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The importance of internal communication in organizational change: Case study of the structural change in a Belgian government agency

Ellen Van Praet (UGent) and Sarah Van Leuven (UGent)
(2016)
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Abstract
Internal communication is an essential element to create willingness to change in organizations (Elving 2005a, 2005b; Clampitt et al. 2000; Armenakis et al. 2007). In this paper, we present the results of a mixed method research assessing change communication in a Belgian governmental institution which recently implemented a change in its organizational structure. Our approach to the data was twofold. The descriptive, quantitative first part of the research relies on a survey of 718 staff members involved in the change. The survey consists of 30 questions assessing the internal communication about the change, and the staff’s willingness to change. The questionnaire is based on existing instruments - such as the ICA audit, the scales of Armenakis et al (2007) and Wanous et al (2000). We addressed the following research questions: RQ1 - To what extent are staff members willing to go along with the change? RQ2 - To what extent are staff members satisfied with the internal communication regarding the change? Second, we conducted 14 semi-structured in-depth interviews with staff members, in which we further explored notable findings of the survey. The interviews (each about 20 to 30 minutes) were conducted in the period from June 25, 2014 to July 9, 2014 and aimed at answering the following research question: RQ3 - To what extent has the internal communication had an impact on staff members’ willingness to change or change resistance ? Our findings confirm that a negative assessment of the internal communication correlates with a higher degree of change resistance, but also -if not more so- the results reveal the the extent to which individual self interest acts cause resistance to change. In conclusion, we open up the debate about the role of internal communication in signaling and preventing this from happening. __________ 50-word summary: This paper presents the results of a mixed method research assessing change communication in a Belgian governmental institution which recently implemented a change in its organizational structure. The main finding is that a crucial role is reserved for internal communication in preventing self-interest acts as a brake on change readiness.
Keywords
Business communicaton, linguistic ethnography, change management

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MLA
Van Praet, Ellen, and Sarah Van Leuven. “The Importance of Internal Communication in Organizational Change: Case Study of the Structural Change in a Belgian Government Agency.” 2016. Print.
APA
Van Praet, E., & Van Leuven, S. (2016). The importance of internal communication in organizational change: Case study of the structural change in a Belgian government agency. Presented at the ABC conference.
Chicago author-date
Van Praet, Ellen, and Sarah Van Leuven. 2016. “The Importance of Internal Communication in Organizational Change: Case Study of the Structural Change in a Belgian Government Agency.” In .
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Praet, Ellen, and Sarah Van Leuven. 2016. “The Importance of Internal Communication in Organizational Change: Case Study of the Structural Change in a Belgian Government Agency.” In .
Vancouver
1.
Van Praet E, Van Leuven S. The importance of internal communication in organizational change: Case study of the structural change in a Belgian government agency. 2016.
IEEE
[1]
E. Van Praet and S. Van Leuven, “The importance of internal communication in organizational change: Case study of the structural change in a Belgian government agency,” presented at the ABC conference, Capetown, 2016.
@inproceedings{7090451,
  abstract     = {Internal communication is an essential element to create willingness to change in organizations (Elving 2005a, 2005b; Clampitt et al. 2000; Armenakis et al. 2007). In this paper, we  present the results of a mixed method research assessing change communication in a Belgian governmental institution which recently implemented a change in its organizational structure.
Our approach to the data was twofold. The descriptive, quantitative first part of the research relies on a survey of 718 staff members involved in the change. The survey consists of 30 questions assessing the internal communication about the change, and the staff’s willingness to change. The questionnaire is based on existing instruments - such as the ICA audit, the scales of Armenakis et al (2007) and Wanous et al (2000). We addressed the following research questions: 

RQ1 - To what extent are staff members willing to go along with the change?
RQ2 - To what extent are staff members satisfied with the internal communication regarding the change?

Second, we conducted 14 semi-structured in-depth interviews with staff members, in which we further explored notable findings of the survey. The interviews (each about 20 to 30 minutes) were conducted in the period from June 25, 2014 to July 9, 2014 and aimed at answering the following research question:

RQ3 - To what extent has the internal communication had an impact on staff members’  willingness to change or change resistance ?

Our findings confirm that a negative assessment of the internal communication correlates with a higher degree of change resistance, but also -if not more so- the results reveal the the extent to which individual self interest acts cause resistance to change.  In conclusion, we open up the debate about the role of internal communication in signaling and preventing this from happening. 
__________

50-word summary: This paper presents the results of a mixed method research assessing change communication in a Belgian governmental institution which recently implemented a change in its organizational structure. The main finding is that a crucial role is reserved for internal communication in preventing self-interest acts as a brake on change readiness.},
  author       = {Van Praet, Ellen and Van Leuven, Sarah},
  keywords     = {Business communicaton,linguistic ethnography,change management},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Capetown},
  title        = {The importance of internal communication in organizational change: Case study of the structural change in a Belgian government agency},
  year         = {2016},
}