Interpersonal and Organizational Communication

Argosy University
Ed.D Organizational Leadership
Interpersonal and Organizational Communication
Faculty Information
Faculty Name: Dr. Patricia B. Easley
Campus: Chicago
Contact Information:
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.-6 p.m.
Short Faculty Bio: Dr. Patricia B. Easley has over 25 years of experience in teaching and developing adults. She has
personally instructed thousands of teachers and federal, state, and local government employees as well as community activists
in such skills as English usage, ethics, writing techniques, proofreading, career planning, OD, community organizing, HRD,
and environmental justice. Patricia is a facilitator for community-based organizations and governmental entities, and she
provides career counseling to individuals in corporate, private, religious, and public arena. Patricia is a past president of the
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School PTSO. She is certified by the State of Illinois to teach in grades six through twelve
and has taught in elementary, secondary, and higher educational settings. Dr. Easley’s formal education includes a
Baccalaureate degree in Business Education, Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Certificate in Public
Management, and Doctor of Education degree in Adult Continuing Education. Her professional interests include schoolcommunity partnerships, community environmental justice, community participation, and human resources development.
Course description:
This course focuses on a variety of issues embedded in both interpersonal and organizational communication. These issues include
trust, organizational climate, perception, motivation, and the communication process. The course also elaborates on patterns of
miscommunication as these patterns affect organizational communication.
Course Pre-requisites: None
Required Textbook:
Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2008). Fundamentals of Organizational Communication: Knowledge, Sensitivity, Skills, Values (7th ed.)
Boston: Allyn and Bacon. ISBN: 0-205-54595-5
Course length: 7.5 Weeks
Contact Hours: 45 Hours
Credit Value: 3.0
Program Outcomes:
Leadership in Teams: Given an organizational situation, identify strategies to develop, maintain, motivate, and sustain self-managed teams using
concepts, theories and techniques of team leadership.
Collaboration in Teams: Given a case study or leadership situation, collect, assimilate, disseminate, and maximize the views of team stakeholders in
order to reach defensible goals with minimal conflict.
Conflict: Given an organizational situation that requires interpersonal or interdepartmental action, identify situations of conflict, diagnose the impact of
both overt and covert behavior, and develop a plan for conflict resolution using evidence-based methods.
Ethics: Given an organizational setting, identify ethical and dilemma-resolution practices, and make evidence-based decisions that integrate personal,
social, and corporate responsibility.
Communication: Communicate orally and in writing to individuals and groups in a concise, clear, organized, and well-supported manner using formats
and technology relevant to the organizational context.
Motivation: Given a leadership situation, identify workplace commitment theories to incorporate influences and power as a leader to motivate
organizational stakeholders.
Research: Given an organizational need to evaluate and defend its actions or potential actions, select, analyze, and apply the assessment techniques,
research methods, and/or statistical analyses needed to evaluate and defend those actions based on evidence
Knowledge and Understanding of the Field: Demonstrate competency in identifying and integrating the major concepts, theoretical perspectives,
historical trends, and key figures in the field of organizational leadership.
Change: Evaluate the impact of change on organizations, organizational members, and other stakeholders and apply appropriate change models and
theories to facilitate successful change.
10. Global diversity: Analyze and evaluate the involvement of diversity in leadership issues, with special attention to the implications of diversity for
individuals, organizations, and societies.
11. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Achieve personal development and demonstrate positive relationship skills via effective communication, respect for
others, and awareness of their impact on others.
