- Literature Review 2
- Scope of the review 2
- Introduction 2
- Event Management 4
- Teamwork 6
- Internal Communication 16
- The Relationship between Internal Commuication and Team Performance 31
- Gaps in the Research 44
- Conclusion 50
- References 51
List of Figures
Figure 1 Effective communication drives superior financial performance (Yates, 2006) 20
Figure 2 Hierarchy of effective communication (Wyatt, 2005) 21
List of Tables
Table 1. Outline of research findings and gaps in the literature. 38
Scope of the review
This literature review examines the relationship between internal communication and team performance, and its impact on event management, particularly at Australian hotels. The research focuses on how communication among various teams can be improved in the context of event management. The importance of internal communication and team performance are considered in the research but, as research revealed, that there is no published literature that has solely focused on the relationship between these two factors. Most of the literature concentrated on the topic of improving internal communication in an organisation. Literature on team and team performance is available but not in large numbers. Also, studies tend to focus upon public organisations and no study discusses private organisations, such as hotels, undertaking event management.
Teamwork is essential in an event management company because an individual cannot manage the work of an entire event. Thus, this research aims to identify the factors that influence communication within particular environments. It also seeks to understand techniques to increase the effectiveness of teamwork and to consider whether clear team roles impact upon the performance of the team. It also focuses upon how communication between departments can be improved. All of these issues are assessed in regard to the effective management of events within Australian hotels. Relevant literature from the period 1957 to 2016 is reviewed in the areas of the event management industry, teamwork, and internal communication. Arguments and insights are then used to develop a conclusion and suggest areas for future research.
The Australian events industry has rapidly grown over the past few years. Investment in the infrastructure required for business events has increased as has the number of events staged every year and their total number of attendees. This market has been important for the hospitality industry in terms of generating revenue from events and accommodation bookings. Consequently, research on events management has grown rapidly and has demonstrated the contribution of events to the Australian economy with benefits diffusing from urban to regional areas. The last Business Events Study released in February 2015 found that the contribution of events for the 2013-2014 Australian financial years was $23.1 billion. The events industry has promoted trade, education, export, investment, and also increased knowledge transfer. Additionally, it has generated employment and also led an increase in the number of visitors to Australia (BECA, 2015).
The Association of Australian Convention Bureau stated in 2014 that, to maintain Australia’s position as the leading international destination for business events, there must be increased effort and focus in the hotel industry to meet current and future challenges, such as increased international competition. Thus, event practitioners and academics have collaborated to develop professionals who can address these challenges. One of the main challenges is internal communication between the team participants organising an event including communication between the staff and the management as well as the departments in the organisation. Recent research has identified communication as the most important and relevant feature affecting team performance as it is the link between the customer’s needs and the delivery of services in the hospitality industry (Lovelock & Patterson, 2015). The emphasis on financial issues is currently shifting to a realization that employees are the most vital resource. According to Dunmore (2002) there is a change in the competitive environment; organisations now need to understand that communication is the key (Dunmore, 2002).
A study conducted by Salas & Fiore (2004) and Weaver, Salas & Widman (2009) confirmed the importance of team performance in business events. It demonstrated an increased reliance on the structures required for team-based work to accomplish the organisational goals; results showed that teams potentially overcome difficult problems more successfully than individuals working alone. In the past, hotels have targeted the issue of external communication, marketing activities, and public relations as a way of enhancing the image and identity of the organisation. Consequently, the boundaries between internal and external communication have become less distinct as managers emphasize the reliability and accuracy of the information that is communicated externally. Scholars have explored the relationship between team performance and internal communication (Fletcher 1999, Beersma et al. 2003, Opitz & Hinner 2003, Dawkins 2005, Yates 2006, Berger 2008, Berg & Holtbrügge 2010, Jablin & Putnam 2000, Kompaso & Sridevi 2010, Rajhans 2012, White et al. 2010, Okuneye et al. 2014, Atambo & Momanyi 2016, Kazimoto 2013). However, there is no empirical study that has focused exclusively on the connection between the two, and thus no evidence demonstrating their relationship in the context of Australian hotels. The following section briefly overviews business events as such and their important contribution to the Australian economy.
Events management (also known as event planning) is related to project management. Project management is practiced in the organisation of events such as festivals, conferences, sporting events, community-based events, charity events, educational events, and recreational events. Ramsborg et al. (2008) specify that event management involves recognizing the audience, studying the brand, planning the logistics, and coordinating the technical aspects prior to launching the event. Ziakas & Boukas (2014) comment further that various industries are involved in event management and each aspect is documented differently. This was already acknowledged in earlier studies by Allen et al. (2011). They state that business events in hotels are managed by the event or catering manager who is also in charge of major internal activities and events. They also specify that events can range from small meetings involving less than ten people to bigger conventions involving large groups of people that can require the resources of the entire metropolitan area. As such, the industry of event management must demonstrate diversity when organising and executing these events (Allen et al. 2011).
However, business events differ from festivals, cultural and sporting events (Barrows et al. 2012) because they are draw on different resources, are managed differently, and produce different outcomes (Barrows, Powers & Reynolds 2012). Conventions are the largest business events. Barrows et al. (2012) describes conventions as formal gatherings of one or more groups and corporations within a given industry who meet at planned places to engage or discuss common issues. The most common meetings are centred upon the profession, fandom, and industry. Furthermore, Sugden (2011) indicates that trade conventions focus on a certain industry or industry section and feature important speakers, vendor’s displays and other information fundamental to the group or the gathering. They claim that such gatherings are prepared by the community or the society with the aim of promoting a topic of interest. Fan conventions usually pertain to sales and shows based on guest celebrities and pop culture. Science fiction conventions generally combine the forms of a fan and professional convention (Sugden 2011). Additionally, according to Barrows et al. (2012), conventions also exist for other hobbies such as games or modelling rail roads. They are naturally multifaceted with guest speakers, seminars, market places, and other activities. Conventions are similar to trade shows in that they last for more than one day. They also have specific events and programs intended to occupy the participants during their stay. Participants choose from the various activities of their choice that they are interested in. In many cases, conventions draw large numbers of participant in the hotel and may occupy the whole facility, which has an impact on the transportation services, room occupancy, the restaurant business, and other commercial sectors. For this reason, conventions are considered an invaluable economic contributor for those cities that have enough resources to support such events (Barrows, Powers & Reynolds 2012).
In fact, the 2005 National Business Event Study demonstrated that the business events industry in Australia generated expenditure of around $17.3 billion per annum. Although this figure is based on data gathered from 2003 to 2004, subsequent reports show that the event business is still generating significant income for the economy. For example, in February 2015, the Business Events Council of Australia released a report measuring the economic impact of meetings, conventions, exhibitions and incentives on the Australian economy. The report provides estimates and also shows the economic contribution, value added, and the employment levels of the industry during 2013 to 2014. As a result, business events have directly generated around $28 billion in direct expenditure, $13.5 billion in revenue, added 179,357 jobs, and made a total economic contribution of $23.1 billion (BECA, 2015). Business events are significant drivers of the economy of Australia.
Various companies have opened their doors to boost international business events in Australia. There are various platforms on the internet for companies to advertise their business, which makes it easier and more efficient. Even though the business may be doing well, they still face a number of challenges, particularly, competition. The sector is becoming a very competitive area compared to other forms of businesses in Australia. The international business events sector is becoming one of the sole areas where people want to invest, especially with the assistance from the government. Governments in Asia and the Middle East are funding many organisations, which has resulted in a decline in Australia’s share of the international business events market (AACB 2014).
Specific types of events requires different approaches from management (Deery et al. 2005). Conventions, for example, can take a month to organize while other events may take days. It is the duty of the event planner to make sure that they work closely with the client to make sure that the meeting, receptions and conventions meet their demands (Deery et al. 2005). Marr (2011) suggests that it is necessary for all departments of the hotel to work closely using good communication and in an integrated manner to execute the event. They explain that most of the business events held in hotels require the participation of all staff from the event managers, who have physical contact with the client, to the people concerned with the accommodation such as the housekeeping staff, as well as those who keep the rooms equipped with all that is needed, prepare beverages and foods, and organise the menu and dietary needs as required. Other departments such as IT meet audio and visual requirements (Marr 2011). According to Marr (2011) good communication channels or media within the hotel are needed if everything is to go as planned.
Grönroos (2004) and Rogers et al. (2002) agree that communication connects various departments and enables information to be transmitted effectively and efficiently within the hotel. Efficient communication creates a memorable experiences for guests and internal communication is critical (Grönroos 2004). Additionally Rogers et al. (2002) claim that various divisions need to work together and understand the customer needs in order to provide high quality services. Both scholars suggest that effective communication in the organisation and running of a business event will benefit the economy (Rogers et al. 2002; Grönroos 2004).
In the contemporary business world, organisations are structuring work so that it is performed in teams. Most understand the importance of working in teams and believe that it is central to long-term (Morgeson et al. 2010). In fact, teamwork has begun to be recognized as a trend in philosophies of modern management practices (Stevens & Campion, 1994). Working in teams helps to achieve more than working on an individual basis. Manzoor et al. (2011) states that teamwork in this competitive era has been recognized as important by the leaders of various organisations. They argue that teams can help the management can increase the performance of employees. Manzoor (2011) also explains that managers prefer to assign tasks in the team for the effective development of knowledge and skills of the employees on an individual level. They also argue that appropriate support by the top management for working in teams enhances the overall productivity of the organisation (Manzoor et al., 2011). The process of teamwork can be defined “as a cooperative process that allows ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results” (Scarnati 2001, p.5).
Luca & Tarricone (2001) explain that teamwork promotes learning because it allows members to interact, solve issues, and develop a dialogue as well as their skills in cooperation. These aspects of teamwork promote and increase knowledge because they include social experience within the environment of a team. A common goal or purpose for forming a team is developing effective relationships to achieve the team’s goals. Thus, in most organisations, teams form an integral part of the operations. Sharing knowledge is an underlying conditions to ensure the success of teamwork. One of the most essential features of teamwork is working towards a clear and common goal. Teamwork creates synergy of efforts put in by the members of the team and thus, helps in creating an environment in which all the members are willing to make appropriate contributions towards achieving the common goals. As Luca & Tarricone state, “team members must be flexible enough to adapt to cooperative working environments where goals are achieved through collaboration and social interdependence rather than individualized, competitive goals” (2002, p. 641).According to Allen et al. (2010), the effectiveness of the team directly relates to the successful completion of the assigned task. Furthermore, coordination within the team is as important as coordination between other teams (Allen et al., 2010). Thus, teamwork is essential for all types of business organisations for timely and successful completion of activities undertaken by an organisation. Henry Ford once said that, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success” (Maxwell, 2002, p. 10). Working in teams develops strong bonds among employees, which ultimately leads to a peaceful environment in the organisations (Maxwell 2002). Teamwork also ensures the speedy development and growth of the organisation.
