CORPORATE AND ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION (COMM
(Tentative SyllabusCheck with instructor
| Instructor: Dr. Ron Price
| Office: 114 Music Building
Office Phone: 581-2475
|Mon., Tues. & Fri
11:00 -11:30 AM
|Tues. & Thurs
||1:45 - 3:30 PM
Conrad, Charles. Strategic Organizational Communication: An Integrated Perspective.
5th edition. 2002.
Catalog Description of the Course
The theory and function of communication within businesses, government, hospitals,
Schools, industrial firms, and other organizations with emphasis on concepts
and principles needed for effective communication. Lecture 3 hours.
At the conclusion of the course the students should be able to:
- Recognize that strategically effective communication management may facilitate
the attainment of organizational goals.
- Recognize that modern organizations are open systems and viewing them as
such can help us understand their complexity.
- Understand how the nature of the organization's design can affect the type,
amount, and quality of communication that occurs in the work environment.
- Understand how the job effort in classical/ traditional organizations is
managed through formal communication networks, role patterns, and expectations.
- Learn that strategically effective communication skills assist organizations
in managing information, resolving problems, handling conflicts, and regulating
- Understand that relational (the human relations tradition) methods of communication
advocate decentralization and participatory decision-making and that such
consequences and behaviors can result in resistance on the part of employees
and greater job satisfaction for others.
- Recognize that informal communication networks (the grapevine) are an inevitable
characteristic of organizations and that their presence can have both deleterious
and positive effects.
- Understand that open and supportive communication in supervisor-subordinate
relationships is currently being attempted through "transactional," "contingency,"
and "transformational" leadership tactics.
- Appreciate the "organizational culture perspective" which argues that organizations
are created through communication and rely on symbolic acts such as myths,
metaphors, and stories to regulate the behavior of employees.
- Understand the significance of electronic communication as manifested in
the following contexts: data processing, management information systems, decision
support systems, office automation, and expert systems.
- Appreciate the increasing complexity of organizations due to electronic
mediation and its consequent "flattening" effect on organizational structure.
- Understand the communication concepts of "rhetorical sensitivity," image
management and influence strategies such as persuasion, accusation and defense,
and strategic ambiguity.
- Appreciate the multifaceted nature of organizational power and politics
and its relationship to communicative interaction.
- Understand the ways people "frame" conflicts, develop an appreciation for
how conflicts escalate, and recommend ways that conflict can be effectively
- Enhance one's writing skills through the critical analysis of corporate/organizational
- Present one's research findings in a videotaped speech using computer generated
Main Divisions of the Course
The structure of the course follows the textbook closely. The classroom activities,
however, may diverge sharply from classroom experiences you may have had on
this campus or in the department.
Class sessions will include the following:
- Question-Interaction sessions on assigned readings
Individuals and groups may be required to lead class discussions.
- Case analysis
Students may be required to analyze, discuss, and apply the reading material
to hypothetical cases (also known as scenarios)
- Brief lectures
Related to either the main divisions in the course or material the instructor
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THESE EXERCISES PRESUMES ADEQUATE PREPARATION ON THE PART
OF STUDENTS. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO COME TO CLASS HAVING THOROUGHLY READ THE MATERIAL
Upon the 7th absence the student will receive an "F"or an incomplete in the
course. This is a communications course and the student who is absent is depriving
other class members of feedback critical to the development of interpersonal
communication skills. Consequently, non-attendance is evaluated differently
than in some other courses offered by the university.
The final grade will be based on the following:
- EXAMS (objective and essay) over the textbook will be given approximately
every three weeks and will constitute 40% of the total grade. The professor
must be contacted prior to any exam which is missed. Even when arrangements
have been made in advance, the student will receive one letter grade deduction
on the makeup exam. No student will receive a grade in the course unless
all four exams have been completed satisfactorily. The makeup exam
date and time will be determined by the instructor in consultation with the
The selection of the text is one of the most important decisions of the course.
Students are expected to achieve some mastery of the text with regard to the
essay portion of the examination. Unacceptable essays will require rewriting.
No credit will be given for the rewrite. It is expected that students will
read the text in more than just a cursory fashion. Basic language mechanics
are also a concern at the undergraduate level. Students whose writing skills
are deficient will be asked to go to the Writing Lab.
- One CLASSROOM work grade based on the two/three following factors:
- Class ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION - 20%. Perceptive comments
during the classroom discussion and/or informed references to the text.
(These are known as ORAL QUIZZES/ WRITTEN QUIZZES MAY BE GIVEN).
- An attendance grade is rewarded based on the following: (10% -100
|0 Absences -100%
||1 Absence- 95%
||2 Absences- 90%
||3 Absences- 85%
|4 Absences- 80%
||5 Absences - 75%
||6 Absences- 70%
- Participation: (10% -100 points) This grade is based on the student's
participation in class and is an evaluation by the instructor of the
student's preparation for class discussion.
