Course Syllabus

Fayetteville State University

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Performing and Fine Arts




Semester: Spring         Year: 2003

Course No.: COMM 375-01     Course Name: Organizational Communication     Credit Hours: 3

Day/Time Class Meets: MWF 10:00-10:50         Room/Bldg: BU 237

Instructor: Dr. Jeanie Almeida

Office Location: 206 Telecom Center                   Office Phone: 672- 2031

Office Hours: MW 3:00-5:00; T 11:00-3:00         E-mail:




Organizational Communication provides the student with a background in theory and research about communication within organizations. The course focuses on interpersonal communication within organizations, small group communication within organizations, leadership and management within organizations and communication conflict within organizations.



Shockley-Zabalek, P. (2002). Fundamentals of Organizational Communication: Knowledge, Sensitivity, Skills, and Values. 5th Edition. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.


Peterson, G. L. (2000). Communicating in Organizations: A Casebook. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.




At the end of the course, the facilitator of learning will:



(1) Demonstrate an understanding of the major organizational theories that comprise the study of organizational communication.

(2) Demonstrate an understanding of the process of communication within organizations including:

(a) interpersonal communication within organizations

(b) small group communication within organizations

(c) leadership and management communication within organizations

(d) communication conflict within organizations

(3) Demonstrate an understanding of the case method for the analysis of specific organizational communication situations including:

(a) managing information flow

(b) understanding interpersonal roles and relationships

(c) building group and team effectiveness

(d) managing differences and diversity

(4) The student will acquire facility in observational research by participating in a six week observational study of one local organization. The observational research assignment will enable students to apply the theories and research taught in the class to real-world situations,



(1) Use a variety of formal and informal assessments aimed at meeting program goals and positive student learning including class discussion, field exercises, small group discussion, research papers, oral presentations, and exams.



(1) Reflect on and evaluate teaching and learning through:

a) class discussion

b) research experience

c) assigned papers

d) exams


(1) Apply new technologies to teaching, learning and research including:

a) Internet assignments


(1) Understand the differences that exist among people and their cultures and the ways in which these differences affect individualsí view of the world, their values, and their interpretations of the events of their lives.



(1) Collaborate with colleagues, parents, local schools, agencies and the community to support learning and achievement for all students.





INTASC #1 The teacher understands the major concepts, assumptions, debates, processes of inquiry and ways of knowing that are central to the discipline he or she teaches.



INTASC #9.4 The teacher is committed to reflection, assessment, and learning as an ongoing process.



NCDPI #8.3 The teacher uses assessment strategies to involve learners in self assessment activities to help them become aware of their strengths and needs, and to encourage them to set personal goals of learning.


INTASC #6.13 NCDPI #6.4

The teacher knows how to use a variety of media communication tools, including audiovisual aids and computers, to enrich learning opportunities.



INTASC #3 The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.



INTASC #10.12, NCDPI #10

The teacher establishes respectful and productive relationships with diverse home and community situations, and seeks to develop cooperative partnerships in support of learning and well being.




Class Participation 50 points

Research Experience 300 points

Midterm 100 points

Final Exam 100 points

Total Points 550




Date Wk Topic Assignment


1/8 1 Overview of Course S/Z, ch. 1

1/10 A competency-based approach.


1/13-15 2 Definitions of organizational communication S/Z, ch. 2

1/17 Perspectives for organizational communication S/Z, ch. 3


1/20 3 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

1/22-24 Communication implications organizational theories S/Z, ch. 4


1/27-29 4 Communication implications of S/Z, ch. 4

1/31 organizational theories


2/3-7 5 Individuals in organizations S/Z, ch. 5


2/10-14 6 Groups in organizations S/Z, Ch. 6


2/17-21 7 Leadership and management communication S/Z, Ch. 7


2/24-26 8 Midterm Review Chs. 1-7 (S/Z)

2/28 Midterm Exam


3/3-5 9 Understanding the organization: structure, Begin observational research.

3/7 culture and climate Peterson, Cases 1-4.


3/10-3/15 SPRING BREAK


3/17-19 10 Managing information flow. Observational paper due.

3/21 Peterson, Cases 5-6.


3/24-28 11 Interpersonal roles and relationships Peterson, Cases 7-9


3/31-4/2 12 Group and team effectiveness. Network analysis paper due.

4/4 Peterson, Cases 12-14


4/7-11 13 Managing differences and diversity Peterson, Cases 15-17


4/14-16 14 Managing differences and diversity Peterson, Cases 18-20

4/18 Diversity paper due.


