STRATEGIC INTERNAL COMMUNICATION: ANALYSIS OF THE PRACTICE OF REGIONAL HIGER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS OF LATVIA

Ieva Zaumane

Abstract


In the organization's strategic management, internal communication is one of the main components enabling the strategic management process to be carried out. Its role is important in both the planning and implementation of the strategy. Still, in practice, the internal communication’s potential remains untapped, resulting in the pursuit of organizations' strategic objectives. In developing the doctoral thesis, the author has an interest in investigating not only businesses, but also higher education institutions (HEIs), as they are similar organizations to other sectoral institutions, and their processes must be similar. The purpose of this study is to analyse who currently manages the internal communication function of four Latvian regional universities and to what extent the internal communication can be considered strategic. The study reviews international literature on the strategic management of organizations and the strategic management of internal communication. It uses a combined research strategy involving questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with respondents indicating that their university has developed an internal communication strategy.

The results show that the internal communication management practices of universities differ since some universities do not clearly define the purpose of internal communication, strategies, and plans, as well as those which merely indicate the existence of internal communication management practices. In all four universities, specialists carry out internal communication in the field of marketing, communication, or human resources management who demonstrate that private business practices are being applied – implementing internal communication in fragmented ways without acknowledging it as a management’s function.

The research participants have indicated that internal communication should be managed by the administrative vice-rector. Since the analysed articles show that the employee responsible for the internal communication function should be part of the decision-making process, more in-depth research should be continued which would allow making conclusions whether the administrative vice-rector at the university should take on the strategic management function of internal communication.

 


Keywords


higher education institution, internal communication, strategic management, strategy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17770/sie2021vol6.6415

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