Flow Of Communication!

There are three basic Internal communication flows within a development programme:

1) Downward

2) Upward 

3) Horizontal

Many administrators limit their communicating to the downward flow, which is probably the least important in the planning and implementation of a development programme.

Katz and Kahn (1966, Chapter 9) do a thorough analysis of communication flows in an organizational system. They describe downward communication as going along the authority pattern of hierarchical positions; horizontal communications as being among peers at the same organizational level; and upward communication ascending the hierarchical ladder.

Berelson and Steiner (1964, Chapter 9) made the following generalizations: communication down the organizational hierarchy is likely to be critical and to consist of authoritarian instructions; communication up the organizational hierarchy is often inaccurate; horizontal communication tends to be the most accurate, but is often restricted by the organizational structure.


Most organizational researchers have found that downward communication flows are more frequent than upward flows. Administrators originate a considerable amount of communication that they assume will " trickle down " through the system and eventually cause the intended beneficiaries of the development programme to change their current practices. But too often, certain basic questions are ignored: (a) is the message that is being communicated relevant; (b) is it being understood and acted upon by subordinates within the system; and (c), does it reach the intended beneficiaries ?

Peter Drucker (1966, Chapter 7) suggests that the biggest problem for administrators in making effective decisions is that they too often are talking when they should be listening-one of the major reasons why many development programmes fail.


During the planning of a development programme and the later monitoring of its progress the upward communication flow is vital. However, as Sagasti (1975, p. 13) points out:

"The single greatest problem in rural development has been the lack of active participation of the local people. In communications terms this means an overemphasis on transmission of information by project managers and staff to the rural people, rather than transmission of information from the rural people to each other and to project staff and development decision-makers."

Most researchers agree that the upward flow of communication in an organization is usually distorted. The nature of the hierarchical structure and. the related reward, system discourages subordinates from passing bad news to their bosses (Wilensky, 1967, p. 42). A superior receives reports that tell him primarily what his subordinates want him to hear (Downs, 1967, p. 118) and almost always contain positive information. Most management information systems are designed to control subordinates rather than to encourage relevant upward communication. What an administrator needs most is the accurate description of problems in programme implementation. Field workers have the information, but are afraid to communicate it to the administrators who desperately need it. A major overhaul in current administrative practices will be required before the upward communication flow can become a valid element in development programme implementation.


At the operational level of implementing a development programme, horizontal communication becomes extremely important, but faces many barriers because of the bureaucratic structure and rules and regulations in most government organizations. It is difficult to establish effective communication linkages between departments and even more so between ministries; between government departments and the private sector or non-governmental organizations it can become almost impossible.

The " gate-keeper" effect of the organizational structure causes massive problems for most administrators who are implementing development programmes. It results in delays of recruiting personnel, of budget approvals, of information on new technology from researchers. In a study of the organizations involved in helping rubber small-holders in south Thailand, James French (1977) commented that administrative obstacles frequently prevented coordination and cooperation between planners and field personnel, even though the need for a single administrative body which would examine and be responsible for all aspects of rubber development had repeatedly been pointed out.

Much of the horizontal communication that does go on at the operational level is informal in nature and bypasses the formal organizational system. But in using informal channels there are definite restrictions on achieving official action. Much more thought is required for facilitating " official" horizontal communication at all levels of the hierarchy in order to improve the implementation of development programmes.

While the identification of these three types of communication flows appears to be fairly elementary, not enough thought is given to properly using them by most administrators of development programmes.

More attention must be focused on improving the upward and horizontal communication flows. The use of the downward communication flow should be evaluated and where possible reduced. The downward communication flow should be closely linked and coordinated with the upward and horizontal communication flows.

KATZ, DANIEL & KAHN, ROBERT L. 1966 The social psychology of organizations. New York, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.


Anonymous said...

When some one searches for his essential thing, therefore he/she wants to be
available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

My webpage :: microsoft registry cleaner
Also see my web page - windows registry cleaner

Anonymous said...

What's up colleagues, how is the whole thing, and what you would like to say about this paragraph, in my view its in fact awesome in favor of me.

my site :: jeepyam28.Dmusic.net/journal/1749754

Anonymous said...

I am genuinely thankful to the holder of this web page
who has shared this enormοus post at at this tіme.

Feеl free to ѕuгf tо my ωeb-sіte:

Anonymous said...

I thіnk this is among thе most νital
іnfo foг me. Anԁ i'm glad reading your article. However want to remark on some common things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent : D. Excellent job, cheers

My site: how to stop premature ejaculation

Anonymous said...

I needed to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it.
I have got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…

Feel free to visit my web site - diets that work for women

Anonymous said...

I needed to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely
enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to
look at new stuff you post…

my blog; diets that work for women

Anonymous said...

Hi to every boԁy, іt's my first go to see of this website; this blog carries amazing and actually good material for readers.

my website - hcg drops for weight loss
Also see my webpage - fda hcg

Anonymous said...

We аre a group of νolunteеrs
anԁ opening a branԁ new ѕchemе in οur cоmmunіty.

Үouг ωеb ѕite provided us wіth valuable
info to work on. You've done an impressive task and our whole community shall be grateful to you.

Here is my web-site :: hcg success stories

Anonymous said...

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly
long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all
that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!

My website; buy electronic cigarette online

Anonymous said...

Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing effort.

My website ... quit smoking fags

Anonymous said...

Appreciating the time and energy you put into your website and detailed information you present.
It's awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same unwanted rehashed material.
Great read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm including
your RSS feeds to my Google account.

My blog quit smoking fag

Blog Widget by LinkWithin