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2016/2017  BA-BHAAI1034U  The Persuasive Power of External Communication in Shaping Business Fates and Fortunes

English Title
The Persuasive Power of External Communication in Shaping Business Fates and Fortunes

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 120
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Jay Rubin, Faculty, Management Communication Program, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University, jar.msc@cbs.dk
    Sven Bislev - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
In case of any academic questions related to the course, please contact the course instructor or the academic director, Sven Bislev at sb.ikl@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Communication
  • Management
Last updated on 29/05/2017
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Apply theories, models, best practices and the various tools (traditional and social media) associated with persuasion and external communication in business contexts.
  • Demonstrate strategic insight to help uncover and analyze competitive or stakeholder problems that could be alleviated/moderated with persuasive external communication.
  • Recognize the extent that consumers now scrutinize companies on issues well beyond products/services and how external communication can heighten customer satisfaction.
  • Understand that business success increasingly hinges on how a company communicates its values through CSR, issues management and stakeholder relations.
Course prerequisites
No prerequisites
The Persuasive Power of External Communication in Shaping Business Fates and Fortunes:
Exam ECTS 7.5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 72 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Ordinary exam: End of July - beginning of August 2017.

Retake exam: End of September - beginning of October 2017.

3rd attempt (2nd retake) exam: End November - beginning of December 2017.

Exam schedule is available on http://www.cbs.dk/summer http:/​/​www.cbs.dk/​uddannelse/​summer-university-programme/​exam.
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Home project assignment, new exam question
Course content and structure

From Roman times when Julius Caesar issued battlefield reports to influence public opinion to the current Apple age when Steve Jobs transformed the telephone, external communication has been an essential building block of successful organizational endeavors. Arguably, the classic underlying principles of persuasive external communication have been largely the same for thousands of years. Today, however, sweeping cultural changes and dramatic advances in technology clearly have heightened the persuasive stakes and the reliance on external communication as never before. With stakeholder empowerment and corporate transparency at unprecedented levels due to globalization and the advent of social media, the role of the external communicator has become increasingly top-level corporate strategist rather than the once more narrowly defined publicist. 

This course looks at how businesses today excel (or stumble) based on how well they understand of the widening power and reach of persuasion across global, national and local levels.  It explores how organizations seek to persuade stakeholders through an expanded range of external communication strategies and tactics to help manage ongoing issues, avert or moderate controversies and crises and, more day-to-day, develop and maintain welcoming markets for their products and services. Significant attention in this course is focused on corporate social responsibility initiatives as consumers now are increasingly likely to consider “who you are” as a corporate contributor to society, rather than simply what you have to sell.


Class 1: Overview of theories and models related to external communication and persuasion: classic and contemporary

Class 2: Persuasive corporate storytelling: message strategies and structures, rhetoric and resonance

Class 3: Persuasive communication across borders: cross-cultural considerations

Class 4: Thought leadership through traditional and social-media tools 

Class 5: Corporate social responsibility: building trust, loyalty and new business opportunities

Class 6: Stakeholders and issues management strategies in a CSR context: global, national and local 

feedback activity: student role-play exercises with instructor and peer critiques

Class 7:  Crisis communication: how external communication can preempt, moderate or exacerbate problems
Class 8:  External communication planning and development of persuasive strategies and tactics

Class 9: Value and values: external communication in an era when "who you are" drives a company's product sales

Class 10: Future of external communication: emerging trends and leaders

Class 11: Comprehensive review

Teaching methods
Teaching methods will include lectures, accompanied by slide decks, videos and postings on CBS Learn; assigned readings; active discussion about theories and practices; and guided student role-play activities related to the use of persuasive communication to address challenges and opportunities across different industries.
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 10 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 144 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 12 hours
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 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.


Feedback Activity: A feedback activity defined by the course instructor will take place approx. half-way through the course.


Course timetable is available on http://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/summer-university-programme/courses.

Expected literature

Philip Kotler, David Hessekiel, and Nancy R. Lee. (2012). Good Works! Marketing and Corporate Inititives That Build a Better World... And the Bottom Line. 1st Edition. John Wiley and Sons Inc.

Last updated on 29/05/2017