Survey of Organizational Communication
The goals of this course are to:
(1) introduce you to basic concepts you need in order to understand communication processes in contemporary organizations,
(2) encourage you to think critically and analytically about the roles that communication technologies can play in contemporary organizations,
(3) help you to develop skills at observing and analyzing communication processes in the workplace,
(4) help you develop skills at producing and assessing multimedia communication projects
Today's organizations, in both profit and not-for profit sectors, are experiencing what many have called a "sea change." They are facing radical changes in the way they compete, service their customers, and relate to their employees. Decades-old ways of working must be transformed at a rapid pace, and old assumptions must be discarded. For those entering into the workforce for the first time, it can be a uniquely exciting time. Organizations that are poised to transform themselves need human resources who are not fettered with old routines, who have initiative and ideas, and who thrive on uncertainty.
New technologies of communication and computing are intricately linked with these major changes in the way organizations function. Technological developments are at once both drivers of change and, in turn, driven by such change. Individuals who understand the social, organizational, and management issues linked to communication technologies, and not just the technical ones, are important resources for organizations. More than ever organizations are struggling to understand how best to manage in the context of intranets and extranets, electronic commerce, interorganizational information systems, and other developments that affect the core of how communication takes place in and between organizations.
Organizational communication processes are difficult to grasp just from reading a textbook or viewing films; people need some opportunity to see the processes in action. Also, critical analytical capabilities must be developed through application of theoretical principles to realistic contexts. Thus, this course will focus on activities that will give you the opportunity to apply textbook principles to real organizations.
As a class and/or in small groups, we will analyze case examples of real-life situations that exemplify the textual material. You will apply your analytical skills and judgments to reach decisions and recommendations as if you were a real participant in the case. These include both written and interactive cases. Interactive cases require you to make additional decisions based upon the results of your initial decisions (much like the "choose your own adventure" books.) You can also try out new skills through role-play exercises. And, films will show learning in action in real-life organizations. We will also use some of the organizational communication technologies that we will study so that you can experience their potential first-hand.