The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how e‐mail may promote effective internal communication in three key areas.
The paper presents a case study of a service‐orientated group of social businesses in the not‐for‐profit sector, where a triangulated approach is employed, a three‐factor model of effective e‐mail use is proposed. Using focus groups, diaries and survey, the impact of e‐mail was investigated on four key dimensions of internal communication at Parkside Housing Group.
Whilst overall e‐mail was found to be less influential than face‐to‐face communication, e‐mail was found to positively and specifically influence: the communication climate, where it provides a mechanism for staff to feed their views up the organisation; shared objectives and goal alignment, where it helps staff to understand the overarching goals of the organisation (the “bigger picture”); and perceived external prestige – the construed external image of the organisation – by helping the organisation to share positive publicity, and its successes, amongst staff.
When e‐mail is used in organisations according to the three‐factor model, it is proposed that it can have a positive impact on internal communication and subsequently organisational performance.
This is the first time the impact of e‐mail on internal communication has been investigated, from a corporate communicator's perspective, and with the number of mailboxes worldwide growing year on year, and an increasing awareness of the importance of employees as key stakeholders, this study is original, relevant and timely.
Hewitt, P. (2006), "Electronic mail and internal communication: a three‐factor model", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 78-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563280610643570Download as .RIS
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