Developing communicative competencies for a learning organization

Frahm, Jennifer A. & Brown, Kerry A. (2006) Developing communicative competencies for a learning organization. Journal of Management Development, 25(3), pp. 201-212.

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the developmental needs of managers operating in continuous change contexts. Special attention is drawn to communicative competences through the use of Kent and Taylor’s (2002) five principles of dialogic communication. A case study is used to illustrate the communicative challenges in creating a learning organization. Methodology: The research uses longitudinal case study methodology and provides details on the multiple methods used, specifically: participant observation, focus groups, and document analysis. Findings: Findings suggest that existing management development literature needs to reconceptualise change communication as communication during change, rather than to communicate the change. In so doing attention is drawn to the power of communicative expectations and communicative competence. Successful transformation to a learning organization is hampered by a misalignment of the employee’s communicative expectations and management delivery of change communication. Research Limitations / Implications: Whilst single case studies can be criticized for a lack of generalisability, the use of multiple methods and a longitudinal study bolsters the rigor and validity of this study. Management development needs were not formally addressed in this case study, and thus it is difficult to offer prescriptive statements to improving communicative competences. Practical implications: The field study provided ample opportunity to identify change management development needs, and reflect on how to bolster an often difficult area of change management, communication during change. Originality: This research provides in-depth empirical data from an organization attempting to transform to a learning organization. In prior studies the communicative theoretical framework is rarely tested, and this paper provides evidence of the communicative theoretical applicability. This contribution is extended to management development needs.

Impact and interest:

11 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 4833
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: change communication, communicative expectations, communicative skills, learning organization
DOI: 10.1108/02621710610648141
ISSN: 0262-1711
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Emerald Publishing
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 22 Aug 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:20

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