Course Objectives:
By the end of this course students will be able to do the following:
1. Given a case study or organizational communication scenario, analyze the organization’s communication using the functional
approach Program Outcome: 5
2. Given an organization’s level of performance and functionality, evaluate the role communication plays with respect to that
performance and functionality Program Outcome: 5
3. Given several theories of organizational communication, integrate the theories in a manner that is well supported and
defensible Program Outcome: 8
4. Explore postmodern, critical, and feminist perspectives on power and domination in the workplace, and analyze their
implications for communication within an organization Program Outcomes: 8
5. Given an organizational need to establish and maintain positive values regarding diversity, identify and explore barriers to
doing so and suggest approaches to abrogate or overcome these barriers Program Outcomes: 6 & 10
6. When analyzing dyadic communication within an organization, evaluate the relationship between diversity and interpersonal
effectiveness Program Outcome: 10
7. When assessing leaders within an organization, employ appropriate theories and models of leadership to differentiate the
leaders by their approach Program Outcomes: 1 & 6
8. Given an organizational trend toward becoming flatter and using more matrix assignments, analyze and appraise the need for
leadership from all organizational members in a manner that is well supported and defensible Program Outcomes: 1 & 6
9. Given a situation that requires the need to inform and persuade an audience, analyze the personal impact of interviews,
presentations, and the use of technology Program Outcome: 5
10. Given an organization’s need to make an informed decision, evaluate communication strategies and select a strategy that leads
to effective sharing of information, decision making and problem solving Program Outcomes: 5 & 8
11. Given an organization in which conflict is obstructing progress toward a strategic objective, , evaluate the conflict styles of
those involved, analyze the relationship between the way individuals handle conflict and the strategic objective and employ
conflict resolution techniques that are well supported and defensible Program Outcomes: 3 & 6
12. Given an organization’s need to resolve conflict, evaluate individual responsibilities for ensuring successful outcomes and use
well supported guidelines for productive conflict resolution Program Outcome: 3
13. Given an organization faced with a public relations issue , select communication strategies to effectively respond to the issue
and evaluate the effectiveness of those strategies Program Outcome: 6
14. Given an organization’s need to grow and adapt, design and effective institutional learning process, and use appropriate
approaches to leading planned change and organizational development Program Outcome: 9
15. Given a conflict between organizational and personal needs, describe individual and organizational values and choose well
supported and defensible means of reconciling them Program Outcome: 4
16. Given a series of ethical dilemmas, propose actions and evaluate the personal criteria you used to substantiate the proposals.
Program Outcome: 4
Assignment Table
Module Module Topics
 The purpose of
 Underlying theories and
approaches to
Fundamentals of
Chapters 1 - 3
In groups of four or five, discuss the
commonalities and differences in the functional
approach, the meaning centered approach, and an
emerging perspectives approach to organizational
Note: After all group discussions in class, one team
member will report a summary of their discussion in
Integration of
Critical communications
Feminist communications
Fundamentals of
Chapter 4
Relationships and the value
of diversity
Impact of acceptance and
valuing of diversity on
interpersonal effectiveness
Fundamentals of
Chapter 5
1. In groups of four or five, discuss the degree to
which your individual organizations do or do not
use an integrated perspective approach to
communications. Determine if the success of each
approach is related to the type of organization.
2. Using your text and other information resources,
such as the library and the Internet, prepare a
1,000 to 1,500 word paper that compares and
contrasts the focus and effectiveness of the
postmodern, critical, and feminist communication
perspectives. (10 points, DUE 1/27)
1. In a full class round robin discussion (each class
member contributes in turn) identify the factors
on a local, national, and global basis that are
creating an ever increasing diverse workplace. In
an open discussion identify both positives and
negatives as they might apply in specific
2. In groups of four or five, discuss personal
experiences where diversity played a role in
communications effectiveness. Identify barriers to
effective communications that might have existed
and discuss how they could have been overcome.
(5 points)
Approaches to leadership
Leadership and
throughout the
Fundamentals of
Chapter 7
In groups of four or five, discuss where you each
fit within your organization and describe how you
use communications to exercise leadership,
whether in a formal or informal setting. At the
completion of the discussion, a representative
from each group will summarize the group’s
activity to the entire class. (5 points)
Presentations and
Decision making and
problem solving
Fundamentals of
Chapter 8
Prepare a 7 minute PowerPoint supported
presentation to give in front of the class. In your
presentation you will present your
recommendation to outsource one of your
departments (you select which department). Your
presentation will be persuasive in nature. Points
will be lost if your presentation varies from the 7
minutes by more than 30 seconds. (10 points,
DUE 2/17)
Dealing with conflict
Responsibility to resolve
Fundamentals of
Chapter 9
1. It has been argued that the selection of a style for
dealing with conflict goes beyond individual preference
and that style selection is also based on strategic goals. In
sets of small group teams, debate the issue with each
team taking either the pro or the con.
2. Conflict is a natural occurrence in any organization.
In a formal presentation, develop an outline for the
effective resolution of conflict and identify the
responsibility of participants at each stage. (10 points)
Strategic communications
Change and the role of
Fundamentals of
Chapter 10
In small groups of four or five discuss your
experiences with organizational change and
describe how communications were effective in
making the experience a positive one or how
ineffective communications made the experience
a negative one. At the completion of the
discussion, a representative from each group will
summarize the group’s activity to the entire class.
Values: individual and
Ethical behavior
Fundamentals of
Chapter 12
Final Paper. The title of your paper will be:
“Organizational Communications at (name of the
place where you work or a place of past employment
if currently unemployed).”
