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Managing internal communication: an organizational case study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 06:38 authored by Paul J A Robson, Dennis TourishDennis Tourish
Purpose – The primary objective of this article is to explore what senior managers think they should be doing to improve communication in their organization, what they actually do in communication terms, and the high work load which senior managers undertake. Design/methodology/approach – This understanding is advanced by using the results of a communication audit which was conducted in a major European health-care organization (HCO) undergoing significant internal re-organization. A communication audit can be defined as: “a comprehensive and thorough study of communication philosophy, concepts, structure, flow and practice within an organisation”. It assists managers by “providing an objective picture of what is happening compared with what senior executives think (or have been told) is happening”. Findings – First, senior managers who over-work are even less likely to have the time for reflection, followed by behaviour change. Second, the absence of adequate upward communication may blind managers to the full nature of their problems, which in turn guides the search for solutions. Research limitations/implications – Clearly there is a need to examine other types of organizations to establish the universality of the communication issues and problems that were found in a large HCO in Europe, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Practical implications – The data suggest that attempting to cover up communication weaknesses by managers working even longer hours only has the effect of further disempowering people, and so accentuating rather than alleviating the underlying difficulty. Originality/value – The article has value to fellow academics and managers in practice and contributes to the debate on upward communication and the workload of managers.


Publication status

  • Published


Corporate Communications: An International Journal









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Department affiliated with

  • Business and Management Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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