Determinants of Internal Communication Effectiveness

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This chapter discusses issues related to the effectiveness of internal communication from a praxeological point of view. In the light of quantitative and qualitative research results, the authors will analyse the categories of efficiency, quality, and the effectiveness of internal communication, along with their components. They will also present a theoretical model of interdependence between the determinants of internal communication and its effectiveness, as well as presenting a measuring instrument—an evaluation sheet for the effectiveness of internal communication, which gives rise to an integrated index of internal communication effectiveness. What is more, a list of factors that increase or decrease internal communication effectiveness will also be presented. On the basis of the conclusions, the model of internal communication will be modified and updated.

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Skuteczność komunikacji w przedsiębiorstwie w istotny sposób warunkuje jego sprawne funkcjonowanie, dlatego też tak ważne jest kontrolowanie jej przebiegu. Ze względu na złożoną systematykę celów tego procesu, analizie należy poddawać stopień realizacji wszystkich z nich, co jest równoznaczne z przyjęciem prakseologicznego spojrzenia na zagadnienie skuteczności porozumiewania się w organizacji. Celem głównym niniejszych rozważań jest kwantyfikacja relacji obszarów w skuteczności komunikacji wewnętrznej. Z kolei za cel pośredni przyjęto ustalenie czynników w najwyższym stopniu warunkujących realizację poszczególnych celów działań komunikacyjnych skierowanych do pracowników.
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Proper management of the internal communication process in an organization is crucial for its effective functioning. However, it should be remembered that communication is a complex phenomenon, and as such, it is conditioned by various factors. Taking into consideration the objectives of internal communication within the company, it is necessary to seek the highest level of its effectiveness. The main purpose of this paper is an in-depth analysis of internal communication process and its conditionings. Moreover, the factors contributing to increase or decrease in the degree of internal communication objectives' achievement will be analyzed as well. Based on the statistical analysis of the survey results, conducted on a sample of 1,354 respondents, and the qualitative analysis of data obtained from 23 focus groups interviews, a list of areas affecting proper communication within the company was created. For the model presented in this article, the dependent variable is the effectiveness of internal communication, defined as the realization of its objectives. As for the independent variables, they are the categories of efficiency and quality of communication within the organization and the factors determining the effectiveness of the undertaken communicational actions.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between communication and productivity. Specifically, we had two aims: (a) to determine employee perceptions of the impact of eight dimensions of communication satisfaction on productivity, and (b) to understand how the type of organization may moderate the link between communica tion and productivity. Two businesses, representative of service and manufacturing or ganizations, were investigated by administering the Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire and interviewing all employees. The results showed that communica tion was perceived to have an impact on productivity that varied in both kind and magnitude. Moreover, a number of intriguing differences emerged between these two companies. The findings suggest that the link between communication and produc tivity is more complex than previously assumed.
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Purpose Communication strategy during the management of change has been one success factor widely cited in the literature. However, despite its recognition within the enterprise resource planning (ERP) domain, there has been little regard for stakeholder perspective and even less for practical suggestions regarding communication planning. Design/methodology/approach This mixed‐method research investigated the ERP implementation process from the perspective of four key stakeholder groups and generated greater understanding of their differing views on communication effectiveness and preferred communications strategies during the management of change process. Findings The findings of this study revealed that stakeholders differ, significantly in some respects, in how each group believes certain aspects of the project should be handled, from a tactical communication standpoint. Research limitations/implications The research is based on a single case study, which adds caution to the generalizability of the results. Further, the survey sample was self‐selected and not random. Practical implications This paper has made a significant contribution in terms of understanding differing perspectives regarding communication strategies during change. Particularly, we have learned how each group believes certain aspects of the project should be handled, from a tactical standpoint. Originality/value The lack of case studies addressing practical challenges has already been identified as a gap in the literature. Further, with a stakeholder perspective combined, this research has revealed another element, which is that the management of ERP projects is not as simple as a “one size fits all” strategy.
