Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The nature of communication and its influence on resistance to change : three radical change cases
Author: Simões, Paula Matos Marques
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 6494
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
It has long been established that communication supports organizational change management, but there remains a lack of understanding of the role played by the nature of communication (COM) and its impact on resistance to change (RTC). This research seeks to fill this gap by examining respondents’ sensemaking about change, considering either a predominant monologic or dialogic COM and its influence on RTC, in three case organizations. It adopts the principles of dialogic communication (Commitment, Risk, Empathy, Propinquity and Mutuality) as dimensions of COM as well as the Cognitive, Affective and Behavioural as dimensions of RTC. The research was set in organizations in Brazil that were subject to an acquisition, which were studied over a period of up to 18 months. The research adopted a mixed method approach in a comparative case study design that included 84 individuals involved in semi-structured interviews and questionnaires at two points of data collection as well as documentary and observational sources. The interview, observational and documentary data were analyzed through thematic analysis and the questionnaire through descriptive statistics. Findings reveal that perceived RTC extent can decrease in situations with a perceived predominant dialogic COM. Empathy and Commitment were the COM dimensions perceived as those contributing most to a reduction in RTC. The theoretical importance of these findings includes contributions to change communication and RTC theories and empirical evidence for a perceived inverted relationship between dialogic COM and RTC. The practical importance of these findings includes managers being able to manage change more effectively through the prioritization of communication efforts. Finally, this research challenges the widespread assumption that all communication minimizes resistance. This work sustains that by adopting a dialogic COM as an organizational change approach, change leaders are better able to embrace RTC, with the main support of two COM dimensions of Empathy and Commitment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available