The medium and the message: communicating effectively during a major change initiative

Joanna Goodman, Catherine Truss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The way in which organizations communicate with their employees during a change programme has been shown to have significant effects on the success of change initiatives, in particular on individual commitment, morale and retention. However, there have been few prior studies that have explored how organizations develop and deploy communication strategies in support of major change initiatives. In this article, we contribute to this discussion by showing how two organizations used a variety of communication strategies when implementing their change programmes and the effects these strategies had on their employees. The findings show that both the process and the content of the communication strategy are significant. In particular, the timing of change messages, matching communication strategies to the employee profile, the use of appropriate media, flexibility and the minimisation of uncertainty were especially significant. Based on our findings, we present a model of effective internal communication during the management of change programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-228
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Change Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2004
Externally publishedYes

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