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1st National and International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences

October 31, 2014, KU Home, Bangkok, THAILAND

Communication Guidelines and Strategies of Local Administration


Toward Re-Branding: Cases Study of Local Administration
in the Central Part of Northeastern Region
Phimlikid Kaewhanam*

Abstract
The objective of this research was to study the communication guidelines and strategies and the
communication problems and obstacles encountered by Local Administration Supervisors, The successful
communication factors of Local Administration supervisors toward employees or staff and re-branding is
to be analyzed for finding appropriate guidelines for communication management. This study was a
qualitative research for which information was gathered by means of conducting in-depth interviews
including triangulation of information. The methods of note taking and semi-structured interview were the
tools for collecting relevant information, and the collected information from such interviews was utilized
to conduct a content analysis. From the study results, it was found that the Local Administration
supervisors communication guidelines and strategies in promoting the changes toward corporate rebranding were divided into two types namely one-way communication as guidelines and strategies
whereby the executive was the only person who communicated while the message recipients or
employees were unable to respond to such communication, whether they were corporate
communication strategies, policies and targets in the manner of issuing rules and procedures or
persuading by invitation, 2) strategy of being a role model for Local Administration employees and being
leaders 3) strategy of using written and formal media and two-way communication as communication
guidelines and strategies whereby the executives were the communicators while the message recipients
or employees would be able to respond to such message and express their opinions toward the
communication, which could be divided into 1) strategy of giving communication opportunities by
confrontation, 2) communication strategy by giving opportunities to the employees to express their
opinions and participate in such strategy, 3) rewarding strategy, 4) consulting and coaching by local
administration supervisors strategy, and 5) informal communication channels usage strategy. Apart from
the issue of guidelines and strategies in this research, the researcher focused on studying the factors
relating to communication breakdown of Local Administration supervisors obstructing the move to re*

Lecturer, Faculty of Political Science and Law, Kalasin Rajabhat University

1st National and International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences


October 31, 2014, KU Home, Bangkok, THAILAND
branding. From this study, it was found that there were a total of four factors relating to communication
breakdown of supervisors namely 1) employees lack of message interpretation skill, 2) employees
negative attitudes, 3) employees closure of acknowledgement of knowledge by receiving only from
certain channels resulting in incomplete information, 4)original or existing behaviors of people or
employees in the organization including study of the key success factors in communication by supervisors
totaling three factors namely 1) factors deriving from the massage recipients being divided into the
following sub-factors: 1.1) knowledge and 1.2) positive attitude; 2) factors deriving from message senders
with sub-factors of 2.1) message senders being role models and participating in all activities, 2.2)
communication techniques using simplified or easy-to-understand terminology and language and making
use of messages that attracted attention or interest, and 2.3) on-going or continuous communication. The
last factor was 3) factor deriving from communication channels i.e. selecting channels suitable to the
employees by utilizing electronic media. In this regard, the results of such research would enable the
organization to make use of the said strategies in appropriate manner with the employees. When being
informed of various problems and obstacles or breakdowns, the organization would be able to prevent
and solve them effectively to the point thus enabling the messages to succeed in corporate re-branding
by applying the key success factors to the communication guidelines and strategies. Moreover, the
organization would obtain the support information to be used in enhancing its corporate communication
strategies as well, and would also benefit other organization by further using as role models in the future.
Key Word: Communication Guideline, Strategy, Local Administration

Introduction
Stepping into the globalization era, there is faster and higher economic and political competition.
Thailand has just begun to realize that to change its organizations internally by adopting change
management. Communication is a very important tool leading to the change and image building for an
organization. In order to make officers realize the needs and the importance to change for success,
communication is a kind of media to convey the message from supervisors to their subordinates.
Therefore, communication is a science that has meaning and cover to humans everyday life. It has been
used for presenting thoughts, needs and feelings to other people. (Kasemsuk, 2012) There are many
techniques in communication as well as theories such as in 1954 Schramm and Osgood invented a model
that simulated communication cycle in two-way communication. The model is very popular as it can
explain the interaction between the sender and the receiver. In addition, Barrett (2006), mentioned
Nakaban (2012) created a concept of simple or an ideal communication process which is a message
conveying process from one person to another or other persons in both verbal language or non-verbal
language. The model has 4 compositions which are context, sender, message and receiver. It illustrates
that there will have no error in communication if the sender understands the context and the receiver,
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1st National and International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences


October 31, 2014, KU Home, Bangkok, THAILAND
uses media appropriately and conveys the message clearly. To adopt internal communication strategies
for the organization change, an organization has to study and pay attention to communication more. As
communication is a strategy, process and tools to acknowledge, to learn and to have the correct
understanding in the same direction among the officers from executives to operation levels. Then the
organization could set its vision, mission and strategy together and lead it to its goal by the same
direction and in keeping with the organization background in terms of organizational structure, systems,
management system, attitudes, values as well as culture. Because of communication, it can make the
organization success. (Teerakul, n.d.) in order that it will be successful, it needs to make the difference by
changes. Changes in every step are related to communication. Everyone in the organization has to
participate in the change and lead the organization to success by internal communication. Local
Administration has a clear role in decentralization. From the decentralization perspectives, the advance of
infrastructure occurred by the Local Administrative Organization. However, if the other local administrative
has a corruption image or a growing negative perception towards them which means the overall image of
the local administrative organization to the people is not good. To re-brand a local administration, the
leaders communication is crucial. Therefore, it leads to the research on communication guidelines and
strategies of local administration toward Re-branding: Case Study of Local Administration Organizations in
Central Part of Northeastern Region.

