CMM 343:  Communication in Contemporary Organizations
SYLLABUS
Fall 1999

Dr. Lynne Kelly                                                                                           Harry Gray Center E216
Office Hours: T 10-11:30, R 1:30-3 & by appt.                                           768-4647 or 4633
E-mail: kelly@mail.hartford.edu
 

 It won't be long before you are getting ready to graduate from the University.  That means during your last semester here you'll be sending out resumes to try to get a good job.  You've probably gotten comfortable here; you certainly know the ropes so life is pretty predictable.  When you think about leaving and getting a full-time job, you may be experiencing some stress over what it will be like and how successful you'll be out there in the "real world."
 This course cannot promise you success, but it will help you have some sense of what it will be like to work in an organization in 2000.  Organizations have been changing, quite dramatically in some ways, and we will talk about some of those changes in this course.  We will consider the implications of those changes for communication systems and processes in organizations.  This course is designed to extend your knowledge of organizational communication beyond the foundation you learned in CMM 230 and to stimulate your thinking about a variety of issues such as power, organizational identification, culture, communication technologies, and diversity issues.
 Class sessions will involve discussion, with some lecture.  Your participation in class is needed and is expected.  To participate effectively, you will need to complete all readings and assignments on time.  You will be asked to discuss in class your experiences in organizations and what you read about companies and other relevant topics.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:
1.  To expand your knowledge of organizational communication theory and to
 introduce you to recent theories of organization.

2.  To familiarize you with some of the dramatic changes taking place in business
 and the world of work.

3.  To examine key issues confronting members of today's organizations and the
 communication implications of those issues.

4.  To develop your ability to analyze and adapt to organizational communication
 situations.

 
TEXTS:
 Corman, S. R., Banks, S. P., Bantz, C. R., & Mayer, M. E. (1995).  Foundations of organizational communication: A reader (2nd ed.).  White Plains, NY: Longman.
 Cushman, D. P., & King, S. S. (1995).  Communication and high speed management.  Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
 Morgan, G. (1989).  Creative organization theory: A resourcebook.  Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

REQUIREMENTS:
Reading.   For every class session you will have reading to do from the course texts, from articles on reserve in the library, or from sources you locate on your own.  Reading is an important part of the course so you need to keep up with the readings assigned for each class.

Exams.  There will be a mid-term and a final exam.  The date of the mid-term is on the attached schedule of classes, and the final exam will be held at the time listed in the University final exam schedule, which is Tuesday, Dec. 14, 11:00-1:00 p.m.

Application Papers.  You will write three (3) application papers, about 2-3 typed pages each.  You will sign up for the three days for which you will prepare your papers.  Each of the papers must provide an application of some concept in the reading for that particular class period.  You may be asked to read your paper in class or discuss it in class.  The purpose of the assignment is to demonstrate your understanding of course concepts by writing a paper in which you apply those concepts to either a personal organization experience or to some event or person in the mass media.  You will receive a handout in class explaining this assignment in more detail.

Business Trends Papers.  You will write four (4) papers of 1 page each, 2 before the midterm and 2 after.  To write one of these papers, you need to locate an article in a current newspaper or magazine or journal (communication or business journals).  The paper should provide a 1-2 paragraph summary of the article and at least 2 paragraphs discussing the communication implications of the topic of the article.  Details will be presented in class.

Group Project.  You will be assigned to a group of about 4 members to work on an organizational communication project.  With your group you will conduct some research on a course topic and will write a report and do a presentation in class.  Before I develop the specifics of the project, I want to find out what kind of project you completed in CMM 230 so this project is not a repetition of that one.

 
COURSE POLICIES:
1.  All assignments must be completed to receive a passing grade in the course.

2.  There will be no make-up exams without an official excuse from the dean's office.

3.  Papers are to be handed in on time.  For each day that a paper is late, your grade will be lowered.

GRADING:
Exams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20%
Application papers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20%
Business trends papers . . . . . . . . . . .20%
Group oral report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10%
Group written report . . . . . . . . . . . . 20%
Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10%

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF CLASSES:
 W 9/1 Introduction to the course; explanation of assignments; collect
  background information such as CMM 230 project experiences.

F 9/3  Discussion of assumptions about organizations; discussion of the
  field of organizational communication; sign up for application
  papers.
  Reading DUE: CBBM pp. 1-22 & 81-87; COT #s 1-4, 8, 11, 12, 15-18.

