Internal communication systems


Change is everywhere in the world. If we want to be succeed than we must have to cope up with the change. When you are the part of the organization, you have to deal with the new technologies, reforming the structures, adopting different strategies, globalization etc. This will lead you towards the Change. If you want to survive then you have to accept the change by modifying yourself. (Cohen & Kotter, 2002, p 1-2)

In case of organization or business, the most effective way of handling the change is the use of internal communication systems. Internal communication is the only thing that engages the whole organization together. Change is the continuous process and it is constant. Management must be open to, and enthusiastic about, change and progress. Businesses and organizations either growing by adapting changes or dies. It is like the slow poison for the organization that remains same for any time will lead to the slowly dying. The external factors like politics, economics, other environmental factors, technologies etc will lead the organization towards the Change.

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The organizations who fail to recognize the state of change and do not adopt the change will not survive longer. For the successful changes to take place within the organizations, it is important to carry people with the change and convey them for adopting the change. For that the effective internal communication is essential and it is the easiest way to describe the change and the on going policies to adopt the change.

It is important that bringing change into effect, the flow of information within the organization should be proper. This paper describes the stages of the change and how can internal communication system helps to come out the change.

Literature review

Internal communication systems

Definition: - Internal communication is the communication within the organization. This communication includes the sharing of ideas and thoughts between the superiors and sub ordinates.

The flow of message in the internal communication can be of three types:-

  • Upward communications- upward communications is the feedback of information from the lower level to higher level in the management. This communications generally deals with the problems, clarifications, reports of work done, results, needs, and suggestions.
  • Downward communications- downward communication can be refer as the message of the manager to the employee. It follows the routine and formal chain of management of higher to lower level. It can be an instruction, announcement, strategies, policies, delegation of authority and responsibilities etc.
  • Horizontal communications- Horizontal communication systems sometime also refer as lateral communication can be refer as the communication between the two departments and functional units. The message can be about the co-ordination activities, sharing of information and problem solving. This is very important in the team based enterprises where the co-ordination is most important.

Supports used for the internal communications:-

  • Emails
  • Reports
  • News letters
  • Intranets
  • Face to face
  • Meetings
  • Trainings
  • Interviews

Objectives of internal communication system:-

  • Delivering the organization goals, objectives, and plans to all staff in a convenient and timely manner.
  • Providing information and opportunities for staff involved in company goals.
  • Cheering up the teamwork, co-ordination between the employees.
  • To built up the excellent co ordination between management and employees.(Erasmus,2004, p 95-97)


Change is the only constant. - Heraclitus, Greek philosopher

What is change?

Change can be defined as the substitution of one thing instead of other or the change of state from one stage to other. The ability of organizations to manage and survive change is becoming increasingly important in an environment where competition and globalization of markets are ever intensifying. The organizations that want to survive in the market must undergo with the change. Change management is the process of transforming the organizations to maintain or improve the efficiency by implementing the change.

Types of changes:-

  • Strategic
  • Radical
  • Structural/ operational
  • Process oriented
  • People centred(Armstrong, 2004, p 143-144)

Steps of Implementing Change Successfully

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Kotter's Eight step Model (Kotter, 1996, p 35)

  • Establishing A Sense Of Urgency
  • Creating The Guiding Coalition
  • Developing The Vision And Strategy
  • Communicating The Change Vision
  • Empowering Broad-Based Action
  • Generating Short Term Wins
  • Consolidating Gains And Producing More Change
  • Anchoring New Approaches In The Culture

Establishing a Sense of Urgency: - The effect of change is only going to be positive if company really wants the change. Organizations should create the environment of urgency about the need for change. One should know about the need for change and try to implement it as soon as possible by creating the urgency.

The urgency doesn't mean that just to show the reports of bad quality or bad sales reports but one should be open the transparent communication about what is occurring in the market. Once people or employee starts to talk about the change, urgency can be build.

