Organizational Change Communication

One of the greatest challenges for any organization is knowing how to handle change management (Jones et al., 2004, p. 307); whether it is from a departmental level or organizational level, this is an area that must be understood and mastered to survive the growing global marketplace (Bennis, 1999; Malmelin, 2007, p. 298). Too often business communication is understood in simple terms such as press releases, media relations, staff presentations, or negotiation skills (Malmelin, 2007, p. 298), however there is a deeper level where communication may possibly have a greater impact such as interaction with customers, sponsors, partners, and outside stakeholders (Malmelin, 2007, p. 298). In the case of organizational change, this deeper level of communication is most effective when it impacts the immediate followers within the organization who have the interactions with customers, sponsors, partners, and outside stakeholders (Pideret, 2000).

In order for leaders to effectively navigate organizational change successfully it is imperative for to them understand the different attitudes their employees have toward the communication they receive: there is the cognitive attitude (beliefs), emotional attitudes (individual feelings), and conative attitudes (evaluations based on past or intentional behaviors) (Pideret, 2000, p. 787). Followers going through the process of organizational change go through a number of reactions, some positive and some negative, that include organizational commitment, job satisfaction, receptivity, resistance, cynicism, commitment and stress, thus revealing organizational change is a multidimensional phenomenon (Armenakis & Bedeian, 1999, p. 305) Leaders who recognize this multidimensional phenomenon, and navigate it artfully will experience greater success through the process of change, because organizational communication and its effectiveness is the gateway to business success (Malmelin, 2007, p. 301).


Armenakis, A., & Bedeian, A. (1999). Organizational Change: A Review of Theory and Research in the 1990’s. Journal of Management, vol. 25(iss. 3), pp. 293–315.

Bennis, W. (1999). The End of Leadership: Exemplary Leadership Is Impossible Without Full Inclusion, Initiatives, and Cooperation of Followers. Organizational Dynamics, 28(1), 71–79.

Jones, E., Watson, B., Gardner, J., & Gallois, C. (2004). Organizational Communication: Challenges for the New Century. Journal of Communication, vol. 54(iss. 4), pp. 722–750.

Malmelin, N. (2007). Communication capital. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 12(iss. 3), 298–310.

Pideret, S. K. (2000). Rethinking Resistence and Recognizing Ambivelenve: a multidimensional view of attitudes toward an organizational change. Academy of Management Reviews, vol. 25(iss. 5), pp. 783–794.

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