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The Impact of Change Communication on Change Receptivity : Two Cases of Continuous Change

Frahm, Jennifer Anne (2005) The Impact of Change Communication on Change Receptivity : Two Cases of Continuous Change. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Communication is inextricably linked with the process of organisational change (Lewis, 1999). However, managers report that communication of organisational change is challenging, particularly with the advent of continuously changing organisations (Buchanan, Claydon & Doyle, 1999). Continuously changing organisations are those that seek to be more flexible, more innovative and more responsive to the dynamic external environment. One of the problems associated with continuous change is the resultant impact of successive downsizings, re-engineering efforts and culture changes on employee receptivity to change. Despite the unquestioning adoption of continuous change efforts (Zorn, Christensen, & Cheney, 1999) there is a paucity of research on communication during this type of change. This thesis addresses this knowledge gap by situating the research within a continuous change context. The primary research question is 'how do change communication models impact on employee receptivity to change within a continuous change context', and this question considers issues pertaining to how accurately previous change communication models reflect and explain what occurs within change processes. This topic is examined within two case-study organisations through the use of multiple methods. The analysis occurs through an interpretive framework and utilises Langley's (1999) alternate templates as a strategy to manage the process based research. A model of change communication during continuous change is presented, with the central constructs of the model being monologic change communication, dialogic change communication and the background talk of change. Further, Van de Ven and Poole's (1995) Process Theories of Change are extended to consider the sequencing of the three constructs. The findings suggest that the sequencing of the dominant change communication models is informed by an alignment of individual communication competences and change communication expectations.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16124
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Brown, Kerry& Bradley, Lisa
Keywords: Change Communication, Change Receptivity, Continuous Change, change, Process Theories of Change
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Department: Faculty of Business
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Jennifer Anne Frahm
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 13:57
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:43

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