Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of Communications & Media Studies


Faculty of Communications and Creative Industries

First Advisor

Dr Mark Balnaves


Research suggests that a rapidly changing environment due to advancing technology, globalization, expanding world markets, changing populations is resulting in the need for a change to workplace practices. Emerging issues due to an aging population and the anticipated shrinkage of the workforce with the retirement of the baby boomers is indicating the need for the development of new skills. Through a real-life case study, this thesis looks into the aspects of organizational life that impact on effective communication. Through an action research approach implications are drawn from a systems theory view of communication. Action research and systems thinking enables the researcher to analyse real problems and draw conclusions, at the same time, from informed theoretical considerations. A key finding of the research was the viewpoint from participants that appeared to suggest that adherence to an explicit chain of command through a strong hierarchical structure was a solution to organizational communication problems, despite the push for flatter organizational structures in recent management literature. The study suggests a strategic pathway to organizational communication that focuses on improving information flow and improved communication skills. The researcher believes that increased efforts to improve information flow and the communication skills of staff through organizational development interventions will be key to managing change and the emerging issues of this millennium.