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2017/2018  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
  • Cours instructor - Jay Rubin, Faculty, Management Communication Program, Leaonard 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.msc@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Communication
  • Management
Last updated on 23/07/2018

Relevant links

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 persuation 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. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Ordinary exam: 26/27 June - 30 July 2018. Please note that exam will start on the first teaching day and will run in parallel with the course.

Retake exam: September - October 2018

3rd attempt (2nd retake) exam: November - December 2018

Exam schedule is available on https:/​/​www.cbs.dk/​uddannelse/​international-summer-university-programme-isup/​courses-and-exams.
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Home project assignment, new exam question (72-hour home assignment)
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. Stakeholder empowerment and corporate transparency are at unprecedented levels due to globalization and the advent of social media. 


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.  Primary attention in class (and student final papers) is focused on corporate social responsibility's persuasive impact now that consumers are more likely to also consider “who you are” as a corporate contributor to society, rather than just what you have to sell. The course 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/or develop and maintain welcoming markets for their products and services. 


Preliminary assignment: About 50 pages of reading and a brief summary of a public service campaign (about two-thirds of a page)

Class 1: Overview of theories and models related to external communication and persuasion: classic and contemporary
Class 2: Corporate social responsibility; planning persuasive CSR campaigns with strategies and tactics that build trust, loyalty and new business opportunities
Class 3: Persuasive corporate storytelling: message strategies and structures, rhetoric and resonance
Class 4: Persuasive communication across borders; cross-cultural considerations 
Class 5: Thought leadership through the media (traditional and social); other tools of influence
Class 6: Feedback activity related to individual home project assignments (likely to also include both small group and class discussion)               

Classes 7 & 8: External communication tools and techniques in an era when "who you are" increasingly drives a company's product sales;        brief case studies and campaign elements 
Class 9: Crisis communication: how external communication can preempt moderate or exacerbate problems
Classes 10: Future of external communication, emerging trends and leaders
Class 11: Comprehensive review 




Teaching methods
Teaching methods will include lectures, accompanies by slide decks, videos and posts on CBS Learn; assigned readings; active discussion about theories and practices; and guides student activities related to the use of persuasive communication to address challenges and opportunities across different industries.
Feedback during the teaching period
Discussion (likely in both small groups and class-wide) will focus on topics relevant to key elements requires in individual home project assignments.

All Home Assignments/mini projects are based upon a research question (problem formulation) formulated by the students individually, and must be handed in to the course instructor for his/her approval no later than 12 July 2018. The instructor must approve the research question (problem formulation) no later than 17 July 2018. The approval is a feedback to the student about the instructor's assessment of the problem's relevance and the possibilities of producing a good report.
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 20 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 126 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 20 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.


Course timetable is available on https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams.


We reserve the right to cancel the course if we do not get enough applications. This will be communicated on https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams end February 2018 at the latest.

Expected literature

Mandatory readings:


Text available for purchase at CBS Bookstore: 
Good Works! Marketing and Corporate Initiatives That Build A Better World And The Bottom Line, 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Co-Authors: Philip Kotler (Northwestern University), David Hessekiel (Cause Marketing Forum) and Nancy R. Lee, (Social Marketing Services and University of Washington)


Six articles for purchase within digital “coursepack” available from Harvard Business Publishing (purchasing instructions available on CBS LEARN) 
•  ”Harnessing the Science of Persuasion” (HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Communication)
•  ”Telling Tales” (HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Communication)
•  ”Tools and Techniques for External Corporate Communication” (Corporate Communication) 
•  ”Fiji Water and Corporate Social Responsibility –Green Makeover or ’Greenwashing’?” (Ivey Publishing) 
•  “Marketing Meets Web 2.0, Social Media, and Creative Consumers: Implications for International Marketing Strategy” (Kelley/Indiana University) 
•  “Chick Fil A: A Bird of a Different Feather” (Darden/ University of Virginia)


The following required readings are free and will be posted on CBS LEARN
 • Excerpt-The Corporation and Its Stakeholders (Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy)
 • Excerpt/ Becoming a Persuasive Writer (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques)
 • Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions (geert-hofstede.com and itim International)
 • The Shape of Successful Storytelling (Logos Consulting)

 • After the Signature (UN Global Compact) 
 • Crisis Communication: Reputation in Court of Public Opinion (Ivey Business Journal)

 • The Alignment Factor (Reputation Institute)
 • Authenticity Gap - Executive Summary (FleishmanHillard)
*  The Media Influence: Advertising, News, Entertainment (Persuasion/William Rogers)


Additional relevant readings:


Other relatively brief and free materials will be included as course proceeds based on timely business developments, student interests and other factors. Students are also responsible for independent reading/research tied to individual Home Project Assignments



Last updated on 23/07/2018