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Journal cover: Corporate Communications: An International Journal

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Online from: 1996

Subject Area: Marketing

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Rethinking internal communication: a stakeholder approach


Document Information:
Title:Rethinking internal communication: a stakeholder approach
Author(s):Mary Welch, (Division of Applied Communication, Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK), Paul R. Jackson, (Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)
Citation:Mary Welch, Paul R. Jackson, (2007) "Rethinking internal communication: a stakeholder approach", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 12 Iss: 2, pp.177 - 198
Keywords:Communication, Corporate communications, Employee relations, Public relations, Stakeholder analysis
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13563280710744847 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – Effective internal communication is crucial for successful organisations as it affects the ability of strategic managers to engage employees and achieve objectives. This paper aims to help organisations improve internal communication by proposing theory with the potential to improve practice.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper identifies gaps in the academic literature and addresses calls for discussion and definition of internal communication, for theory on its mandates, scope and focus and to counteract the tendency to treat employees as a uni-dimensional “single public”. To address these gaps, internal communication is defined and positioned within the corporate communication school of thought.

Findings – The paper proposes an Internal Communication Matrix which could be used to supplement other forms of internal situational analysis and as an analytical tool which may be applied to the strategic analysis, planning and evaluation of internal communication.

Practical implications – Strategic communication practitioners are offered a fresh perspective from which to consider internal communication. The Internal Communication Matrix proposed here could be used to supplement other forms of internal situational analysis and as an analytical tool which may be applied to the strategic analysis, planning and evaluation of internal communication. The internal corporate communication concept offers a lens through which communicators can consider communication strategy and tactics.

Originality/value – This paper's theoretical contribution is significant as it addresses gaps in the literature on internal communication. It does this by conceptualising a multidimensional stakeholder approach summarised in the Internal Communication Matrix. This approach is significant since it broadens previous approaches. The paper introduces the concept of internal corporate communication and argues that it should be a key focus for corporate communication theory and practice as it concerns all employees.



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