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CHAPTER 7

STRATEGIES FOR
COMMUNICATING
CHANGE

McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2009 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
7.1
COMMUNICATION PROCESS
Communication • The way change is communicated is important to
Process the success of the change program
Language, Power, • Basic communication process:
Gender &
Communication – Sender: Individuals who send the message (encode)
– Receiver: Individuals who receive the message (decode)
Emotion &
Communication – Message: Verbal and nonverbal attempts to trigger meaning
– Feedback: Providing a response to the sender in order to see
Communication
Strategies if the intended meaning was conveyed
- Contingency – Channel: The medium through which the message was sent.
approaches
– Noise: Other distraction that exists in the communication
Communication environment and may act to interfere with the transmission of
Media: meaning.(i.e; jargon words, etc)
-Richness
-Responsibility

10-2
Communication Process...continued

Communication There are many problems can disturb the process


Process
of communication:
Language, Power,
Gender & •Message overload: when information acquisition is
Communication
overbalanced compared to an individual’s response capabilities.
Emotion &
Communication •Message distortion : when meanings are misinterpreted
through intentional or unintentional problems relating to the
Communication sending or receiving of the message.
Strategies
- Contingency
approaches
•Message ambiguity: when an organization has a vision but is
not prescriptively clear on how to achieve it.
Communication
Media:
-Richness
-Responsibility
7.2 : LANGUAGE, POWER, GENDER &
COMMUNICATION
Communication
Process Language, power, gender and emotion can also
Language, Power,
impact the communication of change.
Gender &
Communication
• Language reflects and reinforces underlying
Emotion &
Communication social and power relationships. (i.e: “sit down!” vs
“You must be so tired. Why don’t you sit down?”
Communication
Strategies
- Contingency • Gender differences, for example, also affect this
approaches
process. Three examples of the difference are:
Communication – Getting credit (i.e: ‘I’:men and ‘We’:women)
Media:
-Richness – Confidence and boasting(i.e: minimize doubt vs
-Responsibility downplay certainty)
– Asking questions (i.e: Women: ask question more
than men)
. 10-4
Power & Communication

Communication
Process • Power
Language, Power,
Managers can use three techniques to
Gender & avoid these situations:
Communication

Emotion & – Perspective taking-Thinking about how others are likely to think
Communication and feel about a change.

Communication
Strategies – Threat-reducing behavior- Engaging in intentional, interpersonal
- Contingency interactions with staff to minimize their perceptions that changes are likely
approaches to lead to harm for them.

Communication
Media: – Reflection- Self-evaluation of their actions to lessen the emergence of
-Richness negative emotions and identification of corrective actions when necessary.
-Responsibility
Emotion & communication

Communication
Process • Emotion is linked to change, and can also contribute
to the breakdown of the communication process.
Language, Power,
Gender &
Communication • Individuals can perceive that organizational change
can harm them personally, thus their emotional state
Emotion & and sense of identity are threatened by change
Communication
situations.
Communication
Strategies
- Contingency
approaches

Communication
Media:
-Richness
-Responsibility

10-6
7.4
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
Communication
Process
• Can you communicate anxiety cynicism
Language, Power,
Gender &
too much:
Communication – Participants may suffer
information overload
Emotion &
Communication
– It may not involve real
participation
Communication
Strategies
- Contingency
approaches

Communication • Getting word-out or


Media:
-Richness
Getting buy-in:
-Responsibility – this differentiates between
providing information or
gaining participation in the
process.
10-7
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES...continued

Communication
Process • Beyond Spray and Pray:
Language, Power, – This communication continuum includes five
Gender & approaches
Communication • Spray and pray: employees are sprayed with wide
Emotion &
variety of information; managers pray that staff will
Communication pick up on what is needed to be done
• Tell and sell: managers tell staff about changes
Communication and sell them on why they are required
Strategies
- Contingency • Underscore and explore: management engages
approaches employees in a dialogue about the change process
and explore potential obstacles and
Communication misunderstanding to be addressed.
Media:
-Richness
• Identify and reply: Identify employees rumours
-Responsibility and reply to it. It is an attempt to help staff make
sense out of issues that are confusing to them
• Withhold and uphold: Information is withheld until
it is necessary to release; management adopts a
party line on issues that they uphold publicly.
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES...continued
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES...continued

Communication
Process • Contingency approaches
Language, Power, to communicating strategy
Gender &
Communication
vary depending:
Emotion &
– on the type of change e.g.
Communication • Developmental or incremental; face-
to-face, aim for widespread
Communication involvement
Strategies
- Contingency • Task-focused: top-down, more
approaches formal means such as memo, etc
• Charismatic: more personalized
Communication
forms, seek to gain emotional
Media:
-Richness commitment
-Responsibility • Turnaround: formal, top-down,
usually during crises to force people
to comply

10-10
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES...continued

CONTINGENCIES APPROACHES TO
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES

..the type of change


...the stage of change
Developmental
..leadership style
Task-focused Planning
Charismatic Enabling Commanding
Turnarounds Launching Logical
Catalyzing Inspirational
Maintaining supportive
7.5
COMMUNICATION MEDIA: Richness
Communication
Process • Varies in “richness” depending on how
Language, Power, personal is its ability to communicate
Gender &
Communication change
Emotion & • There is a hierarchy of media richness
Communication
than can be more applicable for particular
Communication
Strategies
situations. (see page 309)
- Contingency
approaches
– For example, an email or memo is less
personal (and less “rich”) than a face to face
Communication
Media: meeting
-Richness
-Responsibility  Different types of media may also be
more appropriate for different audiences
with differing needs.
10-12
COMMUNICATION MEDIA: Richness
COMMUNICATION MEDIA: Responsibility

Communication
Process  CEO: Many believe that the CEO should
Language, Power, be the principle communicator of change
Gender &
Communication
while others find lower level managers
more trusted by staff and therefore in a
Emotion &
Communication better position to communicate change.
Communication

 Tag Teams: Many organizations now


Strategies
- Contingency
approaches
use tag teams – a transition
Communication management team. The role of this team
Media:
-Richness is specifically to stimulate open
-Responsibility
conversations through organizational
units and dispersing information.(i.e:
OBE Committee)
10-14
END OF CHAPTER 7