Advertisement

Organization Communication

  • Nicholas Jackson
Chapter

Abstract

The significance of formal communication during radical change is often overlooked at a strategic level as the technical, financial, and operational features take center stage. The disruptive nature of a merger can have a negative impact on employees, and the effectiveness of organizational communication will influence how they cope with the changing organizational environment. I investigate the essential contribution of an effectual communication plan during periods of change and consider the influence of its architecture, formed through channels, dissemination techniques, and patterns of regularity. Reliable information about the mood of employees and their main concerns is vital if those responsible for organizing and implementing the change are able to contain resistance and encourage participation. Uncertainty caused by lack of information will encourage stressful psychological states at a time when the need to relieve conditions of ambiguity should be a primary objective. Honest and direct communication is essential to help build employee confidence in the process during the renegotiation and assessment of the psychological contract. If employee uncertainty is to be addressed, one of the most important parts of the management process following the announcement of a merger is consistent communication. The dissemination of reliable information should be recognized as central to these processes, and it is in this capacity that I investigate the significance of communication at the organizational level.

References

  1. Armenakis, A. A., & Harris, S. G. (2002). Crafting a change message to create transformational readiness. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 15(2), 169–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashford, S. J. (1988). Individual strategies for coping with stress during organizational transitions. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 24(1), 19–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berger, C., & Calabrese, R. J. (1975). Some explorations in initial interaction and beyond: Toward a developmental theory of interpersonal communication. Human Communication Research, 1(2), 99–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bies, R. (1987). The predicament of injustice: The management of moral outrage. In L. L. Cummings & B. M. Stow (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 9). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bies, R. J., & Moag, J. F. (1986). Interactional justice: Communication criteria of fairness. In R. J. Lewicki, B. H. Sheppard, & M. H. Bazerman (Eds.), Research on negotiations in organizations (Vol. 1, pp. 43–55). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  6. Blau, P. (1964). Exchange and power in social life. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  7. Bordia, P., Hobman, E., Jones, E., Gallois, C., & Callan, V. J. (2004). Uncertainty during organizational change: Types, consequences, and management strategies. Journal of Business and Psychology, 18(4), 507–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bordia, P., Hunt, E., Paulsen, N., Tourish, D., & DiFonzo, N. (2004). Uncertainty during organizational change: Is it all about control? European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 134, 345–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brockner, J., DeWitt, R. L., Grover, S., & Reed, T. (1990). When it is especially important to explain why: Factors affecting the relationship between managers’ explanations of a layoff and survivors’ reactions to the layoff. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 26, 389–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Buono, A. F., & Bowditch, J. L. (1989). The human side of mergers and acquisitions. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  11. Cartwright, S., & Cooper, C. L. (1992). Mergers and acquisitions: The human factor. Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinmann Ltd.Google Scholar
  12. Christensen, M. (2014). Communication as a strategic tool in change processes. International Journal of Business Communication, 51(4), 359–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cobb, A. T., Wooten, K. C., & Folger, R. (1995). Justice in the making: Toward understanding the theory and practice of justice in organizational change and development. Research in Organizational Change and Development, 8, 243–295.Google Scholar
  14. Cropanzano, R., & Greenberg, J. (1997). Progress in organizational justice: Tunneling through the maze. In C. Cooper & I. Robertson (Eds.), International review of industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 317–372). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Cropanzano, R., Prehar, C. A., & Chen, P. Y. (2002). Using social exchange theory to distinguish procedural justice from interactional justice. Group and Organizational Management, 27, 324–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Daly, J. P., & Geyer, P. D. (1994). The role of fairness in implementing largescale change: Employee evaluations of process and outcome in seven facility relocations. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 15, 623–638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Davy, J. A., Kinicki, A. J., & Scheck, C. L. (1991). Developing and testing a model of survivor responses to layoffs. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 38, 302–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. De Nobile, J. J., & McCormick, J. (2008). Organizational communication and job satisfaction in Australian Catholic primary schools. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 36(1), 101–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Downs, C. W., DeWine, S., & Greenbaum, H. H. (1994). Measures of organizational communication. In R. B. Rubin, P. Palmgreen, H.-E. Sypher, et al. (Eds.), Communication research measures: A sourcebook (pp. 57–78). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  20. Folger, R., & Konovsky, M. A. (1989). Effects of procedural and distributive justice on reactions to pay raise decisions. Academy of Management Journal, 32(1), 115–130.Google Scholar
  21. Gagne, M., Koestner, R., & Zuckerman, M. (2000). Facilitating acceptance of organizational change: The importance of self-determination. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30(9), 1843–1852.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Galpin, T. J. (1996). The human side of change: A practical guide to organizational redesign. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  23. Goldhaber, G. M. (1999). Organizational communication in 1976: Present domain and future directions. In P. Salem (Ed.), Organizational communication and change (pp. 4–30). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.Google Scholar
