Communication and Media Studies 610

COMS 610: Seminar in Organizational Communication

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Credit Hours: (3) Three hours seminar

A detailed study of the theoretical and applied literature in organizational communication focusing on modern organizations. Topics for discussion include: the nature of communication in conceptualizing modern organizations, micro perspectives (inter-personal, group, public, and technological contexts), macro perspectives (classical theory, human relations theory, feminist theory, cultural theory, systems theory, TQM models, qualitycircles, etc.), communication networks, communication auditing, organizational change, and the role of the professional communicator.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Outline of Key topics:

I. Interpersonal Relations

            A. Communication Competence

                            1. Interpersonal Competence
                            2. Rhetorical Sensitivity
                            3. Self Perceived Communication Competence

            B. The Nature of Peer Relationships & impact on:

                            1. Worker Attitude
                            2. Job Satisfaction
                            3. Productivity
                            4. Disinformation in the Organization
                            5. Peer Counseling and Support

            C. Superior/Subordinate Relations

                            1. Mentoring
                            2. Evaluation, Correction and Counseling
                            3. Influence Strategies

II. Group Dynamics

            A. Group Processes and Productivity

                            1. Groups vs. Individuals
                            2. Norm and Role Emergence
                            3. Symbolic Convergence
                            4. Cohesion
                            5. Power Distribution

            B. Group Leadership

                            1. The Development of Leadership Theory
                            2. Contemporary Contingency Theory
                            3. Assessing Group Maturity and Development

            C. Team Building

                            1. The impact of Team Building on Productivity.
                            2. Strategies for Team Building
                            3. Member Compatibility
                            4. Membership Turnover.

            D. The Application of Group Dynamics Theory To Broader Organizational Strategies Such As TQM and Quality Circles.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course is taught as a graduate level seminar. Both lecture and seminar reports by students are used in the presentation of material.


Goals and Objectives of the Course.

This Course serves as one of the core courses in the Corporate and Professional master's degree program. Having completed the course, students will understand the role of interpersonal and small group communication in the organizational environment, acquire the tools to assess the quality of interpersonal and group communication in that environment, and be prepared to recommend courses of action to improve interpersonal and small group communication within the organization.


Assessment Measures

Assessment will be carried out through the evaluation of seminar reports, a major research paper, and a final, comprehensive examination.


Other Course Information

This course will utilize some of the same literature resources as COMM 510. For example, the Handbook of Organizational Communication will probably be a required text for both courses. Other readings will come from a broad spectrum of books and journal literature which are available in the Library.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

April 1999 David Dobkins, Chair