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Promoting active communication behaviours through internal communication

Alessandra Mazzei (Institute of Economics and Marketing, IULM University of Milan, Milan, Italy)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 10 August 2010




The purpose of this paper is to propose a definition of internal communication based on intangible resources rather than organizational boundaries.


The paper reviews the resource‐based theory of the company, the constructivist theory of communication and the situational theory of publics. It then proposes a resource model (RM) of internal communication based on interactive processes aimed at creating two catalytic resources for organizing: knowledge and allegiance. The field research explores whether this model captures the concept of internal communication prevailing in business, based on interviews with ten internal communication managers in Italian companies.


The companies in this paper display a strong awareness of how intangible resources, such as knowledge and employee attitudes, contribute to the company's success. Consequently, they seek to promote active communication behaviours among employees. The RM depicts many characteristics of the way managers currently perceive internal communication.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the qualitative nature of the research, the results do not have universal validity.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that the main function of internal communication departments is no longer to transmit messages but to promote active communication behaviours at all organizational levels.


The paper suggests a definition of internal communication that would help to generate the intangible resources that fuel organizations: knowledge and allegiance. It supports a new focus on active communication behaviours of employees.



Mazzei, A. (2010), "Promoting active communication behaviours through internal communication", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 221-234.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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