communication skills

Week 1

Discuss your own level of communication skills in light of how you want to improve during the course.  Please do so in 50-100 words.

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Week 2

Choose one of the following topics and elaborate on it using 100-150 words.  Then, make comment on the threads of two other, different topics as posted by your peers and comment on them. Folks, if a topic has already been discussed 3-4 times, please choose a different one to use as your own thread.  That way, everyone will get an opportunity to reply to multiple comments.  Make sense? Good.  

Here are the topics:

1. How is the history of human civilization essentially a history of organizing?

2. If organizing is a necessary part of life, why isn’t it easier to do?

3. Why is the definition of effective communication constantly changing? Give 1-2 examples to support your answer.

4. How has the new, global economy brought about positive changes and challenges at the same time?  Give 1-2 examples to support your answer.

5. How is the multicultural management of employees, customers, and suppliers a challenge for global organizations?

6. How is communication technology central to organizational communication in the 21st century? 

7. How do changes in the meaning of work have implications for how individuals view their relationships with organizations?

Week 3

As before, choose one of the following topics and elaborate on it using 100-150 words.  Then, make a comment on the threads of two other, different topics as posted by your peers and comment on them.  If a topic has already been discussed three or four times, please choose a different one to use as your own thread.  

1. Discuss the model of communication as information transfer. Provide a brief definition, underlying assumptions, potential problems, and criticisms.

2. Why is leadership an essential arena for the transactional-process model?

3. Explain the concept of strategic ambiguity. Give an example from an organizational setting in which this strategy could be beneficial and a case in which it might be problematic.

4. Explain the dichotomy of balancing creativity and constraint in organizations.

5. What is meant by the term situated individual? Why is this concept important to our understanding of organizational communication? What role can the situated individual play in constructing organizational reality?

6. Define what dialogue is, and outline the four levels of increasing collaboration associated with this concept. Explain the advantages or disadvantages of each level when considering organizations as dialogues.

7. Explain the difference between mindless and mindful forms of dialogue. Offer some examples of each type.

8. What makes “dialogue as real meeting” so challenging to achieve? What practical limitations keep us from developing authentic relationships and dialogues with others?

9. What does it mean to work with integrity and speak ethically as we engage in organizational communication practices?

Week 4

As we have done in the two previous Discussions, choose one of the following topics and elaborate on it using 100-150 words.  Then, make comment on the threads of two other, different topics as posted by your peers. If a topic has already been discussed three or four times, please choose a different one to use as your own thread.  



· As a participant in the ongoing dialogue of organizational communication, explain the importance of studying theories.

· What is meant by “all talk is partial, partisan, and problematic”?

· What are the basic assumptions of the classical management theory? What is the underlying metaphor associated with this theory?

· How does a horrific event like the Holocaust provide an example of the abuse of classical principles of organization?

· What is meant by the term particularism, and how did the new system of bureaucracy try to protect employees from the practice of particularism? What are some of the factors that limit the true realization of this system?

· What kinds of changes were happening during the Great Depression and World War II that influenced our understanding of organizations and led to the emergence of the human relations perspective?

· What were the main conclusions of the Hawthorne studies? What were the implications on organizational views?

· Explain the main differences between the human relations perspective and the human resources approach.

· How does the role of dialogue differ within each approach? How is it problematic to balance the creativity and constraint of dialogue within these models?

Week 5

Given the current environment and the “coincidence” of us learning about systems and systems theory, I’d like you to answer these different-than-planned questions this week:

· If, according to systems theory, “everything is connected,” how do you see that idea playing out in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing, if at all?  

· How is the Floyd incident affecting the “body” if systems theory is like a body?

· How have systems let you down, if at all?

Week 8

Choose one of the following short-essay questions and write 150-200 words to answer it. 

What are the five types of social power proposed by French and Raven? How is their approach related to research on compliance-gaining?

Explain the difference between myths, metaphors, and stories. How are they important sources of power and ideology?

What is manufactured consent? Why is this concept so powerful?

What is discourse, and what relationship does it have to power and control?

What are some of the limitations of the critical perspective?

Week 9

For Chapter 7–Identity and Difference in Organizational Life–let’s do something a bit different. Our chapter deals with how individuals establish their identity in organizations: What is your identity as a consumer?  

To do this, I’d like for each of you to create a list of at least 15 products or services you use on a regular basis.  These can include, but are not restricted to:

· The kind of car you drive;

· The music you listen to;

· The brands of food you eat;

· The places where you socialize;

· How you decorate your living spaces;

· Where you buy your clothes;

· What you do on vacations and school breaks; and/or

· What activities you participate in to enhance your job prospects.  

Once you have entered your list on the Discussion, ask yourself: “What do these patterns of consumption say about the personal brand you have created for me, and how is it communicated to others?” Do you like your brand?  Why or why not? 

Week 10

Here are some essay questions from this week’s chapter. Please answer one of them using 150-250 words, then comment on another one done by a different student (50-150 words).  75% of the grade will be your answer, and 25% will be your remarks about the other’s response.

As before, if other students have answered a question several times (more than 3), please choose a different one.  

· What are the five fundamental changes to the nature of organization that have emerged in the late twentieth century?

· What are the multiple-stakeholder model and workplace democracy? How do they clarify an understanding of participation?

· What does it mean to be an engaged employee? How can workplaces create a space that allows for maximum involvement from their employees?

· Explain how team-based organizations represent an increased level of participation in organizations.

· What are some of the different communication roles that team members play? What are some of the challenges that groups can face as they integrate these different roles into a cohesive and healthy team?

· What are some of the problems that teams face as they attempt to incorporate many ideas? How do the concepts of groupthink, conflict, and consensus either add to or alleviate these problems?

· What are the similarities and differences between small-group networks, emergent networks, extra-organizational networks, and Intra-organizational networks?

Week 11

For this week’s assignment, complete the questionnaire on the following website at Psychology Today: (Links to an external site.)

What is your leadership style?  Do you agree with the questionnaire’s results?  When might it be incorrect?  Tell me about it in 100-150 words, please.  

Week 12

Choose one of the following topics and elaborate on it using 100-150 words.  Then, make comment on the threads of two other, different topics as posted by your peers and comment on them. If a topic has already been discussed 3-4 times, please choose a different one to use as your own thread.  That way, everyone will get an opportunity to reply to multiple comments.  

· Why do most business strategies change over the course of the business life cycle? How do they change as the business environments change?

· Why is alignment necessary for a full business strategy to be realized?

· What does each “S” stand for in the 7-S model? Is there an order that this process should follow?

· How do some more current human resources techniques contribute to strategic alignment? How might these new HR concepts impact you as a potential employee?

· Define what is meant by organizational learning. Why is it important?

· What are the concerns surrounding privacy issues and new technologies?

· How does mediated interpersonal communication change the face of organizational interactions?

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