- INTERVIEW -(10% - l00 points)
Small groups of students (no smaller than four and no larger than five)
will conduct an in class" videotaped interview of a key organizational
leader. This person may come from the profit or non-profit sector. The
task force group should:
- Submit the name of the selected interviewee by Monday, September
29th, 2003 (7th week).
- A schedule of questions/topics should be submitted one week prior
to the interview.
- The interview may be conducted no earlier than Monday, October
27st, 2003 (llth week) and no later than Monday, November 10th 2003
(13th week). The interviews will be conducted in class.
- OTHER ASSIGNMENTS: 30%
- Corporate/Organizational Accusation and Defense Paper -15%. The first
draft of the paper is due on October 20th, 2003 (10th week). Students
who do not turn in the first draft on the date due or the final paper
on the due dates will receive one letter grade deduction. Final papers
will be due two class periods before presentation. Students should use
the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA),
4th edition. The student will turn in the original copy of the first
draft with the final draft.
Students will write a corporate/ organizational public relations office
for statements defending some grievance committed against consumers/the
public. Upon receiving such a statement, the student will write a fifteen
page paper on this accusation and defense.
Guidelines for the analysis will be provided by the instructor. Examples
of organizations that have been researched by and have received requests
from Org. Comm. students in the past include Abercrombie & Fitch,
Alpine Industries, American Airlines, American Eagle and the Federal Aviation
Administration, AT&T, Audi, Binney & Smith (Crayola), Lizzie Borden, Boy
Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, Bridge-Firestone and the U.S. Labor
Dept, Brilliant Pebbles (Strategic Defense Initiative), British Crown
vs. Anglican Church, Bumble Bee Seafoods, Burger King, Burroughs Wellcome
(Sudafed), Neil Bush and the Silverado Bank Savings and Loan, Chernobyl,
Chrysler, The Citadel, Liz Claiborne, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Coalition
of Film Makers vs. the American Family Association, Coca-Cola, Dartmouth,
David Letterman and NBC, Democratic Party, Denny's, Dow Corning, Eastern
Airlines, Exxon, Food Lion, Fort Sill/West Range Artillery accident, General
Motors and Roger and Me, Gerber, Goodyear Auto Repair Stores (20-20 Broadcast),
Goodyear (Lawton Plant), Granite Reformatory, Haggar, Intel and Advanced
MicroDevices, Michael Jackson, Jack In The Box and Foodmaker, Jamahiriya
(Lybian Govt), Johnson and Johnson, Katzenberg Memo (Disney Studios),
Silkwood and Kerr-McGee, Lawton Cablevision, Eli Lilly, Los Angeles Police
Department, Mad Cow Disease and the British Gov't., Microsoft, Miller
Brewing Company, McNeil (Tylenol-'82 & '86), Microsoft, and Philip Morris.
NASA and the GAO, National Cheerleader Association, National Endowment
of the Arts, NASA/Challenger, National Football League (substance abuse
policy) National Rifle Assn., Nestle, New Strategies & Don Lapre Enterprises,
New York Times, (The Pentagon Papers), Nike, NBC and GM's Dateline Incident,
Northwest Airlines, OU Athletic Department, Oklahoma Corporation Commission,
Oklahoma Natural Gas and Southwestern Bell, Pan Am, Parker-Hanifin, Leonard
Peltier (American Indian Movement), Pepsi Co., Perrier, Playtex, General
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church( human sexuality report), Proctor
and Gamble, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Proposition 187 and
Governor Pete Wilson, A.H. Rollins, R.J. Reynolds, John Rocker, Roman
Catholic Church, Rockwell International and the U.S. Dept. of Energy,
Tailhook and the U.S. Navy, Time Warner (Ice-T), Three Mile Island, Salomon
Brothers, Inc., Saturn, Inc., Sears Auto and Tire Centers, Shady Sam's
Pawn Shop, Six Flags, Southern Pacific Transportation Company, Southwestern
Elementary School and Jonathan Prevett, Suzuki, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries,
Tenneco, Time Inc., Thomas-Hill Hearings, Trans World Airlines, United
Way, U.S. Air, U.S. Army (policy on homosexuality), U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service-Gray Wolf Reintroduction Plan, U.S. Navy and the U.S.S. Iowa,
U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Olympic Committee and Tonya Harding, VamJet,
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Governor David Walters, J.C. Watts and the Environmentalists,
Wisconsin and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Letters to organizations should be sent by the end of the second week.
The student will present the findings in a formal speech given in class
during the last two-three weeks of class and the final exam period. Writing
techniques such as multi-drafting will be utilized in class.
- (15%) Formal presentation of the research findings in a 15-20 minute
videotaped speech given at the end of the semester. Guidelines for the
presentation will be provided. Students may be required to do a self-analysis
of their speech.
Last day to drop or withdraw with an automatic 'W' ..November 12. 2003
Last day to drop or withdraw with from a single class ..December 1. 2003
Friday, December 12st - l:00pm - 3:00 PM
|Student's Name (Printed)