The benefits of teamwork for the business of event management can be broken down into resolution of issues and problems, effective communication, cohesion within the organisation, and learning. Teamwork leads to synergistic benefits because the solution to various problems is provided by the members of the team itself. According to Marquis (2016), employees in an organisation have to face various problems while undertaking an assigned task. However Van der Wagen (2007) argues that, if working in teams is a part of organisational culture, then it becomes easy to resolve and tackle all adverse situations that are encountered by the employees. Van der Wagen (2007) and Marquis (2016) agree that problems can be resolved in less time in teams because more people are working to remove the problem. On the other hand, Marquis (2016) states that if only a single person is working on a specific issue related to an organisation, then, the process will slow down because the experience and knowledge of only one person is being applied to resolve the issue. Thus, teamwork ensures pooling of ideas of different members of the team for generating one unique solution (Marquis, 2016). Van der Wagen (2007) argues that in the event management sector, managing human resources and resolving issues to promote the effectiveness of a team working-environment is essential. They explain that the entire sector is based on the performance of the employees. Employees are required to undertake tasks in teams and working in teams is bound to raise disputes (Van der Wagen, 2007). Thus, human resource management in the event management sector must be undertaken.
Effective communication within an organisation is another essential feature of teamwork, as stated by Marquis (2016). If teamwork is not promoted in an organisation and employees work independently on an assigned task, then new information and knowledge is not shared to other employees. Not working in teams also increases the need for communication, which often increases the time required to complete the assigned tasks. Furthermore, Pinto & Pinto (1990) clarify that working on an individual basis can deprive the organisation from gaining the synergistic benefits of teamwork. Thus, it can be argued that teamwork promotes and creates better channels of communication within the organisation, which in turn ensures that all the employees work towards common goal of the organisation (Pinto & Pinto, 1990). Additionally, teamwork reduces the ambiguity in an organisation that can be caused by a lack of appropriate communication (Marquis, 2016).
Teamwork also promotes cohesion and increases trust within an organisation, according to Kayworth & Leidner (2002). Marquis (2016) analysed how employees who worked together as a team began to trust and respect each other, which increased the level of their participation in the organisation. Hence, when all the employees within an organisation perform their assigned tasks with perfection and participate as one single unit, then results are rapidly achieved (Marquis, 2016). Thus, as established by Kayworth & Ledner (2002) and Marquis (2016), it can be said that teamwork helps in achieving cohesion in the organisations. This particular factor is extremely essential in an event management company. Holding an event on a large scale requires unity among the team members to attain success (Marquis, 2016).
Pellegrini (2013) claims that the culture of teamwork in an organisation increases the learning capability of the employees. The author explains as a team is built from various employees who have different skills and talents, teamwork has a wide scope for learning by all the employees. Marquis (2016) adds that learning is a process which takes place within an organisation at every step, thus, working in teams ensures that every team member learns from other members of a team. Both agree that teamwork boosts creativity, the problem-solving skills of employees, increases knowledge of performing various tasks within an organisation effectively and efficiently, and lastly, increases the productivity of the employees and the overall productivity of the organisations. According to Marquis (2016), the event management industry is an industry that is focused on teamwork. For such organisations, it is essential to focus upon building strong teams. Furthermore, as effective communication is essential for successful teamwork (Pellegrini 2013), organisations must focus upon developing appropriate channels of communication for promoting teamwork within the organisation.
The report published by the ACAS (2017) suggests that working in teams can help increase the competitiveness of a business organisation by improving its productivity; enhancing the motivation and commitment of employees; encouraging innovation; improving the quality of business operations and helping the organisation to take advantage of available opportunities in light of various advancements in technology. The report notes that teamwork undertaken in a business organisation improves four key areas, which are productivity, motivation, quality and making the best use of advancements in technology. These four areas were also previously discussed by Milne (2007), who explains that teamwork helps to improve the productivity of an organisation by maximizing the skills of the team members and combining the strengths of different people for tackling a variety of tasks; avoiding bottlenecks with the appropriate delegation and allocation of various tasks; reducing the number of management levels by allocating some managerial control to the team leaders; encouraging employees to undertake a wide range of work; and increasing the accountability of the members tackling the external as well as internal customers. However, Tohidi (2011) claims that working in teams creates difficulties in evaluating the performance of individual team members, has a direct impact on traditional methods of promotion and threatens demarcation lines. Thus, if a business organisation wishes to procure the benefits of teamwork, then it is essential to introduce it very carefully.
On the other hand, Prajogo & Sohal (2003) notes that teamwork encourages improvise in the quality of products and leads to further innovation. Belbin (2012) also explains that the driving force for an organisation to promote teamwork initiatives is to increase the level of consumer satisfaction by improving the quality of products and services offered. Additionally, according to Cox, Zagelmeyer & Marchington (2006), the involvement of employees in various management tasks is one of the most essential components to teamwork because it helps in improving the quality of the tasks performed. This is because the employees who are required to perform the tasks already know the manner of undertaking them as they have been a part of the decision-making process (Cox et al., 2006). It is believed that employees are more responsive towards maintaining quality when working in teams because of increased autonomy coupled with requisite training in problem-solving such as the use of statistical tools and techniques (Marchington & Suter, 2013). Kaufman & Taras (2016) also explains that such tools and techniques help in reducing unnecessary waste and lead to continuous improvement. Organisations in which teams have the responsibility for developing recommendations of their own to address various problems identified by them and implementing tools and techniques of quality are more successful.
According to Vob & Pongratz (2001), an organisation that considers introducing a culture of working in teams should be fully aware of the fact that it requires a long-term transformation and some concrete changes such as changing the layout of working areas. Additionally, less tangible changes are also required, such as the attitude of the managers, employees and supervisors. In short, the culture of the business organisation needs to be transformed to implement a teamwork culture. A report by the ACAS states that, “teamwork requires a participative style of management where employees have a significant degree of control over their own work” (ACAS, 2017). In other words, management needs to shift from an authoritarian style of leadership. Jago (2016) believes that the degree of authoritarian style of leadership present in an organisation will determine the time period required to change the culture a participatory teamwork culture. On the other hand, Howard & Ulferts (2017) believe that an environment of suspicion will prevail over the organisation. All employees as well as managers will not be prepared if the change from authoritative to full participation if it is done overnight. Therefore, it is essential that the organisation prepares itself for such a huge change and only shifts once satisfied with the progress (Howard & Ulferts, 2017). The participation of management in implementing such a change in the organisation is essential. Agreli et al. (2017) explain that the tasks performed by a manager to promote effective teamwork, coordination and cooperation include: communication of the vision of the organisation, encouraging free-flow of information and ideas, training the employees to undertake greater responsibilities, and overseeing the performance of the teams. They point out that harmonising the terms and conditions of work is important (Agreli et al. 2017). Additionally, as suggested by Woodcock (2017), it is essential to address all the issues that often arise while working in teams for the development of an effective teamwork culture, such as the pay and salary system, the grading system; the promotion process; the management of leave entitlement of the team members and the allocation of duties as per the requirements and skills of the members of the teams. Thus, adopting a participatory culture requires the participation and support of management (ACAS, 2017).
Team performance is a vast topic that has been studied by number of researchers. Several authors associate the area of team performance with factors such as the work environment, employer’s support, and the culture of the organisation (Barry & Stewart, 1997; Luca & Tarricone, 2001; Beersma et al., 2003; Baum et al., 2009; Berg & Holtbrügge, 2010; Manzoor et al. 2011; Marquis, 2016). The literature also focuses on the measures associated with a team’s performance and a number of models have been utilised including normative models, predictive models and descriptive models. Studies indicate that team performance is a concept that adjusts the direction and context of a team or a work group to improve the effectivenemss of the group (Barry & Stewart, 1997; Luca & Tarricone, 2001; Beersma et al., 2003; Baum et al., 2009; Berg & Holtbrügge, 2010; Manzoor et al. 2011; Marquis, 2016). Moreover, literature also indicates that there are number of organisational benchmarks that can help in measuring the performance of the team. For example, Beersma et al. (2003) focused on team performance in the context of investigating its relationship to reward systems. The findings of their study indicated that teams with agreeable and extroverted members performed effectively under a competitive structure, and that a reward structure had an impact on team members who had lower performance levels. A similar study was conducted by Berg & Holtbrügge (2010); they focused on team performance in the context of global teams and indicated that there are number of relevant factors in this context such as cultural homogeneity. Beersma et al. (2003) and Berg & Holtbrügge (2010) have focused on team performance in the context of other variables..
Team performance is one of the most important topics in the contemporary business world and it needs to be studied in detail. Organisations want to discover the relationship between team performance and other variables such as the manager’s support, engagement and work culture. For example, Cooper and Sutter (2011) have focused on the team performance in context of how roles are selected, which is one of the most important studies in the area because the success of a team depends on the correct assignment of tasks to its members. Charness and Jackson (2007) also argue that teams perform better if the roles are assigned to them endogenously or the members have the autonomy to make decisions about their interactions. On the basis of these studies, the selection and allocation of roles is an important element affecting how a team performs
Both large- and small-scale organisations are currently concerned about the performance of their teams and are finding new and innovative ways of improving it. While research associated with team performance is vast, it has not focused on a particular region such as impact of open communication on the team performance of Australian employees. Furthermore, employees in different sectors or industries have different needs. Previous research has not been industry-specific. Scholars recognise that research on team performance needs to be broadened by focusing, for instance, on different types of teams with different compositions. Berg & Holtbrügge (2010) focused on broadening the focus and perspective of team performance by focusing on different types of teams like teams with a diverse composition in terms of culture. Similarly, also highlighted in his research that ore studies have to be conducted in order to explore how the team performance can be improved with different reward structures especially in case of people with low extroversion and agreeableness Beersma et al. (2003).
