|dc.description.abstract||According to the literature review, communication is the key to managing and building relationships in an organisation. To communicate holistically, an organisation needs to communicate internally and externally. Hargie, Dickson & Tourish (1999) state that effective communication is central to business success and Tjosvold (1991) further affirms that communication within and among groups is necessary for innovation. Lubbe & Puth (1994:94) declare that an organisation has its own particular set of role-players with whom it comes into contact. Research indicates that South African National Parks has the following role-players, namely the local community, the government, non-governmental organisation, tourists, donors and sponsors, honorary rangers, farmers, the media, the research community, SANParks' Head Office, other parks and their staff. The effectiveness of communication among the various role-players can be defined as the mutual acceptance of the message by the sender and receiver with minimal blockages to achieve organisational goals. A comprehensive literature review revealed that no research on effective communication in the tourism industry in South Africa could be found; this included research on national parks. This dissertation attempts to address the problem of assessing the effectiveness of the internal and external communication of the Karoo National Park. The reasons being that SANParks is a major tourism-related organisation and that legislation dictates South African National Parks' main functions, of which community relations is a significant one.
The literature study was conducted on communication from a business perspective, the examination of effective communication, the role and function of South African National Parks (SANParks), and community tourism as a key function of SANParks. Quantitative and qualitative research was conducted on the internal and external communication of the Karoo National Park. The internal surveys include: a) interviews with members of SANParks' Head Office in Pretoria, b) interviews with members of the Karoo National Park's management team, and c) an internal communication audit of the staff of the Karoo National Park by a structured questionnaire. The external communication survey was conducted on the local community of Beaufort West situated adjacent to the Karoo National Park via a structured questionnaire; 240 questionnaires were collected. Data was captured in Microsoft Excel and data results were presented by descriptive, factor analysis and
correlations that were drawn and used to draw conclusions and make recommendations.
Some of the primary results obtained from the research were:
• There is a well-established organisational structure in SANParks to communicate from Head Office to the different national parks; this contributes to communication that is perceived as satisfactory.
• A positive communication climate exists among staff of the Karoo National Park and the relationship between co-workers and supervisors is built on trust.
• The majority (79%) of the respondents in the community survey indicated that communication between the Park and the community of Beaufort West is not effective; hence the Park does not fulfil community needs. The study makes recommendations that will help to improve such communication.
• The study also revealed the following four factors through the factor analysis of internal communication at the Karoo National Park:
- Relationship with supervisors
- Relationship with colleagues
- Personal influence
- Relationship with management||