Name of author: Communication - Upward Distortion Communication is the blood of an organization. Without communication, no organizational work is possible. Effective communication is necessary for effective management in an organization. The to and fro motion of information between the employees and the organization is necessary for the success of an organization…
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Hence instead of giving accurate information to the top management, employees often pass distorted information to the seniors/boss which often referred as the upward distortion of information in the organizational world. “It has long been recognized that employees are prone to distort the messages they transmit upwards, with deleterious effects on general climate issues and overall organizational functioning” (Tourish & Robson p.18). This paper analyses different aspects of upward distortion of information in organizational world. Distortion is anything that contributes to alterations in meanings as messages move through the organization. Distortions can occur for a variety of reasons, due to “load, message direction, channel usage, and the very composition of the [communication] networks themselves. It is no exaggeration to say that distortion is inevitable and unavoidable (Durden) As mentioned earlier, information is always passing from bottom to top (from employees to management) and from top to bottom (from management to employees) in an organization. Moreover information exchange can take place horizontally also (between the employees). ...
When the employees distort some information while communicating with their employers; it is termed as upward distortion. Same way while employers distort some information, it is termed as downward distortion. “Distortion of upward communication negatively related to the level of security and positively related to achievement needs; also positively related to the heteronomous organizational climate and negatively related to an autonomous climate” (Athanassiades). In other words, whenever an employee feels insecurity in passing certain information to the top, he will try to distort or twist it. Same way, whenever an employee likes to get some benefits from the organization, he will try to distort the information. Distortion of information occurs when the employees or the employer wants to protect their interests. For example, suppose a sales executive was heavily criticized by an important client of an organization for the delayed delivery of a product or service. In such cases, the executive will never pass such information to his manager or boss. In other words the fear of consequences forced the employee to distort the information. He will inform his manager that the client was extremely satisfied by the product or service delivered. He will never say anything about the delays caused in the delivery and the subsequent unhappiness developed by the client. If the executive passes the information about the delayed delivery of the product or service to his manager, he will sometimes get punishments from the top. At the same time, if the executive was ready to provide such information, the manager could have taken measures to cool down the temper of the frustrated or unhappy client. It is quite possible that the client may rely on other product or service providers
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