Auditing communication to maximize performance

Authored by: Dennis Tourish , Owen Hargie

Auditing Organizational Communication

Print publication date:  March  2009
Online publication date:  March  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415414456
eBook ISBN: 9780203883990
Adobe ISBN: 9781134122059


 Download Chapter



Organizations that communicate badly can be likened to a theatrical production in which no one knows which part they are playing and constantly speaks the wrong lines, often interrupting other performers to do so. Meanwhile, the audience is either ignored or insulted. A focused communication strategy helps to avert such chaos. It provides the opportunity for organizations to enjoy a long running performance in the marketplace. Such a strategy must be based on accurate information about current practices. Few managers would dispute the notion that businesses must have an accurate impression of how they are viewed externally, and what staff think of how they receive and transmit information. To achieve this, key questions must be answered:

Is the right message getting through?

Do people feel informed, or merely patronized?

Has the communications programme really addressed the issues that most concern people, or has it missed the moving target of public opinion?

To answer these questions, accurate information about how both internal and external customers perceive the communication climate is vital. Illusions, hopes and pretence have to give way to an appraisal of reality. This constitutes the fundamental rationale for auditing communication. The need to do so is widely recognized. For example, Argenti (2007, p. 139) pointed out that the most appropriate way to ascertain how effective a company’s internal communication efforts is ‘by determining what employees’ attitudes are about the firm. This can be done through a communication audit. Based on audit results, communications professionals can design the right program for the organization.’ However, in common with most textbooks on corporate communication that make similar statements, Argenti does not explain in any depth what a communication audit consists of or how to implement one. It is this gap that this book seeks to remedy.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.