4/21-23 15 Professional applications of organizational communication S/Z, Ch. 10

4/25 Career choices in organizational communication S/Z, Ch. 11


4/28- 16 Final Exam review, Final research paper due.

4/30 In-Class Final Exam




Observational Research (300 points)

Each student will select an organization to observe in weekly one-two hour sessions. Students will keep a journal of their observations of the organization. Students will share their observational experiences in weekly reports to the class. Students will write three short papers and one longer paper on their research experience.

Organizational Structure Paper (3 pages): Students will construct an organizational chart of the organization which they are observing and analyze the type of structure which characterizes this organization.

Network Analysis Paper (3 pages): Students will administer a sociometric survey of their organization and analyze the communication flow within the organization..

Diversity Paper (3 pages): Students will analyze the organizationís diversity applying concepts

from the reading.

Final Research Paper (5 pages): Students will write a paper summarizing their research experience applying concepts from the reading.


Exams (200 points)

The midterm will cover material covered in the first half of the semester; the final exam will cover material from the second part of the semester. Exams will be a combination of different types of questions, e.g., multiple choice, matching, short answer, and essay questions.




A variety of teaching strategies will be adopted for this course. Lecture/discussion mode will be used to cover the theories and concepts presented in the first part of the course. In the second part of the course, a seminar style will be adopted as students will be participating in field work and reporting to the class on their observations.




Albrecht, T. L. &7 Bach, B. W. Communication in Complex Organizations. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 1997.

Brownell, J. Listening: Attitudes, Principles, and Skills. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1996.

Bounden, N. lf You Could Hear What I Cannot Say: Learning to Communicate With the Ones You Love. New York: Bantam, 1983.

Bilhart, , J. K. & Galanes, , G. J. Effective Group Discussion. Seventh Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998.

Clark, H. H. Using Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Conrad, C. Strategic Organizational Communication. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 1994.

Corman, S. R., Banks, S. P., Bantz, C. R. & Mayer, M. E. Foundations of Organizational Communication: A Reader. Second Edition. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2002.

Cupach, W. and Spitzberg, B. (Eds.), The Darkside of Interpersonal Communication. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1995.

Dervin, B., Grossberg, L., OíKeefe, B. & Wartella, E., (Eds.). Rethinking Communication: Paradigm Issues. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1989.

Domenici, K. Mediation: Empowerment in Conflict Management. Prospect Hts, Il: Waveland Press, 1996.

Eisenberg, E. M. & Goodall, Jr., H. L. Organizational Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint. New York: St. Martinís Press, 1993.

Fishbein, M. & Ajzen, I. Belief, Attitude, Intention, and Behavior. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1975.

Folger, J. P., Poole, M. S. & Stuttman, R. K. Working Through Conflict. New York: Longman, 1997.

Gleason, L. B. The Development of Language. Columbus, OH: Merrill, 1989.

Goldhaber, G. (1993). Organizational Communication . Sixth Edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Hall, E. T. The Silent Language. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959.

Henley, N. M. Body Politics: Power, Sex, and Nonverbal Communication. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1977.

Knapp, Mark. Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction. Second Edition. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston; 1978.

Littlejohn, S. W. Theories of Human Communication. Fifth Edition. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Pub. Co., 1996.

Lumsden, G. & Lumsden, D. Communicating in Groups and Teams. Second Edition. Belmont, CA, 1997.

Mehrabian, A. Nonverbal Communication. Chicago, Il.: Aldine, 1972.

Napier, R. W. & Gershenfeld, M. K. Groups: Theory and Experience. Sixth Ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999.

Nichols, M. The Lost Art of Listening. New York: Guilford, 1995.

Pearce, W. B. Interpersonal Communication: Making Social Worlds. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.

Pepper, G. L. Communicating in Organizations: A Cultural Approach. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1995.

Phillips, D. & Wallace, L. Influence in the Workplace: Maximizing Personal Employment. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1992.

Shotter, John. Conversational Realities: Constructing Life through Language. London: Sage, 1993.

Stewart, J. Bridges, Not Walls: A Book About Interpersonal Communication. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002.

Swets, P. The Art of Talking So That People Will Listen: Getting Through to Family, Friends, &

Associates. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1983.

Tannen, D. You Just Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. New York: Ballantine books, 1990.

Whalen, J. D. I See What You Mean: Persuasive Business Communication. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1996.

Wilmot, W. Relational Communication. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.

Wilmot, W. & Hocker, J. Interpersonal Conflict. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998.

Wiseman, R. L. & Shuter, R. (Eds.) Communicating in Multinational Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1994.

Woods, E. Employee Development at the Workplace: Achieving Empowerment in a Continuous Learning Environment. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt, 2001.