Firstly it is difficult to separate internal from

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Firstly, it is difficult to separate internal from external communication. Internal commu- nication expands beyond organizational borders and external communication receives
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95 great interest from organizational members. On occasions, news on internal processes is first provided to members from external sources such as media organizations. Secondly, most communication departments are responsible for both internal and ex- ternal communication, and practitioners work with communication in its entirety. Concepts like ”total communication” and ”integrated communication” surface in the popular litera- ture (Erikson, 2002, Lesley, 2004). There is growing awareness that activities of internal organizational communication, often managed by managers, are important to public re- lations practitioners and scholars (c.f. Cheney & Christensen 2001b: 177). Thirdly, both research traditions can benefit from each other’s strengths. Swedish research is limited in both areas. In this country, there is no reason to divide the two traditions. On the contrary, a more holistic approach gives us advantages when we want to understand complex communication processes where internal and external commu- nication processes are intertwined. I agree with Dalfelt, Heide and Simonsson (2001) that researchers in organizational communication and public relations need to cooper- ate more closely. In addition, we need to traverse traditional academic borders, since this research area has important common interests with other theoretical traditions. On the basis of these arguments, I have chosen to use a wide definition of organiza- tional communication research. A similar usage of the definition of organizational commu- nication including public relations, public affairs, investor relations, market communica- tion, environmental communication and internal communication is found in van Riel (1995). Another question of delimitation is the different academic subject fields where or- ganizational communication research is undertaken. Organizational communication tra- ditionally comprises a number of subject fields such as media and communication sci- ence, organizational psychology, sociology of organizations, linguistics and business administration. In this review I will emphasize studies within communication science. The remainder of the article is divided into research topics, methods and perspec- tives. Finally, I will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Swedish research tra- dition and the contribution of this research in an international perspective. Topics from Micro to Macro The most prominent topic within research focusing on internal communication issues is leader – co-worker communication. In addition, studies are treating communication and learning, sensemaking and communication efficiency.
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