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Communication audits and the effects of increased information: a follow-up study.

Hargie, Owen; Tourish, Dennis; Wilson, Noel


Owen Hargie

Dennis Tourish

Noel Wilson


Communication audits have now been featured in the literature for 50 years, and many audit approaches have been evaluated. However, follow-up studies designed to chart the actual impact that an audit makes upon communication performance have not been reported. Rather, audits are typically presented as one-shot events, whose impact is not measured. It is as if the audit is an end in itself rather than part of a process of measurement and performance improvement. This paper is therefore timely because it employs a follow-up audit to track the effects of an initial audit upon a major health care organization. The findings do not support the view that the frequently expressed desire of staff for greater communication is a metamyth, and that an increased flow of information simply produces a demand for more. Rather, and consistent with the precepts of Uncertainty Reduction Theory, the provision of information reduced uncertainty and generated increased satisfaction with communication processes. The results from this study also illustrate how the audit can play a useful role in an organization's communication strategy.


HARGIE, O., TOURISH, D. and WILSON, N. 2002. Communication audits and the effects of increased information: a follow-up study. Journal of business communication [online], 39(4), pages 414-436. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 1, 2002
Online Publication Date Oct 1, 2002
Publication Date Oct 1, 2002
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2008
Publicly Available Date Jul 9, 2008
Journal Journal of Business Communication
Print ISSN 0021-9436
Electronic ISSN 1552-4582
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 4
Pages 414-436
Keywords Communication audits; Communication strategy
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