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Organizational Communication and its Social Context

Course Description: Expectations

2014F SOIM-UB.0065.006 / Prof. Jay Rubin
Tuesday / Thursday 9:30 10:45 a.m.; Tisch UC19
Note: Be sure to also review the accompanying document Course Sessions: Class-by-Class Outline

Management Communication Program
Kaufman Management Center
44 West Fourth Street, Room 3-100
New York, NY 10012

Office Hours:
Tuesday / Thursday noon-1 p.m.
and by appointment
Teaching Fellow: Zachary Ship

Course objectives
Organizational Communication and its Social Context (OC) is the second stage of Sterns four-year Social
Impact Core Curriculum. The first course, Business and its Publics, examines the relationships between
corporations and society, particularly the social issues that arise from business operations. OC focuses on how
companies communicate with multiple stakeholders. In OC, youll learn how organizations respond to varied
internal and external audiences using traditional, new and emerging communication channels, including media.
Youll have the opportunity to master business communication in theory and in practice, applying
communication strategy to oral and written business assignments.
Required Course Materials
1. Organizational Communication and Its Social Context course text
(eBook ISBN Number: 9781121619067 and/or Print Book ISBN Number: 9781121636613)
Custom edition is available online via the instructions as follows:
Go to:
Add the book to your cart and pay using a credit card.
Note: Technical Support is available at 800-331-5094
2. Guide to Presentations Russell, Lynn and Munter, Mary. Pearson, 4th edition, 2012;
Available in NYU bookstore.
3. The Alignment Factor Van Riel, Routledge, 2011. Chapter 5 ONLY: order through NYU Bookstore
4. A Plain English Handbook: How to create clear SEC disclosure documents Office of Investor Education
and Assistance. (1998). Washington, DC: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Available free online at

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Course basics: teams, readings, NYU Classes

Reflecting the wide use of teams in business and industry, a significant part of this course is based on teamwork
and group assignments. Youll be assigned to teams early in the course, and well discuss the rights and
responsibilities of teams /team members in class. Each team will meet regularly outside of class, based on
upcoming assignments. In addition, OC requires team meetings with the professor and/or the teaching fellow.
Details will be explained in class.
While readings may not always be addressed directly in class they provide foundational information that is
crucial to the understanding of organizational communication in general and OC assignments specifically.
Students are expected to come to class having completed assigned readings. All homework is expected to be
completed on time.
Course materials and updates will be managed through NYU Classes. PowerPoint slides, handouts and other
information available in electronic form will be posted. Note: When sending an email or submitting work to the
instructor, make certain you are using the Stern email address ( as opposed to the NYU email
address ( Include your name on all attachments. Always use .docx format for attachments; no PDFs,
which prevent the professor from inserting comments or guidance when reviewing your work.
To do well in this course, you need to:

Follow the specific requirements in this Course Description: Expectations and the accompanying
Course Sessions: Class-by-Class Outline
Complete all individual and team assignments on time, both graded and ungraded
Participate in class discussions
Contribute your fair share to team assignments and meet regularly with your team
Use grading rubrics and additional guidance explained in class and/or posted in NYU Classes to guide
your decisions about how to complete the assignments

Participation and attendance guidelines

Participation and professionalism are key factors in this course. Being prepared for class discussions, being on
time for class, and attending class regularly are the minimum expectations. You can excel in this area if you
also contribute to the course by:

Providing evidence of having thought through the material

Advancing the discussion by contributing insightful comments and questions
Listening attentively in class
Demonstrating interest in regarding your peers comments, questions, and presentations
Giving constructive feedback to your peers when appropriate
Participating actively in classroom exercises
Conducting yourself professionally and respectfully

Remember: OC is a communication course, and you are expected to communicate, not just observe.
OC is designed to be a highly interactive course. The more you invest in it, the more you will learn.

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You are expected to attend all classes, if possible, as the course involves many in-class activities, which cannot
be made up. Absences due to religious events are respected with prior notice. Otherwise, as in any professional
situation, explain any absence in advance or as soon as possible; an email to both the professor and TF is
Use of laptops is permitted only for note taking and in-class exercises. Make sure to keyboard sounds are turned
off and cell phones are silent.

Presentation assignment guidelines

Specific instructions will be given for each presentation, explaining content guidelines, visual support, other
deliverables and deadlines. Depending upon a specific assignment, presentations will be either 1) reviewed by
the professor and TF and/or 2) self-evaluated with follow-up from the professor and TF.
Required Guidelines for Document Submission
How your documents are prepared and delivered is important to maintain consistent standards and a level
playing field among students. Follow these guidelines:

Business documents assigned for this course should follow common business style (single-spaced, no
indented paragraphs, double-spacing only between paragraphs, one-inch margins, 12-point Times or
Times Roman font.) rather than common academic style (double-spaced with indented paragraphs).
.docx Word software should be used. PDFs are unacceptable
Attachments should include your first name and last name as part of the filename followed by your team
number and assignment number (e.g., JayRubin_T3_A1.doc).
Any assignment submitted after the deadline will receive a lower grade, other than in the rare instances
when the professor has agreed to an extension in advance. Assignments with the professors comments
will be returned as promptly as possible.

