This month I am analyzing the interviews I had with fifty professionals who are the ones most closely involved with internal communication responsibilities. I selected them from the Belfirst database. I only contacted organizations who were mentioned in the list of the top 250 largest employers in Belgium. Apparent from my data is that facilitating the communication flow both top-down as well as bottom-up is considered the most important function of internal communication. A second related finding is that most internal communication professionals are mainly used to pushing information towards the employees. I have identified four different kinds of interaction and plotted them on an axis which I have named the "communication flow axis". Traditionally, communication professionals assume the role of gatekeeper and feel more comfortable pushing information. This results in talk without (or with very limited) interaction.
Reminds me of the saying: "If a tree falls in a forest..." Out of necessity and self-preservation some communication professionals occasionally organize "employee engagement" or "communication climate" surveys. These forms of interaction are remnants of a patriarchal past. The introduction of interactive collaboration platforms have introduced the possibility to listen instead of talk, to reply instead of harvest.
Blogging away about my PhD. My goal is to keep you up to date about the progress made in my research. Stay tuned for more news and feel free to interact and comment.