Factors Influencing Team Performance
Duggan et al. (2016) suggest that organisations should promote teamwork because it ensures timely completion of work. Additionally, Kuehn (2016) recommends that organisations develop some team building strategies and frame programs to encourage employees to work in teams. Chang & Busser (2017) suggest any training program for the employees must be framed and developed to boost knowledge and skills. According to Root (2016) and Salas & Iwig (2016), there are various factors that influence a successful teamwork environment within an organisation such as focusing on the goals of the organisation, the compensation paid to the employees, communication within the organisation and dealing with conflict. Root (2016) claimed that if the employees of an organisation focus upon personal goals rather than the goals of the team, then teamwork will not be successful. As mentioned by Brown, Farrington & Sprinkle (2016), compensation paid to the employees is another important factor; if a member is paid at a higher rate than another, then this has a negative impact on teamwork. Additionally, as Root (2016) explains, improper communication within the team also has a negative impact.
According to Cummings et al. (2014), various factors affect the teamwork culture in a business organisation such as the participation of the top management, changes in the existing culture, changes in the structure of management, and the planning that is undertaken to address change in an organisation. Acas (2017) specifies that participation of the top management is essential because they are responsible for making all decisions. They also claim that the decision as to whether an organisation functions as an authoritative or participatory culture resides with management. They should consider the advantages and disadvantages of introducing and promoting teamwork. Furthermore, whether teamwork will be suitable for the kind of operations the organisation is undertaking is again the call of the management of the company (Acas, 2017).
As the aim of this research is to evaluate the case of an event management company, it is essential to determine whether teamwork is suitable in such a company. Baum et al. (2009) argues that the event management sector is continuously evolving; an entrepreneurial professionalism has emerged(Greenwood, 1957), which involves a high level of occupational control and provides the employees with greater flexibility and autonomy in performing their duties and responsibilities. As the work performed by an event management company is very innovative and includes teamwork, a collegial form of authority can be seen in this sector. Teamwork in the event management sector includes the division of tasks among the employees and negotiating with the service providers (Baum et al., 2009).
Team performance in events at hotels in Australia
The Australian hotel industry has embraced teamwork as a popular structure of business particularly in event management. According to Sotiriadis (2015 p. 1217), the widespread use of teams has reengineered the industry to reflect a highly attractive industry where large volumes of complex work is completed within a short timeframe. Patiar and Mia (2015 p.321) explains that the amount of knowledge and skills required to complete most of the assignments in events management businesses goes beyond the abilities of a single individual. As such, the Australian event management industry has taken the option of adopting high performance teams as a way of addressing complex conundrums, undertaking tasks and meeting the ever changing and demanding requirements of customers.
Australian hotels like Gold Coast and Melbourne have adopted the input-process-output (IPO) model in building effective teams particularly in their events management sections. According to Aubke et al. (2014 p. 152), the IPO model establishes the required input and process features of a business considered to be of importance in building highly effective teams. For instance, the Canberra Hotels establish their events management teams by putting into consideration features like the cognitive abilities of each team member, complexity and type of tasks. On the other hand, Canberra Hotel has adopted role clarification, goal setting, problem solving and interpersonal relations as the four models driving its teamwork operations. The adoption of complex high performance models in promoting team activities in Australia’s hotel industry is considered by Hume and Hume (2015 p. 27) as the reason why it has risen to become one of the greatest contributors of the country’s economic growth in the last decade.
The growing significance of teamwork and teams in events has become an important part of management. Research has indicated that most hotels in Australia have adopted the practice of participative management and have acknowledged the need for effective teams, higher performance, and job satisfaction. According to Sucher and Cheung (2015), hotels in Australia are inspiring the teamwork spirit in various levels of operation, especially in the event management since they understand that synergies would be acquired from larger involvement levels in the workforce. For instance, Australian Stamford Hotels Adelaide have introduced programs referred to as “Beyond the Boardroom” intended to formulate a team that is extremely productive and effective, which will subsequently lead to higher performance. The hotel has a design, outstanding execution, and appropriate vision. Moreover, some of the three crucial components of the effective teamwork operating include having a purposeful, funny, and challenging event. The main aim of this is to nurture team spirit for higher performance (Sucher and Cheung 2015, p.94). A study by Singh and Srivastasva (2016) noted that other hotels in Australia such as Toga Far East (TFE) hotels have a policy suggesting that “organizations do not succeed, but persons do.” Therefore, the management believes that effective teams are the cornerstone to its achievement. Its company is motivated to empower its teams to express themselves in their jobs irrespective of their responsibilities. Precisely, the company launched an initiative duped “Go mad” that intends to encourage empowerment of its teams to enable TFE hotels to make a difference. Furthermore, the study noted that the company teams are determined to work together in order to realize the organizational goals (Singh and Srivastasva 2016, p.2).
Building effective teams in Australian Hotels is aimed at strengthening the social relations and illustrating the roles of team members. In addition, hotels such as Gold Coast, Stamford hotels Adelaide and TFE Hotels utilize the team building initiatives in order to solve interpersonal issues and tasks that may influence the proper functioning of the business. Over the years, these hotels have used such mechanisms in order to accomplish results, achieve goals, and meet required standards. Tan, Hussain and Murali (2014) suggested that team building in Australian hotels is necessary because they introduce activities where various teams in an organization can participate to transform their team competencies, compositions, and context to enhance performance. For instance, the study noted that hotels like Stamford hotels Adelaide use activities and settings that are not necessarily systematic or formal and do not concentrate on skill-based capabilities (Tan, Hussain and Murali 2014, p.10). In addition, they are not conducted in the actual settings working on the daily basis. The researchers argue that building effective teams for better performances is applied within the culture of executive development.
A study conducted by Hsiao, Ma, and Auld (2015) revealed that the most of the hotels in Australia are seeking to achieve better performance by investing in teams. The organizations intend to impart the commitment to common goals and team success. The heads of TFE hotels believe that teams are able to know their determination and their collective goals. In addition, through the initiatives such as “Go Mad” the companies are able to offer each team member a chance of recognition and prestige, which in turn encourages better performance. Similarly, the teams have a stronger willpower to be the part of the organizational success (Hsiao, Ma and Auld 2015, p.165). The researchers also noted that team building among hotels in Australia provides an opportunity for people to interact consistently with persons with similar goals and interests.
According to Sucher and Cheung (2015), team performance is achieved in Australian hotels through interdependence. In this regard, the study identified that team building enables the members to gain a feeling of accountability towards each other and that the achievement of the project was realized upon the contribution of every member. Besides, the scholars noted that team members should be motivated to help their colleagues facing challenges. Similarly, such platforms provide an opportunity to discuss proactively issues affecting individual members and offer necessary assistance. Furthermore, the study revealed that team-building initiatives launched by hotels in Australia have constructive effects on the performance and the team in general (Sucher and Cheung 2015, p.95).
Tan, Hussain, and Murali (2014) discussed the relationship between interventions of team building and organizational performance. The study highlighted that organizations that use successful team-development strategies are able to realize significant impacts on fiscal measures. For instance, the researchers noted that such actions help to promote the independent performance of the team. However, the study noted that the effectiveness of team performance is accomplished when there is necessary infrastructure for interdependency. In addition, it also admits that leaders must play a critical part in establishing sustainable support mechanisms to facilitate team performance. The researchers in this study also proposed that hotels in Australia could achieve greater team performance if they integrate the general awareness of the crucial aim of the task (Tan, Hussain and Murali 2014, p. 12). Additionally, teams must collaborate to establish procedures, roles, and goals to accomplish it successfully.
The reviewed studies exhibit several gaps. For instance, the studies do not explain how hotels in Australia have succeeded in transforming the team behaviours in their job processes. In this respect, they fail to explain the manner in which team performance can be achieved without successfully having proper team traits. Additionally, the studies did not demonstrate the outcomes of team performance, which are attributable to the solidarity of teams in the Australian hospitality sector. Therefore, the researchers do not highlight how the outcomes in these organizations are related to team spirit in comparison with other firms.
Osemeke (2008) defines communication as,
a process of passing information and understanding to one or more persons. It is a means by which behaviour is modified, change is affected, and information is made productive in order to achieve objectives and goals of organisations (p. 255).
That is to say, communication is a dual way of arriving at a common understanding through an exchange of information (encoding-decoding), feelings, ideas and news (Guffey 2016). It also involves the sharing and creation of meaning. Communication is an act conveying meaning from one group to another.
Gaps in communication are unfavourable for any business organisation. According to Dawson et al. (2014), poor communication within an organisation creates ambiguity. The lack of effective channel of communication within an organisation leads to increased job dissatisfaction. Cooper-Warren (2008) state that, “the younger workforce is paying attention to organizational culture which is influenced by internal communications”. Other scholars believe that improved internal communication within an organisation can lead to increased levels of job satisfaction (Williams 2013; Goetsch, & Davis 2014; Wright 2016). Overall, the performance of employees also increases if they are satisfied with the work they are performing, which enhances the performance of the whole organisation.
Internal communication in a team is important as it can influence the performance of the team members. Internal communication facilitates the effective passage of information between participants of a specific organisation. The role of an internal communications manager or an internal communications team depends on the context of the business. There are three possible categories for this role: first, an internal marketer whose primary role is to win the participants over to the management’s objective; second, a channel manager who offers services on a logistical front; and third, a strategic advisor (Guffey 2016). Numerous studies have stressed that internal communication is key to success in the realm of event management, as it is in all other processes (Gonzalez-Padron et al. 2010; Liu & Lai 2011; Saifi 2015). Once scheduling of an event is complete, its delivery is of utmost importance, which is the primary reason why every person or entity involved in the planning process must be kept in the loop. As mentioned by Smith (2008), the expectations of the manager and everyone working towards achieving the goal of the event have to be communicated precisely and clearly.
Bowdin et al. (2006) has indicated that internal communication is a way to value employees. Internal communication should provide a pathway for internal relations and communication bonds for the purpose of fortifying the organisation. Additionally, as Smith (2008) argues, it should pave way for being astute in terms of the general functionality of the organisation. According to Guffey (2007), providing high quality services to the consumers is required to maintain competitiveness in a dynamic business environment. An advanced internal communication system ensures that an organisation maintains and increases its capability and gains considerable competitive advantage over others; not to mention winning over customers through increasing their loyalty. It also helps organisation to keep in touch with their customers whose needs are always changing (Guffey 2007).
Saifi (2015) explains that internal communication should not hinder the overall functions of the organisation; instead, it should establish clear links and internal relations to strengthen the organisation. Internal communication should provide an understanding of the overall function of the hotel and set clear parameters for internal relationships that strengthen the organisation (Saifi 2015). In other words, as suggested by Fröhlich & Grimm (2016), a strong internal communication network ensures that employees in an organisation are able to reach the customers. Employees are able to communicate externally with the customers as they will be aligned with the organisations expectations. Otherwise, as suggested by Menguc et al. (2016), a lack of communication within an organisation could bring about conflict, which would interfere with customer relations.