Additional Help
Contact the professor and/or TF via email and meet with us. We are available and willing to help you succeed.
For additional help, try the Internet resources below and look for more of these helpful links on the NYU
Classes course site:
<> Guide to Grammar and Writing (explanations, examples,
quizzes, FAQs; excellent online assistance) NYU Virtual Business Library
Note: The Bobst Library has a business librarian specifically assigned to help Stern students. Ask for advice
first, and you will find researching any topic or question will save you a lot of time.

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Video Recording
One of the best ways to improve your presentation delivery is to watch yourself on video. For this reason,
in-class presentations will be recorded and made available to you under NYU Classes Video Links on the
course site.
Audience protocols during presentations
Because of the emphasis on presenting in this course and the number of students who are relatively
unaccustomed to public speaking, a high level of sensitivity is required to maintain a respectful and
comfortable environment, i.e., as least stressful as possible. There are several easy habits to help ensure our

Do not use laptops while in the audience during presentations.

Do not to enter or leave the classroom during a presentation, unless there is an emergency.
Give your fellow students full attention during presentations
Be polite, constructive and insightful with your questions when assigned on a rotating basis to a
Q-team during presentations. Details will be explained in class

Note: Non-compliance with the above will reflect in your participation grade.

Stern Undergraduate College Policies

Assignments and Grading
At NYU Stern, we strive to create courses that challenge students intellectually and meet the Stern standards of
academic excellence. To help ensure fairness and clarity of grading, the Stern faculty has adopted a grading
guideline for core courses with enrollments of more than 25 students in which approximately 25-35% of
students will receive an "A" or "A-" grade.
Please see: for Grading in Stern Undergraduate Classes for more information.
The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect
the integrity and authority of the professors grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary
challenges to it.
If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an
overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests
in writing to the professor within 7 days of receiving the grade. Include a brief written statement of why you
believe that an error in grading has been made.

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Students with Disabilities

Students whose class performance may be affected due to qualifying issues should notify the professor early in
the semester so that arrangements can be made, in consultation with the Henry and Lucy Moses Center for
Students with Disabilities, to accommodate their needs.
Please see for more information.
Academic Integrity
Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. All students are expected to
abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct. A students responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

A duty to acknowledge the work and efforts of others when submitting work as ones own. Ideas, data,
direct quotations, paraphrasing, creative expression, or any other incorporation of the work of others must
be clearly referenced.

A duty to exercise the utmost integrity when preparing for and completing examinations, including an
obligation to report any observed violations.

Please see the following link for more information:
Representing the ideas of others as your own is plagiarism, whether accidental or by design. Do not plagiarize.
Here are two helpful links: How to Avoid Plagiarism from Northwestern University
( and Plagiarism: What It is and How
to Recognize and Avoid It from Indiana University (
There are numerous role-playing assignments in this class. While you may assume the role of a corporate player,
you may not assume his or her words, blogs, or web site ideas are your own. All references need to be cited or
explained. Please ask if you need more clarification.

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Calendar of assignments and due dates

To track your grade throughout the semester, use the Your Grade column in the table below.

1. Business Document identifying purpose

2. Best Team Experience
3. Benchmark Presentation:
Best Company to Work for in 2014

4. Team Goals and Review of Best Company to

Work for in 2014 Presentation

5. Document about Best Company criteria

6. Company Profile Presentation: Company Profile
7. Discussion on Corporate Reputation; and,
Email Update to Professor and TF

Bring to Class 3,
Class 4
Submit short
statement by 9/13

Value in


Class 6, 9/18

5 team

Class 9, 9/30


Classes 10 and 11
Part 1 due 10/2
Part 2 due 10/7

10 indiv.
(5 and 5)

Classes 13 or 14:
10/16 or 10/21

5 team
5 indiv.

Begins 10/30;
Team e-mail due

5 team

8. Persuasive Presentation: Reputation Analysis

Classes 20 and 21:

11/11 or 11/13

9. Document on Reputation Management

Deadline TBA

10 indiv.

10. Final Presentation: CSR/Sustainability

Classes 26, 27 or
28: 12/4, 12/9, or

12 team
12 indiv.

11. 2 Quizzes


10 indiv.
(5 and 5)

12. Professionalism and Participation: attendance,

class discussion, self-evaluations, teamwork,
impromptus etc.

Throughout the

12 indiv.

Individual 66 pts. + Team 34 pts. =


7 team
7 indiv.

100 pts. total

Note 1: Rubrics will be distributed in class and also online to help you plan assignments. Read more about the full
schedule in the accompanying class-by-class document, titled Course Sessions: Class-by-class Outline.
Note 2: Changes may be made to assignments described on the syllabus at the discretion of the professor to better reflect
specific class dynamics and promote student learning.

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