This Master's thesis sets out to learn why internal strategic communication is not improving as quickly as one might hope in one office of the Department of Defense. Many articles support the need for improved internal strategic communication. But during the author's summer internship, she noted the communications team struggled to make this happen. The author therefore wondered why these communication professionals were not successful. What is hindering their success? Two earlier research papers showed trust, transparency, leadership, diversity and conflict were all connected to internal strategic communication- either positively or negatively. But one new theme arose from these studies: that of power. The current study employs an exploratory case study to look more closely at why power may be a factor- as well as exploring any other possible reasons in order to answer why internal communication is not improving very quickly in this one office. Current and former members of a strategic communication team were asked for their opinions through open ended survey questions about experiences they had illuminating these concepts. Those responses were triangulated with documents and participant observation. This study illustrates that themes including lack of trust, transparency, empowerment, and inappropriate use of power, all play a role in the success or failure of internal strategic communication. The literature helps explain why these themes are having such an impact.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Communications



Date Submitted


Document Type





federal government, power, strategic communication, trust, transparency

Included in

Communication Commons