Davis A. Foulger, Ph. D.

Fall, 2005-Spring, 2006
and Fall 2001-Spring 2003

Communication 365: Organizational Communication

Semester Syllabus - Spring, 2002

Davis Foulger

Grades for semester.

Course Schedule and Assignments

are available from the course syllabus web page (http://www.oswego.edu/~dfoulger/Organizational/semesterSyllabus.htm). This page will change from week to week as the course progresses and assignments are made.

For your reference, the approved department course syllabus has been supplied from the course syllabus web page.

Course Overview

Organizational Communication is the study of human communication, including interaction, presentation, and management, within organizations. There are a wide variety of organizations, including corporations, governments, non-profit organizations, religious groups, social movements, political parties, universities, sororities, communities, and families. All are built with people and their communication with each other.

The origins of organizational communication go back before the dawn of human history and the tribes that formed the first real human organizations to pack behavior in a variety of primates and hive behavior in bees, ants, and other organizms. Human organizations have evolved considerably from the first human tribes, however, and they continue to evolve in response to new human needs, and and new ways of communicating.

We all participate in a variety of different organizations over the course of our lives. To the extent that we spend long periods of times in organizations, it is likely that our relationship to those organizations is likely to change. We will take on new roles. We will inherit new rights and responsibilities. These changes will change the ways in which we communicate in organizations. Even if we make a career in public relations or in the mass media as journalists, broadcasters, our participation with others in organizations will shape our careers and career opportunities.

This course will examine the process of organizational communication as a means through which we work, build relationships, and make the world just a little bit better place to live through effective communication. It will treat organizations as ecologies in which multiple communication media and other systems are used in complementary ways to achieve organizational goals.


Eisenberg, Eric M. and H. L. Goodall, Jr. Organizational Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint: Third Edition. Bedford/St. Martins Press; 2001.

Taylor, James R., Carole Groleau, Lorna Heaton, and Elizabeth Van Every. The Computerization of Work: A Communication Perspective. Sage; 2001.


Assignment Weight Description
Mid-Term Exam 12% Classic Question and Answer testing, conducted in the middle of the semester. Covers all of the material up until mid-term.
Final Exam 18% Classic Question and Answer testing, conducted at the end of the semester. Covers all of the material covered in the course, including classroom material and book material.
Group Presentation 20% A group research project culminating in a scheduled group presentation. Here are the groups. The group project is due on March 20.
Index Card Reports 10% Index card assignments entail doing a small assignment involving thought or observation, but with the restriction that the output of the assignment (your answer or observation) must fit on one side of a 3x5 card. There will be approximately 15-25 such assignments, each worth between .4 and .66 (10/25 - 10/15). These will not be graded. Simply turning them in on time nets the points, but deductions will be taken if it is obvious that a particular assignment wasn't taken seriously. Index Card Assignments will frequently be used in the course of class discussions.
Term Paper 30% A research paper.
Participation 10% You get this just for showing up prepared at a rate of about .21 (10/45) per class. I will deduct if it is obvious that you were not prepared (e.g. had not done the reading or completed the assignment) on a given day.
Total Grade (based on above) 100%  
Effort Bonus Up to 10% An optional addition, based on good and enthusiastic participation, interest in subject matter, etc. There is no guarantee I will give any of these points to anyone.