Horizontal communication is between peers. Image credit life.wevorce.com

ZIMSEC O Level Business Studies Notes: Leadership: Upward, Downward, Horizontal Communication

  • When it comes to direction communication can be classified as horizontal, downward or upward
  • Downward communication follows the chain of command from the topmost levels to the subordinates
  • This can be used for such things as:
    1. Giving orders and instructions to subordinates
    2. To communicate objectives and goals to subordinates
    3. To assign work
    4. To control operations
  • Upward communication is when information flows up the chain of command from subordinates to superiors
  • This can happen in instances such as:
    1. To report back on assigned tasks and commands
    2. To express views
    3. To highlight problems
    4. To seek clarification from superior
    5. To make requests to superiors
  • Both upward communication and downward communication are known as vertical communication
  • Horizontal communication refers to both formal and informal contact between people who are at the same level within the organisation.
  • This can happen when peers come together to:
    1. To coordinate
    2. To solve problems together
    3. To offer advice to each other
  • Communication can also be classified as either two way or one-way
  • One way communication is when communication flows in one direction only and the receiver has little room to provide feedback, seek clarification or say whether they have understood the message
  • Examples of one way communication include notice boards etc
  • One way communication is often associated with the autocratic leadership style
  • Two way communication is when there is ample room for feedback
  • This allows the receiver say whether they have understood the message and to seek clarification
  • It also allows the listener to contribute their own ideas to the process
  • Two way communication is often associated with the democratic leadership style
  • It also leads to better decision making

To access more topics go to the O Level Business Notes page

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