Change is an ever-present feature of organisational life that affects all levels of the organisation. It is noted that the pace of change has never been greater than in the current business environment. State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are companies owned by the government, which have a crucial role to play in advancing governments? objectives, including economic growth, job creation, and key infrastructure development. Like all organisations they are not immune to change, however the reported success rate of change is of concern. Over the years, SOEs have been characterised by chronic underperformance, with some reported to be in distress. Literature on communication has suggested that one of the primary reasons organisations are ineffective or ultimately fail is communication and lack of employee engagement. This research seeks to evaluate communication and employee engagement as enablers for change management in the context of SOEs, and aims to contribute to the body of knowledge with insights on how change can be managed for positive results in SOEs. Based on the systems theory, a qualitative research methodology was adopted, using convenience, quota and judgement sampling techniques. Data Analysis was through means of content analysis
Research findings supported literature in confirming that change is still complex and difficult for organisations to manage. Communication was recognised to be taking place, the pace of communicating the message of change was found to be slow often resulting in rumours. It was further found that information was filtered too much losing meaning and content resulting in employees disengaging with some making their own effort to make sense of the change message resulting in failures of change initiatives. For an employee to understand, be engaged and respond to change the role of leader was found too weak in effecting the message of change effectively with an overly reliance on technology. Emails and workshop sessions which were found to be too overused, lacked depth and personal touch and not effective in communicating and engaging employees.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.