The Negative Impacts of Downward Communication within a University
Strategic Organizational Communication
Term 4 2014
Dr. Maryjo Cochran
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 of the Engage West survey, President of UWG Kyle Marrero, will highlight possible solutions that highlight the negative impact. Further studies should be conducted to better identify other negative impacts that downward communication may have on the University of West Georgia communication structure. When it comes to university systems, the work of internal communication is largely dependent on the type of culture that is cultivated. Circling back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, when the faculty and staff feel that their needs are being met by well-organized communication then better engagement can be created. Whether it is downward or other pathways of communication, there must be a culture that allows all communication to flow.
Keywords: downward communication, organizational communication, internal communication
In 1954 Abraham Maslow identified five needs that motivate how humans interact with others and the world around them. Two of the needs in his hierarchy include es...
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... can be created. Whether it is downward or other pathways of communication, there must be a culture that allows all communication to flow. Dr. Marrero was adamant about building a culture of communication. It is important that an organization, “find a balance where you lead and not just float with the wind, but shared governance” (K.Marrero, personal communication, April 27, 2015).
The purpose of the Engage West survey is to help create a better environment for Faculty and staff to engage with the organization. It also helps pinpoint the issues that keep the Faculty and staff from engaging. However, what this case study states is downward communication must be utilized and practiced with perfection. A university system cannot remove downward communication. It must work to ensure the culture is created to help faculty and staff reach their full capacity and needs.
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