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charlotte

Charlotte Simonsson

Leadership, internal communication & communication professionals

charlotte

How focusing positively on errors can help organizations become more communicative: An alternative approach to crisis communication

Författare

  • Mats Heide
  • Charlotte Simonsson

Summary, in English

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to gain new knowledge of how organizational errors can be used to early detect signals of impending crises and thereby develop internal crisis communication. Three communication processes – organizational culture, leadership and learning – that are particularly important for the development of internal crisis communication are focused. The paper also discusses what kind of learning error management supports, and suggests how crisis communication as a practice can be developed. The thesis is that intensified work of improving internal crisis communication is a vital step of becoming a communicative organization, where all coworkers are understood and act as strategic communicators. Design/methodology/approach – This empirical study is part of a three-year research project on internal crisis communication within a Swedish university hospital. This paper is based on a sub-study with 37 qualitative semi-structured interviews with nurses, physicians, managers and crisis management specialists within the hospital.
Findings – The paper offers knowledge about how internal crisis communication can be developed by focusing on errors as resource to anticipate a crisis and as material for organizational learning. Coworkers are mainly focused in the article and are seen as important sources and strategic communicators. It is further emphasized that error management is not a matter of technological solutions, but rather a question of communicative aspects of leadership and organizational culture.
Practical implications – It is suggested that initiatives to develop internal crisis communication is an important step for organizations in becoming communicative organizations, and communication professionals have an important role to facilitate this development.
Originality/value – This paper gives a new understanding of internal crisis communication and the importance of leadership and culture.
Keywords Leadership, Internal communication, Organizational culture, Crisis communication Paper type Research paper

Avdelning/ar

  • Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

Publiceringsår

2018

Språk

Engelska

Sidor

179-196

Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie

Journal of Communication Management

Volym

22

Issue

2

Dokumenttyp

Artikel i tidskrift

Förlag

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Ämne

  • Communication Studies

Nyckelord

  • leadership
  • internal communication
  • organizational culture
  • crisis communication

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Övrigt

  • ISSN: 1363-254X