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ELE 3774 Internal Communication


ELE 3774 Internal Communication

Responsible for the course
Christian Fieseler

Department of Communication and Culture

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Communication forms the identity of an organization. In this lecture, the role of internal communications in this process will be explored, ways of managing employee experience will be trained and the importance of communication in change situations illustrated. This seminar provides its participants with a substantial insight into the workings of internal communication, its psychological and sociological basis, fundamental concepts and its proper role in strategic management.

Participants will be introduced to theories of organizational behavior, theories of social interaction and social capital to understand the scope and objectives of professional internal communication. Based on this thorough understanding of the processes and effects of organizational communication, the contributions of internal communication to an organization's strategic success will be explored and the strategic management of communication efforts analyzed.

Learning outcome
Acquired Knowledge
Upon completion of the course, students will have acquired the fundamentals of organizational behavior theories, cognitive theories, symbol theories and social interactionism and the relevant current trends in engaging the workforce that will help them contribute to creating agile, high-performance organizations.

Acquired Skills
Students will be able to:

  • provide a strategic and business administration perspective on communication audiences, efforts and instruments
  • articulate current challenges and best practices in internal communication
  • apply several key techniques of internal communications to real-world cases
  • explain, define and differentiate key concepts of internal communication: social capital, culture, trust, values and identities
  • use the tools and instruments of internal communication, such as storytelling, analysis techniques and change management

Students will have a better understanding of the social dynamics of communication and the contribution of internal communication to organizational success.

Though there are no formal prerequisites, we expect students to have a solid grasp of the English language as well as a strong interest in the issues at hand. The course is ideal for students who intend to pursue a career in marketing and communications, but also in communication related tasks in consulting or strategy-related corporate functions.

Compulsory reading
Driskill, Gerald W., Angela Laird Brenton. 2011. Organizational culture in action : a cultural analysis workbook. 2nd ed.. Sage

Collection of articles:
Compendium of articles, which will be made available in electronic form to participants

Recommended reading
Alvesson, Mats. 2013. Understanding organizational culture. 2nd ed. Sage
Hatch, Mary Jo and Maiken Schultz, eds. 2004. Organizational identity : a reader. Oxford University Press
Miller, Katherine. 2015. Organizational communication : approaches and processes. 7th ed. Cengage Learning
Myers, P., Hulks, S. & Wiggins, L.. 2012. Organizational Change. Perspectives on Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press

Course outline
  1. Introduction: Why Internal Communications
  2. Key Theories in Internal Communications
  3. Group Dynamics and Team Processes
  4. Processes of Emotion and Organizational Diversity.
  5. Informal Communication and the Organizational Grapevine
  6. Analysis Methods for Internal Communication
  7. Organizations 2.0
  8. Organizational Innovation and Change
  9. Crafting Messages: Engaging the Workforce through Storytelling
  10. Behavioral Branding and Employee Experience Management

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

Learning process and workload
The course aims at combining formal lectures with a case teaching approach. In addition, experts involved in communication management will present their insights. The course will consist of the following elements:
  1. Formal lectures for basics of various communication management topics and to provide a conceptual framework;
  2. Case studies for deepening knowledge of the communication management process, as well as for applying theoretical knowledge to a employee engagement situation;
  3. Guest lectures by renowned communication experts in order to gain insights in their roles/activities and experiences.
  4. Skill-Building exercises, such as analysis and consulting techniques, and practical tools of internal communications such as agile methods, design thinking, etc.

It is taken for granted that students prepare for the lectures and play an active role within the course.

Recommended use of hours for the students:
Participation in teaching sessions, case discussions
Preparation for teaching sessions, reading literature
Preparation for exam
Research and outside reading
Work on case paper
Average recommended study hours

    The total grade for the course will be based on the following activities and weightings:

    Term Paper, counts for 50% - The Term Paper may be solved individually or groups of up to three students.
    Students will be asked to work on different tasks regarding challenges in the field of internal communication on a specific real-life case. Students work as consultants for the company in question, and must get attestation by the lecturer before they starts writing their Term Paper. The length of the paper should not exceed 20 pages and shall correspond to general scientific requirements.

    Case presentation, counts for 50% - Case Presentation may be done individually or in groups of up to three students.
    At the end of the course, students will have to present their working results to the lecturers and to company representatives. Groups will be coached by the lecturers and will have a final rehearsal before presenting their results.

    All parts must be passed in order to obtain final grade.

    Examination code(s)
    ELE 37741 - Process evaluation counts 100 % towards the grade in ELE 3774 Internal Communication, 7,5 credits.

    Examination support materials
    All materials allowed for term paper and case presentation.

    Re-sit examination
    Re-sit exam is offered at next scheduled course. All parts in the examination must be taken over again at re-sit.

    Additional information