Challenges in this phase:-

  • It the challenge to communicate in the convenient or friendly way who is undergoing urgency to do change.
  • Employees might have undefined fear of losing positions.
  • In the emergency, management may be not able to deliver the complete and meaningful information regarding change, the people will not get the exact idea and management will not get the response.

Communication way:-

  • In case of urgency, better internal communication systems can help to deliver the message in time.
  • Convey the message to the people that change is constructive not destructive. This can be done by explaining the policies by the seminars and presentations.
  • Upward communication is very much important in this case as management should listen the suggestions and problems of employees.

Creating the powerful Coalition: -The first step is to convince people that change is unavoidable. But this sometimes needs the powerful leadership and transparent support from the key people of the organization. Only managing the change is not the solution, but one has to lead it.

Organization can find the leaders within the organization that may not follow the hierarchy of the management structure but they may have power comes from the different sources, job title, status, experience, and also the political power. To lead change, organization require to built together a coalition, or team, of affected people.

Challenges in this phase:-

  • It is impossible to choose the genuine persons for built up the team.
  • The team members might have conflicts about their ideas about the change.
  • It is also possible that the team or leader might have misunderstood the aspect of change that has to be done.

Communication way:-

  • Interviews can be arranged for choosing the right person or team.
  • The roles of the leaders and team can be explained by the work flow charts.

Create A Vision For Change:-When the management start thinking about the change. There can be lot of different idea and solutions around the environment. But company should link all these ideas and concepts for the overall vision to avoid the resistance.

A transparent and clear vision can help the people to understand why they are asking for the change. Kotter suggest that leaders should be communicating the vision in five minutes if they don't then rework the vision. If employees understand the vision for change, then it's easy for them to accept the change as soon as possible and they will be happy to do that.

Challenges in this phase:-

  • The manager should come up with the proper vision with the change, this ids very difficult task.
  • If vision is not understood properly, then there is a chance that people would have more negative idea about the change.

Communication way:-

  • The vision shouldn't be the couple of sentences. The vision can be explained within the five minutes.
  • The coalition should be able to communicate with clear cut meaning the vision explains for the future of the organizations.

Communicating the Vision:-

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Kotter said, "World's best vision has no value if it is a big secret."

Now the question is what the next step is after build up the Vision. The communicating vision is more important because it will get the tough competition from the routine communication of the organization. So the leader has to communicate the vision very effectively and strongly. That will keep it fresh on the peoples mind and it will help to remind and respond for the vision. Talk about the vision when you get the chance.

Challenges in this phase:-

  • There might be the possibilities of over-communication.
  • Sometimes manager couldn't understand what the actual doubt is and he explain in other ways to the person.

Communication way:

* Once the vision delivered in proper way, it is necessary track path the organization by reports and feedbacks.

  • Cross can be done for this problem.

Remove Obstacles:- If organization has completed all of the above steps in change, then it is standing at the moment where all the employees want to get involved and trying to follow the vision that organization have been promoting. But still there might be some obstacles that resist the change.

Organization should continuously check for the barriers of the change and remove it as soon as possible because it also forces others to resist and spoils other's mind that are in favour of change. Removing obstacles can empower the people you need to execute your vision.

Challenges in this phase:-

  • It is easy to remove physical obstacles but it is very hard to removes obstacles from the minds of the people.
  • Sometimes removing the obstacles can be results in fatal conflict between management and employees.

Communication way:-

  • These issues can be resolved by the casual meetings rather than the formal ones.
  • Management should ask for the suggestions to the employee and open the door for the feedbacks.

Create Short-term Wins: - Success is the greatest motivation for the organization. So it is the best strategy give the company a test of victory in the earlier phase of the change. Company should have strong perspectives and vision to achieve short term (depending upon the change) success that employee can see. This will create the positive environment for processing change further.

Make strategies for the short term goals with little room for failure. To achieve this, change leaders and their team might have to work very hard but each success can motivate the entire the crowd of staff.

Challenges in this phase:-

  • There is a big problem when any of the employees doesn't interest in the short term goals.
  • Sometimes it may happen that they choose the more expensive method to achieve short term wins than others.

