Aims and contents of the course
“2015 will see the beginning of the end of Internal Comms. And that’s a good thing. (…) [W]e got distracted by being a ‘function’. Organisations have been busy building silos for far too long, losing sight of the real value we can bring as professionals. We should focus relentlessly on solving problems that make a difference to the people we work with, the organisations we serve.” Michael Ambjorn, Vice Chair International Association of Business Communicators
The course proposes a critical reflection on what can be gained if we move from a functional to a constitute perspective of communication in organizations. What changes in the way we “manage” communication if we recognize that central business processes such as making sense of an ambiguous business environment, articulating shared purposes while maintaining multiple organizational and professional cultures, or changing the organizational culture, all deeply rely on communication?
The course will elaborate on the typical issues (e.g. control vs. participation, culture, power) and practical challenges (e.g. communicating the company vs. communicating operations, diversity, managing interaction in globalized contexts and virtual teams, enhancing employee motivation, managing knowledge through communication) with which organizational communication is faced.
Whilst the course has the theoretical ambition to provide the conceptual distinctions necessary for a critical reflection on issues of organizational communication, its main aim is to develop knowledge of the methods, processes and tools with which practical aspects of organizational communication can be managed. The topics of the course are thus anchored in practical business contexts (e.g. through case studies, reflections on representations of organizational communication in popular culture, exercises) and elaborated in practical and collaborative group work.
30%: groups composed each of two students carry out a 45-minutes instructional intervention in class, during which they draw on an academic paper and a case study with the aim to critically read the two texts in relation to each other and from this practice-theory interaction develop learnings for the practice of organizational communication.
70%: final exam
Cheney, G., Christensen, L. T., Zorn Jr, T. E., & Ganesh, S. (2010). Organizational communication in an age of globalization: Issues, reflections, practices. Waveland Press.