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2014/2015  BA-BHAAI1020U  Organizational Communication and Reputation Management - Theory and Practice

English Title
Organizational Communication and Reputation Management - Theory and Practice

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Jay Rubin, New York University, Stern School of Business
    Patricia Plackett - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Communication
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 20-05-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:
  • Understand the primary disciplines, functions and objectives of organizational communication as they relate to external/internal stakeholders and reputation management.
  • Demonstrate how commonly accepted communication models, theories, precedents, and best practices help guide corporate strategy and management decision-making.
  • Explain how globalization, technology, and other factors are reshaping traditional practices and heightening the importance of organizational communication.
  • Identify potential communication challenges and opportunities in different business scenarios.
Course prerequisites
A solid interest in current business issues, their relationship to contemporary social issues, and the strategic/professional use of language to help shape a company’s image is recommended.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 1
Compulsory assignments (assessed approved/not approved)
Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: Student teams will address an organizational communication problem during 10-minute oral presentations accompanied by a slide deck and a summary handout.
Home project assignment:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

Students explore the increasingly important and evolving role of organizational communication and reputation management in today's business environment. Based on underlying theories, models, precedents, policies, and best practices, the course covers the key communication disciplines contributing to external and internal stakeholder relations, corporate decision-making, and issues management. Topics include issues management, employee engagement, media relations, investor relations, crisis management, government relations, and corporate social responsibility, among others. Lectures and reading assignments encompass prevalent concepts and case studies -- prompting ongoing discussion (and some role-play exercises) as students survey the fundamental principles and functions of organizational communication and consider how they apply to current and emerging trends, strategies and tactics.
Students are expected to complete a Preliminary Assignment: Based on their individual interests, students will select two separate reputational issues from different industries and offer their perspective in brief written reports (about 2/3 page on each topic) to be submitted and discussed during Class 3. A team-based Mandatory Mid-Term Assignment will involve teams (likely comprising five students). Both the Preliminary Assignment and Mandatory Mid-term Assignment should be considered valuable steps in gaining knowledge and perspectives that will be helpful for successful completion of the required Home Assignment, an individually written 10 4A-page paper.
Class Schedule