W 9/8 Early organizations and theories of organization.
  Reading DUE: CBBM Ch. 3, 5, 6, 9; COT #s 21, 22, 23, 79
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

F 9/10 Systems theory and the concept of organizational environment.
  Reading DUE: CBBM Ch. 12, 13; COT #s 27, 30, 80
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

M 9/13 Karl Weick's concepts; assign groups and group project.
  Reading DUE:  CBBM Ch. 15, 16; COT #s 36, 37, 81
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

W 9/15 Critical perspectives on organizations.
  Reading DUE:  Miller Ch. 6, "Critical Approaches" (on reserve)
   Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

 
F 9/17 Postmodern perspectives on organizations.
  Reading DUE: Eisenberg & Goodall Ch. 7, "Postmodern
  Perspectives. . ." (on reserve)
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

M 9/20 Changes in the environment that gave rise to changes in
  organizations.
  Reading DUE: C&S Ch. 1, Eisenberg & Goodall Ch. 1, "The Changing
  World of Work" (on reserve)
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

W 9/22 The trend of radically restructuring companies.
  Reading DUE:  Hammer & Champy, "Reengineering the Corporation"
  (on reserve)
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

F 9/24 Continue discussion of reengineering.
  Papers DUE: Trend papers

M 9/27 High-speed management fundamental concepts.
  Reading DUE:  C&S Ch. 2
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

W 9/29 High-speed management integration processes: leadership
  Reading DUE: C&S Ch. 3, COT #s 53, 87
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

F 10/1 High-speed management integration processes: climate and culture
  Reading DUE: C&S Ch. 4, COT #s 50-52, 86
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers & group project proposal

M 10/4 Climate and culture continued.
  Reading DUE: CBBM 11, 17
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

W 10/6 Topics as needed; meet with groups.

F 10/8 Fall Break: No Class

M 10/11 High-speed management integration processes: teamwork
  Reading DUE: C&S Ch. 5, COT # 46
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers
 
W 10/13 Teamwork continued.
  Reading DUE: Hirokawa & Keaton, "Perceived Facilitators and
  Inhibitors . . . " (on reserve)
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

F 10/15 High-speed management coordination processes
  Reading DUE: C&S Ch. 6 & 8
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

M 10/18 High-speed management control processes
  Reading DUE: C&S Ch. 9 & 10
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

W 10/20 Topics as needed; review for midterm

F 10/22 Midterm exam

M 10/25 The changing workforce.
  Reading DUE: CBBM Ch. 10, 28; Fine "Organizational
  Responses to Cultural Diversity. . . " (on reserve)
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

W 10/27 Diversity in the workplace
  Reading DUE: CBBM Ch. 29, 30, COT #65, 100
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

F 10/29 Conformity and conflict in the organization
  Reading DUE: CBBM Ch. 23, COT #s 67, 59, 104
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

M 11/1 Conflict continued.
  Reading DUE: CBBM Ch. 25, 32; COT #s 60, 61, 62, 98
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

W 11/3 Meet with groups
  Papers DUE:  Group progress paper

F 11/5 No Class--NCA convention

M 11/8 Meet with groups

W 11/10 Organizational socialization and identification
  Reading DUE:  CBBM Ch. 20, 21, COT #s 101
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers
 
F 11/12 Organizational politics
  Reading DUE: CBBM Ch. 24, COT #s 58, 66, 102
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

M 11/15 Communication technology
  Reading DUE: Trevino et al. "Understanding Managers' Media
  Choices" (on reserve)
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

W 11/17 Communication technology continued
  Reading DUE:  Bishop & Levine, "Computer-Mediated
  Communication as Employee Voice" & Steinfield, "Computer-
  Mediated Communications in the Organization. . . " (on reserve)
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

F 11/19 Topics as needed; meet with groups.

M 11/22 Summary of workplace trends.
  Reading DUE: CBBM Ch. 34-36
  Papers DUE: Application or trend papers

Thanksgiving Break!!!

M 11/29 Discussion of format for group oral and written reports.

W 12/1 Groups work on project.

F 12/3 Groups work on project.

M 12/6 Group oral reports

W 12/8 Group oral reports

F 12/10 Group oral reports

M 12/13 Debrief group project; summary and course evaluation; review for
  final exam.
  Papers DUE: Group final written reports & peer evaluation form
 

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