Intra-organisational communication should be structured in such a way that from employees from the top to the bottom ranks observe protocols (Mohan and Mary Leslie 1993). Information should be passed from the superiors to departmental managers to subordinates and vice-versa in order for problem solving and allocation of duties to be appropriately handled (Mohan, 1993). For example, a lack of serviettes should not be reported directly to the general manager. Instead, the responsible departmental manager should be informed. If he or she is not able to do it, then the report should be communicated to the general manager in order for them to take appropriate action.
Sandra Oliver (1997) points out that internal communication can establish unity between employees and managers. She specifies that experience and knowledge of common problem solving is shared or passed between them. Internal relations between these two groups of people is important. Internal communication provides a platform for a better quality of service delivery whilst also considering the welfare of the people working toward achieving the goals of the organisation (Oliver 1997). Scholes (1997) supports Oliver’s (1997) statements. They argue that a specific strategy is required that accounts for face-to-face communication that involves giving non-negotiable orders, persuading the people receiving the information towards a certain cause, consulting with them where ideas are sought to help in the decision-making process and, finally, allowing for different levels of involvement by the participants (Scholes 1997). Both Oliver and Scholes agree that an internal communications strategy should consider the objectives of the message and the tone of delivering it should be appropriate for its audience. The second consideration is the market where the needs of the audience of the message should be kept in mind. Media should also be considered, that is, selecting a channel that is appropriate to the nature of the message. The criteria by which success is to be measured should also be defined (Scholes 1997; Oliver 1997).
Bhatia & Bremner (2014) agree with Sholes (1997) and Oliver (1997) on internal communication strategies for the effective distribution of information in an organisation, which they divide into four categories. The first category is face-to-face communication that involves forums where people are physically present. Another category is memos, newsletters brochures and other forms of print communication used to convey information. Electronic communication can also be employed through phone, radio, computer and other devices. The fourth category is the workspace where noticeboards and decals can be employed to convey information (Bhatia& Bremner 2014).
Selecting appropriate channels for communication during event management sometimes can be a challenge for the person conveying the information (Klein 1996). Coombs (2014) explains that it depends on a number of factors, such as the type of channels that are available within the establishment (Bhatia & Bremner 2014). Alternatively, Klein (1996) prioritises the audience, that is, who they are, where they are based and how exactly they would prefer to be informed (Klein, 1996). According to Masterman (2014), another factor is how the organisation or manager wants those being informed to react to the message. Bhatia & Bremner (2014) clarify that the content of the message is also important, some messages would be better communicated face-to-face rather than through electronic or other means. Timing should also be considered as the urgency of the message dictates the timeliness of delivering it (Coombs 2014).
In the constantly changing business environment, time is needed to create a culture to support innovation, improving internal communication and team collaboration with the main intention of delivering a better quality service that results in being more competitive in the market (Moss 2000). Effective communication within the organisation, as well as with the external customer, assigns a competitive advantage that strengthens a hotel’s capability to satisfy ever-changing customer needs and therefore to increase customer loyalty (Kim & Lee 2006).
Employees in a hotel industry are duty-bound to communicate effectively to their customers, argue Proctor & Doukakis (2003). Abdullah & Antony (2012) explain that, to communicate effectively to external consumers, hotels must first possess a strong foundation of effective internal communication, before they can enhance external communication. Both studies (Proctor & Doukakis 2003; Abdullah & Antony, 2012) recognize that a hotel’s business may be jeopardised, if staff fail to communicate. Proctor & Doukakis (2003) indicate that the hotel’s internal communication usually consists of structured communication, which directly relates to the achievement of the work-goals. Additionally, Abdullah & Antony (2012) clarify that communication also includes sales and inventory reports which communicate daily with the respective departments in the hotel. Departmental managers will then inform superiors and subordinates of important information (Abdullah & Antony 2012).
The Role of Internal Communication
The purpose of internal communication is to unite the knowledge and experience of managers’ and hotel employees’ to deal with common problems for a definite period of time (Mohamed, Stankosky & Murray 2004). Effective internal communication provides a base to leverage knowledge in order to resolve problems or to make team decisions, which leads to a better quality of team performance (Mohamed, Stankosky & Murray 2004).Baines, Egan and Jefkins state that, “internal communications have advanced a long way from the management sponsored house journals of yester year to well organized systems of internal communication” (2004, p.312). Various researchers confirm that the effectiveness of internal communication is linked to the success of business organisations (Harkness 2000; Baines et al. 2004; Yates 2006; Dortok 2006; Chalmers 2008; Welch 2012; Frey & Osborne 2017). The most important task of the managers in the present day world is to establish an effective means of internal communication within the organisation.
Chalmes (2008) mentions that the role of internal communication has been constantly evolving and has undergone a considerable amount of change over the years. Additionally, Frey & Osborne (2017) claim that numerous iterations are related to internal communications such as informing and persuading employees to perform a certain task. The authors explains that in the contemporary context, internal communication is often focused on stimulating employees, challenging them with various tasks, appropriate management of change, and increasing the commitment and engagement of employees within the business organisation. On the other hand, Dortok (2006) argues that views on the concentration of internal communication have changed from directing and controlling the workforce with the help of appropriate information to the creation of a flexible working environment. Flexibility is judged according to the level at which the organisation is adapting to changes by seeking improvements and sharing requisite knowledge (Chalmes 2008).
According to Welch and Jackson (2007), successful organisations maintain a balance between achieving their goals and engaging employees effectively. In particularly large organisations, engaging employees is difficult. Therefore, communication within the organisation is essential; every organisation has to focus upon increasing two-way communication (Welch & Jackson 2007). Hola (2007) also agreed that internal communication within the organisation is as important as external communication and at times, it is the deciding factor as to where the business is successful.. They add that, if communication within the organisation is not effective, then it may lead to various deficiencies both at the individual level and the organisation level. Indeed, Yeomans & FitzPatrick (2017) state that a lack of appropriate communication can decrease the motivation of employees and their ability to make appropriate decisions, whilst also increasing in their level of frustration and passivity. Moreover, according to Goetsch & Davis (2014) the lack of an appropriate communication channel within the organisation can increase turnover rates as dissatisfied employees leave the organisation. Lapses in communication can also lead to a lack of coordination between activities, not meeting the targets on time, setting up incorrect targets and policy (Hola 2007).
Several published studies agree that internal communication is the most essential element of all the activities, which are required to be undertaken by the management of an organisation (Welch & Jackson 2007, Goetsch & Davis 2014, Austin & Pinkleton 2015, Hola 2017, Yeomans & FitzPatrick 2017). Hola (2017) specifies that internal communication helps in coordinating all the functions performed by the business organisation. Additionally, Yeomans & FitzPatrick (2017) state that communication within the organisation includes the process of giving and exchanging knowledge and information, which need to be performed perfectly. Moreover, Austin & Pinkleton (2015) comment that effective communication within the organisation helps in detecting the problems immediately and the solutions to such problems can also be found easily and efficiently. Hola (2017) also points out that there various tools available within a business organisation to enhance communication, such as workshops, communicating the instructions in writing and regularly appraising the work performed by employees.
Furthermore, as categorized by Kerzner (2013), the internal communication process of a business organisation includes the management of personnel, internal marketing, the abilities and skills of management and development of an appropriate infrastructure for the communication of relevant information. According to them, the combination of these tasks and activities can guarantee the effectiveness of internal communication within an organisation. Thus, in essence, it can be said that internal communication basically means making available necessary information required to complete the assigned task to an employee so as to avoid confusion. As suggested by Hola (2007), internal communication helps the top level of management maintain inter public relations and it involves analysing the work attitude and behaviour of the employees of the organisation. It also helps in consolidating the stability and loyalty of the workforce of an organisation. Coordination in the activities performed within the organisation ultimately builds a strong and reliable culture based on mutual trust and understanding. Internal communication acts like a foundation for the entire business organisation (Hola, 2007). Communication within an organisation was not considered to be at parity when it came to judging its importance in comparison to communication with the parties outside the organisation. All the tools and techniques with respect to communication are available only with respect to promoting external communication.
Effectiveness of Internal Communication
Yates (2006) states that, if the internal communication system is effective, then the overall performance of the business organisation is bound to increase. Many international companies are consistently delivering superior performances in terms of finance and operations because, apart from adopting new technologies and strengthening their relationship with the customers, they have focused on the quality and effectiveness of internal communication. Extensive research undertaken by Wyatt (2003 & 2005), revealed that those organisations who focus upon developing an effective internal communication system are able to give high shareholder returns. The research also revealed that such organisations possess a high market premium. Employees of such organisations are more satisfied, which helps the organisation to attain a high level of employee engagement. Such organisations have a lower employee turnover rate in comparison to organisations with an ineffective internal communication system. Hence, Yates (2006) believes that internal communication system must be the focus for enhancing performance of a business organisation.
Thus, it is considered rather essential to explore the manner in which companies can achieve effective internal communication. According to Wyatt (2005), effective internal communication within an organisation is determined on the basis of eight areas. They are: employees must be provided with appropriate education and knowledge about the cultures and values of the organisation; and with help in understanding the operations of the business organisation; the actions of employees and the requirements of the customers should be synchronised; employees must be provided with information related to achieving financial objectives; any reward system must be communicated clearly to the employees and any confusion must be clarified by top-level management; all new policies and programs must be promoted in an effective manner and detailed explanations provided to the employees; new employees hired by the business organisation must be integrated effectively with existing staff; and in the case of changes in the organisation, top-level management should exhibit strong leadership qualities and support employees in difficult situations (Wyatt 2005). These eight areas serve as critical factors because it is essential that the perceptions of management is communicated to employees in detail (Yates 2006).. Figure 1 depicts the importance of effective internal communication for increasing the financial and overall performance of a business organisation:
Figure 1 Effective communication drives superior financial performance (Yates, 2006)
The research conducted by Wyatt (2003 and 2005) measured the performance of the organisation based on whether the effectiveness of communication was high, medium, or low.. The outcomes revealed significant differences in levels of performance and that the effectiveness of communication is directly related to stability in an organisation and its increased financial performance. “Many have argued”, Yates states, “that effective communication is a result of superior financial performance— successful firms simply have more money to spend on communication” (2006, p.73). They also argue that researchers believe that the effectiveness of a communication system is a vague concept, and the reality is that most organisations performing at high levels are undertaking effective communication practices that help the business organisation in delivering quantifiable results. Wyatt presents a “Hierarchy of Effective Communication” to illustrate the importance of effective internal communication, which is depicted in Figure 2.