  24. Greenhalgh, L. (1983). Managing the job insecurity crisis. Human Resource Management, 22, 431–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Greenhalgh, L., & Rosenblatt, Z. (1984). Job insecurity: Toward conceptual clarity. Academy of Management Review, 9, 438–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hargie, O., & Tourish, D. (2000). Charting communication performance in a healthcare organization. In O. Hargie & D. Tourish (Eds.), Handbook of communication audits for organizations (pp. 195–209). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Hubbard, N. (2001). Acquisition strategy and implementation. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  28. Hubbard, N., & Purcell, J. (2001). Managing employee expectations during acquisitions. Human Resource Management Journal, 11(2), 17–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jackson, S., et al. (1987). Managing stress in turbulent times. In A. Riley & S. Zaccaro (Eds.), Occupational stress and organizational effectiveness (pp. 141–166). New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  30. Kickul, J., Lester, S. W., & Finkl, J. (2002). Promise breaking during radical organizational change: Do justice interventions make a difference? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23(Special Issue S1), 469–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Koontz, H. (2001). Management: A global perspective (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  32. Kramer, M. W. (1993). Communication and uncertainty reduction during job transfers: Leaving and joining processes. Communication Monographs, 60(2), 178–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kramer, M. W. (1999). Motivation to reduce uncertainty: A reconceptualization of uncertainty reduction theory. Management Communication Quarterly, 13(2), 305–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Larsson, R., Brousseau, K. R., Driver, M. J., & Sweet, P. L. (2004). The secrets of merger and acquisition success: A co-competence and motivational approach to synergy realization. In A. L. Pablo & M. Javidan (Eds.), Mergers and acquisitions: Creating integrative knowledge. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  35. Leventhal, G. S., Karuza, J., & Fry, W. R. (1980). Beyond fairness: A theory of allocation preferences. In G. Mikula (Ed.), Justice and social interaction (pp. 167–218). New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  36. Lewis, L., & Seibold, D. (1998). Reconceptualizing organizational change implementation as a communication problem: A review of literature and research agenda. In M. E. Roloff (Ed.), Communication yearbook (Vol. 21, pp. 93–151). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  37. Marks, M. L., & Mirvis, P. H. (1998). Rebuilding after a merger: Dealing with survivor sickness. Organizational Dynamics, 21(2), 18–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Meyer, J. P., Becker, T. E., & Vandenberghe, C. (2004). Employee commitment and motivation: A conceptual analysis and integrative model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 991–1007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Morrison, E. W., & Robinson, S. L. (1997). When employees feel betrayed: A model of how psychological contract violation develops. The Academy of Management Review, 22(1), 226–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nikandrou, I., Papalexandris, N., & Dimitris, B. (2000). Gaining employee trust after acquisitions: Implications for managerial action. Employee Relations, 22(4), 334–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Organ, D. W. (1990). The motivational basis of organizational citizenship behavior. Research in Organizational Behavior, 12(1), 43–72.Google Scholar
  42. Rafferty, A. E., & Jimmieson, N. L. (2010). Team change climate: A group-level analysis of the relationships among change information and change participation, role stressors, and well-being. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 19(5), 551–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Saunders, M. N. K., Thornhill, A., & Lewis, P. (2002). Understanding employees’ reactions to the management of change: An exploration through an organizational justice framework. Irish Journal of Management, 23(1), 85–108.Google Scholar
  44. Schweiger, D. M., & DeNisi, A. S. (1991). Communication with employees following a merger: A longitudinal field experiment. Academy of Management Journal, 34, 110–135.Google Scholar
  45. Shaw, J. B., & Barrett-Power, E. (1997). A conceptual framework for assessing organization, work groups and individual effectiveness during and after downsizing. Human Relations, 50(2), 109–127.Google Scholar
  46. Sitkin, S. B., & Bies, R. J. (1993). Social accounts in conflict situations: Using explanations to manage conflict. Human Relations, 46, 349–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Smeltzer, L. R. (1991). An analysis of strategies for announcing organization-wide change. Group & Organization Studies, 16(1), 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Spike, B. K., & Lesser, K. (1995). We have met the enemy. Journal of Business Strategy, 16(2), 17–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sudarsanam, S., & Mahate, A. A. (2006). Are friendly acquisitions too bad for shareholders and managers? Long-term value creation and top management turnover in hostile and friendly acquirers. British Journal of Management, 17, S7–S30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sweeney, P. D., & McFarlin, D. B. (1993). Workers evaluation’ of the “ends” and the “means”: An examination of four models of distributive and procedural justice. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 55, 23–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Thibaut, J., & Walker, L. (1975). Procedural justice: A psychological analysis. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  52. Tukiainen, T. (2001). An agenda model of organizational communication. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 6(1), 47–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. van den Bos, K. (2003). On the subjective quality of social justice: The role of affect as information in the psychology of justice judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 482–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Van Vuuren, M., de Jong, M., & Seydel, E. (2007). Direct and indirect effects of supervisor communication on organizational commitment. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 12(2), 116–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Walster, E. (1966). Assignment of responsibility for an accident. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 3, 73–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wanberg, C. R., & Banas, J. (2000). Predictors and outcomes of openness to change in a reorganizing workplace. Journal of Applied Psychology, 20(1), 132–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wilson, N., & Peel, M. J. (1991). The impact on absenteeism and quits of profit sharing and other forms of employee participation. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 44(3), 454–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Leeds University Business SchoolLeedsUK

Personalised recommendations