Internal and External Communication within Cultural Organizations

Article excerpt

Abstract. The present paper aims at analyzing organizational communication and focuses on the aspects of internal and external communication within cultural organizations in Romania. Starting with the description of the general characteristics of internal and external communication, the article sets out to explain these phenomena in the context of cultural organizations. For this purpose, the authors seek to identify the type of communication, which is more pronounced in case of cultural entities. Concerning the methodology, the study is based on a quantitative research. Therefore, a questionnaire was compiled and applied to a representative sample of 300 cultural organizations in the Centre Development Region of Romania. In accordance with the obtained results, the first conclusion to be drawn is that cultural organizations pay a greater attention to external communication than to internal communication. The second conclusion is that there are no significant differences between the cultural entities of the private and the public sectors, regarding their external and internal communication

Keywords: organizational communication, external communication, internal communication, cultural organization, public cultural organization, private cultural organization.

1. Introduction

Organizational communication can be described as a very complex phenomenon affecting the everyday life, the overall activities, the performance, the success and the future of every organization. Organizational communication is everywhere; it is inside and outside each corporation. It is in the instructions, in the rules and information shared; it is in the different departments, in the personnel. It is vital for the understanding of the responsibilities, for the defining of company objectives, for the achieving of the management functions (Sinha and Reddy, 1991). At the same time, it is essential in attracting the target groups, in formulating messages that can be tailored to the customers' specific needs. Along with these, organizational communication exists in the strategies, in the mission, in the vision, in the values and culture of each corporation (Torrington and Hall, 1995).

That is why organizations, irrespective of their field of activity, should be fully aware of their own communication. Only when organizations learn about their communication, will they be able to overcome the difficulties when confronted with the challenges of the outside environment.

2. Conceptual framework

In order to investigate the communication of the cultural organizations, we should focus primarily on outlining the core notions relevant to this study. Therefore, in the first part of the literature review we shall lay a special stress on the definition of "organizational communication" and then of "internal and external communication". Following this, in the second part, the paper will try to give an insight into the characteristics of internal and external communication in the context of cultural organizations.

Thus, the first topic to be discussed is "organizational communication", a many-sided, intricate and highly debated issue, on which a wide-range of different theories, viewpoints and contributions can be found. Since it is an almost inexhaustible theme, with diverse meanings to different researchers, in what follows we will try to briefly point out some of its main interpretations. Therefore, we start this section with the ideas of Tompkins, P.K. (in Allen et al., 1996, p. 384), who defines "organizational communication" as "the study of sending and receiving messages that create and maintain a system of consciously coordinated activities [...]". This approach emphasizes not only the dynamic and interactive characteristics of communication, but also the fact that organizations are like systems, in which individuals interact, rather than entities, where communication takes place (Allen et. all, 1996). Other analysts understand by communication the tools by which organizational activities can be unified. …

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