English   Danish

2020/2021  KAN-CKOMV2001U  Communication Management

English Title
Communication Management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 45
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Anne Vestergaard - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
• Main responsible course coordinator:
Gregor Halff
Main academic disciplines
  • Communication
  • Management
  • Organisation
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 25-05-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
After successfully completing this course, students will be able to
  • describe the theoretical foundations of reputation and communication management
  • apply communication management knowledge to the strategic decision making for corporations
  • evaluate the impact of a communication management plan on the value of a business and its impact on society
  • recommend a communication management plan with strategic value for a corporation
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see s. 13 of the Programme Regulations): 2
Compulsory home assignments
1) Individual compulsory activity (approved / not approved, max 5 pages) and

2) Group compulsory activity (approved / not approved, max 10 pages) and feedback

IMPORTANT: The compulsory assignments must be approved in order to register for the exam.

If the student makes an attempt to pass the activity, but the activity is not approved, or the student is ill, a replacement assignment (5-page written assignment) must be submitted before the ordinary exam. If passed, the student will be able to attend the ordinary exam.

If the student does not attempt to pass the activity, the student will not be allowed to submit a replacement assignment and cannot attend the ordinary exam or the re-exam.
Communication Management:
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-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Reputation is one of the most valuable assets of a company, but also one of the hardest to manage. This makes it an eminent task of corporate leadership. Managed superficially, a corporation’s communication is just the sum of its media messages. Managed responsibly, it drives a corporation’s value. That requires corporate leadership to face numerous communication challenges, e.g.: there are always more people talking about you than with you; the call for corporations to be transparent has never been louder; different stakeholders hold you responsible at the same time, but for conflicting things; a global media structure makes this a 24/7 leadership task. Things can easily go wrong: Poor communication management is often at the core of corporate crises. Surprisingly, not many leading business schools include communication management in their leadership development. This course is intended to help fill that gap.


This course is taught entirely online. It will run for twelve weeks with seven topic clusters plus two in-term compulsory activities (approved / not approved) and a final exam assignment. It comprises online lectures, guided individual activities, moderated online discussions and group case work. All elements require a high level of self-leadership and participation from all participants. Feedback will be given on the in-term compulsory activities.


We will start by jointly discovering principles of communication and then applying them in a business context. We proceed by studying the management of communication as part of the competition for attention with other businesses. This is followed by a methodology to strategically plan the content and channels of external, especially digital communication. We proceed by looking at the main communicative duties of business leaders: simultaneously communicating with conflicting stakeholders and representing change. The course ends by looking at what happens when all the above fails and principles of crisis communication need to be applied.

Description of the teaching methods
Topics will typically be covered with the following cycle

1. A guided activity or experiment

2. a summary discussion of the learnings from the activity/experiment moderated by the professor

3. a summary discussion of the theory background material moderated by the professor

4. a pre-recorded video covering the basic content

5. assigned case-reading

6. case work in small teams guided by the professor

7. a summary of the learning from the case work
Feedback during the teaching period
Ongoing feedback will be given during the course in fora and discussions.
Individual feedback will be given after the first in-term compulsory activity (individual)
Group feedback will be given after the second in-term compulsory activity (group)
Student workload
Online lecture, Q&A and theory clarifications 40 hours
Readings, activities, case work and discussion fora 130 hours
Preparation / Exam 36 hours
Expected literature

Paul Watzlawick et al. : Pragmatics of Human Communication, 1967, chapter 2


Michael Barnett et al. (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Reputation, 2012, chapter 2


Jonathan Haskel et al.: Capitalism without Capital, 2018, chapter 4



Gregor Halff et al.: What is public relations to society? Toward an economically informed understanding of public relations, in Public Relations Review, 4/2015


A.G. Lafley et al.: Playing to Win, 2013, chapter 4


Anne Gregory: Planning and Managing Public Relations Campaigns, 2015, chapters 5 & 6

Colin Mayer: Firm Commitment, 2013, chapters 1, 2, 3 & 4.


P. David Marshall (ed.): The Celebrity Culture Reader, 2006, chapter 3.


Gregor Halff et al.: Information leaks before CEO-change: financial gain and ethical cost in, Journal of Communication Management, 2020


Gregor Halff: The Presentation of CEOs in Economic Downturn, in Corporate Reputation Review, 3/2013


Leslie Gaines-Ross: Reputation Warfare, Harvard Business Review, 2010.


Timothy Coombs’ blog:https:/​/​coombscrisiscommunication.wordpress.com

Last updated on 25-05-2020