Internal communication in an organization utilizing new ways of working

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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International Business Communication
International Business Communication
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Objective of the Study: The aim of this case study was to explore and describe the nature of and relationship between internal communication and new ways of working. Although information technology has been a central part of work in organizations for decades, it is only recently that work has become truly mobile and organizations have started implementing strategies and solutions that allow employees to work anywhere and anytime. The overall research problem of this thesis was: What is the nature of internal communication in an organization utilizing new ways of working? This research problem is explored through two specifying research questions: (1) How is strategy communicated in an organization utilizing new ways of working? (2) How is internal communication perceived in an organization utilizing new ways of working? Theoretical Framework and Methodology: As the successful adoption of new ways of working incorporates human resources, information technology and corporate real estate practices and is therefore not a phenomenon easily related to merely one science field, an interdisciplinary approach was considered appropriate for the study. The theoretical framework of the thesis was for the most part influenced by Juholin's (2007a) agenda model of organizational communication but also drew on interdisciplinary research with background in, for instance, communications, facilities management research and organizational studies. The research design used in the thesis was of descriptive and exploratory nature and utilized both a quantitative and a qualitative research strategy. The research method was a single-case study, and the data was collected with a survey and semi-structured focus group interviews. The analysis methods used to analyze the data were content analysis and descriptive statistical analysis using the SPSS software. Findings and Conclusions: The adoption of alternative ways of working poses various demands to communication: more justified technology choices are necessary, systematic guidelines should be established, and communication responsibilities ought to be declared. The main findings of the thesis are related to the design and nature of internal communication about strategy: it is argued that to motivate and commit employees, it is essential to avoid vagueness and emphasize inspirational aspects in communication, especially when employees are dispersed and work autonomously. The study proposes an internal communication approach for organizations utilizing new ways of working. It is concluded that a comparative research including several organizations would give more insight into the phenomenon of new ways of working.
internal communication, new ways of working, alternative workplace, corporate communication, knowledge-intensive organizations
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