Exploring Internal Communication Satisfaction: The case study of a rural K-12 school division

  • Exploring Rural K-12 Comm Satisfaction

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  • In the fast-changing world of communication technologies, it is more important than ever for organizations to understand employee preferences for accessing and receiving information related to company goals, changes and operations. This is especially true in organizations operating in high spatial decentralized environments, such as rural K-12 school divisions, as a lack of information can lead to uncertainty and bypass formal communication channels. While several studies have explored internal communication satisfaction (ICS) in the work environment, minimal research has focused on the preferences and needs of K-12 rural school division employees.

    This study seeks to understand school division employees' ICS by exploring a case study of a rural K-12 jurisdiction in southeastern Alberta. Specifically, the research aims to find out the extent employees are satisfied with the communication they receive while working for the school division. To explore this relationship, a mixed-methods research approach was used. This included collecting survey data from all school division staff using an online survey supplemented by one-on-one interviews with a small number of employees. The lenses of media richness theory (MRT), channel expansion theory (CET), and reception theory (RT), along with five of the eight dimensions that make up the ICS multidimensional construct, were used to evaluate the data. The dimensions chosen for this study included organizational integration, communication climate, communication with supervisors, horizontal information communication, and media quality.

    The findings suggest that K-12 rural school division employees are overall satisfied with internal communication processes; however, much like other organizations, they continue to be drawn to more traditional communication methods. As a result, future ICS growth in the rural K-12 internal communications environment may be limited without changes to support consistency and the education of newer communication technologies to meet employee communication satisfaction needs.

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International