COM 623, Organizational Communication
|Professor||Tom Kelleher, Ph.D.|
Crawford Hall 314
|Meeting Times and Place||Wednesday, 2:30-5:00 p.m.
George Hall 213
Monday, 9-11 a.m.
In COM 623, we will read, analyze, discuss and write about major theories and processes of organizational communication. COM 623 is a core course in the communication M.A. for students specializing in organizational/intercultural communication. The catalog description reads: Communication theory/research applied to formal organizations; assessments of strengths and weaknesses of organizational communications systems.
A handful of students who I have talked to about this class are preparing for the organizational communication area examination as part of their progress in the interdisciplinary doctoral program in communication and information sciences. You'll notice a media/technology slant to the readings. This reflects my sense of student interests, current trends in the field, and my own academic background.
We will learn about the following:
Success in this course means you will:
Your final grade will be based on weekly writing, class participation, a midterm exam, a term paper and in-class presentations.
Final Grade Requirements
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = Below 60%
|Participation & attendance||20%|
|Term paper (written audit or review)||20%|
Weekly Writing (30%)
Primary Objectives: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
By noon on each Wednesday starting August 29 and ending November 7, you're required to e-mail me a written response (about 500 words or so should be plenty) in which you discuss and react to the assigned reading material for that week. Here's what I'll look for in the response e-mail:
Participation and Attendance (20%)
Primary Objectives: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
The participation portion of your grade will reflect your contributions as an individual and as a member of the class as a whole. Your participation in class discussions should reflect your reading and preparation. Here are some examples. Of course, many combinations of factors are possible. These are only examples.
|20||perfect attendance in class; regularly made resourceful and constructive comments in class discussions that reflected reading, preparation and a solid understanding of the material covered; always prepared to make connections between required readings and outside literature, research projects, etc.|
|18||good attendance, participated regularly in class, clearly kept up with reading|
|16||good attendance, getting a little behind on the reading at times made it hard for this student to get involved in discussions of more advanced concepts|
|14||good attendance and participation, but didn't seem to take non-graded assignments and deadlines very seriously|
|12||attendance issues, often seemed unprepared|
Midterm Exam (20%)
Primary Objectives: 1, 3, 5
This will be an open-book, open-note exam in class on November 14. Laptops or handwritten responses are welcome. Basically, the exam will include a few open-ended questions or scenarios that will serve as prompts. Your job will be to respond to the prompts by choosing appropriate concepts and theories covered in class and applying those.
Term Paper (30% = 20% written plus 10% oral)
Choose one of two options: a communication audit or a topic-oriented theoretical review.
This course should provide a great learning experience for all of us. The success of the course depends largely on effective student-teacher interaction. Don't feel like you have to have a pressing problem to talk to me. I look forward to hearing your input. I'll be available during my office hours unless announced otherwise. Of course, I'm often in and available at times not posted as office hours. Generally, I'll leave my office door open if I'm available. If my door is closed, that either means I'm out or that I'm in but working on deadline or getting ready for class. In any case, we can set an appointment if that works better.
Students requiring special accommodations must notify me and present appropriate supporting documentation by the end of the second week of class.
Academic dishonesty of any sort will not be tolerated. I take plagiarism very seriously. Please see me if you have any questions about academic honesty, and I'll be happy to discuss such issues in advance of you submitting your work.
Preliminary Class Timeline
This should give you a general overview of what we'll cover. Additional readings, speakers and assignments may be added as we go. Make sure you get the text book right away. All the journal articles listed below should be available online, but most will require logging in via the UH libraries databases to gain access. Learning to navigate the databases is an important part of this course.
|Class Days||General Topics||Assignments and readings|
Review syllabus and handout by 8/22.
|August 29||Trends affecting org com (global, cultural, digital); communication as a process||
Database dig. Make sure you can access all the readings listed below. In most cases, you'll start with the UHM Libraries web page.
Jones, E., Watson, B., Gardner, J., Gallois, C. (2004). Organizational
communication: Challenges for the new century.
Kuhn, T. (1996). The structure of scientific revolutions. (3rd ed.) Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (ON RESERVE: Read Chapters 2 &3.)
|Sept 12||Classical and humanistic foundations, organizational cultures||
Hofstede, G. (1994, April). Business cultures. UNESCO Courier, 47, p. 12.
|Sept 19||Verbal; written and oral communication, information richness||
Rice, R.E., D'Ambra, J., & More, E. (1998). Cross-cultural comparison of organizational media evaluation and choice. Journal of Communication 48 (3), 3–26.
|Sept 26||Nonverbal interaction||
Burgoon, J.K., Bonito, J.A., Ramirez, A., Dunbar, N.E., Kam, K., & Fischer, J. (2002). Testing the interactivity principle: Effects of mediation, propinquity, and verbal and nonverbal modalities in interpersonal interaction. Journal of Communication 52, 657–677.
|Oct 3||Networks and channels||
Haythornthwaite, C. (2002). Strong, weak, and latent ties and the impact of new media. Information Society, 18, 385-401.
|Oct 10||Symbolic behavior, organizational identification||
Wiesenfeld, B.M., Raghuram, S., & Garud, R. (1998) Communication patterns as determinants of organizational identification in a virtual organization. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 3 (4). Available online at http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol3/issue4/wiesenfeld.html .
|Oct 17||Interpersonal communication, CMC, conflict||
Oetzel, J.G., Myers, K. K., Meares, M. M., & Lara, E. (2003). Interpersonal conflict in organizations: Explaining conflict styles via face-negotiation theory. Communication Research Reports, 20, 106-115. [Not online: Go to Hamilton Library, Call Number: P87 .C675]
|Oct 24||Small group communication, dispersed teams||
Walther, J. B., & Bunz, U. (2005). The rules of virtual groups: Trust, liking, and performance in computer-mediated communication. Journal of Communication, 55 (4), 828-846.
|Oct 31||Leadership, performance, satisfaction, communities of practice||
Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W.M. (2002), Cultivating Communities of Practice. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. (ON RESERVE: Read Chapters 1 & 6.)
|Nov 7||Adopting new communication technology||
Venkatesh, V., Morris, M. G., Davis, G. B., & Davis, F. D. (2003). User acceptance of information technology: Toward a unified view. MIS Quarterly, 27, 425-478
|Nov 14||Exam||Review for exam|
|Nov 21||Work session for term-papers, peer discussion and editing||Rough draft|
|Nov 28||Student presentations|
|Dec 5||Student presentations||Term paper due|