The effects of internal communication on employee productivity and perception in the automotive services industry in South Africa
The aim of this study is to determine the effects of internal communication on employee productivity and perception in the automotive services (aftermarket) industry in South Africa. The aim is also to provide recommendations to improve the internal communication in the industry. According to Grunig (2011), organisations are realising that employees are their most important competitive advantage, and effective communication helps unleash the talents and energies of their employees. The literature review, which provides the theoretical perspectives upon which this study is based, comprises literature from a South African and international perspective. The literature outlined includes the Systems Approach, Excellence Theory, internal communication, productivity, perception, the automotive industry and the role of the communications practitioner. A qualitative research method is used to seek answers to questions and to understand an aspect of the working environment. This method is also used to understand the experiences and attitudes of the participants. To collect the required data, in-depth interviews were conducted with eight employees at various levels in an automotive services organisation. The interview questions were asked under three headings, namely: Internal Communication; Productivity and the Role of the Communications Practitioner. The responses of the participants and the research findings are then compared to the literature review. The major findings indicate that internal communication definitely impacts on the productivity and perception of the employees in the organisation. While certain aspects of internal communication in the automotive services organisation are effective, there is still room for improvement. This improvement should not be a once-off task. Management in the organisation is encouraged to conduct regular and on-going research to remain current and also to ensure that communication remains effective. Various types of research may be conducted at all levels in the organisation, internally and externally, which should consider the various aspects and elements of the organisation.
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