Figure 2 Hierarchy of effective communication (Wyatt, 2005)
In Wyatt’s diagram, the foundation tier; the strategic tier and the behavioural tier comprise nine practices of communication, each of which should be employed by management with awareness, understanding and acceptance. The foundation tier is where effective communication begins. This layer consists of four practices of communication which include following a communication process based on formal lines, utilising input from employees, leveraging technology, and linking compensation given to employees and desired behaviour through rewards. The strategic tier involves strategies to align the objectives of the business with the internal communication system. Furthermore, the tools of communication in this tier must be employed for facilitating change in an organisation; for regular improvements on and connecting employees with the strategy of the organisation. The behavioural tier makes use of internal communication to increase the commitment of employees by concentrating upon building strong relationships between management and the workforce. The practices of effective communication system in this layer are designed to effect changes in management behaviour that will enable employees to support the vision and mission of the senior management. These communication practices will ensure that if employees work with supervisors and managers, their work will be in alignment with the outcomes of the business (Wyatt 2005).
According to Yeomans & FitzPatrick (2017); complexity in the internal communication has intensified due to globalization of the organisations. However, as Yates (2006) explains, when the nine communication practices in the three tiers illustrated in the hierarchy of effective communication are followed, then the aggregate result of effective communication will be achieved. Organisations that adopt these practices are able to reach the top tier and thus, drive changes in the behaviour of their employees, which will bring about positive financial results for the business organisation (Yates 2006).
Various actions must be taken by an organisation to increase the effectiveness of an internal communication system (Mishra et al. 2014), including the creation of a communication strategy that is documented, linked to the operations of the business and focuses on both outcomes and deliverables. Also communication planning must be conducted on annual basis so that the business organisation can adopt a more proactive approach towards improving internal communication. Establishing channels that facilitates two- way communication so that input from employees is also considered when making important decisions and ensuring appropriate support from the top-level managers and supervisors to improve these channels is also important. Managers must be provided with effective tools and training and they should adopt technological advancements that will enhance internal communication. The communication system should be evaluated by implementing formal measures and organisations engaged in global operations must strive to integrate people with different cultural backgrounds through this communication system.
Internal Communication in events at hotels in Australia
The structures of internal communication established in the hospitality industry play a critical role based on the nature of services offered (Aubke et al., 2014 p. 154). According to Manoharam and Siongal (2017 p. 79), internal communications are considered as components of the service packages valued by customers and must be initiated in the most effective ways. On the other hand, Sotiriadis (2015) argues that the current success of Australia’s event management businesses is attributed to the high levels of efficiency and effectiveness of staff who have accomplished their interpersonal relationships with customers with dignity.
Hume and Hume (2015 p.153) explain that highly effective systems of internal communication adopted by the Australian event management industry have played a significant role in fostering the development of work teams which are both self-managed and self-directed. A study conducted by Manoharams and Singal (2017) on teamwork in the hotel industry of Australia revealed that the presence of self-directed teams in event management sections of this industry were of great importance in providing the opportunities of integrating the required techniques of quality improvement. They explain that such teams put into account whole tasks made up of autonomous activities as opposed to isolated individual jobs. On the other hand, a case study on the systems of internal communication adopted by Event Planet – one of Australia’s top event management businesses- established that the success of this company is attributed to its highly effective systems of internal communication. Event Planet has developed a strong cohesive culture between the employees and the management with the aim of establishing collaborative relationships. According to Aubke et al. (2014 p.152), the involvement of employees in the internal communication processes adopted by different event management companies in Australia has led to the establishment of confidence in services offered by different hotels.
Over the past few decades, the event management sector in Australia has witnessed a high rate of competitiveness. Consequently, the management of staff has turned out to be challenging, hence the need of proper avenues of internal communication within the company’s structure appeared. Various studies have demonstrated that the ability of the organization to remain competitive in the market will be based on its capability to maintain internal communication. A study by Yildiz (2015) suggested that some of the firms in Australia such as Ark Group Australia have introduced programs intended to cultivate internal communication. Precisely, the strategic internal communication in the company is geared towards acquiring different insights and perspectives from employees and leaders. In addition, it aims at maintaining a team that is adequately engaged at all times, particularly during tough periods. The Ark Group Australia also believes that internal communication in the firm enables the establishment of a culture, which assists in overpowering obstacles (Yildiz 2015, p.46). Significantly, it creates an interactive platform where the company concentrates on being a tactical business partner. The scholars argued that a dynamic internal communication within the team acts as the powerhouse of the company as it develops the very fundamental cornerstone that supports all other operations within a business. Therefore, the research proposed that organizations in the event management must ensure that the elements of internal communication such as motivation, loyalty, commitment, and engagement remain intact. In addition, it must guarantee that all persons are functioning towards the organization’s missions (Yildiz 2015, p.47).
A research by Bayrak and Adan (2015) revealed that in the service sector, especially in hospitality industry, internal communication has a unique part to play. The researchers argued that internal communication is included in the service package, which both tourism and business have valued. In fact, they admitted that the achievement of event management is determined by the success of the employees in handling their interpersonal associations with guests (Bayrak and Adan 2015.p.294). Furthermore, the research by Yildiz (2015) highlighted that internal communication between staff and senior managers plays a critical part in sustaining and fostering the culture of the organization and offering value. In event management, internal communication can act as a marketing mechanism by staff when they interact with external guests. For instance, it enables the creation of robust images and a feeling of reassurance, confidence, and credibility. Similarly, internal communication in events formulates a channel where they share information, which has positive effects on the satisfaction of different guests (Yildiz 2015, p.47). It also assists in individual supervision, recognition, and work behaviours.
According to the study of Sadia and his colleagues (2016), internal communication in event management in nations such as Australia is useful for the hospitality industry because the level of success is based on teamwork. In this regard, the findings of this study indicated that a constructive operational team stimulates efficiency, involvement, and flexibility. Additionally, sustaining staff relationship is essential for launching proper skills of internal communication, which leads to a higher sense of self-esteem, positive sustenance of the staff and more satisfied guests (Sadia et al. 2016, p.94).
Lahap, O’Mahony, and Dalrymple (2016) conducted a study on the need for communication in enhancing quality service delivery in Malaysian hospitality industry. The research discovered that internal communication in hotels forms the part of the Internal Marketing Orientation (IMO) structures. In fact, internal communication is a key pillar of IMO because it helps to transfer intelligence. In addition, it supports communication executives from various departments as well as between staff and managers (Lahap, O’Mahony and Dalrymple 2016, p. 215). The study reasoned that the principal aim of intelligence transfer is to enable conversation in new marketing approaches. Internal communication is used within the company to disseminate organizational strategic aims to the staff. On the other hand, it creates an opportunity for the executives to know the needs of the staff (Lahap, O’Mahony and Dalrymple 2016, p. 216).
A study conducted by Ruizalba in cooperation with other researchers (2014) indicated that internal communication is an essential component of brand marketing, particularly in event management. In this respect, hotels in Australia use internal communication to ensure that employees know the values of the companies. More importantly, most Australian organizations in the hospitality industry understand that the staff can build or destroy their fortunes. Therefore, companies like Ark Group Australia appreciate the fact that engaged teams have the power to accelerate its brand more efficiently as compared to a viral advertisement campaign (Ruizalba et al. 2014, p.12). On the contrary, poor internal communication produces the employees who believe that their firm has failed to formulate a clear vision or message. Consequently, this is permeated through in the process of interacting with colleagues, guests, and possible leads (Ruizalba et al. 2014, p.13). Therefore, the findings of the study proposed that in event management, the company must ensure that what the staff communicates internally reflects the image of the firm on the external world.
For this reason, internal communication helps to synchronize the standards that the organization intends to portray. Therefore, internal communication is an integral part of internal marketing that focuses on the association between team and organization. In this regard, it enables event management to be promoted and positioned effectively via a distinct brand appearance of the event (Karanges et al. 2015, p.129). The study infers that the success of internal communication can be accomplished through timely engagement of teams, which will translate to higher quality services and effective marketing.
Although various studies focus on the significance of internal communication in hospitality industries, they do not examine how they result in higher performance in the teams. In fact, most of these studies do not pay their attention to event management. In addition, the researchers did not test the insufficiencies of guesthouses in Australia in promoting internal communication. Furthermore, the studies failed to discuss some of the techniques used by different hotels in Australia to sustain the internal communication. Finally, the researchers did not explore the challenges inhibiting internal communication in events management in Australia.
The Relationship between Internal Commuication and Team Performance
Internal Communication and Effective Team Performance
The global operations of organisations has increased the complexity of internal communication (Heizer 2016). International operations cannot be performed by a single person and hence, the need for teamwork has intensified. Additionally, as believed by Jia et al. (2014), performing as a team will help with better management of resources and timely completion of work. Furthermore, as suggested by Schippers et al. (2015), teamwork will help the organisation to achieve innovation.
The term team is defined by Mohrman et al. as,
A group of individuals who work together to produce products or deliver services for which they are mutually accountable. Team members share goals and are mutually held accountable for meeting them, they are interdependent in their accomplishment, and they affect the results through their interactions with one another. .(1995, p. 40)
Naresh Jain also claims that,
Team members need to learn how to help one another, help other team members realize their true potential, and create an environment that allows everyone to go beyond his or her limitations. Teams can be broken down into from a huge team or one big group of people, even if these smaller secondary teams are temporary. (2009, p.96)
Teamwork assists with sharing of knowledge and information among the employees of the organisation (Mohrman et al., 1994; Jain, 2009). However, the most essential component for effective teamwork is effective internal communication. If communication within an organisation is effective, then it will enhance the performance of teams.
Acas (2017) argues that a good communication system within an organisation plays a crucial role in promoting a teamwork culture. They state that “it must be a continuous process aimed at establishing, maintaining and developing teams” (Acas, 2017, p 9). A reliable two- way system of communication needs to be established. Management and teams must communicate every type of information to reduce ambiguity within the business organisation. Hall (1994) also argues that effective communication within teams facilitates the appropriate allocation and effective prioritising of tasks, and maintains healthy relations between team members. Managers, they argue, are responsible for improving communication within their teams to ensure the effective flow of ideas and requisite information to and from the team leaders, with other departments and also within their own team. Methods to improve communication within teams include: holding regular meetings; providing regular briefs to the teams; establishing intranet systems, company journals, notice boards, newsletters for communication; using personal letters to address individual employees; and undertaking frequent surveys to ensure the effectiveness of the internal communication system (Manzoor et al. 2011). Hall also suggests undertaking surveys to help management in resolving the issues faced by employees when working with teams. According to the study by Manzoor et al. (2011), employees will be able to express their thoughts and views with respect to a particular situation if there is openness in the communication system. As the event management sector involves teamwork on a huge scale, it is essential to introduce an effective channel for internal communication within teams.
