Assessing the effectiveness of communication in organisations: the communication audit approach

Owen Hargie, Dennis Tourish

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    Within the past decade there has been an enormous growth of interest in the field of organisational communication. Numerous books, book chapters and journal articles have been devoted to this topic. However, much of this output has been at the level of common sense exhortation, has tended to be anecdotal, or at best has been based upon the personal experience of the authors. Certainly within the UK there has been little hard empirical research into the nature, flow and functions of communication within organisations. This paper proposes the introduction of a much more systematic methodology for the study of such communication, based upon what is known as the 'communication audit' approach. This approach is fully explained and the main methods employed in communication audits outlined, together with their relative advantages and disadvantages. It is also pointed out that audits are now widely employed to measure performance in other spheres of the organisation, such as finance, and it is argued that the implementation of this system to measure communication performance is therefore long overdue. The benefits for organisations of carrying out audits are highlighted and suggestions are made about possible future directions for research in this area.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)276-285
    JournalHealth Services Management Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1993


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