The Importance of Communication in Implementing Organizational Change: a Review of the Literature for Information Organizations

2922 Words Jul 30th, 2010 12 Pages
The importance of communication in implementing organizational change: a review of the literature for information organizations

Kelly M. Gordon

San Jose State University
School of Library and Information Science

Workers at all levels of an organization, be they CEOs, middle managers, or entry-level staff, recognize that change is inevitable. However, the successful implementation of organizational change in response to changes in an organization’s external environment can be one of the greatest challenges top-level leaders face. Regardless of how far-seeing and meticulously planned organizational change may be, it will not be effectively implemented unless it is communicated to an organization’s staff in such a
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The model also helps to conceptualize the role of communication during the stages of unfreezing (instigation), change (understanding and performance), and refreezing (closure).
Current thinking in organizational change and communication The work by Lewin (Evans, Ward, & Rugaas, 2000), Kotter (1995), Ford and Ford (1995), and other earlier researchers in the field lays an important foundation for current work in the use of communication to effectively promote change within an organization. Deborah Barrett (2002) developed the Strategic Employee Communication model as a tool for organizations to use in assessing the effectiveness of their own communication channels when confronted with the necessity of organizational change. The model breaks down effective employee communication into four components which interact in well-functioning companies to reinforce strategic objectives. One important component is a top and middle level management that is committed to fostering communications “up, down, and across the organization” (Barrett, 2002). The second component is the communications themselves: messages that are both tailored to the audience they are intended for to maximize relevance, and that are consistent with each other and with the overall strategic objectives of the organization. The third component is the mode

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