Over the last two decades, internal communications has developed considerably as a sub‐discipline of public relations. Some of this growth is due to the desire of managers to bypass trade union influence in the workplace. Additionally, during the 1970s there was considerable dispute in some workplaces about who actually owned the right to communicate with employees. However, recent studies, including one by the author, have shown that good trade union channels are a considerable asset in the communication manager's repertoire. This paper considers some of the evidence for this view, highlights the need to be clear about the purpose of involvement and of participation at work and poses some practical questions for communicators.
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