Peripheral Functions Within an Organization

Topic: Management
Words: 815 Pages: 3

The analysis of organizational performance tends to focus on core functions and personnel. However, little is still known about the extent to which peripheral functions affect profitability, corporate culture, employee performance, retention, and other aspects. The interest in these functions is increasing due to various valuable effects, as found in recent studies (Mellody, 2020). The influence of peripheral functions is specifically visible in communication within organizations (Nordin et al., 2021). It has been found that the quality of communication within organizations, especially the engagement and awareness of peripheral personnel, has a considerable effect on organizational performance and its sustainable development.

Peripheral functions have traditionally been seen as an area of little value and remained invisible for practitioners and researchers. Managers try to concentrate on the functions directly tied to value generation as they want to stay focused and allocate resources efficiently (Kim, 2018). These employees are often referred to as staff and personnel with little attention to their particular impact on value generation. Nevertheless, the employees who seemingly have little to do with actual value creation contribute to the development of the ground needed for further organizational growth (Mellody, 2020). Teams and organizations benefit from the engagement of these people in the development of a corporate culture that is critical for organizational performance.

Communication is the key area to consider when developing (or changing) organizational culture and strategic vision for further growth. Morale and employees’ commitment to organizational goals are possible if proper communication techniques and platforms are utilized. Angwin et al. (2016) claim that appropriate communication is specifically critical during the period of mergers and acquisitions as it defines the extent to which the values and practices of the involved companies can be aligned. Nordin et al. (2021) explore the effects of safety communication and emphasize that good communication patterns are instrumental in enhancing people’s compliance with safety standards and overall commitment to established goals. Communication management is instrumental in achieving the highest capacity of firms, especially if strategic approaches are adopted (Winkler & Etter, 2018). Having a clear strategic vision shared by all employees is pivotal to establishing an organizational culture that will enhance the company’s competitiveness. Communication can take different forms and have diverse effects on employees’ conduct and company performance.

Formal communication is associated with the implementation of the strategic communication scheme. It implies a set of platforms and instruments utilized to share knowledge (Mumby & Kuhn, 2018). Employees use corporate email, telephone communication, instant messaging, and video conferencing applications to communicate and discuss important issues. Diverse types of documentation exist to support certain operational aspects (reports, memos, releases, guidelines, descriptions, and so on). Importantly, formal communication can be regarded as a backbone and framework for developing organizational culture. Creating new practices or aligning the existing ones during mergers and acquisitions can be a challenging and lasting process (Angwin et al., 2016). Strategic communication management can facilitate the development of effective channels and techniques that will establish a solid organizational culture (Winkler & Etter, 2018). The role of peripheral employees in this process is yet to be researched, although according to recent findings in this group’s impact on organizational development suggest that this group’s involvement is beneficial.

Informal communication plays an essential role in the establishment of organizational culture as well, although other channels and methods are employed. This type of communication mainly encompasses personal encounters and some written communication with the use of personal contacts (Mumby & Kuhn, 2018). It is noteworthy that informal communication is often associated with stratification, although formal communication is also stratified to a certain extent. Informal stratification is specifically influential in engaging employees in peripheral roles (Mellody, 2020). For instance, Kim (2018) notes that these groups’ visibility and their involvement in communicative practices related to core operations leads to improved performance of the entire company.

The importance of these groups’ engagement can hardly be overestimated. As mentioned above, safety and other standards adherence improve if safety professionals are involved in organizational, communicative practices (Nordin et al., 2021). Peripheral employees contribute considerably to the provision of core products and services, so intensified communication between different groups within an organization can lead to quality improvement and higher customer satisfaction (Mellody, 2020). Importantly, communication between different strata within companies ensures the creation of a shared vision, facilitating the development or strengthening of organizational culture. People have a shared vision and are committed to organizational goals as well as the use of particular methods to achieve them. Informal communication can become a bridge between employees of different companies as it is more flexible and less standardized. Notably, peripheral workers can contribute to a smoother transition and development of a shared vision, but this assumption requires detailed examination. The proposed research is concerned with the exploration of the role communication plays in the process of mergers, as well as the outcomes of the involvement of peripheral employees in communication practices.


Angwin, D. N., Mellahi, K., Gomes, E., & Peter, E. (2016). How communication approaches impact mergers and acquisitions outcomes. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 27(20), 2370-2397. Web.

Kim, H. (2018). The mutual constitution of social media use and status hierarchies in global organizing. Management Communication Quarterly, 32(4), 471-503. Web.

Mellody, J. (2020). Narrating value: How peripheral functions prove their worth to organizations. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2020(1). Web.

Mumby, D. K., & Kuhn, T. R. (2018). Organizational communication: A critical introduction (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications.

Nordin, S., Rizal, A. R. A., Rashid, R. A., Che Omar, R., & Priyadi, U. (2021). Incidents and disaster avoidance: The role of communication management and the organizational communication climate in high-risk environments. Sustainability, 13(18), 1-16. Web.

Winkler, P., & Etter, M. (2018). Strategic communication and emergence: A dual narrative framework. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 12(4), 382-398. Web.

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