Communication and Empowerment during Change
Organizational change is a complicated process that requires the individuals involved to consider many ongoing factors. Throughout the semester, communication and empowerment have been discussed in detail during classroom conversations, in-class activities, and CREW projects. Since I cannot include a thorough analysis of every aspect that should be addressed during change, I have chosen to focus on communication and empowerment. I will show through journal articles, in-class discussions and activities, interviews of IRS employees, and other sources, that change will not flow smoothly if either one of these aspects are missing. I understand that some changes happen unexpectedly, but to successfully make it through the change one must communicate with his/her employees (on many levels), and empower them in order to increase their acceptance and commitment to change.
First, a definition of organizational communication is necessary, "it refers to information dissemination (downwards, upwards, and laterally), the importance of this information and how effective the information is distributed and how well the employees understand and accept it."
(Coetsee, 1999) This definition provides us with a window to see exactly how huge communication is within organizations, and especially during times of change. Many of the change models we studied in class displayed the importance of communicating vision as a major part of change. Communication is not just required in vision, but is an underlying theme throughout the change process. Communication is needed to explain the need for change and the driving reasons behind it. It must be used to define the path that will be taken, and to reassure those who are still apprehensive. Communication aids in getting effective input, and challenging misconceptions or addressing concerns. It should be used to clarify and/or redefine work roles and expectations. In addition, as many of our change models pointed...