COMM 333-Organizational Communication

Dr. Lee McGaan  

  Office:  WH 308  (ph. 309-457-2155);  email
  Home:  418 North Sunny Lane (ph. 309-734-5431, cell 309-333-5447)

Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016

Course Description Lecture Syllabus Lab Syllabus Assign. Due Dates
Course Assignments Lecture Notes Lab Notes Training Resources


Course Description: An analysis of organizational communication theories and methods and a study of organizational culture and communication patterns. Includes practice in the analysis of organizational communication problems and an introduction to interventions and methods of communication training.

Required Texts

  • Katherine Miller. Organizational Communication: Approaches & Processes (6th ed.).  Wadsworth, 20120-495-89832-0  [ "OC" ]

  • Various Web Pages on this site (see Syllabus for links or go to Course Notes page) and in-class handouts.

Course Goals and Policies: The course goals include:

  • to introduce students to the elements of successful organizational communication,
  • to develop familiarity with organizational communication theory as applied to practical situations, esp. the concept of organizational culture,
  • to develop abilities in organizational communication diagnosis,
  • to develop abilities for improving the communication processes of organizations (e.g., training methods),
  • to improve student awareness of what is required for a successful career in organizational settings,
  • to improve student communication skills.

Students are responsible for all assigned reading material whether or not it is discussed in class and all lecture material whether or not duplicated by readings. Students are expected to have prepared answers to study questions or other assignments prior to class in order to participate in class discussions. Of course, class attendance is expected and frequent absences may affect grades. Except for medical or other emergency reasons the instructor has the option not to accept late assignments unless advance arrangements are made. Electronic devices (cell phones, etc.) are not to be used or visible in the lecture portion of this class without permission of the instructor (Violations of this rule may result in removal of the device, dismissal from class for the day and will result in an unexcused absence).  Enrollment in this course constitutes an agreement by the student to permit the instructor to maintain copies of any material submitted in completion of course requirements.


Graded Assignments (and tentative percent of final grade):

1st Exam 15% Product "Pitch" Oral Presentation 7.5%
2nd Exam 15% Product "Pitch" Written Proposal 7.5%
Final Exam 15% Team Training Demonstration 10%
Lab Grades, Peer Evaluation & Participation 15% Final Training Program Report 15%


Course WorkloadAll assignments will be given a letter grade and averaged according to the percentages above (e.g. A- = 3.7 x Y%, etc.) in order to compute the final grade for the course. The instructor reserves the right to significantly lower course grades for failure to complete all assignments or for students who cause difficulty in their work groups.

This course is a four credit course which normally meets 3 days per week. The course design provides learning opportunities and activities totaling approximately 11.5 hours per week over the 15 weeks of the course (including finals week). The assigned activities may take each student a different amount of time to finish, however the average will be 11.5 hours.


     Further estimates include:


Course activity Hours/Week

In class activity

(((3 days x 50 minutes x 14 weeks) / 60) + 3 hour final) / 15 weeks)   

2.5 hours
Labs  2 hours/week 2.0 hours

Reading and homework assignments

(((4 days x 60 minutes) x 14 weeks) / 60) / 15 weeks)     

3.7 hours

Writing/Speaking Lab assignments - Outside of Lab Work (Training Product Pitch: Presentation [5 hrs.] and Proposal Paper [7 hrs]; Training Demonstration [8hrs.]; Training Program Description paper [13 hrs.] = 33 hrs / 15) 


 2.2 hours
Additional preparation for exams (15.0 hours / 15 weeks ) 1.0 hours
Average hours per week   11.4 hrs


Additional Comments: Success in any organizational setting requires the ability to work with others, to meet deadlines, and to "pull your weight." This course will require these same abilities. Working with your consulting team can make the course fun and the workload less BUT only if you cooperate, avoid procrastination, take the initiative to meet with the team outside of class for planning. Team members must work independently at times. Letting down your teammates (e.g., missing deadlines, expecting someone else to pick up your work, doing sloppy work, etc.) will not only damage your performance but that of your colleagues on the team as well. Being organized will increase what you learn and make the course much easier and less frustrating. On the other hand, in the real world of work it is not uncommon to find yourself working with someone who does not do his or her fair share. Each person must decide how to deal with such situations and accept responsibility for that decision.

If you take your role as an employee of MC Consulting seriously and function in relation to President Amagan as you would to your boss in a real job you will have more success than if you act like the assignments are "just regular class work." Remember. You can get fired from MC Consulting and that will make passing the course very difficult if not impossible.

last updated 8/6/2016