A Note on Management Communication: Module Three

2 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008  

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 Three. See also "A Note on Management Communication: Module One" (UVA-BC-0168), "A Note on Management Communication: Module Two" (UVA-BC-0169), and "A Note on Management Communication: Module Four" (UVA-BC-0171).

Excerpt

UVA-BC-0170

A Note on Management Communication: Module Three

Managing Communication or Communicating in the Organization introduces a number of key themes in Management Communication, primarily in internal or organizational communication: the complexities of channel choice, the implications of new technologies like e-mail and the Web, communicating across functional and cultural boundaries, and, not least of all, interpersonal communication.

While the early Management Communication modules combine cases, readings, and presentations (with writing assignments), this module uses cases to explore a variety of written and oral communication workshop topics brought out by the case. Because communication lends itself to a “hands-on” approach, students engage in some experiential activity in almost every class, from presenting cases in small groups, to in-class editing, to e-mail exchanges, and to staging meetings. These exercises are meant to use real-time response to word choice, tone, and non-verbal communication. In this way, we build core communication competencies while engaging key topics in management, organizational, and corporate communication. When possible, exercises include peer critique, placing at the forefront the student-centered pedagogy of the school.

This module can emphasize a number of the key topics facing managers today. The first may be stated as “manage communication or it will manage you.” Although instant messaging, teleconferencing, or any number of capabilities advertised daily, suggest a revolutionary new world of communication possibilities. It is startling how so many organizations allow channel choice to develop on an ad-hoc basis. How many companies only develop a policy on electronic communication when litigation looms? Who has not wished that an e-mail had not been sent in haste or been unable to decipher an important e-mail without the clues of tone and gesture?

These issues can be vastly complicated in the context of global business. In this module, the issues of cultural and organizational context come to the fore. The almost unlimited potential for miscommunication takes on new dimensions when the barriers of language and cultural norms come into play. Yet, the issues raised by cross-cultural communication intersect the challenges of communicating across functional areas, as well as communicating in a diverse workplace. Learning to communicate across boundaries is one of the most valuable areas a manager can engage in today.

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Keywords: Communication Process, Communication Strategy

Suggested Citation

Powell, Elizabeth A. and Rubin, James, A Note on Management Communication: Module Three. Darden Case No. UVA-BC-0170. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=907761

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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