A Study of Upward Bypassing in the Process of Vertical Control of an Organizational Communication System
Kuhlmey, E. Sterling
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
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The Purpose of the Study: This study will examine the nature of the bypassing act, its most common causes, and the most predictable effects it will have on both the individuals involved and on the effectiveness of the communication system of an organization. It will also attempt to examine the possibility that bypassing can sometimes serve constructive purposes; we must consider both the positive and negative effects of bypassing. Our main concern will be the effect of upward vertical bypassing at the lower levels of all organizations, but with some special attention to military units. As possible, we shall apply our conclusions to larger units both in the military and private sector. In a set of summary recommendations we shall attempt to set forth possible programs or policies which managers or military commanders can use to control bypassing. This set of objectives requires that we directly relate the tactic of bypassing to the main elements of organization communication theory as commonly found in the literature. Thus, this paper will deal with matters of vertical control, more specifically, with the processes used in controlling the spiralling up and down feedback process of vertical communication in which bypassing occurs, and will place that tactic in the context of organization communication structure, function and goals.