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Tailor the message and change will happen? An experimental study of message tailoring as an effective communication strategy for organizational change

Tailor the message and change will happen? An experimental study of message tailoring as an... This study strives to improve one’s understanding of tailored messaging as an organizational communication strategy that amplifies processes of organizational change at an individual level of personality traits.Design/methodology/approachA scientific experiment was conducted to test the effects of tailored messages on self-reported employee engagement during an organizational change process.FindingsThe results show that tailored messaging improves employee engagement for change when messages fit the specific needs of different personality types. Conversely, message tailoring can lower employee engagement when messages do not match personality types. Further, message tailoring has different impacts at different stages of a change project.Research limitations/implicationsAn employee's ability to change as a function of his professional skill set as well as the project type (e.g. digital transformation project, post-merger integration project, leadership change project) should not be neglected in an overall model that aims to explain the success factors of change management.Practical implicationsObviously, proper targeting, timing, as well as the implementation of a valid, legal and feasible method for identifying an employee's personality as well as other individual characteristics are equally important and challenging to improve change management outcomes.Originality/valueThis study adds value to the discussion on the efficacy of message tailoring as a communication strategy for organizational change. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Strategy and Management Emerald Publishing

Tailor the message and change will happen? An experimental study of message tailoring as an effective communication strategy for organizational change

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1755-425X
DOI
10.1108/jsma-08-2020-0207
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study strives to improve one’s understanding of tailored messaging as an organizational communication strategy that amplifies processes of organizational change at an individual level of personality traits.Design/methodology/approachA scientific experiment was conducted to test the effects of tailored messages on self-reported employee engagement during an organizational change process.FindingsThe results show that tailored messaging improves employee engagement for change when messages fit the specific needs of different personality types. Conversely, message tailoring can lower employee engagement when messages do not match personality types. Further, message tailoring has different impacts at different stages of a change project.Research limitations/implicationsAn employee's ability to change as a function of his professional skill set as well as the project type (e.g. digital transformation project, post-merger integration project, leadership change project) should not be neglected in an overall model that aims to explain the success factors of change management.Practical implicationsObviously, proper targeting, timing, as well as the implementation of a valid, legal and feasible method for identifying an employee's personality as well as other individual characteristics are equally important and challenging to improve change management outcomes.Originality/valueThis study adds value to the discussion on the efficacy of message tailoring as a communication strategy for organizational change.

Journal

Journal of Strategy and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 20, 2021

Keywords: Change management; Communication strategy; Message tailoring; OCEAN model; Message–personality fit; Regression analysis

References