Imagine that you are the liaison between the decision makers and the followers and that your role is to communicate potential personnel change initiatives. Using the communication strategies found in the text, what actions will you take to format the conversation with employees regarding the restructuring process? 

Communication Strategies found in the text: 

Strategy Actions Spray and pray

Shower employees with a range of information; more is better. Managers pray that staff will see what needs to be done. Benefit: Staff are exposed to company information. Downside: Staff overloaded with information, may not be able to identify what is more important, and may be able to understand what is happening, but not why. 

Tell and sell

Limit the information provided to core issues. Management tells staff about the changes and “sells” them on why these are necessary. Benefit: Can be done rapidly. Downside: Staff are passive recipients, and lack of dialogue opens potential for staff skepticism and cynicism. 

Underscore and explore

Focus on fundamentals, but engage employees in dialogue to identify obstacles and misunderstandings that need to be addressed. Benefit: Staff engagement solves problems, strengthens support for change and can generate useful ideas. Downside: Takes time. 

Identify and reply

Defensive approach to identifying and responding to rumors and innuendo, and to reduce staff confusion about changes. Benefit: Can resolve problems at an early stage. Downside: Reactive approach that assumes (sometimes incorrectly) that staff understand the organizational problems that the changes need to address. 

Withhold and uphold

Withhold information until it is absolutely necessary to communicate. Management publicly defend the change strategy. Information is not disclosed openly. Benefit: Management retain a high degree of control. Downside: Staff bitterness and resentment.  

Forbes School of Business Faculty  


Cignoranelli, D. A. (2003). Communicating change initiatives. The practicing CPA.   27(8) p 3-4. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.  

TED (Producer). (2009). TEDTalks: Itay Talgam–How to lead like the great conductors [Video file]. Retrieved from the Films on Demand database.  

Required Resources 


 Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.). Retrieved from  

Recommended Resource 


TED. (Producer). (2009, July). Itay Talgam: Lead like the great conductors (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from This video takes a creative look at communication and the leader’s skills and abilities to develop harmony within an organization.

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