This paper is to be 4,500 to 5,000 words in length
(approximately 15 to 20 pages) and will include a
title page, an abstract, reference pages, and
appendixes (as needed). The paper will conform to
APA standards and should have no more than three
levels of headings.
In this paper you will describe, in detail, how your
organization uses communications. You will have an
introduction section then individual sections that
describe the formal and informal communications
channels, the communications approaches used, the
communications theories that seem to apply, how
communications flow from group to group, the major
forms of interpersonal communications, descriptions
of conflict and methods for resolution, how
communications are used in decision making, and
how communications promotes diversity, and how
communications reflect organizational and individual
ethics and values. The paper will end with a summary
The paper will be graded on topic focus,
completeness of discussion, use of research and
citation, organization of content, clarity of
expression, and mechanics (APA, spelling,
grammar, punctuation, and use of vocabulary). (35
A note on Assignments: The assignments for this class have been designed to give the faculty member the greatest degree of
flexibility. In most modules assignment options include classroom activity and a writing activity. By looking at the content of each
assignment it is possible to make the written assignments classroom discussion and the classroom discussions could easily be made
into writing assignments. In the case of online instruction, either type of assignment could be made into a ‘turn in’ writing assignment
or a discussion board activity.
Grading Criteria
Grading Scale
Grading requirements
100 -93
92 - 90
89 - 88
87 - 83
82 - 80
79 – 78
77 - 73
72 - 70
69 and below
Weekly Assignments
Final paper
Library Resources: Argosy University’s core online collection features nearly 21,000 full-text journals and 23,000 electronic books and other content covering
all academic subject areas including Business & Economics, Career & General Education, Computers, Engineering & Applied Science, Humanities, Science,
Medicine & Allied Health, and Social & Behavior Sciences. Many titles are directly accessible through the Online Public Access Catalog at All resources in Argosy University’s online collection are available through the Internet. The library will provide students with
links, user IDs, and passwords. A detailed list of online resources is located at In addition to online
resources, Argosy University’s onsite collections contain a wealth of subject-specific research materials searchable in the Online Public Access Catalog. Catalog
searching is easily limited to individual campus collections. Alternatively, students can search combined collections of all Argosy University Libraries. Students
are encouraged to seek research and reference assistance from campus librarians.
Information Literacy: Argosy University’s Information Literacy Tutorial was developed to teach students fundamental and transferable research skills. The
tutorial consists of five modules where students learn to select sources appropriate for academic-level research, search periodical indexes and search engines, and
evaluate and cite information. In the tutorial, students study concepts and practice them through interactions. At the conclusion of each module, they can test their
comprehension and receive immediate feedback. Each module takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Please view the tutorial at
Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism: In an effort to foster a spirit of honesty and integrity during the learning process, Argosy University
requires that the submission of all course assignments represent the original work produced by that student. All sources must be
documented through normal scholarly references/citations and all work must be submitted using the Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association, 5th Edition (2001). Washington DC: American Psychological Association (APA) format. Please
refer to Appendix A in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th Edition for thesis and paper format.
Students are encouraged to purchase this manual (required in some courses) and become familiar with its content as well as consult
the Argosy University catalog for further information regarding academic dishonesty and plagiarism.
Scholarly writing: The faculty at Argosy University is dedicated to providing a learning environment that supports scholarly and
ethical writing, free from academic dishonesty and plagiarism. This includes the proper and appropriate referencing of all sources.
You may be asked to submit your course assignments through “Turnitin,” (, an online resource established to help
educators develop writing/research skills and detect potential cases of academic dishonesty. Turnitin compares submitted papers to
billions of pages of content and provides a comparison report to your instructor. This comparison detects papers that share common
information and duplicative language.
Americans with Disabilities Act Policy
It is the policy of Argosy University to make reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities, in accordance with
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If a student with disabilities needs accommodations, the student must notify the Director
of Student Services. Procedures for documenting student disability and the development of reasonable accommodations will be
provided to the student upon request.
Students will be notified by the Director of Student Services when each request for accommodation is approved or denied in writing
via a designated form. To receive accommodation in class, it is the student’s responsibility to present the form (at his or her
discretion) to the instructor. In an effort to protect student privacy, the Department of Student Services will not discuss the
accommodation needs of any student with instructors. Faculty may not make accommodations for individuals who have not been
approved in this manner.
The Argosy University Statement Regarding Diversity
Argosy University prepares students to serve populations with diverse social, ethnic, economic, and educational experiences. Both
the academic and training curricula are designed to provide an environment in which students can develop the skills and attitudes
essential to working with people from a wide range of backgrounds.