Downward communication occurs when a manager or supervisor sends a message to one or more subordinates. Downward communication is often designed to give instructions or to explain how a superior wants a task accomplished. Superiors send information to appraise a subordinate’s performance or to further motivate the subordinate.


Downward communication sets the tone for a business organization. If the majority of the communication in a business comes from the top (vertical down) and generally is directive, the organizational styles tends to be autocratic. If the majority of the downward communication is supportive and has a large element of concern for the subordinates, the tone set will be more supportive. Such communication will encourage collaboration between management and employees. Furthermore, it will encourage a full range of upward communication.

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