Research publications by Morgan & Schiemann (1983) and Opitz & Hinner (2003) recognize internal comunication as the strategic focus for the business communication. Other studies, such as by Jo and Kim (2004), Hannegan (2004), Dawkins (2004) and Grossman (2005) associate internal communication with the performance of the employees and teams along with job satisfaction The area of internal communication is a one of the most studied areas in management research. For example, Jo and Kim (2004) argue that internal communication is one of the most important elements that influence the building of relationships between management and employees. Similarly, Dawkins (2004) and Hannegan (2004) also highlight that an effective internal communication can improve the credibility and corporate reputation of the organisation. These studies have also focused on the models of internal communication that can be adopted for improving internal communication in an organisation. Studies conducted by Grossman (2005) and Hannegan (2004) also focus on the outcomes of internal communication in specific terms.
This research indicates many areas of internal communication have been studied but there are still some areas that need to be studied in detail, such as the information, values and resources that are input into the internal communication process. Gibson & Hodgetts (1991) acknowledge operations where inputs of internal communication become the output of internal communication and the management of the internal communication process in the public and private sector organisations in specific terms. These areas form an important part of the research associated with internal communication. Previous research has concentrated on the role and importance of internal communication, the association between internal communication and other variables, and ways of improving the internal communication in the organisation. According to Saáry (2014), there are two important terms “communication” and “strategy” in the area of management.. Leadership organisational theories have also considered organisation communication as an important field. Several studies, such as those conducted by Ancona & Caldwell (1992) and Jablin, (2010) have already shown the association between internal communication and organisational performance in different scenarios. Saáry (2014) adds that internal communication is also necessary for organisations that need to improve the effectiveness of their research and development and innovation processes. Similarly, White, Vanc, and Stafford (2013) state that the personal influence of the top managers and CEO’s can have a huge impact on the information satisfaction. Larkin & Larkin (1994) also argue that effective internal communication between management and employees leads to communication satisfaction and thus, the overall satisfaction of the employees. They indicate that internal communication is one of the most important elements for improving the organisational performance as well as the satisfaction of the employees (Larkin & Larkin 1994).
The area of internal communication has been well-studied but there are still gaps. Internal communication need to be studied in an industry specific manner as different industries have different communication structures. For example Popescu & Olteanu (2014) focus on the fact that future internal communication research needs to focus on the communicational stakes of educational organisations. Also, studies of internal communication do not focus on how communication can be used as a tool for the professional associations or for ensuring the consolidation as well as creation of sense of security and belonging. While a paradigm of public relations and relationship management is emerging in the field of internal communication, it still needs to be redefined as essential for building favourable relationships between employees and management that are important for communication. Research has already focused on the fact that internal communication has the potential to improve organisational performance and employee satisfaction. The next section of this study will focus on research associated with relationship between internal communication and team performance.
The Relationship between Internal Communication and Team Performance
Most organisations are now framing policies to increase the culture of working in teams. Teamwork helps an organisation in performing various operations efficiently because a synergy of people who are talented in varied areas is combined in a team. Various and complex tasks can be easily completed if employees are grouped in teams. Thus, it can be said that team culture promotes and enhances the performance of a business organisation (Ancona & Caldwell 1992). Barry & Stewart state that “Team open communication refers to the extent to which team members feel that the team as a whole tends to listen to each member’s ideas and encourages and facilitates input from all team members”(Tost et al, 2013, p.10).
However, there are various factors which have a direct impact on team effectiveness. Ancona & Caldwell (1992) believe that the main reason is diversity in demographic factors such as age, gender, nationality and length of tenure. This diversity is responsible for increasing conflict within teams, which reduces cohesion within the organisation, and adds complexity to the internal communication system so that coordination within the team declines. But, if the internal communication system of the organisation is effective, any difference of opinion can easily be tackled. Thus, (Ancona & Caldwell, 1992) argue that an effective internal communication system supports teamwork and increases the overall performance of the team.
Tost et al. (2013) supports this argument but also adds that an effective internal communication system reduces the environment of ambiguity within the organisation. Additionally Zivrbule (2015) claims that a prosperous internal communication system supports mutual understanding among various departments within the business organisation, which ultimately increases the operational performance of the organisation. Thus, the management of organisations to enhance performance of teams must develop the process of information flow to enhance the performance of teams. Such a process must include all the layers of management so that any chance of miscommunication can be easily avoided. As Tost et al. state, the “literature suggests that steeper hierarchy has a diminishing effect on team learning and team performance in general” (2013, p 4). Furthermore, an effective communication system creates positivity in the entire organisation, which is essential for enhancing performance of the teams. Teams will be able to deliver improved results if there is effective communication within the team members. Communication effectiveness increases mutual trust within the team and inspires the team members to work collectively and deliver the best they can (Zivrbule 2015).
Herbst (2007) provides an earlier argument that supports those of Tost (2013) and Zivbrule (2015); they also state that the main function of an internal communication system is to exchange information relevant to performing a task. However, Herbst argues that, although the main task is to exchange information, communication is also central to an excellent organisational culture. Employees are able to express their emotions and grievances to the management, if the internal communication system of an organisation supports such a culture. Management of a business organisation benefits because they will easily be able to identify the attitude of employees towards their work. Thus, the effectiveness of internal communication can be viewed as something which will inspire the employees of the organisation to work in teams.
Establishing an effective internal communication system does not require the organisation to spend a huge amount of money. Rather, adequate planning on part of the management of the company is required to make use of both formal and informal channels of communication for the benefit of the organisation. In fact, it becomes the responsibility of management to identify the best channels of communication that can work well and be efficiently used for enhancing the performance of teams (Herbst 2007).
Brønn (2010), acknowledging the work of Herbst (2007), add that the development of an effective and efficient system of communication is the prime responsibility of the management of an organisation. Middle level managers are responsible because they are the ones who possess the overall responsibility for increasing the performance of their respective teams. Internal communication also has a huge impact on the effectiveness of the leadership of a manager and must be utilised in meetings of management. In the view of Herbst, “internal communication is an important and vital part of everyday life and it is necessary to talk about it in all company’s meetings, discussions, in order to set and achieve a goal” (2007 ).
It is often said that, apart from overall performance, the reputation of an organisation is determined by its employees. They play a vital role in maintaining this reputation if they are satisfied with the work environment. Such satisfaction can be achieved if the employees working in teams have better opportunities to communicate their grievances and also convey their appreciation to other team members, which is possible only with the help of an efficient communication system. Therefore, “the communication needs to be complete, understandable and unambiguous, efficient, reliable, timely and accessible”(Brønn 2010, p 314). Improving the performance of teams also depends upon the leader of a team. If a leader communicates the work effectively and there exists an open system of internal communication, then the performance of the team is bound to increase (Herbst 2007; Brønn 2010).
Tost, Gino and Larrick (2013) concur; if a leader of a team is not effective and does not support internal communication, then team performance will diminish. Reduced internal communication adversely impacts the performance of the team since the team members are not able to communicate with the leader about their issues. They believe that, “open communication within teams is a crucial determinant of team performance” Tost et al. (2013, p 1467). Establishing communication systems within an organisation has become all the more essential because of the promotion of a teamwork culture and diversity in teams. Openness in communication among the team members helps in reducing animosity among the members and thus, helps build trust between them. This ultimately leads to a peaceful environment within the organisation, which promotes the efficiency of employees (Tost et al., 2013). Thus, internal communication impacts upon the performance of a team in a positive manner, if effectively and efficiently implemented.
A Board of Studies NSW (2014) report states that the event management sector is required to hire people who possess eight important skills, which it defines as communication, teamwork, technology, learning, problem solving, planning and organizing, self-management, and initiative and enterprise. The first two skills of communication and teamwork are relevant for this research. The report defines communication as “that contributes to productive and harmonious relations across employees and customers”. Communication determines team effectiveness because one criterion used for measuring communication effectiveness includes “understanding the needs of internal and external customers”. Internal communication increases the clarity of information in the team, which is reflected in how the event management team deals with their customers. The term teamwork is defined as something “that contributes to productive working relationships and outcomes”. In other words, in an event management organisation, it is essential to define the role of the team members, identify their strengths, and apply teamwork in various situations such as planning and solving various problems (Board of Studies NSW 2014).
Research conducted by Martinez-Moreno et al. (2009) evaluates which communication contexts—virtual or traditional interactions—were more disruptive or beneficial to the effects of intragroup conflicts on team performance. Results show that teams communicating through videoconferences were the highest-performing teams, and those using computer-mediated communication performed at lowest levels. However, when conflict arises around tasks, video conferencing diminishes performance at the first stage of the teamwork. Teams using face-to face communication had improved performance if there was conflict surrounding tasks or processes. Once team members developed teamwork experience, conflict more seriously damaged team performance in teas that used computer-mediated communication (Martinez-Moreno et al. 2009). According to Martinez- Moreno, there is evidence that team performance and internal communication have both a negative and positive relationship. This is showing that teamwork performance is significantly influenced by the amount of communication one receives. Different groups react differently to the communication. For example, a team’s performance can progress if they improve the quality of the communication rather than the amount of the communication, for other teams to improve their performance; they just need to engage in other forms of communication.
According to Park and Bang’s research (2015), there is a curvilinear relationship between team performance and conflict about the effects of the interactions demanded by the job. Further, the researchers perceived that the connection between perceived team performance and task conflict was linear and adverse. Subsequently, they conducted a survey using regression analysis and the correlation method, which showed that internal communication leads to higher engagement of job done by the employees. Park and Bang also argue that internal corporate and team management communication influences employees’ commitment to work, which was significally better than those who had less communication. They investigated the relationship between task conflict and team performance, taking into account the interaction effects of job demand. Research found a statistically significant curvilinear relationship between task conflict and actual team performance; however, the relationship between task conflict and perceived team performance was negative and linear. Their research also revealed that task conflict positively predicted actual team performance when job demands were high, whereas it had a negative effect when job demands were low (Bang & Park 2015).
