To explore and understand organizational communication in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
The aim of this study was to explore and identify organisational communication practices in response to COVID-19. COVID-19 has prompted organizations around the world to vigorously adapt to and inculcate new organizational working culture with respect to digital communication (utilizing software online communication tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.), virtual team framework (for sharing task presentations, online conferencing etc), working from home, flexible work hour timings, amongst other practices. Little is presently known with respect to how these tools and practices are perceived to influence knowledge-flow, goal-achievement, and communication within organizations. This study assessed insights on the perceived potential positive and negative outcomes that have emerged and shaped organisational communication. Interviews discussing communication and work practices were conducted with six staff involved in various health-related organizations as part of the World Health Organization. Interview data were analysed using thematic analysis employing a qualitative research framework within a grounded theory framework. The respondents reported both advantages and disadvantages associated with the new communication formats, highlighting that although there were challenges towards maintaining efficient organizational communication during the pandemic, they felt that they were presented with various opportunities and benefits for shaping up future communication in a productive manner while also relying on the utilization of digital communication platforms. These research findings contribute to a greater understanding of organizational communication as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provide insights towards the types of challenges to address for organizations along with potential benefits to explore.