First steps: linking change communication to change receptivity

Frahm, Jennifer A. & Brown, Kerry A. (2007) First steps: linking change communication to change receptivity. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 20(3), pp. 370-387.

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Purpose – Change receptivity is recognised as an important factor in successfully implementing organizational change strategies. The purpose of this paper is to examine the process of change in the initial stages of a change agenda within a public sector organization and analyze the communication of change. It traces the resultant receptivity to organizational change. The paper investigates whether organizational change communication is a crucial element in employees' receptivity to change. Design/methodology/approach – A case study design is employed and the multiple methods employed include surveys, focus groups, archival data and participant observation. Findings – The findings indicate that the initial change communication is problematic. The employees respond to a lack of instrumental change communication with a constructivist communication approach in order to manage the implications of continuous change. Research limitations/implications – This research provides an overview of the first 100 days of change in a public sector organization only, and so the limitations of single case studies apply. However, the close investigation of this phase provides further research directions to be addressed. Practical implications – The findings suggest managers need to align employees' expectations of the change communication with understanding of the change goal. Originality/value – The primary value of the paper is in using a communicative lens to study the change process.

Impact and interest:

32 citations in Scopus
16 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 9129
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details:
Keywords: Change Management, Communication, Organizational Change
DOI: 10.1108/09534810710740191
ISSN: 0953-4814
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Emerald
Deposited On: 23 Aug 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2017 14:01

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