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Les informations sont de plus en plus considérées comme une ressource essentielle de l’entreprise, au même titre que les matières, l’argent, les personnes, les savoirs et les compétences. Dans certains cas extrêmes, les informations sont même la « matière » unique de production. Il ne devrait donc pas être étonnant que les informations fassent également l’objet d’une gestion rigoureuse. La qualité de l’information devrait être un objectif permanent des dirigeants et des managers de terrain. Dans le cas contraire, on doit s’attendre à ce que l’entreprise soit pénalisée de multiples façons, de même qu’elle serait pénalisée si elle gérait mal, ou pas du tout, ses matières ou ses finances. Pour dépasser les abstractions nous avons choisi une image et un fil directeur. L’image, c’est la maladie de l’information ; le fil directeur ce sont les diverses maladies de l’information dont peut souffrir une entreprise, ainsi que leurs conséquences sur ses performances économiques. Cet ouvrage traite des trois familles d’informations : les informations de fonctionnement (pour les opérations courantes de gestion), les informations d’influence (dans laquelle se situent la communication interne et la communication externe) et les informations anticipatives d’évolution ou d’anticipation (lesquelles concernent la veille anticipative stratégique). Dans cet ouvrage, l’information est considérée tour à tour comme un processus et comme un produit du processus. On parlera donc des maladies de l’information en tant que produit (appelées maladies organiques de l’information) et également en tant que processus (appelées maladies circulatoires). Pour chacune des maladies sont proposés des moyens de les dépister et de les soigner.
Over the past 30 years, the Northern Ireland workplace has suffered the consequences of ongoing politico-religious conflict, often resulting in severe operational disruption and financial loss. Yet little, if any, research has been carried out into organizational communication in the context of potentially divided workplaces, such as exist in Northern Ireland. This chapter therefore represents a novel attempt to examine communication within such a setting. Four key methodologies were tested to ascertain their suitability for conducting research in this environment. The relative merits and demerits of each are considered. Among the substantive recommendations discussed are employees' perceptions of the most appropriate manner of dealing with contentious issues. © 2003 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 10785 Berlin. All rights reserved.
Das vorliegende Buch behandelt die strategieorientierte Planung betrieblicher Informations- und Kommunikationssysteme (IKS). Es leistet eine konzeptionelle und methodische Hilfestellung fur die Planung der Informationsverarbeitung (IV) im Unternehmen. Hierbei findet der wettbewerbsstrategische Aspekt der IKS-Planung besondere Berucksichtigung. Die beschriebene Vorgehensweise integriert die Konzepte der Wertkette, der kritischen Erfolgsfaktoren, der Informationsarchitektur und des IKS-Portfolios. Die Darstellung erfolgt in Form eines Planungshandbuchs, welches durch seine Systematik die Grundlage fur die Erstellung einer unternehmensindividuellen Vorgehensweise bildet. Hierdurch erhalten IV-Management, Organisatoren und Unternehmensberater einen praktikablen Leitfaden fur die strategieorientierte IKS-Planung. Das Buch behandelt die strategieorientierte Planung betrieblicher Informations- und Kommunikationssysteme (IKS). Durch die Integration der Konzepte der Wertkette, der kritischen Erfolgsfaktoren, der Informationsarchitektur und des IKS-Portfolios werden insbesondere die strategischen Belange der IKS-Planung unterstutzt. Die systematische Darstellung bietet IV-Management, Organisatoren und Unternehmensberatern einen praktikablen Leitfaden.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and fair trade present retailers with a serious challenge, as they not only must focus on their own employees in their strategies but they also must demand that their suppliers and subcontractors match the requirements defined by these ideas. Both CSR and fair trade share a principle that employees should be properly remunerated and their rights should be respected, and children should not be employed. These requirements are binding not only for retail trade companies but also all lower-level links in the supply chain. From a long-term perspective, developing a company’s image based on respecting human rights and employee rights helps each participant in the supply chain achieve a competitive advantage.
