Title page for ETD etd-10142005-103116

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Guffey, William Robert
URN etd-10142005-103116
Title The role of organization communication in the implementation of a business unit strategy
Degree PhD
Department Management
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Alexander, Larry D. Committee Chair
Bonham, Thirwall W. Committee Member
Litschert, Robert J. Committee Member
Scott, K. Dow Committee Member
Thompson, G. Rodney Committee Member
  • Communication in organizations
  • Strategic planning
Date of Defense 1992-04-29
Availability restricted

Research on the implementation of strategy in the strategic management field has had much less emphasis than strategy formulation and content. Several implementation models have been published which suggest important factors in the implementation of strategy. Empirical tests of these models, however, have received little consideration.

In order to insure that employees who are responsible, for implementing the strategy know what to do and how to do it, communication of the strategy is necessary. Investigation of such communication with various media and the impact of such communication on knowledge of the strategy was examined in a field study. Questionnaires were administered to 1220 employees in fourteen plants of a major garment manufacturer. The survey questions addressed knowledge of strategy, media used to learn of the strategy, organization commitment, and demographic information. The employees' performance was measured using plant production records over a standard production period.

The study hypotheses addressed the effect of using different levels of media richness to learn of the Strategic Business Unit (S.B.U.) level strategy and the relationship of knowledge of the strategy, organization commitment, and employee productivity. In addition, the study investigated demographic impact on communication and the most effective level of management perceived by employees in terms of communication. Research questions explored differences in plants with participative and traditional line management approaches to manufacturing processes in terms of organization commitment and performance.

The study results provide a better understanding of communication media effects from the recipient's perspective and useful information on the impact of strategic knowledge on organization commitment. A lack of support for relationships between organization commitment, strategic knowledge, and productivity indicates additional research is required to further explore strategy implementation factors and performance. The study findings are useful as a basis for continuing research of the process between strategy formulation and firm performance.

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