Why communication is important

Communicating changeMBA Management of Change2016-17 1 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Overview and objectives 2 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Communication process Why communication is important forchange Change as a communication problem Delivery of change messages Stories and story-telling in change Silence Summary and conclusionsCommunication process 3 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Sender ReceiverNoiseFeedbackMessage throughchannelEncodes messageusing knowledge &rulesDecodes messageusing knowledge &rulesWhy does communication matter? 4 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Communication via: Body language Listening Speaking Text Situation / setting Other?Change as a communication problem 5 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Ford and Ford (1995) assert that intentionalchange is produced through conversations Four types of conversation Initiative Understanding Performance ClosureChange conversations (Ford and Ford 1995) 6 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Conversation Functions ExampleInitiative conversations Start change by proposing tolisteners what could or should bedoneWe need to do something aboutWill you [take this action]?We will do [act / taskConversations for understanding Generate understanding of thechanges proposed; conditions ofsatisfaction; involvement,participation and support;interpretationsMaking claims, providing evidence:Well have succeeded if complaintsfall below [stated level] per monthConversations for performance Get people into action; depend onclear conditions of satisfaction;mobilises action through requestsand promises; acknowledgesliability, allocates responsibilityI request that youI accept responsibility for achieving[stated outcome].Youve forgotten about the needtoConversations for closure Signal completion of the change;opportunity for thanks, regret,congratulationsI want to thank youYour willingness hasmade possibleWe have achieved our statedgoal. Change conversations 7 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Ford and Ford argue that when conversations donot evolve change will breakdown Five potential areas of failure: Initiative conversations do not lead anywhere Insufficient shared understanding Believing agreement equals action Assuming required performance is known No specific closureChange conversations 8 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Breakdown ExplanationInitiative conversations do notlead anywhereConversation not held? Wrongaudience?Insufficient shared understanding Failure to achieve clear agreementon what needs to be doneBelieving agreement = action Agreement and action are distinctstagesAssuming required performance isknownFailure to specify what must bedone and to what effectNo specific closure Change agent omits a concludingstage Getting the right balance 9 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Communication EffectivenessAmount of information transmittedGreatLowLittleHighSpray & PrayTell &SellUnderscore & exploreIdentify & ReplyWithhold &UpholdAfter Clampitt et al 2000Getting the message in order 10 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Talking coherently Ideals (expressing preferences) Appeals (seeking support) Rules (directing peoples actions) Deals (bargaining and exchange)Change messages must be connected and revealed overtime, allowing employees to build understanding of thenew environment and their place in it(Sillence, 1999)Selling change 11 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Selling change upwards Presentation of the idea as an incrementalchange Bundling the idea with other issues ofstrategic importance Involvement of executives and peers(Dutton et al, 2001)Stories & storytelling 12 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Many organizational conversations involvestories What organization stories do you know? Bojes work can be used to identify theroles of stories and storytelling inorganizational change Stories and storytelling for understandingand for actionStories and understanding (Boje 1991) 13 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Classify previous actions & management Signals behaviours to repeat / avoid (pp.111 & 115) Explain current actions / organization tone Why the organization is like it is (pp. 111 & 115) Explain reasons for resistance Explanations of previous change / resistance (p.116)Stories and action 14 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Promote a favoured perspective Shape the issues or problems at hand (p.117) Sell ideas credibly Establish credibility behind a course of action (p.118)Organizational Silence 15 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Organizational silence when employeeswithhold their views and concerns aboutproblems within an organization Morrison and Milliken (2000) associate itwith:Managers fear of negative feedbackManagers implicit beliefsSilence 16 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Managers fear of negative feedback Managers wish to retain an aura of strength andinvincibility They wish to avoid (damaging) negative feedback sowhen it is given they might deny its relevance orattack the sources credibility Managers implicit beliefs Employees as self-interested and untrustworthy Management knows best Consensus signals healthSilence 17 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Implications of silence Organizations lose the opportunity for constructiveresistance, contributing to weaker decision-making Can stifle organizational change efforts by creatingtoo much consensus and not enough innovation Miss errors in the organization Upset employeesSummary and conclusions 18 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Communication, in all its forms, is key to successfulchange Ford and Ford argue that intentional change occursthrough conversations Much organizational communication occurs throughstories and storytelling Stories and storytelling can provide insights relevantto change Beware creating organizational silenceReferences 19 2017 MBA Management of Change Dr Sue Richardson Boje, D.M. (1991)The storytelling organization: a study of storyperformance in an office-supply firm, Administrative Science Quarterly31(1),106-126.Clampitt, P.G., DeKoch, R.J. and Cashman, T. (2000) A strategy forcommunicating about uncertainty, Academy of Management Executive14(4), 41-57.Dutton, J.E., Ashford, S.J., ONeill, R.M., and Lawrence, K.A. (2001)Moves that matter: issue selling and organizational change, Academyof Management Journal 44(4), 716-736.Ford, J. D. and Ford, L. W. (1995) The role of conversations inproducing intentional change in organizations, Academy ofManagement Review 20(3), 541-570.Morrison, E.W. And Milliken, F.J. (2000) Organizational silence: abarrier to change and development in a pluralistic world, Academy ofManagement Review 25(4), 706-725.Sillince, J.A.A. (1999) The role of political language forms andlanguage coherence in the organizational change process,Organization Studies 20(3), 485-518.

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