Class Organizational Communication and Reputation Management – Theory and Practice
Class 1 Course Overview;  Also: Media, Investor and Government Relations
Class 2 Employee Engagement, Crisis Communication;  Ethics
Class 3 Prelim. Assignment: Students submit/discuss brief reports on issues;  Finalize teams
Class 4 Management of Issues and Reputation: Theories, Precedents, Strategies, Tactics
Class 5 Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: Team Presentations and Critiques
Class 6 Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: Team Presentations and Critiques
Class 7 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability;  Community Relations;  Measurement
Class 8 Communication Leadership and Authenticity
Class 9 Emerging Trends: Opportunities, Challenges
Class 10 Emerging Trends: Opportunities, Challenges
Class 11 Comprehensive Review
Detailed Class Schedule
Note: The professor reserves the right to revise/update the following schedule as necessary
based upon overall class dynamics, progress and other considerations.
CLASS 1. Overview of Organizational Communication and Reputation Management:
Disciplines,Functions and Practices; Progression of Communication Theories, Models,
Precedents; Focus on Media Relations, Investor Relations and Government Relations.
Note:All assigned readings associated with the topics introduced in the first three classes (about
225 pages) should be completed by no later than Class 3. Students should pace themselves
accordingly during the first week. Unless otherwise noted, readings are from the primary text: Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication.Reading Due: Chapter 1, “Reputation Management”; Chapter 2, “Ethics and Communication”; Chapter 3 “Media Relations”; Chapter 5, “Organizational Communication”; Chapter 6, “Government Relations”; and Chapter 8, “Investor Relations.”
CLASS 2.  Focus on Employee Engagement/Internal Communication and Crisis Communication; Discussion of Ethics/Standards within communication disciplines.
CLASS 3. Feedback/Discussion based upon corporate reputation issues explored in written Preliminary Assignment (due at start of class). Based on shared interest in specific reputational issues and industries/industry segments, students finalize their teams for upcoming Mandatory Mid-term Assignment (classes 5 and 6).
CLASS 4. Issues Management Theories, Strategies, Tools, Tactics. Also: Further guidance and
discussion about the objectives and requirements of the Mandatory Mid-term Assignment
Reading Due(about 95 pages): Chapter 10, “Integrated Communication”; Chapter 11, “Issues
Management”; and Chapter 14, “Public Relations Consulting.”
CLASSES 5 and 6. Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: Formal Team Presentations focusing on a timely and significant reputational issue facing companies within a selected industry or industry sector.  Presentations followed by peer and professor critiques. Reading: Teams determine the appropriate level of research necessary (from industry reports, media coverage, company websites and other sources) to successfully complete the assignment. Instructions will be detailed on LEARN and in class. The professor will be available to individual teams, as needed, to provide additional guidance regarding specific topics and sources for research.  
CLASS 7.Focus on the increasing influence of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability’s in shaping how key stakeholder groups perceive companies and industries. Also: Measurement tools/approaches to evaluate communication and reputational initiatives.  Reading Due (about 70 pages): Chapter 7, “Community Relations and Chapter 13, “Corporate Responsibility” plus “International Media Analysis Made Simple” (Mike Daniels, Institute for Public Relations Measurement Commission) and “Strategic Communication Imperative” (Paul A. Argenti,
Robert A. Howell, Karen A. Beck).
CLASS 8. Communication and reputational Leadership opportunities and challenges as social media increases stakeholder empowerment and the level of scrutiny facing companies and their executives. Reading Due (about 60 pages): Chapter 4, “Social Media” plus “Building Belief: A New Model for Activating Corporate Character & Authenticity” (Arthur W. Page Society), “Quantas Airlines: Twitter Nosedive” (Ivy Publishing) and ”Leadership is a Conversation” (Harvard Business Review).
CLASSES 9 and 10: Focus on Emerging Communication and Reputation Management Trends and how they may either reshape or reinforce today’s commonly accepted theories and practices. Readings Due: Timely 2014 articles and studies TBD. Also: at least 40 pages of additional reports, articles, excerpts and/or other materials selected by the student – complementing the course’s assigned readings and directly related to the specific topic of his/her upcoming 10 A4-page report/home assignment. Optional: Students may submit reading lists to professor for review in advance.
CLASS 11.Comprehensive Review.
Teaching methods
Teaching methods will include lectures, often accompanied by slide decks and/or videos; theory and case study discussions; guided role-play exercises; and formal team presentations on specific business issues and communication strategies (subsequently critiqued in class by the instructor and peers for additional insight).
Further Information
Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 3 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.
Expected literature

Available for purchase at CBS bookstore

Primary Text (peer reviewed): Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations  and Corporate Communication, 2d edition 2011, 428 pages, published by Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group. ISBN: 978-0-415-80185-0.

Co-Authors: John Doorley, New York University professor, former Academic Director of the M.S. degree program in Public Relations and Corporate Communication at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and former head of Corporate Communication at the global pharmaceutical and healthcare firm Merck/MSD; and Helio Fred Garcia, Founder and President of the crisis management firm Logos Consulting Group, Executive Director of The Logos Institute for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership, and adjunct professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. This text includes chapters and sidebars contributed by more than 25 accomplished professionals across the various organizational communication disciplines and directly applicable to the topics covered in this course.
Available for purchase online from Harvard Business Publications
Articles/Case Studies/Other Readings  
(l)4 required articles and case studies have been  assembled for student purchase directly from Harvard Business Publishing within a digital ’coursepack.’ (ll)Remaining 4 readings (links below) are available free online. (lll) Other relatively brief and free materials (e.g. online blogs, news items, executive summaries etc.) will be included as course proceeds based on timely business developments, student interests and other factors. (lV) Students are also responsible for independent reading/research tied to their final paper/home assignment.

Read as part of Preliminary Assignment:

Chapter 1: The Corporation and its Stakeholders : Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy, http:/​/​highered.mcgraw-hill.com/​sites/​dl/​free/​0078137152/​812998/​Chapter1.pdf

2014 Edelman Trust Barometer Executive Summary; Edelman Berland

Small Medium at Large: Technology, Time and Memory (Darden) Harvard  ”coursepack”
Read during ISUP term:

International Media Analysis Made Simple (Institute for Public Relations Measurement Commission)

Strategic Communication Imperative (MIT Sloan Management Review) -- Harvard  ”coursepack”

Quantas Airlines: Twitter Nosedive (Ivey Publishing) Harvard  ”coursepack”

Building Belief: A New Model for Activating Corporate Character & Authenticity; Arthur W. Page Society

Leadership is a Conversation – Harvard ”coursepack”
Last updated on 20-05-2014