Speech & Communication Studies
Fall Semester 1999

This course explores theories and practices of organizational communication from a critical, historical, and applied perspective. The primary objective of the course is to provide in-depth analytical treatments of issues related to the personal, relational, cultural, group, business, global, and ethical dimensions of everyday communication practices. A second objective is to apply what you are learning to the organization and management of communication in professional contexts through involvement in a Service Learning project.

The course is designed to be communication intensive. This means you will be expected to read, write, and speak as well as to willingly engage/participate in a self-directed service learning project team.

To facilitate the overall success of the course, I will expect you to (a) attend all class sessions fully prepared to discuss the material corresponding to the data on the syllabus, (b) ask questions relevant to course material, (c) engage in dialogues about class and project material with other students and myself, and (d) turn in all assigned work on time (LATE PAPERS OR PRESENTATIONS ARE NOT ACCEPTED) and accomplished in a professional manner. * See Papers and Presentations in your syllabus for more information on requirements.

Class Policy
Students are expected to wait at least 15 minutes for the instructor. After that time you are permitted to leave without penalty. Leaving before that time will result in a 2% penalty for your total grade for each infraction. Absences must be accompanied by official documentation (e.g. doctor, university, etc.). Absences other than these can result in a 2% penalty for your total grade per infraction.


  • Daniels, T.D., Spiker, B.K. & Papa, MJ (1997). Perspectives on Organizational Communication (4th ed.).
  • Gundry, L. K. & Buchko, A.A. (1996). Field Casework
  • Brown, S & Duckenfield, M. (1997). Service Learning Pocket Guide. (can be purchased at the National Dropout Prevention Center 656-2599)
  • Madden, S.J. (1998). Organizational Communication Workbook.

Class Participation ….050
On-site attendance….050
Team Initiative Training
– Ropes Course
Team Participation ….050
(evaluated by assessment instrument)
Client Site Activity Evaluation 050
Project Journals 050
Personal Experience Essays (2 @ 25 points each) 050
Quizzes (2 @ 75 points each) 150
Final Written Report 175
– team grade
Final Client Presentation & Discussion…150
– team grade



Class Participation
Involvement during class is required and expected. We all lose a valuable opportunity to learn if someone chooses not to participate and share their own insights and experiences.

On-site attendance
To conduct a service learning project at a client’s organization you must be there! Attendance will be taken at each scheduled site visit and team members must participate for the entire scheduled time.

Team Initiative Training
Team members must participate in the Team Initiative Course at the Clemson Outdoor Laboratory.
This activity kicks-off your Service Learning Team Project. (cost $7)

Team Evaluations
Each team member will complete a teamwork assessment (provided by the instructor) designed to account for the work of the team, the team members, and the person doing the evaluation. These evaluations will be due toward the end of the semester.

Client Site Activity Evaluation Members of the client organization will evaluate the student service learning team in terms professionalism, meeting contract agreement, interaction while on-site, communication on and off site, and other agreed upon elements.

Service Learning Project Journals Each student is required to keep a personal field journal about what you have done. (i.e. what went right, what went wrong, and any insights you have gained in terms of how people in general and in particular how people in organizations communicate in their daily activities of work). I am looking for how You put together facts, ideas, and experiences as a process of creating meaning based on what you have read in the course text and experienced in the field. The journal should be typed or word processed and free of spelling and grammatical errors. Each entry should be dated. The journal should be approximately 10 pages long.

Personal Experience Essays These two essays provide you with an opportunity to articulate -through written examples – how the material you are reading applies/has applied to your experiences with team members and with your client. Please construct a story – 3-5 typed, double spaced pages -(complete with dialogue, drama) of a scene from your organizational experiences. At the end of the example, provide a two or three paragraph theoretical explanation of what your illustration demonstrates, using – and referencing the dialogue as your primary data.

