THE EFFECT OF COMMUNICATION ON EMPLOYEE PERCEPTION OF CHANGE IN AN ORGANIZATION (A CASE STUDY OF UNICEM CALABAR)
Background to the Study
The growing globalization of business and increasing competition and technological advancement has led to an increasing need to change organizational polices and strategies (Hampel and Martinsons, 2009). The pace of challenges is increasing and thus organizational change is considered unavoidable (Drucker, 1999).
Organizational change is the continuous process of aligning an organization with its market place and doing it more responsively and effectively than competitors. Thus, organizational change management is a continuous process of experiment and adaptation aimed at matching organizational capabilities to the needs and dictates of a dynamic business environment Rogers (1995).
As such, in a highly competitive environment, organizational change becomes indispensable for greater success and excellence. This is due to the dynamism of the internal and external business environment. But inspite of the importance of change management to organization success, employees in most organization resist change, sequel to wrong perception and their in ability to adapt to new development and shifting from their current point. As such, organizational scholars have long acknowledge the importance of communication strategy in explanation of organizational change in order to clearly communicate in advance, the short and long term effect as well as the benefits and short comings of such change management. This is in order to avoid potential loss that could arise from cynicism in certain group of employees and consequently change resistance Langham (1996).
In organization, most problems and challenges are generated by competition, advance technology, mergers, expansion, product quality maintenance, or enhancing employee efficiency on the one hand and rapid growth, new business venture, exciting opportunities, innovation, and new leadership and management approaches on the other (Madsen et al, 2005). To overcome these challenges, organizations are often under pressure for survival and stay competitive in future. In such adverse environment, employee attitude and behavior to accept organizational change is considered important for management and change agents for successful organizational change. This is sequel to the way in which most employee resist change from the onset,
Hence the need to use communication to inform and educate employee on such organizational change before it commences.
It is against this background that the researcher sees the subject matter “The effect of communication on employee’s perception to change in an organization” worthy of being investigated through this survey.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Organizational is basically confronted with issue of change resistance by employee. This has been a big challenge as well as impediment to management of organization during such period. This is attributed to constraints arising from the inability of management to communicate such change in advance through effective communication before implementation. Communication problems are common place when change are not clearly identified Lewis (2007). Not only do they cause a drain on profitability, but also the effectiveness of management declines. In the work of Dawson (2006), he opined that there are many underlying reasons why communication often falls short of the ideas, which are “accuracy, reliability, validity, adequacy and effectives,” are addressed with some general issues within the relationship between information and communication in organizations.
Lewis (2007)’s research findings, the most frequently noted categories of problem encountered by the company in transition are “communicating vision” and negative attitudes”. If an organization’s management does not consider which communication behaviours, it wishes to foster for its success, the signals it sends to employees may be inconsistent or counterproductive. Thus managers should consider conveying clear communication behavour expectations as a fundamental element of strategy. In doing so, firms might pursue communication audits which involve ethnographic analysis, including observational and interviewing, to learn exactly what organizational policies are operating Gilsdorf, (2008). Moreover, Gilsdorf moves on to argue that analysis of organizational culture should be conducted in order to help determine communication strategy used to solve the problem.
This has cause organization to suffer loss arising from change resistance. Hence the need to investigated the effect of communication on employee’s perception to change in an organization becomes imperative. This is so sequel to gap created by inadequate researches on the subject which has great importance to organizational growth.
1.3 Research Questions
i. How is communication use in managing organizational change?
ii. What forms of communication is used in managing change in an organization?
iii. How is communication use in reducing change resistance?
- What is the effect of communication on workers productivity during organizational change?