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Change, re-branding, and communications: The fluctuating identity of a major UK organization
Unformatted Document Text:  Tracking Number: ICA-7-10798 3 arm of British Gas). In brief, corporate identity refers to ‘how we perceive ourselves’ while image is concerned with ‘how others see us.’ A linked understanding between the two is focal to the harmony of any change efforts, and communications serve as an oil to smooth the operation. Two main exploratory research questions are asked: (i) how do senior managers envisage the need for change and the renaming process to alter organizational identity and image? and (ii) how were communications strategies used to install a new portfolio of redefined corporate identity and image over time? This paper begins with an exploration of the theories to identify the connectivity of the study. Then, we move to the case, and examine the intentions and reactions of organizational members in the change process. We conclude by drawing out the major themes from the research and examine their relevance for both communication and identity. Theoretical Perspectives Both change management and communication strategy have received considerable academic scrutiny, but though both subjects have been extensively researched, the issue of how communication strategies are formulated to enhance the change efforts, has received less attention. In particular, the links between change, communication and the notion of identity are under-explored. In this article, we explore a case study to draw out the interplay between communication, change management, and organizational identity. Communication Not only does communication prove to be of the most pivotal tools in social life and business management but it is also embedded in every aspect of becoming an effective organization and of continuing to be a learning organization (Barker and Camarata, 1998). As such, organizational communication is essentially viewed as the collective interactive process of generating and interpreting messages between people within the organization through either direction (one-way) or bi-directional (two-way) manner of communication (Stohl, 1995). Communication theories have expanded to cover more psychological and cognitive aspects and yield a better understanding of pivotal emerging issues, such as trust, commitment, and

Authors: Kulvisaechana, Somboon. and Stiles, Philip.
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Tracking Number: ICA-7-10798
3
arm of British Gas). In brief, corporate identity refers to ‘how we perceive ourselves’ while
image is concerned with ‘how others see us.’ A linked understanding between the two is focal to
the harmony of any change efforts, and communications serve as an oil to smooth the operation.
Two main exploratory research questions are asked: (i) how do senior managers envisage the
need for change and the renaming process to alter organizational identity and image? and (ii)
how were communications strategies used to install a new portfolio of redefined corporate
identity and image over time? This paper begins with an exploration of the theories to identify
the connectivity of the study. Then, we move to the case, and examine the intentions and
reactions of organizational members in the change process. We conclude by drawing out the
major themes from the research and examine their relevance for both communication and
identity.

Theoretical Perspectives

Both change management and communication strategy have received considerable academic
scrutiny, but though both subjects have been extensively researched, the issue of how
communication strategies are formulated to enhance the change efforts, has received less
attention. In particular, the links between change, communication and the notion of identity are
under-explored. In this article, we explore a case study to draw out the interplay between
communication, change management, and organizational identity.
Communication
Not only does communication prove to be of the most pivotal tools in social life and business
management but it is also embedded in every aspect of becoming an effective organization and
of continuing to be a learning organization (Barker and Camarata, 1998). As such,
organizational communication is essentially viewed as the collective interactive process of
generating and interpreting messages between people within the organization through either
direction (one-way) or bi-directional (two-way) manner of communication (Stohl, 1995).
Communication theories have expanded to cover more psychological and cognitive aspects and
yield a better understanding of pivotal emerging issues, such as trust, commitment, and


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