A Note on Management Communication: Module One

2 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Elizabeth A. Powell

Elizabeth A. Powell

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

James Rubin

University of Virginia – Darden Graduate School of Business Administration

Abstract

This note is an introduction to the first-year course Management Communication Module One. See also "A Note on Management Communication Module Two" (UVA-BC-0169).

Excerpt

UVA-BC-0168

A Note on Management Communication: Module One

All companies have stories, and many company stories are deeply connected to the history of business. Yet, recently, the notion of narrative has become an increasing important way for managers to communicate company goals and for companies to communicate who they are and what they stand for. The first module in Management Communication, or The Narrative Module, introduces students to written and oral communication channels in a way that is familiar to everyone, telling stories. At the same time, this assignment sets out the most challenging communication goal for organizations today: telling coherent stories that convey meaning for companies' multiple constituencies. The first few classes frame the year's work in Management Communication by linking managerial to organizational and corporate communication. Just as managers need to use stories and vivid anecdotes to persuade and articulate strategy, companies need compelling stories to cut through today's overloaded media environment in order to reach customers as well as the capital markets.

By its nature, narrative is highly selective. It is one thing to say that good managers can effectively “frame” information and “tell stories.” It is quite another to understand that the best managers—and leaders—explicitly learn how to analyze a problem so that by rejecting the extraneous, they grasp the heart of the matter. (This can be seen as analogous to the case method itself; cases are, of course, also stories). To communicate a solution simply and clearly, and target the appropriate audience, is to advance the strategic aims of an organization.

This module includes a written and oral assignment built around a company story drawn from a student's past experience or current interest. Contemporary readings introduce the themes of Management Communication workshops. For example, narrative connects and corrects the tendency to think in bullets, without, to put it simply connecting the dots through logical development. This is a topic that links writing in itself to good slide writing.

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Keywords: Communication Process, Communication Strategy

Suggested Citation

Powell, Elizabeth A. and Rubin, James, A Note on Management Communication: Module One. Darden Case No. UVA-BC-0168. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=907759

Elizabeth A. Powell (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-982-2730 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.edu/faculty/Powell.htm

James Rubin

University of Virginia – Darden Graduate School of Business Administration ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4830 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/rubin.htm

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