Rodriguez and Tsukiyama (2015) have researched the effects of task interdependence, team cooperation, and the relationship of task conflict to team performance, on real estate brokers. Their results showed that there was a significant and positive influence by the task interdependence between the job performance and the team cooperation; more so, there was a significant and negative impact on the relationship conflict. Relationship conflict had a negative influence team collaboration, whereas task conflict had a positive influence on job performance. Team cooperation had a significant and positive impact on job performance. These studies provide empirical evidence of a relationship between internal communication and team performance, and its underlying impact on employee engagement. There should be instructions to managers on the significance of internal communication so as to enhance it. For this to be effective, organisational practices should be appropriate and acceptable for the team internally so as to bring about positive employee engagement (Bang & Park 2015; Rodriquez & Tsukiyama 2015).
Research conducted by Bartelt and Dennis (2014) on the capabilities and features of various communication tools demonstrates how social structures can have a vital influence on performance. The rules devised by team members to use in typical situations, and which are associated with the tools of communication, also have an impact on how a team communicates and, ultimately, the level of their performance. An experiment undertaken by Bartlet and Dennis studied the different collective structures that can develop within discussion forums and instant messenger, which are triggered the various genre rules which brought about numerous decision qualities through different behaviours. Their study also revealed that employees adopt similar behavioural traits when enacting habitual social structures that do not affect the quality of the decision. This study revealed that the use of communication tools to enact genre rules can have a dominant effect on team performance. In a similar manner to Bang & Park (2015) and Rodriquez & Tsukiyama (2015), this study provides evidence that organisational performance is affected by the satisfaction with the communication processes.
Bakker & Demerouti (2008) argue that there is a link between internal communication and high levels of performance, which leads to employee recognition and shared governance. High-performing organisations have communication practices that include sharing the business mission of the business and its priorities. Engaging employees ensures there is good team performance. If the level of internal communication is improved, then the standard of the team’s performance is raised. The survival of an organisation is directly influenced by the relationship between the groups and individuals. Evidence has shown that effective internal communication increases the commitment, morale, productivity and job satisfaction of employees, which proves the importance of the relationship between internal communication and team performance. An example can illustrate this point. If an organisation improves the timeliness and quality of the information provided to employees, their performance improves. Employee’s communication in an optimal communication climate can help to strengthen the team’s identity within the organisation, and this contributes to the sustained success of the team. Also, effective internal communication makes employees enhance industry performance as they also influence the customer behaviour, which affects the profitability, and the revenue generated.
Lynn and Kalay (2015) discuss the role of a clear vision on team performance in their study of nine innovation teams at three companies (Apple, IBM, and HP). They tested the impact of a clear vision that is supported by the organisation on overall team performance. Their research demonstrated that a clear vision had a positive effect on team performance but support of the vision and clear roles within it were not significantly related to team performance (Lynn & Kalay 2015).
The literature supplies considerable information about communication and its impact on team performance, with both positive and negative results. Research has examined how the amount of communication that a team receives can influence their performance. In particular, the performance of interacting and non-interacting teams has been compared. Results of these studies vary, however, it has been noted that higher-quality decisions are made by both free-discussion teams and limited-discussion teams (Hassall 2009). The results of these studies indicate that some teams need to engage in more communication in order to improve performance. On the other hand, teams were able to improve their performance by improving the quality of communication and the amount of communication did not significantly relate to performance.
In the quest of establishing internal communication as one of the important management functions, researchers have focused on the importance of effective internal and external communication as a prerequisite to an organisation’s performance. According to Fletcher (1999) effective internal communication can help in eliminating issues between employees and leaders and can involve employing incentives and team building. The study conducted by Fletcher (1999) clearly indicates that internal communication can positively influence individual and organisational performance. The previous studies have also focused on the fact that communication gaps in the organisations can be devastating in the current competitive environment. A study conducted by Atambo and Momanyi (2016) also indicates that contemporary organisations are facing a problem with maintaining a good culture of communication. This further leads to number of problems such as employee turnover and poor performance. They express an urgent need for future studies that can focus on improving the internal communication structure of an organisation so that the performance and satisfaction of employees can be maintained (Atambo & Momanyi, 2016).
The individual areas of internal communication and team performance have been well discussed in the literature but the relationship between internal communication and team performance has not been explored in an effective manner. There is a need for dedicated studies of this relationship so that organisations can use internal communication as a tool to improve performance of their teams. Gaither (2012) conducted an important study that focused on role of internal communication in improving the employee engagement and eventually improving the performance of the organisation. The findings of the study indicate that internal communication practices raise work standards along with improving the engagement level of employees. Employee engagement is positively associated with the performance of team members. The positive association between employee engagement and employee performance was also shown in number of subsequent studies as well (Markos & Sridevi, 2010; Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, 2016; Kazimoto, 2016). Particularly, human relation theory highlighted by Wrench et al. (2015) focuses on the importance of two-way communication between employer and employee. This theory considers communication as an important tools to buy cooperation from the subordinates of the organisation.
Lastly, Vance, White, and Stafford, (2010) conclude that employees satisfied with internal communication had high scores of organisational commitment, which gave them a feeling of greater responsibility. They discovered that satisfaction with internal communication is related to performance and job satisfaction. Further, their report shows that employees value face-to-face communication for the internal communication as it makes them feel important. Consequently, employees develop a practise of full disclosure, which means they were able to perform tasks more effectively. According to the research, organisations can benefit if they carefully evaluate their communication practices, which are vital to employee satisfaction, thus increasing their performance.
The relationship between internal communication and team performance in events at hotels
There is a strong positive relationship between effective internal communication and team performance in the hospitality industry (Patiar and Mia, 2015 p. 318). According to hume and Hume (2015 p. 43), internal communication in team setups plays a significant role in allowing for pooling of critical organizational resources through identification of errors, leading to rejection of poor strategies. On the other hand, Sotiriadis (2015, p.1222) explains that if well implemented, teamwork and communication in event management businesses have a meaningful effect on decision preferences. Putting the hospitality environment into perspective, Manoharams and Singal (2017) argues that the value of internal communication among the teams adopted by a particular event management company can only be realized if the management takes the responsibility of ensuring that employees have the freedom of exchanging information in time and with accuracy.
Sotiriadis (2017) explains that team performance is encouraged in instances where rewards are offered to those who advance positive relationships which strengthen internal communication inside and out of their environments of work. On the other hand, Aubke et al. (2014 p. 153) explains that the event management industry involves interfaces between the teams of employees with guests. They caution that convergent orientations play a significant role in such scenarios and the channels of internal communication availed must be oriented in such a way that they positively contribute to satisfactory encounters between the host teams and guests. For instance, Patiar and Mia (2015 p. 332) explain that the interface between different teams of employees and clients in even management institutions is clearly critical. According to Manoharam and Mia (2015), there is need for internal communication systems to structure information customized for specific guests in a way that increases its levels of suitability for application in formulating action plans. It is important to appreciate the fact that every stakeholder in any event management company has to be considered as an implicit member of its team. Therefore, their fashions of internal communication are of substance in creating value.
Numerous studies have attempted to explain the correlation between internal communication and team performance. For instance, a study by Bakanauskienė, Bendaravičienė and Krikštolaitis (2015) noted that active internal communication is a necessity for the achievement and the stability of the organization. Communication has the power to integrate various functions and units in a hotel and influence the capacity of the management to involve the team in a way that results in higher performance (Bakanauskienė, Bendaravičienė and Krikštolaitis 2015, p.23). Therefore, internal communication helps to realize success within the organization.
On the other hand, Bharadwaj (2014) argued that internal communication delivers crucial details to the team about their working environment, organization, and jobs. In doing so, healthy internal communication can be a catalyst that boosts the morale of the team. Additionally, it assists in establishing satisfied staffs that are more creative and industrious. Besides, internal communication permits the executive to initiate its brands via enhanced performance. The research concluded that active internal communication ensures that the team in the hospitality sector is dedicated to accomplishing organization’s goals thus promoting performance and productivity (Bharadwaj 2014, p.187). According to Sadia and others (2016), with new communication and business practices in the hospitality sector, internal communication has become a tactical measure to employees’ job satisfaction and their professional development. In this respect, the study noted that in the current century, the internal communication influences how fruitful, effective and performance-focused the hotels are. In addition, the results of the research revealed that the association between performance and internal communication is based on proper coordination and control of activities within the hotel (Sadia, et al. 2016, p.94).
Jacobs, Yu, and Chavez (2016) examined the association between the effectiveness of internal communication among the managers and job performance of the staff. The measures utilized for the research were communication frequency between the staff and managers, the communication behaviour patterns, the knowledge levels of the teams in terms of procedures and practices of the organization, and channels used in communication. Finally, the researchers explored the levels of satisfaction among the teams. The findings of this study demonstrated positive correlations between higher work performance and the effectiveness of communication within the company. However, the study noted that the level of performance depended on various issues such as communication climate, feedback mechanisms, and managers’ communication (Jacobs, Yu and Chavez 2016 p.63).
Another study conducted by Ruck and Welch (2012) observed that internal communication in a company is fundamental for realizing greater levels of team satisfaction, which subsequently result in establishing conducive working environment leading to a rise in productivity. The research recommended that executive should engage their teams in active internal communication by delivering more opportunities for this to take place (Ruck and Welch 2012, p.295). Similarly, they should nurture a culture and practice of trust, which encourages teams to air their suggestions, grievances, and insights. Bakanauskienė, Bendaravičienė and Krikštolaitis (2015) admitted that fundamental duty of the leader of a team is to establish a positive internal communication environment by offering every worker a chance to express his or her views, participate, and help to achieve goals. The research also highlighted that active internal communication sustains the team on the right direction and raises the company’s performance. In fact, the findings of the research demonstrated that organizations that have integrated operational communication have increased their projected worth by nearly 20 percent (Bakanauskienė, Bendaravičienė and Krikštolaitis 2015, p.25).
According to Sadia and his colleagues (2016), job gratification with internal communication is essential for any company and is determined by the consistency and the quality of communication exchange. Additionally, job satisfaction also influences the behavior of the employee (Sadia et al. 2016, p.96). Significantly, the research discovered a positive correlation between satisfaction and satisfaction with internal communication. Research conducted by Jacobs, Yu, and Chavez (2016) emphasized that the success or failure of the brand performance in a company can be associated with the effectiveness of internal communication. Therefore, internal communication is a determining factor in the achievement of business in meeting the brand promise by its workers, especially the consumer-interface staff. The results of the study recorded that the satisfaction with internal communication stimulates a feeling of recognition among the staff, which in turn generates brand commitment and loyalty (Jacobs, Yu and Chavez 2016 p.64). Subsequently, the employees behave in a manner that reinforces the reality of the brand. Therefore, the study focused on how factors such as communication climate, media quality, horizontal communication, supervisor’s relationship, personal feedback, organization integration, and organization perspective influence the hotel brand in Thailand. The findings revealed that internal communication affects the performance of the hotel brand since it affected loyalty, commitment, and identification (Jacobs, Yu and Chavez 2016 p.65).
