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Assessing the role and efficacy of communication strategies in times of crisis

Evans, Claire, Hammersley, Geraldine O'Malley and Robertson, Maxine 2001. Assessing the role and efficacy of communication strategies in times of crisis. Journal of European Industrial Training 25 (6) , pp. 297-309. 10.1108/03090590110401773

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This paper explores the impact of communication strategies on shaping employee involvement at Rover’s Longbridge plant, between 1997 and 1999. At this time, the firm was experiencing severe difficulties. This triggered a period of transformational change within the company. Qualitative methodology was utilised to explore management’s internal communications strategies, which aimed to initiate and sustain change. These strategies were analysed in relation to external forces, specifically the media, which played a significant role in shaping management action at this time. Semi-structured interviews with senior management and trade union representatives were conducted, and company data was utilised to provide the shop-floor perspective. New developments with regard to existing EI theory were uncovered. Communications increased in prominence and centrality to organisational objectives, and a radical communications technique was introduced. The research also highlights that EI initiatives cannot be divorced from the organisational context. Several key issues emerged: management must brief internal audiences before information reaches the media; the timely provision of consistent information is paramount; and finally, personal involvement by senior management is a prerequisite for the success of any change management programme.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Uncontrolled Keywords: Automobile industry; Employee communications; Organizational change; United Kingdom
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0309-0590
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:12

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