Chapter 12, “Communication and Change”, that is being reviewed here is about how change happens in organisations and how people attempt to resist change, the nature of communications and the aspect of innovation that happens in organisations. These three aspects that tie in together with the interlinked processes of communication and change are dealt with in the chapter. The author makes the point that people resist change for a variety of reasons. They range from insecurity about one’s position in the organisation to bad experiences in previous attempts at change. Further, people resist change as they are fearful that it might lead to chaos.
According to the author, the main reason why people and organisations resist change is because they are afraid of the “unknown” and like to go with the status quo instead of making changes in their work place. The rest of the chapter is devoted to the networks of communication and innovation that are necessary for change to happen. The author describes the mechanisms of “opinion leaders” that perform the functions of moulding employee opinion and the “gatekeepers” who regulate the flow of information across the organisation (McCroskey, 2008).
The author lists the six conditions that are necessary for change. These include the condition that the system must have slack resources; the new idea must be supported by formal and informal networks/ leaders and the people who are implementing the change must be involved in the change process. These conditions for change are necessary and also include the facts that the change must show positive results and there should be a gradual movement towards change instead of a “big bang” approach.
The five keywords that the chapter 12 point of view are organisational change and its definition, how organisational change happens, what are the necessary conditions for organisational change, why people resist change and what are the attributes of innovation that make change happen along with the communication mechanisms for the same. These keywords describe the author’s contention about the necessity of change and the mechanics of change as they are applied to the organisations. The attributes of innovation that are described include the compatibility and observable characteristics of innovation processes.
The chapter 12 concludes by stating that organisational change can be enjoyable, profitable and manageable. The key is to understand the process or steps by which the organisation goes through in the process of change. The view point that the chapter 12 presents is that change is inevitable and the only constant in the life of an organisation is change. The chapter 12 is all about how to deal with the processes of change in an orderly and gradual manner. In conclusion, I fully concur with the author of the text and the contents of chapter 12 as they relate to organisational change.
This is a topic that has received wide attention in recent years because of the inevitability aspect of change that seems to be the norm. Hence, instead of obstructing change that is positive and uplifting, we should embrace the changing nature of organisations and learn to live with change. Sources Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C. (2008). Organizational Communication for Survival. 4rth Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Chapter 12.