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2018/2019  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, jayrubin@nyu.edu
    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 ISUP academic director, Sven Bislev at sb.msc@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Communication
  • Management
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 02/01/2019

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 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 their products/services and how external communication can heighten customer satisfaction
  • Understand that business success increasingly hinges on how a company communicates its value through CSR, issues management and stakeholder relations
Course 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: Home Assignment: 25/26 June - 29 July 2019. Please note that exam will start on the first teaching day and will run in parallel with the course.
Retake exam: Home Assignment: 72-hour home assignment: 8-11 October 2019 – for all ISUP courses simultaneously
3rd attempt (2nd retake) exam: 72-hour home assignment: 25-28 November 2019 – for all ISUP courses simultaneously

Exam schedules 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
Retake exam: 72-hour home project assignment, max. 10 pages, new exam question
Exam form for 3rd attempt (2nd retake): 72-hour home project assignment, max. 10 pages, new exam question
Course content and structure

From Roman times when Julius Caesar issued battlefield reports to influence public opinion to the modern Apple age when Steve Jobs transformed the telephone, external communication has been an essential building block of organizational endeavors. Arguably, the classic underlying principles of persuasive communication have largely remained the same. Today, however, sweeping cultural changes and dramatic advances in communication technology have heightened the stakes. This course examines how businesses excel (or stumble) based on how well they understand the widening power and reach of external communication across global, national, and local levels. Primary attention in class (and student final papers) focuses on corporate social responsibility's persuasive impact now that consumers are increasingly considering a company' contribution to society rather than just the product or service. Students explore how organizations seek to persuade stakeholders through a range of external communication strategies and tactics to manage ongoing issues, avert or moderate controversies and crises, and develop and maintain markets. 


Preliminary assignment: About 50 pages of reading and a brief analysis of the persuasive elements 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  communication 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: Cross-cultural considerations; persuasive communication across borders; 

Class 5: Thought leadership through the media (traditional and social) and other tools of influence

Class 6:  Feedback activity, focusing on a multifaceted external communication challenge, enabling students to practice analysis and planning techniques that will be useful for their individual mini projects. Small-group and class-wide discussions are guided and critiqued by the professor.   
Class 7 & 8:  External communication tools and techniques in an era when "who you are" increasingly drives a company's product sales; brief case studies focusing on campaign elements

Class 9: Crisis communication: how external communication can preempt, moderate or exacerbate problems

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

Class 11: Comprehensive review


Description of the teaching methods
Teaching methods include lectures, accompanied by slide decks, videos and posts on CBS Learn; assigned readings; active discussion about theories and practices; and guided student activities related to the use of persuasive communication to address challenges and opportunities
Feedback during the teaching period
Small-group and class-wide discussion, guided and critiqued by the professor, focuses on an external communication scenario offering practice with certain analytical and planning techniques required for student mini projects.

All Home Project 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 11 July 2019. The instructor must approve the research question (problem formulation) no later than 16 July 2019. 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 2019 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, David Hessekiel and Nancy R. Lee


Several articles for purchase as digital coursepack from Harvard Business Publications (purchasing instructions will be forthcoming on CBS LEARN)


Free required readings will be posted on CBS LEARN.


Additional relevant readings:


Students are responsible for independent reading and other research tied to their specific mini project topics



Last updated on 02/01/2019