BACKGROUND: The literature on how to communicate reform in organizations has mainly focused on levels of hierarchy and has largely ignored the variety of professions that may be found within an organization. In this study, we focus on the relationship between media type and professional responses.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate whether and how belonging to a profession influences the choice of communication media and the perception of information when a technical innovation is implemented in a health care setting.
METHODS: This study followed a mixed methods design based on observations and participant studies, as well as a survey of professionals in psychiatric health care in Sweden. The χ2 test was used to detect differences in perceptions between professional groups.
RESULTS: The use of available communication media differed among professions. These differences seem to be related to the status attached to each profession. The sense-making of the information appears to be similar among the professions, but is based on their traditional professional norms rather than on reflection on the reform at hand.
CONCLUSIONS: When communicating about the implementation of a new technology, the choice of media and the message need to be attuned to the employees in both hierarchical and professional terms. This also applies to situations where professional employees are only indirectly affected by the implementation. A differentiated communication strategy is preferred over a downward cascade of information.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy