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Organizational Change: Creating Change Through Strategic Communication by Laurie K. Lewis

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5

Communication Approaches and Strategies

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity

George S. Patton

It is a bad plan that admits of no modification

Publilius Syrus, 1st century BC

Make it so

Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Starship Enterprise

As implementers make decisions about how to introduce change to stakeholders, they make basic and sometimes sophisticated choices of communication strategies. Structured implementation activities (SIAs) are defined as a set of actions purposefully designed and carried out to introduce users to the innovation and to encourage intended usage (Lewis and Seibold, 1993). Implementers are responsible for SIAs that will announce change; explain the process of change; create necessary skill-building and information dissemination activities; alter reward and evaluation systems; and socialize stakeholders into their necessary roles in the change program. There are numerous models and methods for accomplishing these implementation communication tasks and the various approaches have different implications for the roles of stakeholders; the nature, timing, and frequency of communication; and most importantly the design of messages about change. This chapter will examine strategic models for the implementation of change; explore five specific dimensions of communication strategies; and discuss the use of different channels for communication by both implementers and stakeholders involved in ...

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