Topic: Managerial Communication and Frontline Leadership

Author(s), Title and Publication

Ahmed, Z., Shields, F., White, R., & Wilbert, J. (2010). Managerial communication: The link between frontline leadership and organizational performance. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict, 14(1), 107-120.


This essay describes how effective managerial communication (MC) can assist frontline managers (FMs) in cultivating an environment of trust and high productivity among employees. Through a review of previous studies on the topic, the researchers identified authoritative leadership as a key problem in practice, and suggested alternative leadership styles to enhance trust and productivity (e.g., directing, coaching, supporting, and delegating styles). The essay also examined the importance of MC and FMs in motivating employees, the role of trust in building loyalty and credibility, and the value of inspirational leadership.

The researchers concluded that FMs play a crucial role in improving organizational performance and reducing turnover and absenteeism. In fact, effective MC was one of the most important tools that FMs can use to influence goodwill among employees and provide better customer service. The uninterrupted flow of information was a critical element of effective MC. To build strong relationships with employees, FMs must act as strategic communicators and select the most appropriate communication channels within their organization’s culture. They also can benefit from identifying opinion leaders among employees and sharing their vision and ideas in meetings and discussions.

Implications for Practice

This review confirms the importance of FM communication. FMs can help: 1) keep employees motivated and focused on achieving the organization’s goals; 2) establish an environment of trust via fair, free, and informal communication networks; 3) empower employees by building their confidence through recognizing their contributions; and 4) establish both formal and informal communication channels to solicit employee feedback from employees. Practitioners can help FMs by supporting feedback channels and arming supervisors with appropriate message points and message context.

Location of Article

The article is available at: (full article)

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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