STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION FOR EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT: LESSONS FROM HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Keywords:Strategic Communication, Employee Engagement, Strategy Implementation
The researcher has observed that employees at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Southern Africa are aware of the importance of strategic planning, hence the formulation of strategic plans, but the concern arises at the implementation thereof. Therefore, the paper assesses the extent to which HEIs in Southern Africa utilise strategic communication for engagement of employees for implementation of their institutional strategy.
Purposive sampling was used to identify HEIs in Southern Africa. In addition to this, an exploratory research design was used to establish if the strategic plan existed in each institution, and to find out strategies used to implement the strategic plan. The researcher used the explorative study because of the curiosity and desire to understand the influence strategic communication has on the implementation of the strategy.
Strategic plans for the HEIs under study were assessed in order to find out if they indicate engagement of the employees and whether there are particular strategic measures proposed to solicit input of the employees in both the development and implementation of the strategic plan. Strategic plans were analysed to assess the degree to which strategies are implemented in the institutions.
The study not only indicates the drivers, best practices and lessons of a communication strategy, but also suggests that when the organisation takes a strategic approach to communication, communication becomes integral to the formulation and implementation of strategy. It further suggests best ways to implement strategic plan using a communication strategy.
Argenti, P. A, Howell, R, A & Beck, K. B. (2005). The Strategic Communication Imperative. MITSloan Management Review, 46(3).
Babbie, E. (2007). The Practice of Social Research (11th Ed.). USA : Thomson Wadsworth.
Columbine, N. (2007). Connecting Communication to Strategy to Achieve Better Business Results. Journal of Marketing, 7.
Cowan, D. (2014). Strategic Internal Communication : How to Build Employee Engagement and Performance. London : Cogan Page.
Creswell, J.W., & Clark, P.V.L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (2nd ed.). USA : Sage.
Cronjé, S. (2005). The Drivers of Strategy Implementation. In Ehlers, T & Lazenby, K. (eds). Strategic Management : Southern African Concepts and Cases. Pretoria : Van Schaik.
Eisenberg, E.M., & Riley, P. (2001). Organisational Culture. In Jablin, F.S & Putnam, L.L (eds.), The New Handbook Organisational Communication : Advances in Theory, Research and Methods. Thousand Oaks : Sage.
Farwell, J.P. (2012). Persuasion and Power : The Art of Strategic Communication. Washington : Georgetown University Press.
Griffin, E.A. (2012). First Look at Communication Theory. (8th ed.). USA : Mc Grawhill.
Grunig, J.E. (1992). What is Excellence in Management ? In : Grunig, J.E. et al (eds.), Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management. New Jersey : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
Grunig, J.E. & Hunt,T. (1984). Managing Public Relations. NY : Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Grunig, J.E., & White, J. (1992). The Effect of Worldviews on Public Relations Theory and Practice. In : Grunig, J.E. et al (eds.), Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management. Hillside, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Grunig, L.A. (1992). How Public Relations/ Communication Departments Should Adapt to the Structure and Environment of an Organisation and What They Actually do. In: Hallahan,K., et al. (2007). Defining Strategic Communication. Journal of Strategic Communication, 1(1): 3-35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15531180701285244
Grunig, L.A., Grunig, J.E., & Ehling, W.P. (1992). What is an Effective Organisation ? In: Grunig, J.E. et al. (eds), Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management. Hillsdale, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Hallahan, K., et al. (2007). Defining Strategic Communication. Journal of Strategic Communication, 1(1): 3-35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15531180701285244 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15531180701285244
Indulska, M., & Recker, J.C. (2008). Design Science in IS research; A Literature Analysis. In Gregor, S and Jo, S. (Eds), Proceedings 4th Biennial ANU Workshop on Information System Foundations, Canberra, Australia.
Letlatsa, Relebohile Magdalene Matsepo. (2018). "Implementation of a Communication Strategy for Stakeholder Engagement in Institutions of Higher Learning in Lesotho." PhD diss., University of Pretoria. https://journals.co.za/doi/abs/10.1080/02500167.2023.2260580
Leximancer. (2011). Leximancer manual version 4.
Littlejohn, S.W. (2002). Theories Human Communication. (7th ed.). Australia: Wadsworth Thomson Learning.
Claire, M. (2014). Marie Claire : Think Smart Look Amazing.
Mintzeberg, H., Ahlstrand, B., & Lampel, J. (1998). Strategy Safari : the Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management. London : FT Prentice Hall.
Monge, P.R., & Contractor, N.S. (2001). Emergence of Communication Networks. In Jablin, F.M., & Putnam, L.L. (eds), The New Handbook of Organisational Communication: Advances in Theory, Research and Methods. US: Sage. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781412986243.n12 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4135/9781412986243.n12
O’Hair, D., Friedrich, W.G., & Dixon, L.D. (2011). Strategic Communication in Business and the Professions. USA : Pearson.
Patel, F., Li, M., & Sooknanan, P. (2011). Intercultural Communication : Building a Global Community. Califonia : SAGE. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446270318 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446270318
Puth, G. (2002). The Communicating Leader ; The Key to Strategic Alignment. (2nd ed.). South Africa: Van Schaik.
Putnam, L., & Mumby, D.K. (2014). Sage Handbook of Organisational Communication: Advances in Theory, Research and Methods. Sage. https://univofpretoria.on.worldcat.org/search?queryString=au:Linda.%20Putnam&databaseList=283.638
Raman, M., &. Singh, A. (2010). Business Communication. India: Oxford University Press. https://india.oup.com/product/business-communication-9780198077053
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2012). Research Methods for Business Students. Harlow : PEARSON Education Limited.
Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2005). Fundamentals of Organisational Communication : Knowledge, Sensitivity, Skills, Values. (3rd ed.). USA : Longman Publishers.
Steyn, B. (2003). From Strategy to Corporate Communication Strategy: a Conceptualisation. Jounal of Communication Management, 8(2) 168-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/13632540410807637 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/13632540410807637
Teddlie, C. & Yu, F. (2007). Mixed Methods Sampling : a Typology with Examples. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), 77-100. https://doi.org/10.1177/1558689806292430 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1558689806292430
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Relebohile Letlatsa
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
With the licence CC-BY, authors retain the copyright, allowing anyone to download, reuse, re-print, modify, distribute, and/or copy their contribution. The work must be properly attributed to its author.
It is not necessary to ask for further permission from the author or journal board.
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.