Author name: Joe Chick

Dr Joe Chick is a Research Fellow on the ESRC-funded project An Institutional History of Internal Communication in the UK. His current research is on the rise of large organisations since the late nineteenth century, focussing on the discourse and practice of employer communication with employees. With a background as a historian, he is interested in long-term trends in social history from the medieval era to the present day. His first monograph 'Urban Society and Monastic Lordship in Reading, 1350-1600' was published with Boydell & Brewer in 2022.

Counsel Culture: The Origins of John Lewis’ Iconic Staff Consultation Practices – Source of the Month (February 2024)

The journey of The Gazette (the company newspaper of John Lewis) mirrors today’s challenges in internal communication and workplace culture. This blog post explores The Gazette’s story and how it highlights the timeless challenge that workplace cultures cannot be changed overnight. Instead, they require a gradual process of institutionalisation. In the digital age, the evolution …

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Research Update (February 2024)

Rhetorical History and Corporate Social Responsibility The new year has got off to a great start for the History of Internal Communication project. A year of research in the archives bore fruit this month. Having discovered so much about the history of internal communication, January gave us an opportunity to write about our findings. We …

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A Message in a Battle: Contested Interpretations in Communication – Source of the Month (January 2024)

From Industrial Welfare, the magazine of the Industrial Society, in April 1965. What did you take as the message of this picture? For many of you, it was probably the environmental consequences of a throw-away culture. When this advert was produced in 1965, the complete opposite reaction was anticipated from readers. The hope was that …

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Research Update (January 2024)

Archival Research In the final month of 2023, our project has uncovered some fascinating insights into the history of internal communication. The highlight of our month has been a visit to the BBC Written Archives Centre. Located in Caversham, across the pictured river from Reading, this archive proved to have a vast collection of precisely …

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The Sunlight Way and the Dawn of Brand Communities – Source of the Month (December 2023)

“Oh! please listen to what I say — For comfort and ease And your husband to please, Wash all your clothes in The Sunlight Way.” Mrs Howard, Keston, Kent. Progress magazine, November 1900, p. 592. The ‘Sunlight Way’ The above verse is more than advice on laundry. It reflects a new discourse made possible by …

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Research Update (December 2023)

Collaboration with Partners November was a busy month for the ‘An Institutional History of Internal Communication in the UK’ project. The highlight of the month was our attendance at simplyEXP, an event organised by our project partners simplycommunicate. Beyond the archival research, gatherings such as this provide a unique opportunity to connect with current practitioners. …

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Industrial Thespianage: The Use of Celebrities in Internal Communication – Source of the Month (November 2023)

The role of celebrities in advertising and external marketing campaigns is familiar to us all. Celebrities are often the faces of brands, representing a certain lifestyle or aspiration that companies hope to convey to their target audiences. Less prominent is the pivotal role celebrities have played in organizations’ internal communication. In this month’s Source of …

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Research Update (November 2023)

The Project’s First Anniversary With October marking the first anniversary of the History of Internal Communication project, this is the perfect moment to reflect on the progress we’ve made in unearthing the fascinating evolution of internal communication practices. Over the past year, we’ve traced a story that begins with early company magazines and moves into …

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The Evolution of Workplace Psychology: From Conformity to Inclusivity – Source of the Month (October 2023)

In today’s world, diversity and inclusion are values that many organizations proclaim to have at the forefront of their agenda. Creating environments in which employees from all backgrounds feel valued and respected is often stated as a priority. The journey towards this focus on inclusivity is rooted in the historical evolution of workplace psychology. A …

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Research Update (October 2023)

September has been an exciting and productive month for the History of Internal Communication project. From exploring archives to forging new partnerships, we’re delighted to share our progress from a highly productive month. Archival Work A highlight of this month was our week at the Walgreens Boots Alliance Archive at Beeston in Nottingham. Here, we …

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