A Situational Perspective on Employee Communicative Behaviors in A Crisis: The Role of Relationship and Symmetrical Communication

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates the intertwined effects of the employee-organization relationship (EOR), internal communication, and employees’ situational perceptions on individuals’ communicative behaviors–seeking and voicing–during periods of organizational crisis. Using the situational theory of problem solving (STOPS), the current study investigates employees’ cognitive reactions as well as how their communicative behaviors are affected by the pre-crisis EOR and organizations’ symmetrical communication effort in a crisis. An online survey was conducted with 410 full-time U.S. employees working in large corporations. Results indicated that a favorable pre-crisis relationship between an organization and its employees significantly affects how they perceive a crisis and their communicative behaviors. Employees’ perceived symmetrical communication strengthens the relationship between the pre-established relationship with employees and their crisis perceptions. Findings provide a comprehensive picture of the process by which the EOR directs employee behaviors in a crisis, as well as the positive effects of symmetrical internal communication. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-104
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Strategic Communication
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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