Mishra, Boynton, and Mishra (2014) conducted a study to determine how internal communication influences the teams’ behavior and subsequently their performance. The research argued that in a large company with many departments and divisions, it is difficult for employees to understand what is taking place in firm, particularly if it is not connected to their unit (Mishra, Boynton and Mishra 2014, p. 185). However, this demonstrates a failure in internal communication that would have devastating ramifications on the company. For instance, it may lead to the negative reputation of the firm if an external person asks the employee about the issue. Therefore, it implied that constructive internal communication has a positive relationship with the superior performance of the company and its reputation (Mishra, Boynton and Mishra 2014, p. 186).
The previous researches exhibited some gaps because they did not examine the relationship between internal communication in Australian hotels and the team performance. In addition, the studies failed to examine a clear relationship between effective communication in event management and the team performance in various Australian hotels. Therefore, the research would seek to determine the relationship between internal communication and team performance in event management in Australian hotels.
Gaps in the Research
This research has involved conducting a literature review on internal communication and its impact on the performance of teams. The concept of developing a teamwork culture has emerged within the literature. However, there are some gaps. The literature rarely concentrates upon both internal communication system and team effectiveness. Moreover, researches have mainly focused upon public sector companies. The impact of factors, such as motivation and leadership, on team performance were evaluated, but the literature did not evaluate the impact of an internal communication system. Studies have not been industry specific (Foehrenbach & Rosenberg, 1992) even though, in different industries, the team structure and needs of employees differ. There is a need to understand team performance and internal communication from the perspectives of different industries (Kazimoto, 2016). Another weakness of the previous studies is that they have not focused on relevant models that can establish the relationship between team performance and internal communication (Okuneye et al., 2014). Individually, the areas of internal communication and team performance have been explored well but there are very few studies that focus on the relationship between the two variables. One of the major strengths of previous studies is that team performance and internal communication have been studied individually and effectively. The previous literature focuses on how to improve team performance as well as internal communication. The past studies have also focused on the models that can be used to improve the internal communication and team performance (Aegenti, 2005).
Future research should focus on the relationship between internal communication and team performance in depth with the help of relevant models and theories. There is an immediate need to find the ways in which team performance of the organisations can be improved. Internal communication is an aspects that does not require financial resources even though it provides major benefits to employees and team members (Roger & Rogers, 2012). There is a huge gap in the studies associated with relationship between team performance and internal communication. From a managerial perspective, it is essential to determine how changes in the structure of a team can help in improving its performance. There are no studies that focus on the impact of internal communication on different types of teams such as diverse teams and oparational teams (Yates, 2006). Diverse teams need to be evaluated differently from homogeneous teams. There are still a number of areas that need to be studied regarding internal communication and team performance (Ancona & Deborah, 2010).
Table 1 highlights the findings of previous research and, more importantly, identifies existing gaps.
|S.No.||Title of Work, Author Name, Date||Key Findings||Gap/Limitation/Weakness|
|1.||Leadership in Teams: A
Functional Approach to Understanding Leadership Structures and Processes.
Morgeson, F.P., DeRue, D.S. & Karam, E.P., 2010
|Functions of team leadership, Role of leadership in the success of teams and identification of areas for future research.||The research only focuses upon leadership as a tool to increase team effectiveness.|
|2.||Rethinking Internal Communication: A Stakeholder Approach. Welch, M. & Jackson, P.R., 2007.||An internal communication matrix is proposed that can be used for strategic analysis and evaluation of internal communication.||The research provides a manner of reducing the communication gap between managers and employees and evaluating an internal communication system. However, it does not provide methods of increasing the effectiveness of teams through internal communication.|
|3.||Effect of Teamwork on Employee Performance. Manzoor, S.R., Hafiz Ullah, Hussain, M. & Ahmad, Z.M., 2011.||This research identifies variables that have a direct impact on the performance of employees such as rewards and pay, esprit de corps and teamwork.||The research is limited to the education department of Pakistan. The research does not cover enhancing employee performance in a team in private organisations.|
|4.||Designing Team-Based Organisations: New Forms for Knowledge Work.
Mohrman, S.A., Cohen, S.G. & Mohrman, A.M., 1994
|This book describes various issues related to the implementation process of teams within an organisation. It focuses on promoting team culture in an organisation.||This book does not provide information about increasing team effectiveness by improving channels of communication. It is also over twenty years old and may not be relevant to the contemporary situation.|
|5.||Internal Communication as a Tool for Enhancing Employee Motivation.
Zivrbule, L., 2015.
|This research provides a link between an internal communication system and the motivation of employees.||The research only tackles one factor, which is employee motivation. Other factors, such as the effectiveness of working in teams. are not covered.|
|6.||Internal Communication Effectiveness Enhances Bottom-line Results.
Yates, K., 2006.
|The research provides steps to improve financial performance by enhancing the effectiveness of internal communication system within the organisation.||This research only focuses upon the manner of enhancing financial performance of an organisation through effective channels of communication. The effectiveness of undertaking tasks in a team is not discussed.|
|7.||Human Capital Index. Wyatt, W., 2005.||This research concentrates on the human resources of an organisation and their impact on financial performance through effective communication channels.||This research only focuses upon the manner of enhancing financial performance of an organisation through effective channels of communication. The effectiveness of undertaking tasks in a team is not discussed.|
|8.||When Power Makes Others Speechless: The Negative Impact of Leader Power on Team Performance.
Tost, L. P., Gino, F. & Larrick, R.P., 2013
|This research describes the impact of negative leadership on the performance of teams. If the leader is following an authoritative style of leadership, rather than participatory, the overall performance of the team declines||The research only considers the effectiveness of leadership to enhance performance of the teams. The internal communication system of the organisation is not discussed as a tool to enhance the performance of teams.|
|9.||The Knowledge, Skill and Ability Requirements for Teamwork: Implications for Human Resource Management. Stevens, M.J. & Campion, M.A., 1994.||This research discusses the knowledge, skills and ability of the employees of an organisation that are essential for effective teamwork with the help of a literature review.||The research only discusses the three traits and their relevance in increasing the effectiveness of teamwork. The internal communication system is not discussed as a tool to increase the effectiveness of teams.|
|10.||On Becoming a Team Player.
Scarnati, J.T., 2001.
|This research discusses teamwork, and enumerates various factors such as ineffective communication, lack of trust and resources that can have an adverse impact on teamwork.||The research does not provide information in detail.|
|11.||Virtual teams: Piecing Together the Puzzle. in Zmud, R.W. (Ed)
Saunders, C.S., 2000.
|This research conducted proposes a research model applicable to IT Virtual Teams that work on the same project.||The model is not related to internal communication system and team effectiveness for event management companies and other companies.|
|12.||Employability Skills in Tourism, Travel and Events. Board of Studies NSW, 2014.||The research discusses the skills required by employees of the tourism and hospitality industry.||The research does not suggest the effectiveness of teamwork and internal communication system in this, or any other, industry.|
|13.||The Changing Role of Internal Communications.
Chalmers, S., 2008.
|The research discusses the evolution of internal communication system within an organisation.||The research is unpublished.|
|14.||The Importance of Internal Company Communication.
Hola, J., 2007.
|The article provides an overview of an effective internal communication system and also enumerates the main reasons behind ineffective communication.||The research does not detail the impact of such communication system on enhancing the effectiveness of teamwork within an organisation.|
|15.||People and Work in Events and Conventions: A Research Perspective. Baum, T. et al., 2009.||The book describes the importance of human resource management and teamwork in the event management sector.||The importance of event management companies in the present scenario is highlighted but, teamwork and internal communication system is not discussed in detail.|
Table 1. Outline of research findings and gaps in the literature.
An overall analysis of previous research and gaps in the literature leads to the following five research questions:
- How does team communication influence the teamwork environment?
Internal communication has been discussed in detail in previous research but there are no studies that focus on how team communication can influence the teamwork environment. A teamwork environment is an essential aspect of any workplace and is defined by the culture, composition and goals of a team. While the areas of communication and the teamwork environment have been studied separately, the relationship of team communication on the teamwork environment remains an areas for research.
- How does team communication influence the effectiveness of teamwork?
The relationship between communication and effectiveness has not been studied in depth. In particular, there is a need to explore the team communication profiles along with their relationship to team effectiveness.
- How does clarity in team roles influence problem solving and decision-making processes?
The clarity of roles has an important relationship to problem solving and decision-making processes. Past studies provide an insight into the impact of clear roles on individual and organisational performance but they have not focused on its relationship to problem solving and decision-making processes.
- How does team communication affect interdepartmental working?
Interdepartmental functioning or cross departmental functioning determines the overall performance of the organisations. However, the literature has not focused on the relationship between team communication and interdepartmental working.
- How does clarity of roles affect interdepartmental working?
The impact of the communication of clear roles within teams on interdepartmental working has not been determined in previous studies. Therefore, there is a need to study this relationship.
This literature review illustrates the importance of an effective internal communication system for enhancing team performance and has defined gaps in the research regarding communication and team performance in event management in hotels. The success of the event management sector depends on the performance of employees, who are usually grouped in teams. Therefore, this research will benefit not only hotels, but all companies operating in the event management sector. Teamwork in an event management company is essential because an event includes a series of activities that are performed in teams, which can include a planning team, an execution team, an administration team and a customer- relationship team. Work performed by all teams is interlinked and the success of an event is based on how effectively the teams are coordinated. The performance of teams can be improved if the internal communication system of an organisation is effective as there will be fewer chances that the team members will not understand their duties. An effective communication system also enhances the personal bond between team members, which creates a positive environment in the organisation and leads to its overall success.
A distinct relationship between team performance and internal communication exists in the field of events management. Effective internal communication between stakeholders generates better team performances and, subsequently, there is a greater probability of a better managed event. This research can assist Australian entrepreneurs to manipulate these two variables to achieve optimal results for their businesses. This literature review is essential for every hotel manager, event planners and other stakeholders in the events management industry.
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