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Journal cover: Journal of Organizational Change Management

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Online from: 1988

Subject Area: Organization Studies

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First steps: linking change communication to change receptivity

Document Information:
Title:First steps: linking change communication to change receptivity
Author(s):Jennifer Frahm, (Department of Management University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia), Kerry Brown, (School of Management, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Citation:Jennifer Frahm, Kerry Brown, (2007) "First steps: linking change communication to change receptivity", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 20 Iss: 3, pp.370 - 387
Keywords:Change management, Communication, Organizational change
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09534810710740191 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – Change receptivity is recognised as an important factor in successfully implementing organizational change strategies. The purpose of this paper is to examine the process of change in the initial stages of a change agenda within a public sector organization and analyze the communication of change. It traces the resultant receptivity to organizational change. The paper investigates whether organizational change communication is a crucial element in employees' receptivity to change.

Design/methodology/approach – A case study design is employed and the multiple methods employed include surveys, focus groups, archival data and participant observation.

Findings – The findings indicate that the initial change communication is problematic. The employees respond to a lack of instrumental change communication with a constructivist communication approach in order to manage the implications of continuous change.

Research limitations/implications – This research provides an overview of the first 100 days of change in a public sector organization only, and so the limitations of single case studies apply. However, the close investigation of this phase provides further research directions to be addressed.

Practical implications – The findings suggest managers need to align employees' expectations of the change communication with understanding of the change goal.

Originality/value – The primary value of the paper is in using a communicative lens to study the change process.

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