Communication between managers and staff in the NHS: Trends and prospects

Dennis Tourish, Owen Hargie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    The importance of the role of communication in the success of individual performance in social and business life is now widely recognized. Within organizations, effective internal communication between managers and staff is vital to organizational success. This is particularly so during periods of change, when staff uncertainty increases and there is an increased need for greater amounts of information and more frequent communication. Staff in the NHS have recently experienced some quite dramatic changes in their working practices. This paper therefore examines the current state of communication within the NHS and the implications which this poses for the overall functioning of the organization. In particular, the relationship between communication and the motivation of staff is described. The nature of communication audits, the main research approach used to assesses communication effectiveness, is then delineated, and areas of the NHS chosen for analysis by this means are proposed. The results of a series of audits are summarized. Problems in information flow, use of information sources and channels, the timeliness of information exchanged, the extent to which people send information to each other and the quality of working relationships are identified. The implications of these findings for the NHS and general views of management are considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-71
    JournalBritish Journal of Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1998


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