Organizational change communication: Lessons from public relations communication strategies

Frahm, Jennifer A. & Brown, Kerry A. (2003) Organizational change communication: Lessons from public relations communication strategies. In Designing Communication for Diversity: Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA03), 9-11 July 2003, Brisbane, Australia.


This paper seeks to extend Pearson’s (1989) ethical Public Relations’ communication strategies to the field of organisational change communication to provide potential solutions to the problems of organisational change. It is argued that there are two main reasons why organisational change communication remains problematic. The first is the lack of research to guide practitioners on appropriate organisational change communication. The second reason is that the research undertaken focuses on the narrower scope of communication in planned change events. This focus makes it inaccessible to those seeking guidance in the context of continuous change, as planned change differs greatly from continuous change (Weick & Quinn, 1999). The paper establishes that traditional change communication has employed a monologic approach and argues that the dialogic/monologic lens is more appropriate for understanding continuous change and improving change receptivity. Five principles of dialogic Public Relations communication (Kent and Taylor, 2002) are used to analyze continuous change contexts. The monologic/dialogic lens is then used to analyze initial findings of a study on the impact of change communication on change receptivity in the context of continuous change. The study employs a mixed methodology of surveys, participant observation, focus groups, and document analysis. Findings indicate that a shift from monologic to more dialogic communication occurs over the first twelve months and results in improved receptivity of change.

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ID Code: 198
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Communication, Change, Organisational change, Public relations, Methodology, Dialogic, Research
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified (200199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Communications (150502)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 05 Jan 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 12:59

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