A study of internal change communication practices: message, media, channel and approach
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In a time when organizational change is occurring more frequently with higher stakes for implementing change successfully, it is critical for internal public relation practitioners to develop communication strategies using activities that are most effective in achieving the intended outcomes of the organizational change. By understanding theory of change and leveraging the Goodman and Truss (2004) communication wheel, this research identifies the communication practices - the messages, media, channels and approaches - that minimize employee uncertainty, increase employee support and reduce employee resistance to the organizational change. The results of the study add to the public relations literature by understanding how communications contributes to the success of planned organizational change. Data from 95 communication practitioners showed that disseminating messages that are personally relevant and provide insights into the company's purpose and vision for the change increase employee understanding of the change. Additionally, analysis of the survey findings reported using media that engage employee participation increase employee support for the change. Furthermore, the middle manager as communicator was associated to rallying employee support for the organizational change.