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Communication - is it really that simple?: An analysis of a communication exercise in a case study situation

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Analyses a communication exercise within a case study company. The exercise is in preparation for the implementation of a new element of the company remuneration package which was to be based on a central philosophy of employee involvement and team problem solving. The communication programme took place over a six-month period, and the research was conducted three months into this timescale and followed up two months after the introduction of the new payment scheme. Explicit information was conveyed downwards by senior management, and also employees were invited to contribute their ideas to the new scheme. Employees were wary and appeared to distort information based on their experiences of recent company history, their perception of the "trust" relationship between themselves and senior management, and events which took place during the exercise. The workforce appeared not to want to take ownership of the new element of the remuneration package until experience had given them an indication of a positive result. Ultimately, the communication exercise was assisting in the creation and development of a new form of shared organizational language.

Keywords: Communications; Employees; Gainsharing; Organizational change; Participation; Teamwork

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00483489610130913

Publication date: October 1, 1996

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