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Speaking of change: three communication approaches in studies of organizational change

Catrin Johansson (Department of Media and Communication, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden)
Mats Heide (Lund University, Lund, Sweden)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 6 August 2008




The purpose of the present review of communication approaches to organizational change is to identify and further develop the range of perspectives available in the literature and to present a framework on communication and change that could underpin future research.


Research on communication, narratives, stories and discourse, which have mapped new terrain in the study of organizational change, is reviewed and discussed.


The authors conclude that despite the vast academic and popular change literature, communication approaches to change still remain underdeveloped and communication scholars are, with few exceptions, remarkably absent in the field. Three challenges for the future are proposed, that researchers of communication and organizational change need to consider.


This paper provides a comprehensive literature review in the field of communication during organizational change. By integrating these studies in a new framework of communication as tool, process and social transformation, the authors offer a new foundation for theory building in this area. Further development and integration of these three different communication approaches is suggested, which would offer better conditions for research and practice to embrace the complex processes of organizational change.



Johansson, C. and Heide, M. (2008), "Speaking of change: three communication approaches in studies of organizational change", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 288-305.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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