The Seven Communication Reasons Organizations Do Not Change




Salem, Philip J.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Data describe six common communication behaviors during failed organizational change efforts. The combination of these behaviors suggests a seventh pattern. Communication during failed efforts seldom involves enough communication opportunities, lacks any sense of emerging identification, engenders distrust, and lacks productive humor. These problems are compounded by conflict avoidance and a lack of interpersonal communication skills. Members decouple the system, sheltering the existing culture until it is safe for it to reemerge later.


This paper integrates material from three recent communication and organizational change studies, recent change theory, and complexity theory to model communication and change processes. All the studies employed traditional ethnographic methods, but one study employed quantitative methods as well as part of a mixed methods design.


organizational communication, organizational change, organizational development, qualitative methods, complexity theory, Communication Studies


Salem, P. J. (2008). The seven communication reasons organizations do not change. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 13(3), pp. 333-348.


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