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Rethinking internal communication: a stakeholder approach

Mary Welch (Division of Applied Communication, Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Paul R. Jackson (Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 15 May 2007

55323

Abstract

Purpose

Effective internal communication is crucial for successful organisations as it affects the ability of strategic managers to engage employees and achieve objectives. This paper aims to help organisations improve internal communication by proposing theory with the potential to improve practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper identifies gaps in the academic literature and addresses calls for discussion and definition of internal communication, for theory on its mandates, scope and focus and to counteract the tendency to treat employees as a uni‐dimensional “single public”. To address these gaps, internal communication is defined and positioned within the corporate communication school of thought.

Findings

The paper proposes an Internal Communication Matrix which could be used to supplement other forms of internal situational analysis and as an analytical tool which may be applied to the strategic analysis, planning and evaluation of internal communication.

Practical implications

Strategic communication practitioners are offered a fresh perspective from which to consider internal communication. The Internal Communication Matrix proposed here could be used to supplement other forms of internal situational analysis and as an analytical tool which may be applied to the strategic analysis, planning and evaluation of internal communication. The internal corporate communication concept offers a lens through which communicators can consider communication strategy and tactics.

Originality/value

This paper's theoretical contribution is significant as it addresses gaps in the literature on internal communication. It does this by conceptualising a multidimensional stakeholder approach summarised in the Internal Communication Matrix. This approach is significant since it broadens previous approaches. The paper introduces the concept of internal corporate communication and argues that it should be a key focus for corporate communication theory and practice as it concerns all employees.

Keywords

Citation

Welch, M. and Jackson, P.R. (2007), "Rethinking internal communication: a stakeholder approach", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 177-198. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563280710744847

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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