Internal communication at the DCSA (DaimlerChrysler South Africa) head office in Pretoria : a critical analysis
Van Rooyen, Mariéke
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In today's business world, corporate communication is becoming an increasingly essential element to achieving organisational goals and objectives. For this reason, effective organisational internal communication is essential. This study critically and qualitatively analysed the nature of internal communication at DaimlerChrysler South Africa's (DCSA) head office in Zwartkop, as perceived by its management and staff. This analysis was based on the theoretical points of departure of internal marketing and two-way symmetrical communication. In light of these frameworks it was outlined that in an organisational environment, effective internal communication takes place to the benefit of all organisational constituencies, and is based on relationships characterised by openness, trust and mutual respect. By conducting qualitative semi-structured interviews with management and focus groups with staff at DCSA's head office over a period of four weeks, first-hand in-depth information on DCSA's internal communication was obtained. Following an interpretive worldview, the data was qualitatively coded, categorised and analysed. The results showed that the nature of DCSA's internal communication is predominantly authoritarian and top-down in nature. Although DCSA has many formal internal communication mediums and instruments in place, staff still experience internal communication as ineffective. The conclusion is made that the problem lies with the inefficient implementation of these instruments. Resulting issues include: problems with feedback, information overload, and communication barriers between departments. Following the results of this study, the effective implementation and use of two-way symmetrical communication is recommended in order to improve internal communication, motivate and empower staff and improve interdepartmental communication. Ultimately, this will enable DCSA to function more effectively as an organisation.
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