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Topics in Organizational Communication (501 - 506)

Special Topics


(Below are some sample topics courses that have been offered in the past few years)

Corporate Social Responsibility (Aakhus)

Focuses on communication in the business-society relationship and the practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The seminar examines the communication, information, and media issues emerging along with global transformations in the relationship among business, society, and government.

Conflict and Collaboration (Aakhus)

This course examines the role of communication in conflict and collaboration. The course focuses on theories and methods for describing, assessing, and diagnosing complex situations to understand the nature of conflict and the possibilities for collaboration among groups, organizations, and communities.

Communication and Civil Society Organizations (Lewis)

This course provides a critical examination of the particular communication problems encountered by the nonprofit organization. Among the topics that are explored: Superior subordinate relationships in volunteer-based organizations, interactions with special stakeholders (e.g., volunteer boards, funding agencies, community groups, under-served client populations), inter-organizational coordination efforts within communities of nonprofits, image and representation of nonprofit organizations, formal and informal structure within non-profits, and planned change implementation in the context of multiple stakeholder relationships.

Communication and Organizational Change (Lewis)

This course will serve as a broad introduction to theories, perspectives, and empirical evidence related to organizational change and how communicative processes are involved in this phenomenon. We will examine traditional topics of organizational development, implementation, and stakeholders' responses to change programs. Embedded in those discussions will be exploration of issues of vision, leadership, channels used for communication, interaction among stakeholders, strategic messages for implementation, emotional aspects of change, and trust and fairness among others.

Organizational Communication Networks (Doerfel)

This course is an introduction to the theory, concepts, procedures, methods, and analysis of social networks with an emphasis on theory and its applications in organizational communication. The goal of the course is to provide you foundational knowledge about communication networks and their implications for organizations. Students will develop a working knowledge of relevant social networks theories, concepts, and methods used to describe and understand relationships in and among organizations. The objective of this course is to help students understand and articulate network theory, its applications, and implications for audiences including researchers and practicing professionals.

Dynamics of Global Organizations (Gibbs)

This course aims to provide deeper insight into the contested phenomenon of globalization and its implications for organizations and processes of organizing. Topics covered include globalization theory and theoretical perspectives, global management, culture and cross-cultural issues, the role of technology, global and virtual teams, outsourcing, network organizations, knowledge management, identification, and social justice. Students taking this course will gain awareness of the complexities of organizing across national boundaries and the role of communication in this process, as well as assessing the implications of globalization for today's organizations, including both corporations and non-profits, governmental and private.

Organizational Culture (Gibbs)

This seminar is designed to expose students to the vast arena of literature on organizational culture and cultural approaches to studying organizations. Course readings and discussions cover dominant theoretical frameworks for studying culture in organizations and various approaches taken (interpretive, ethnographic, narrative, and social scientific), as well as current issues facing the field. The goal is for students to be conversant with the breadth of the literature as well as to be able to conduct original cultural or interpretive research in organizational settings.

Learning Objectives: