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
In COM 623, we will read, analyze, discuss and write about major concepts 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.
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 including a book review of a general org com textbook.
Final Grade Requirements
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = Below 60%
|Participation & attendance||10%|
|Term paper (written audit or review)||20%|
|Oral presentation (audit or review)||10%|
Weekly Writing (30%)
Primary Objectives: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
By noon on most Wednesdays (see course timeline), you're required to e-mail me a written response (no more than 500 words) 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 (10%)
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.
|10||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.; recognized by peers as class leader in discussions|
|9||good attendance, participated regularly in class, clearly kept up with reading|
|8||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|
|7||good attendance and participation, but didn't seem to take non-graded assignments and deadlines very seriously|
|6||attendance issues, often seemed unprepared|
Book Review Assignment (10%)
Primary Objectives: 1, 2, 3
In small groups, you will select a general organizational communication textbook to review. You will summarize the main points made in the book, evaluate the approach the authors take, and explain why you would or would not recommend the book to other students and faculty. The review will include a written report and an in-class presentation on September 30. Assignment details will be discussed in class near the beginning of the semester.
Midterm Exam (20%)
Primary Objectives: 1, 3, 5
This will be an open-book, open-note exam in class on October 21. Laptops 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.
|Class Days||General Topics||Assignments and readings|
|August 26||Course overview and syllabus||
Review syllabus by 8/26.
Introduction to organizational communication
Miller, K. (2009). The challenge of organizational communication. In Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes, 5th ed. (pp. 1-15). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Richmond, V.P. , & McCroskey, J.C. (2009). The nature of organizations. In Organizational communication for survival: Making work, work (pp. 1-15). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Lippert, L. R., & Aust, P.J. (2004). Introduction and history of organizational communication. In J.R. Baldwin, S.D. Perry, & M.A. Moffitt (Eds.) Communication theories for everyday life (pp. 287-306). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Paradigms and perspectives
Discuss text review assignment
Harris, T.E., & Nelson, M.D. (2008). Adopting a perspective. In Applied organizational communication, 3rd ed. (pp. 1-34) New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Kuhn, T. (1996). The route to normal science. In The structure of scientific revolutions, 3rd ed. (pp. 10-22). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Kuhn, T. (1996). The nature of normal science. In The structure of scientific revolutions, 3rd ed. (pp. 23-34). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Littlejohn, S. (2002). Communication and organizational networks. In Theories of human communication, 7th ed. (pp. 281-302). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Mumby, D. (1987). The political function of narrative in organizations. Communication Monographs, 54, 113-127.
Monge, P., & Poole, M.S. (2008). The evolution of organizational communication. Journal of Communication, 58, 679-692.
Notify professor of text to be reviewed.
|Sept 23||Overlaps with public relations||
Cutlip, S.M., Center, A.H., & Broom, G.M. (2000). Theoretical underpinnings: adjustment and adaptation. In Effective public relations. (pp. 219-248). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Kennan, W.R., & Hazleton, V. (2006). Internal public relations: social capital and the role of organizational communication. In Public Relations Theory II. (pp. 311-338). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
|Sept 30||Textbook reviews||
Textbook review assignments
Clegg, S., Kornberger, M., & Pitsis, T. (2008). Introducing the field of managing and organizations. In Managing and organizations. (pp. 1-45). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
|Oct 14||Management and strategy||
Aguirre, D.M., Howell, L.W., Kletter, D.B., & Neilson, G.L. (2005). A global checkup: Diagnosing the health of today's organizations. Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.: McLean, VA.
Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W.M. (2002). Communities of practice and their value to organizations. In Cultivating Communities of Practice. (pp. 1-21). Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Wilson, L.J. (2001). Extending strategic planning to communication tactics. In R.L. Heath (Ed.). Handbook of public relations. (pp. 215-222). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
|Oct 28||Audits & applied research tools||
Diggs-Brown, B. (2007). The communication audit. In The PR styleguide: Formats for public relations practice, 2nd ed., (pp. 40-47). Belmont, CA: Thompson.
|Nov 4||Academic research||
Jones, E., Watson, B., Gardner, J., Gallois, C. (2004). Organizational
communication: Challenges for the new century.
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 11||No Class - Veterans Day|
|Nov 18||Academic & applied research examples||
|Nov 25||Work sessions for term-papers, peer discussion and editing||Rough draft due for peer editing|
|Dec 2||Student presentations|
|Dec 9||Student presentations||Term paper due|