Internal communication as power management in change processes: Study on the possibilities and the reality of change communications

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Authors: J. Lies

Publication Year: 2012


Journal: Public Relations Review

Volume: 38

Issue: 2

Categories: Change, Change Management, Organizational Change, Change, Change Management, Risk


Literature on change management has changed over the years. Under the umbrella of change management today frequently holistic approaches are discussed. The special significance of soft factors results from the area of tension of subjective/personal risk assessment of certain groups of actors, which entail comprehensive changes. As change projects depend on implementation by executives and employees, change communications is a form of (internal) strategic stakeholder management. Change communications can be identified as the single part of change management, which focuses on the soft factors that are activated through the change of hard factors. With the management of soft factors the aim is to make a contribution to the enforcement of change goals, i.e. to secure or to regain the management's power. For this purpose 60 PR-agencies in Germany have been polled, as to how they assess the possibilities and reality of change communications. The result illustrates a torn of the agency scene between service and consulting claims, which emphasizes the question, if (internal) communication means the organization of messages and its delivery or also becomes part of behavioral economics with the idea to control the power of management.