Scope of the Study


Communication guidelines and strategies of local Administration toward a Re-branding case study:
local administration in the central part of northeastern region examines supervisors communication
concept and strategies that they used to change their officers viewpoints, personality and image. It also
studied the obstacle factors and successful factors of supervisors communication to seek for the right
management and communication concept. It provides support information for improving supervisors
communication strategies in order to succeed in organizations re-branding. A qualitative research design,
with an in-depth interview technique was used in this study. The obtained information is analyzed to
answer the research questions.

Technical Terms
Communication management means management in the part of presentation such as informing,
persuading or motivating to bring about mutual. Its importance is to be used as a guideline as an
organization needs to build understanding and unity of every departments practice. Moreover,
communication is essential to create better understanding and social conditions which create working
atmosphere that all human resource to develop their full potential. (Management Communication, n.d.)

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1st National and International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences


October 31, 2014, KU Home, Bangkok, THAILAND
Communication Strategy means a kind of communication which leads the organization to reach
its goal. Therefore, the communication type that the organization adopted for planning and taking action
should be practical. To be successful, the strategic plan must be able to lead every staff in every level to
understand about his role in harmony with his organizations goal. (Sriroj, 2005)
Rebranding is the process of transforming the old brand to new better brand. Changing every
single piece in an organization has to be made from its department, personnel, services and image to
build permanent customers loyalty. (Rebranding, 2013)

Methodology
This qualitative research collected data by In-depth Interviews, observation and behavior
checking. The data were analyzed by content analysis. Populations from 2 local administrations in this
study are 1) Chief Administrator of Local Administration Governor 2) Chairman of Local Administration 3)
Communication Department 4) Deputy. The total numbers of interviews are 8 persons. The research tools
are a semi-structured interview with open-end questions. The questions were constructed from many
issues so that the research could collect the data comprehensively.
Sample and Sampling
The purposive sampling had been used by focusing on the local administration which received
transparency awards from their citizen or good governance award from King Prajadhipok Institute. The
samples were selected from the following local administrations.
1. Kalasin City Municipality
Kalasin Province
2. Gudrang Tambon Municipality Mahasarakham Province
Both local administrations already had overall re-branding and adopted organizational
communication in building understanding for normal officer and supervisors who could create mutual
understanding in re-branding. These samples were what this research focused. The purposive sampling
had been used under the researchers judgment. The selected sample could represent supervisors who
were organizational receivers and who were the senders conveying message to department and
operational level staff.

Results
After conducting the interview about communication guideline and strategy of local
administrations supervisors for organizational re-branding, the result of this study could be concluded in
3 categories 1) communication guidelines and strategy of supervisors for organizational re-branding 2.
Obstacle factors of supervisors hindered the organizational re-branding and 3) successful factors of

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1st National and International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences


October 31, 2014, KU Home, Bangkok, THAILAND
supervisors communication leading to organizational re-branding. Those 3 categories could be linked
together leading to the answer of organizational re-branding. Here are the researchs results.
Communication guidelines and strategy that supervisors used for promoting local administrations
re-branding
The findings of the study of guidelines and strategy which supervisors used for promoting local
administrations re-branding revealed two types of communication had been applied. The researcher
conducted in-depth interview with 8 interviewees. The 2 types of communication are one-way
communication which was communication strategy used only by the supervisor. The officer, a receiver
could not give any feedback on company strategy, vision, or missions. Those strategies might come in
form of company regulations, persuasive wordings, role model of organization change strategy or even
written media strategy and formal referable media such as circular notice, rules, announcement, poster,
and leaflet. The other type of communication was two-way communication. It was the strategy that
supervisors would be senders, receivers while officer could response and express their opinion. The
opinion could be classified into giving communication opportunity such as allow officer to ask questions
in meetings or to exchange their idea. This participatory communication strategy had been applied by
giving rewards. For example, the organization attracted more staff to engage in organization activities and
learn about their organizations updates then giving rewards. In addition, executives had to communicate
without forcing but realizing by themselves. Another strategy was that supervisor was both consultant and
coach for their staff. Doing this, supervisors could help solving problem; suggest staff about how to adapt
themselves for the organization change. This strategy was informal, simple and time and cost saving. Staff
is able to recognize the meaning and express their thought conveniently. Due to this free channel,
executive could take the feedback, improve companys strategy appropriately and make the policy
acceptable for most staff. Therefore, the re-branding strategy makes staffs learn and understand how to
prepare for the change. This kind of two strategies combined is called integrated communication strategy
sending feedback to executive and supervisors as well. However, the executives must provide suitable
communication guidelines and strategy for their staff by integrating many strategies as understandability is
varied among staffs.
Barriers from supervisor communication for local administration re-branding
Although the research showed that the executives from 2 local administrations realized the
importance of communication guidelines and strategy, it also indicated the communication barriers which
they should not ignore. The supervisors communication barriers for re-branding were as follows 1) staffs
were lack of interpretation skill 2) staffs negative attitude 3) staff closed some communication channels
so they received incomplete information 4) original behavior of organizational people are the obstacle of
organizations re-branding.

