Communication, sensemaking and change as a chord of three strands: Practical implications and a research agenda for communicating organizational change

Mark van Vuuren, Wim J.L. Elving

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose: The paper aims to propose practical and theoretical consequences of emerging lines of thinking about communication during organizational change.

    Design/methodology/approach: This conceptual paper suggests several benefits that a sensemaking approach may have in enhancing organizational success in general and the effectiveness of communicating change in particular.

    Findings: It is suggested that the negative effects of a myopic view on information provision during change distracts from the importance of other communication activities. The fact that changes often fail to meet the expected goals can be partly attributed to the misbalance between information and communication. For practical purposes, it is suggested to stress the importance of energy in organizations and work meaning. Future research could benefit from a focus on framing. Three topics that relate to framing, i.e. conflicts, informal communication, and storytelling are suggested.

    Practical implications: Suggestions for practice how to organize communication during organizational change and which topics to address are offered.

    Originality/value: Several insights that emerge from new lines of thought in literature on organizational behaviour, organizational communication and change are used in this paper to give practical advise to change agents, and suggest directions for future research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)349-359
    JournalCorporate communications
    Volume13
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Keywords

    • Organizational change
    • Communication
    • Critical success factors
    • Change management

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