Communication way:-

The short term success stories always should be told in public. This will create the courageous environment for the employee.

  • The manager can push the names that got the success by putting names in the notice board and news letters etc. This will make that employee to work harder next time.

Encourage Some Additional Change: - The previous step can be very dangerous if it not handled carefully. Because the short terms wins may be seductive. Organization can believe that there is a successful implementation of change by the short term success. Real change is deeper. Short term wins are only the platform for building the large term change. Short term wins is the steeped stone for achieving long term change implementation.

For example- The successful launching of one product using new system doesn't guarantee for the success of the 10 products.

Challenges in this phase:-

  • People might get confused about the different visions for different changes.
  • There is possibility of conflict between two changes.

Communication way:-

  • There should be clear idea about the different changes and should vision should be delivered properly.

Anchor changes to in corporate culture: - At last, to make change permanent, it should be the part of the organization. Culture of the organization must adopt the change for forever. So that vision behind the change must show in the day to day work. Team leaders should do efforts to make sure that the change is the part of the organization and it is in the every aspects of culture. This will be also helpful to the existing staff and new people of the organizations.

Challenges in this phase:-

  • It may happen that the goal achieved by the firm is different from the vision.
  • Once organization announced for the successful achievement for the goal, employees might be try to go back with old methods.

Communication way:-

  • After achieving goals, there should be the announcement for that by tanking the employees for their contributions.
  • Encouraging the employees by giving them gifts and bonuses that will make them involved with the target.

External communication problems when dealing with the International Team

There are many factors that affect directly or indirectly while communicating with the international team. It is the time of Era of the business revolution so that every organization has to be global but it creates so many problems in business communications.

Language- The most common problem while dealing with the international team is the language problem. There is no problem when U.S. team working in U.K. but there might be a problem when U.S. team working in Afghanistan.

Language can be the hurdle in gathering the valuable business information.

There might be quite different business communication method in Russia and Germany. Professional translators are available but it might be quite expensive.

Culture- Every country has its own culture and traditions.

Culture aspects are the greatest obstacle which hampers the communication between two companies if it is not carried out properly. (London Lite, 2009,p 5)

That why there might be problem to convey the message or to convey the idea. It might happen that the team delivering idea might be not getting properly by the other team.

Lack of Communication Due to Technology- it might happen that the team working globally not has proper communicator to communicate with the head quarters.

It is very important to get the feedback rapidly by the management in the short term goals, but due to improper availability of technology team can't communicate rapidly and can't react in time.

Lack of communication due to Geographical conditions- It is possible that team dealing internationally might not get the response or feedback or information within the time due to time differences and long distance between the countries.(Frey,2003, p 267)

It is impossible to think about synchronous telephones or video conferencing due to different time zones and busy schedules.


Recommendations for Managers to change management:-

  • It is essential for the manager to have the dept knowledge of the organization culture.
  • Manager should have a brief idea of change and its impacts, if he couldn't, he will not be success to convey the employees.
  • Manager should deliver the vision in the clear way and the communication should be in the both way. He also should listen problems and suggestions from the employees.
  • He should focus on the key points when delivering the message so that it's easy to understand the message.
  • Manager should not miss the chance to communicate about the change so that he can develop the positive environment in the organization and it will help people to remind the vision and to follow it.
  • He should try to create the free environment for the communication so that employees can discuss about the ideas and their problems.
  • Manager shouldn't over communicate because that may divert the vision.


  • Cohan, D 2002, The heart of Change, Harvard Business Press, United States Of America
  •, accessed on 11th of December, 2009
  • Eramus, A & Ferreira, E 2004, Administrative Management, Juta and Company Limited, South Africa
  • Armstrong, M 2004, How to be an better manager: A complete A-Z of proven techniques & essential skills, Kogan Page Publishers, Great Britain
  •, accessed on 12th of December, 2009
  • Kotter, J 1996, Leading change, Harvard Business Press, United States Of America,, accessed on 11th of December, 2009
  • Frey, L 2003, Group communication in context: studies in bona fine groups, Routledge, United Kingdom