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Study: Strategic Communication About Purpose Can Help Build Employee Organizational Trust During Times of Change

A new study by a team of University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) researchers found that communicating purpose could be an effective strategic communication tactic to help build employee organizational identification and trust during times of change.

UFCJC doctoral students Yufan “Sunny” Qin, Alexis Bajalia Fitzsimmons and Eve Heffron, and faculty members Marcia DiStaso, associate dean for Research and Public Relations professor, and Linjuan Rita Men, Public Relations associate professor, are the authors of “How Purpose-Driven Organizations Influenced Corporate Actions and Employee Trust During the Global COVID-19 Pandemic” published in the International Journal of Strategic Communications on June 19.

In the study, the authors explored how the COVID-19 global pandemic drove many companies to reevaluate their approach to business and focus their efforts on leading with purpose. Purpose is an organization’s fundamental goal that goes beyond profit maximization. It is an all-encompassing principle that guides everything the organization does and determines its strategies.

According to the authors, “Effective strategic communication is an essential element of purpose as it can empower employees to align their personal goals with organizational values and thus more closely identify with their organization. However, while the benefits of purpose are frequently proclaimed in practical literature, the impact of communicating purpose on employee outcomes remains unexplored in strategic communication research. “

They added, “To address this critical research gap, this study examined why and how communicating purpose could be an effective tactic in strategic communication. Specifically, this study introduced the concept of purpose and examined how purpose directed organizations’ actions in response to COVID-19 as well as the impact of purpose on employees’ organizational identification and trust.“

Posted: June 23, 2022
Category: College News, Student News
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