Organizations are characterized by processes of immense complexity. To begin with, every organization has a diverse range of stakeholders, both internal and external. The processes of communication by, within and between organizations are equally important and these have been studied from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives. This course will introduce you to corporate and organizational communication, guided by theories on the key concepts of identity, image, relationships, leadership, change and the conferral of meaning. You will gain an understanding of this area through classes and by applying a variety of fascinating research methods (e.g. narratives, observations, guided tours, mystery shopping). This course lays the foundation for you to take other Master’s subjects later in this specialization and for a final thesis project that corresponds to your individual interests.
This course gives you the opportunity to take a deeper look at a particular research problem or issue within a specific topic or theme in corporate communication. You will also have the chance to learn from your fellow students, with ample opportunity to exchange ideas and address research-related concerns. You will meet in small groups of 5 or 6 members once every week, according to the topic or theme selected. A lecturer specializing in a particular research topic or theme will be assigned to your group. The schedule will be finalized after a discussion between the lecturer and the group.
How can you understand what makes successful people, sustainable communication and healthy organizations tick? Welcome to the area of research we call positive organizing. Becoming aware that you need to study the success and strengths in organizations in order to find meaning is nothing less than a paradigm shift, in a world where the main focus lies on problems, pathologies and limitations. Without turning you into a happy-clappy romantic, this Master’s course will encourage you to look how a positive take on organizational communication can benefit our understanding of organizing and provide inspiration for research, without slackening off on the rigorous discipline of the social sciences.
Trust within an organizational context is regarded as vital for influencing cooperation, commitment, and performance. In the course of their operations, organizations should also secure the trust of their stakeholders. Unless it can win trust, any organization is bound to fail in the long run. Without trust, people’s willingness to enter into a business relationship is likely to be low or even non-existent. This course explores the various disciplinary perspectives on trust and the role it plays within organizations. More specifically, you will examine the dynamics behind the creation of trust by and within organizations, the effect of trust on aspects of organization (e.g. productivity, identification), and the strategies employed to repair trust violations.
Organizations are increasingly concerned with managing their corporate identity. More and more, corporate identity is being deployed as a strategic instrument to set organizations apart from their competitors and to boost organizational performance. This course encourages you to take on your role as the communication professional of the future and to take responsibility for managing corporate identity in your work. The course addresses a variety of topics relevant to this area, including elements of corporate identity (logo, colours, typography), brand architecture, changes in corporate identity, communication about corporate identity, the history of corporate identity and the management of corporate identity. Course lectures provide insight into the multifaceted nature of this subject, as informed by a combination of scientific studies and case studies from the world of business.
Organizations invest in public affairs to promote relationships with key stakeholders and to shape short and long-term strategies that respond to developments in today’s ever-changing sphere of operations. Activities in this domain are becoming an increasingly open, with a growing appreciation for the bi-directional nature of public affairs. In course lectures, you will become acquainted with the theoretical foundations of public affairs and subsequently work in groups to apply them to a public affairs case study that deals with current issues.
People do not necessarily base their decisions on reality, but rather on their perception of reality. This implies that organizations have the opportunity to influence the image people have of them, to some extent at least. Welcome to the world of corporate reputation management. Organizations with a positive reputation are effective in attracting customers, investors and good staff. They are resilient enough to survive corporate crises that could well spell disaster for other - less reputable - organizations. It is therefore vital that both business people and academic experts pay systematic attention to the process of image formation. That is what you will do on this course, focusing on management issues regarding identity, image and reputation.