PART ONE: MAPPING THE FIELD Circumscribing Corporate Communications Theory and Practice Corporate Communications in Historical Perspective Marketing, Public Relations and Corporate Communications Corporate Communications in Theoretical Perspective Stakeholders, Identity and Reputation PART TWO: CORPORATE COMMUNICATION IN PRACTICE Communications Strategy Theory and Practice The Organization of Communications Theory and Practice Communication Practitioners Theory and Practice PART THREE: RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT The Future of Corporate Communications
Purpose The purpose of this research is to investigate how senior communication executives measure the effectiveness of organizations’ internal communication efforts and link the efforts with organizations’ business performance. Design/methodology/approach An online international survey of 264 experienced business communicators was analyzed to identify those specific aspects of internal communication initiatives that have been measured by the organizations on a regular basis. In‐depth interviews with 13 senior communication executives were used as a supplementary approach to share their experiences and insights about measurement challenges in communication practices. Findings Results suggested that most business communicators and organizations recognized the importance of measuring organizations’ internal communication initiatives; however, limited metrics have been applied to the assessment process. Several specific aspects of internal communication initiatives (e.g., improved job performance, changed employee behaviors, concentrated employee engagement, etc.) have been given special attention in measurement. Research limitations/implications Future research would benefit from the discussion and findings in current measurement challenges and focus on testing the causal relationship between effective internal communication and improved business performance. Practical implications Business communicators should demonstrate a stronger request for a consultative leadership direction in the organization to be able to develop and test sets of reliable and consistent metrics and measurement approaches. Originality/value This research investigated the measurement challenges that senior communication executives have faced. It is important to recognize current trends and constraints in measurement to be able to leverage the value of communication practices in the organization.
Conference Paper
Purpose – Since employees are considered to be one of the most important sources for innovation, the purpose of this study is to create a change management framework for implementing an innovation culture by means of internal communication. Design/methodology/approach – First, an interdisciplinary model was derived from research and existing literature. It was then tested in a case study with qualitative expert interviews and a quantitative online survey among all employees of a sample firm. Findings – Instead of a linear change, as implied by the theoretical model, different identification levels existed simultaneously within the firm's culture. A typology summed up the corresponding perceptions of the innovation culture: innovation culture, innovation pioneers, mediocrity, standstill, and refusal. Significant correlations between identification and internal media (r=0.405), as well as identification and action (r=0.158) underlined the importance of internal communication. Research limitations/implications – This study only explores the topic from a communication science perspective. However, examining its link to other important factors like organisational structure would provide further insight. Also, research in different countries and fields is needed, since the results of this case study cannot be considered representative. Practical implications – The goal of communication managers should be to lead employees through the phases of identification by specifically targeting their identification levels and using the appropriate media to address the findings. Originality/value – The developed framework helps as a management tool for assessing how employees perceive messages of an innovation philosophy and internal media. By linking the internal, innovation, and change communication, it identifies new essential aspects for creating a communication mix and specifically communicating with the target‐group.
In 1980, Ralph Stayer owned a successful, growing sausage company that had him badly worried. Commitment was poor, motivation was lousy, the gap between performance and potential was enormous. Over the next five years, Stayer turned the company upside down, but only by turning himself upside down first. For years he had insisted on his own control, made all decisions, delegated nothing. But when he tried to picture what the company would have to look like to sell the most expensive sausage and still enjoy the biggest market share, he saw an organization whose employees took responsibility for their own work. After several false starts, he finally began in earnest by making himself give up much of his own authority. Stayer turned quality control over to the workers on the production line. Workers also began answering letters of complaint from customers. Rejects went from 5% to 0.5%. Employees thrived on their new responsibility and asked for more. Gradually, people on the shop floor took over personnel functions as well, followed by scheduling, budgeting, and capital improvements. Managers came to function more as coaches than as bosses. Stayer--a little to his own dismay--began to find himself superfluous. In mid-1985, the company faced a watershed decision--whether or not to accept a massive new order that would make huge demands on every employee and strain the company's capacities. Stayer asked the employees to make the decision. They accepted the challenge, and productivity, profits, and quality all rose dramatically. By the late 1980s, Stayer had reached his goal of working himself out of a job.
The practice of public relations has experienced tremendous growth and evolution over the past 25 years, especially in the area of medical public relations. The constant changes in health care delivery have often led to increased need for communication with important publics. At the same time, practitioners in all fields of public relations have explored methods of accurately measuring the effectiveness of public relations programs. One such method of evaluation is the communication audit. This paper includes a brief overview of the communication audit concept followed by a case study based on an audit conducted for a small, multicultural non-profit health-care agency. Steps taken to conduct the audit and the methodology used are discussed. An analysis of the data is used to address two research questions regarding the efficacy of the Center's mission and vision. Suggestions for future audits are provided.
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