ORG 3641 Organisational Communication and Leadership


ORG 3641 Organisational Communication and Leadership

Responsible for the course
Sut I Wong Humborstad

Department of Communication and Culture

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction
Norwegian and english

Already in 1938 stated organisational researcher Chester Bernard that "the structure, extent and scope of the organisation is almost entirely determined by communication techniques". Communication is crucial for organisations to work. Today's organisations are living by sharing knowledge, explore it, find new solutions, and develop a common understanding of it. Only then can they decide and take actions in the community. Leadership is then increasingly to motivate, create meaning, adapt and understand their employees. Employees must build good relationships to be oriented, creative, and understand wholes in their work. All this is about communication. Communication creates both organisational and individual performance. Individuals are motivated, dedicated, productive and loyal. Organisations are efficient, innovative, and profitable.

Communication is complex in the sense that it is difficult to control what individuals want to communicate, and what individuals perceive of what is actually communicated. Meanwhile, communication is continuous in the sense that you can never turn it off.

Therefore vast resources are used of organisations on communication. The more people who are competent at what they communicate and how they can best understand, the better your organisation will perform.

To improve students' understanding of effective management, the course aims to provide basic insights into how communication works and creates profitable organisations. The course addresses both, communication between human interaction at the micro level (eg. Conflict, mutual understanding, effective relationships ...) and communication as structural mechanisms at the macro level (eg. Organisational networks, power and communication, communication channels ...). Students will develop their own skills to understand, operate, and manage better in organisations.

Learning outcome
Through literature, lectures, updated examples, quizzes, practical exercises, discussions, work requirements and final exam, students developed their knowledge and skills in the field of communication for leaders and organisations.

Acquired Knowledge
Through participation in lectures, group work and other activities based on the required reading, students will display knowledge and understanding of the following topics:

Macro Areas

  • Communication as processes in organisations.
  • How organisational structure and culture conducive to communication.
  • Critical organisational issues that are important to organisational functioning and that depends on communication.
  • The relationship between leadership, strategy and communication.
  • Intercultural Communication

Micro Areas
  • Theories and Models of Leadership
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Communication in the impact and influence
  • conflict

Acquired Skills
Through participation in practical exercises, planned activities, and counseling students will demonstrate the skills related to knowledge related to the course. Some relevant topics are:
  • Techniques for active listening
  • Plan and convey messages for different recipients
  • Facilitate effective meetings
  • Interdisciplinary communication skills
  • Conflict resolution through creative communication processes

Students will develop an understanding of the need to interpret the meaning and their own and others' feelings in the organisation and perception of organisational as well as interpersonal ethics.

ORG 3402 Organizational Behavior and Management or equivalent.

Compulsory reading
Brønn, Peggy Simcic og Jan Ketil Arnulf (red.). 2014. Kommunikasjon for ledere og organisasjoner. Fagbokforlaget

Recommended reading
Pfeffer, Jeffrey. 1993. Managing with power : politics and influence in organizations. Harvard Business School Press
Pjetursson, Leif. 2011. Når ledelse er kommunikation : en medreflekterende bog om lederens kommunikative kompetencer. 2. udg. L&R Business
Shockley-Zalabak, Pamela. 2014. Fundamentals of organizational communication : knowledge, sensitivity, skills, values. 8th ed. new international ed. Pearson Education

Course outline
Basics of Communication
  • Communication and organizations
  • Organizational Theory and Communication
Macro Areas: Structures and Processes
  • Organizational Structure and Communication
  • Technology and Communication in Organizations
    Communication for Learning
  • Cross-cultural communication and diversity
  • Communication in change processes

Micro Areas: Approaches and skills
  • Communication and Leadership
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Communication in groups
  • conflict

Computer-based tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Learning process and workload
This course consists of 39 hours of lectures including group work, presentations, project assignment in class.

In the lectures, the focus will be on key concepts and terms. In addition, there will be up to the presentations, discussions, tasks, events, Instructions will be given in connection with the assignment.

Recommended use of hours:
Use of hours
Lectures, group work and presentations
Preparations to class
Homework curriculum reading
Exam Preparation
Recommended use of hours in total

BI Distant Learning
Online Teacher will use It's Learning to publish material, assignments and digital learning resources, and students are given the opportunity to communicate with online teacher and fellow students. Intensive at the beginning of the semester and before exams. Online students are also offered a study guide. Study Guide will be a supplement to the literature by providing reading plans, relevant tasks, references and comments to the course syllabus.

Recommended use of hours:
Use of hours
Lectures, group work and presentations
Preparations to class
Homework curriculum reading
Exam Preparation
Recommended use of hours in total

    Coursework requirements
    In order to be allowed to submit the final project work, students in the course must have made ​​a presentation of their work or a topic from the syllabus.

    The course concludes with:

    - Project paper - counts 80% of final grade
    The assignment will be handed out at the beginning of the semester and can be completed individually or in groups of up to three students.
    - One (1) hour of individual multiple choice control exam - counts 20% of the final grade.

    Both parts must be passed to obtain a final grade.

    Examination code(s)
    ORG 36411 - Project paper counts for 80% of the grade in ORG 3641 Organisational Communication and Leadership 7.5 credits.
    ORG 36412 - Multiple choice control exam counts 20% of the grade in ORG 3641 Organisational Communication and Leadership 7.5 credits.

    Examination support materials
    ORG 36411 – Project work - All support materials allowed
    ORG 36412 - Multiple choice exam - None support materials allowed

    Re-sit examination
    Re-sit examination in project paper and mulitple choice will be offered at the next scheduled course.

    Students that have not passed the coursework requirements will have to retake the entire course.

    Students that have not passed the project paper or the multiple choice examination or who wish to improve their grade must re-take the examination in connection with the next scheduled examination.

    Additional information