The 10C model of organisational communication: exploring the interactions of school leaders

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Organisational communication continues to be an under-researched and under-theorised phenomenon in education, despite a substantial volume of literature from business and corporate contexts that suggest aspects of communication may influence employee attitudes, wellbeing and productivity, as well as the effectiveness of organisations. To address these knowledge gaps a ten component model of organisational communication was developed and tested as part of a series of studies investigating the relationships between school communication and the job satisfaction, commitment and stress of teachers. This paper explores the four functions of communication identified in the studies, focusing on interactions between leadership and staff in Australian schools. The ten component (or 10C) model of organisational communication builds on earlier work by Shannon & Weaver and Berlo, who attempted to explain the dynamics of interactions among organisational members with variations of the sender-channel-receiver-feedback model commonly used in communication studies. Aspects of organisational communication relating to function were identified through factor analyses of items from the Organisational Communication in Primary Schools Questionnaire (OCPSQ). Triangulation with qualitative data from the same studies provided deeper descriptions of four identified functions: directive, supportive, cultural and democratic. Subsequent literature has reported strong links between these four functions and job satisfaction, commitment and stress. This paper presents the model, describing the ten components, and explains the four functions of communication in detail. The data presented includes teacher experiences of directive, supportive, cultural and democratic communication with school leadership. Given the way leadership and politics are intertwined, the four functions are discussed in relation to organisational politics and related leadership dimensions in the context of schools. The paper concludes with implications for leadership practice, recommendations for professional development and directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2016
EventNZARE Conference & Annual Meeting 2016 - Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 20 Nov 201623 Nov 2016


ConferenceNZARE Conference & Annual Meeting 2016
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


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