated correctly or is not well defined, no one speaks up. One other negative impact of a downward system of communication may be reflected by Marrero when he said, “would rather complain than to solve” (K.Marrero, personal communication, April 27, 2015). Perhaps those in a lower level fail to care or feel connected when communication is primarily…show more content…
This means that downward communication can often have negative impacts created by poor output of communication. The University of West Georgia relies on websites, daily reports sent by email and other email correspondence. In the 2015 Engage West survey, participants ranked, “I find the University website helpful in keeping up with the latest developments” at a 3.31 out of 5 (University of West Georgia, survey, 2015.) This states that the website is not a useful tool to disseminate messages. On the other hand, it could also state that there is a lack or poor communication on where information can be found. Equally, there is a lack of communication regarding what items need to be updated to reflect the most recent developments. The negative impact in UWG’s downward system of communication is a lack of pathways of communications. This pathway deficit creates a barrier to achieving Maslow’s needs and can further complicate the system of communication desired within an organization. As mentioned there could be communication issues with getting the website updated, or management is not relaying where to find the correct information. It was more appropriately said better by Gibson and Hodgetts (as cited in Baker, 2002), that downward communication is more effective when it is communicated orally, but then followed up in writing. The 2015

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