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1st National and International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences


October 31, 2014, KU Home, Bangkok, THAILAND
According to 2 research questions about the barriers supervisors communication, there was no
research or any concept about this factor. Therefore, this research revealed the answer as follows;
1) Staff had lack of interpretation skills. The skills were the result of different experiences, and
educational backgrounds which could lead the staff to misunderstand. They also brought about staffs
resistance in some cases. This factor sometimes was able to be overlooked if the organization applied
only one-way communication. As a result, the organization would not be able to examine, to make the
change happen and take too much time. 2) Staffs negative attitudes which meant the staff had bad
attitudes against the organizations re-branding. It might happen from their afraid of change or its effects
to them somehow. This factor occurred from a staffs thought. They could convince other staff to think
about the organizations re-branding in the same way. Moreover, this factor could result from the first one
by closing their communication channel from the executives. They already had a bad presumption about
the change. 3) It occurred because staff closed some sensing channels so they received incomplete
information. The staff would be selective to receive information from the channel they were interested
in. Some staff even closed every communication channel. For example, some staff chose to accept
information from electronic media only; Facebook, internet web board. Therefore, they would receive
some information which for some of them might be incorrect. This factor led the staff to misunderstood
what the organization and executives would like to communicate. Therefore, the executives should
always adjust communication channels to be appropriate with the staff for solving the problem. And the
last factor was 4) Original behavior of the organization which were the long time practices of the staffs in
the organization. After receiving the news about the change, it made the staff not accustom to the
rebranding. This concept was consistent with Mongkol (2012) Staff want to stick to those good old days so
they could not see the change clearly. Because the executives realized about the barriers significance to
the staffs feeling, they preferred to learn about previous organizational culture before re-branding. They
would like the change to be in line and match with both the organization and its staff to reduce those
barriers
Success of the leaders communication leading to re-branding
The research found that both local organizations were successful in communication for rebranding. This point affected their local administrations re-branding. The successful factors of supervisors
communication led to organizations re-branding. According to the research results, the successful factors
could be categorized into 3factors as follows. 1) Factors from the receiver (staff) 2) Factors from the
sender (executives) 3) Factors from channels of communication. The study found the compatible
concepts of many researchers about the successful factors and the change as mentioned above.
However, this research made a conclusion about successful factors from 4 organizations that there were 3
main factors as follows. 1) Factors from receiver (staff); 1.1) Knowledge 1.2) Positive attitudes 2) The
sender (Executive); 2.1) The role model of the sender who took part in every activity 2.2) Simple and
attractive communication techniques 2.3) Continuous communication 3) Factors from the channel of
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1st National and International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences


October 31, 2014, KU Home, Bangkok, THAILAND
communication which meant the right channel for the staff by using electronic media. Here are the
details of the above successful factors.
Factors from receiver (staff)
The sender played an important role organizational change. Therefore, they could affect to the
change or organization re-branding. The research pointed out that there were 2 sub categories of this
factor which were knowledge and positive attitude. For knowledge, as each sender had different level of
knowledge, the more they had knowledge, the more they could understand what the organization would
like to communicate to them faster. This factor could reduce the barrier by making the executives
understand about the receivers difference in communication knowledge. As mentioned before, the staff
had bad attitude was a barrier of communication for organization re-branding. As a result, the successful
factor for the executives was good attitude
Factors from the sender (executives)
If the sender or executive choose the right methods and strategy, it could help them to be
success in communication. The research revealed that the executives successful factors can be classified
as .1) The sender had to be a role model of sender who participated in every activity 2) Simple and
attractive communication techniques 2.3) Continuous communication
Easy and fast channels of communication
Easy and fast channels of communication at this time meant the right channel for the staff that
used electronic media. The research found that catching up with technology advancement and modern
communication body of language could made executives to utilize the information in competition. In
competition, the integration of communication tools usage was most necessary. Once they were
integrated, there would be preference and appreciation which are desirable in persuasion for the change
perfectly.

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1st National and International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences


October 31, 2014, KU Home, Bangkok, THAILAND
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