What is Upward Communication? Advantages, Disadvantages

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What is Upward Communication?

Communication which flows to a higher level in a company is known as upward communication. It gives feedback on how well the company is working.

What is Upward Communication
What is Upward Communication

The subordinates use upward communication to express their performances and problems to their superiors. The subordinates also use upward communication to tell how well they have understood the downward communication. It can also be used by the employees to share their ideas and opinions and also to take part in the process of decision-making.

Upward Communication Definition

Some of the upward communication definition are:

Upward communication consists of messages from subordinates to superiors.Ricky W. Griffin
Upward communication travels from subordinates to superiors and continue up the organizational hierarchy.Weihrich and Koontz
Upward communication is the flow of information from lower to higher levels in the organization.L. C. Bovee and Others

Advantages of Upward Communication

The advantages of upward communication are as follows:

  1. Good Relations
  2. Providing Counsel
  3. Favorable Organizational Environment
  4. Knowing Employee Attitude
  5. Feedback
  6. Prompt Appreciation
  7. Decision Making
  8. Development of Creativity
  9. Motivation
  10. Development of Plan
Advantages of Upward Communication
Advantages of Upward Communication

Good Relations

Subordinates express their opinions in terms of upward communication. As a result, the harmonious relationship prevails between the superiors and subordinates.

Providing Counsel

Subordinates can provide their constructive opinions to the superiors through upward communication. These opinions may be useful to the achievement of organisational goals.

Favorable Organizational Environment

Upward communication enriches the relationship between subordinates and superiors. As a result organisation attains continuous development.

Knowing Employee Attitude

Every organisation starts some welfare measures for the employees. If upward communication is active then management can know that how far employees are satisfied with the welfare activities.


Through such communication, the subordinates send back their reactions to the decision sent by the superiors. Thus upper-level management can ensure whether the lower-level employees have accepted the message sent by the superiors.

Prompt Appreciation

Because of upward communication, subordinates get the opportunity to praise their boss for any positive or effective movement. This ultimately results in a cordial relationship between superiors and subordinates.

Decision Making

Upper management wants to know specific information regarding production, procurement, marketing, financial matters and so on before making any decision. Subordinates supply the related information through upward communication and thus decision making is made easier and quicker.

Development of Creativity

Upward communication calls for a creative environment to grow where employees show their initiatives for development.


Upward communication allows the lower-level staff to express their attitude or opinion to upper-level staff. As result subordinates are influenced to work more towards fulfilment to target.

Development of Plan

Upper-level management can collect information from lower level management through upward communication. Information obtained from such communication can be used to develop and implement any plan.

Disadvantages of Upward Communication

There are many problems that you can see in upward communication.

Disadvantages of Upward Communication
Disadvantages of Upward Communication
  • Subordinate provides only that information which is favourable to upper management.

  • It may be discouraged due to lack of proper response of top management.

  • It takes a lot of time to communicate the problems at higher level due to various levels from which it has to pass.

  • There may be wilful manipulation of information to attain personal goals.

  • There arises a threat that superior may react negatively.

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