This paper explores the impact of communication strategies on shaping employee involvement at Rover’s Longbridge plant, between 1997 and 1999. At this time, the firm was experiencing severe difficulties. This triggered a period of transformational change within the company. Qualitative methodology was utilised to explore management’s internal communications strategies, which aimed to initiate and sustain change. These strategies were analysed in relation to external forces, specifically the media, which played a significant role in shaping management action at this time. Semi‐structured interviews with senior management and trade union representatives were conducted, and company data was utilised to provide the shop‐floor perspective. New developments with regard to existing EI theory were uncovered. Communications increased in prominence and centrality to organisational objectives, and a radical communications technique was introduced. The research also highlights that EI initiatives cannot be divorced from the organisational context. Several key issues emerged: management must brief internal audiences before information reaches the media; the timely provision of consistent information is paramount; and finally, personal involvement by senior management is a prerequisite for the success of any change management programme.
Evans, C., O’Malley Hammersley, G. and Robertson, M. (2001), "Assessing the role and efficacy of communication strategies in times of crisis", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 297-309. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090590110401773Download as .RIS
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