Upward Communication

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  • The flow of information from subordinates through a hierarchy of supervisors to the top executives in a workplace. Upward communi cation is a business management practice proposed in the latter half of the 20th century as an answer to the limitations posed by the earlier accepted practice of downward communication, in which all information considered pertinent within an organization comes from the top levels of management.

    In theory, a management call for upward communi cation is supposed to foster cooperation at all levels of an organization. Management researchers, however, have found that expectations of upward communication can bring about resistance from the workforce and uncer tainty about roles and courses of action in middle-level managers. Workers may want to keep, even “hoard,” what they know about ...

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