Intern kommunikation och meningsskapande vid strategisk organisationsförändring : en studie av Sveriges Televison
Sammanfattning: Planned change and change-related communication are perceived very differently by the members of an organization. Strongly varying perceptions of new tasks, work processes and goals make joint action difficult and cause the failure of many change initiatives. The purpose of this study is to investigate how internal communication and sensemaking processes contribute to the perception of strategic change among the members of a public service organization. The following questions are answered: How does the management plan and perform internal communication during a strategic change of the Swedish public service television company Sveriges Television (SVT)? How do the members of the organization make sense of a strategic change and the internal communication related to the changes that are planned and carried out?A social constructivist perspective combined with theories of sensemaking, communication, social identities, roles, groups, power and status constitutes the analytical framework. The investigation is designed as two case studies of the SVT production facilities in Malmö and Örebro. The empirical material consists mainly of personal interviews. Written documents and observations have also been used. The case studies took place between 2002 and 2004. Some main conclusions are as follows:1) Internal communication is central for how members of an organization make sense of, and participate in, major change. Yet, not even in ideal communication situations do the employees experience that the information has been sufficient and that they have been included in the change process. There are thus reasons for more balanced expectations of what is possible to achieve with internal communication during strategic change. 2) The most influential factor determining how people make sense of change-related communication is the practical everyday reality that constitutes their frames of reference. The reluctance to consider, and act upon, how other individuals conceive of a situation leads to misdirected internal communication and gaps of understanding. 3) Organizational identities, group membership, roles and status function as frames of reference when employees make sense of changes. But irrespective of whether the changes take place on an organizational, departmental or group level, personal identities are the most influential frames of reference for interpreting organizational change. The investigation thus establishes an order of precedence for frames of reference that has important implications for internal communication during strategic change.The thesis contributes to sensemaking theories by demonstrating their extensive ability to explain mutually related phenomena, such as attention, resistance and self-fulfilling prophecies. The apparent ability to explain basically all sensemaking-related issues in organizations, and thus leading to reductionism, is also concluded to be one of the weaknesses of the theories. By connecting sensemaking theories with roles, social identities and power, the study contributes to clarifying the frame concept.
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