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


Document Information:
Title:Communication, sensemaking and change as a chord of three strands: Practical implications and a research agenda for communicating organizational change
Author(s):Mark van Vuuren, (Department of Communication, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands), Wim J.L. Elving, (Amsterdam School of Communications Research, Department of Communication, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Citation:Mark van Vuuren, Wim J.L. Elving, (2008) "Communication, sensemaking and change as a chord of three strands: Practical implications and a research agenda for communicating organizational change", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 13 Iss: 3, pp.349 - 359
Keywords:Change management, Communication, Critical success factors, Organizational change
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/13563280810893706 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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.



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