Communication in Management
The course proposes a critical reflection on the concept of management and specifically on the role of communication in business management (e.g. by opposing a functionalist view to a perspective of communication as constitutive of organisational processes).
Starting from the empirical studies conducted by Mintzberg - which allow for a demystification of managerial work as a non-scientific but essentially communicative practice - managerial work is reinterpreted at three fundamental levels: information, people, actions. Through current managerial theories and approaches, a more nuanced understanding of the roles of communication at these three managerial levels is developed. At the level of action, the role of communication in both coordination and innovation is examined. At the level of the person, a reflection on the role of communication in conflict management is proposed. At the level of information, finally, students will analyse the way in which discourses shape business strategy and action.
In summary, the course will compare classical managerial frameworks with more communication-centered approaches, thus fostering a communicative reinterpretation of issues central to management.
The aim of the course is to introduce participants to a communication perspective of management and explore how business and its management are constituted in communication practice. The course aims to promote a continuous dialogue between theory and practice for students to appreciate the practical value of specific management frameworks and approaches.
The course foresees - in the spirit of the seminar - the active collaboration of students, in-class discussion of scientific articles, and dialogue with management practice. Students will have the opportunity not only to apply theoretical models and concepts to practical case studies, but also to observe management practice first-hand. In fact, the course includes a field observation project, during which students will interview and observe managers in their daily practice and critically reflect on these insights through the concepts and frameworks learned in class and through academic readings. This approach is intended to gain a more concrete and practical understanding of the value of communicative approaches to management.
Two elements will be taken into account in the course evaluation:
- The final written examination (70%);
- The group presentation from the in-company observations and classroom participation (30%).
- Clegg, Stewart, Kornberger, Martin, Pitsis, Tyrone. Managing and organizations: An introduction to theory and practice. 2nd ed., reprinted. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2009. (read: Chapter 8: Managing Conflict, pp. 237-258.)
- Cooren, François. Organizational discourse: communication and constitution. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2015. (read: Chapter 1: What is (Organizational) Discourse?, p. 1-15)
- Grow Faster by Changing Your Innovation Narrative
- Miller, Katherine, Barbour, Joshua. Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes. 7th. Cengage Learning, 2015. (read chapters: 1, 2, 4, 5, 14)
- The Manager’s Job: Folklore and Fact
Weick, Karl E., Sutcliffe, Kathleen M., Obstfeld, David. "Organizing and the Process of Sensemaking" Organization Science, 16, 4 (2005): 409-421.
- Yates, JoAnne. Control through communication: the rise of system in American management. Reprint. Baltimore, MD etc.]: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993. (read: Chapter 1: Managerial Methods and the Functions of Internal Communication.)
- Bachelor in Communication, Lecture, 1st year