Quizzes The temptation to fall behind in your reading and mastery of course material has a disastrous effect on your performance, but in a class that relies on teams it also has negative consequences for team members. Therefore, in the interest of promoting personal responsibility and team accountability I will give two quizzes covering reading and lecture material on a regular schedule (see PLAN OF STUDY). These quizzes will have approximately 35+1 questions and will focus on theories, research findings, and applications; they will be graded in class. The team with the h4hest cumulative score on the two quizzes plus the two personal experience essays – will get an additional 2.5 points added to their final exam score.

Final Written Service Learning Report
Each team will submit a written account of its experiences in the field, which will include 1) an introduction and literature review, (2) description of fieldwork activities (e.g. interviews, observations, surveys, etc.); (3) an assessment of present communication activities and practices
(e.g. analysis of interviews, observations, and surveys); (4) summary, conclusion, recommendations

> The written report should not exceed 25 double spaced pages including charts, graphs, and references. Papers are expected to be typed or word processed, free of spelling and grammar errors and demonstrated use of creative intelligence.

Final Service Learning Research Presentation Each team will provide a brief synopsis of its’ written report, with time for questions from other class members, the host client, and myself. Some topics to be covered include: (1) the relationship of fieldwork (service learning) to an education in organizational communication and interaction with the community; (2) the communication strengths and weaknesses found in the client organization; (3) how well the team functioned in the field; (4) the best/worst examples of the field experience; and (5) recommendations for future work by next years students.

Time: Approximately 25 minutes

Presentations are expected to be delivered in a manner consistent with professional public speaking guidelines. For this course that means professional dress, minimal use of note cards or key word outlines, creative use of multimedia, loud-clear voices, eye contact, correct grammar, appropriate supporting materials, -etc.

Final Exam
This is a comprehensive examination covering all course materials with the emphasis on reading. At this point in the semester I expect that students will have a thorough understanding of coursematerial and should be able to reflect their education and experiences in a clear concise manner. The exam will include approximately 75 questions.


Students enrolled in SPCH 364 will conduct a semester long organizational communication evaluation of a company in the Upstate. The project will involve site visits during which time the teams will focus on the current organizational communication practices connected with the company.

To address this issue the teams will interview citizens, company officers, and employees. Additionally, team members will observe communication practices in the host company, the community, and other relevant constituents.

To help the organizations meet their business objectives, the teams’ field research will seek to identify the strengths and limitations that support or inhibit effective communication and the potential skills and practices needed to overcome them.

Project Methodology
Each team will meet with members of the host organization and related publics several times during the semester.

The first visit will be to sign an agreement with the organization about what the team intends to provide in terms of deliverables (analysis, research, and recommendations); the time table for the project; protocol for visits; and protocol for conducting on-site research.

The second visit will consist of a tour of the organization, during which time the team will obtain general information about the structure of the organization, communication issues and practices, and other pertinent details.

The third and fourth visits will focus on detailed filed data collection, which will involve interviews and general observations.

The final meeting could take place at the host site or at Clemson University at which time the team will make a final research presentation of their analysis as well as a short discussion period to answer any further questions the host company may have.

** During the semester, the team will have to meet six or seven times out of class for the purpose of planning, progress reports, adjustments to the plan, statistical analysis, and preparation of the final written document and public presentation.

Assignment Schedule
MON 13 Quiz #1 / Team workshop
MON 11 Quiz #2 / Team workshop
WED 20 1st Essay due
WED 10 2nd Essay due
FRI 19 Complete Client Analysis Due
MON 29 Client Presentation

WED01 Client Presentation / All Materials Due
FRI 03 Project Evaluations / Final Exam Review


Issues and Assignments Reading
WED Orientation to course BUY YOUR BOOKS!
FRI 20 The Organizational Communicator Who Are You??
MON 23 Org Lecture Chapter I
WED 25 Fieldwork introduction / Select Teams
Arrange for Ropes Course
FRI 27 Field Assignment / Team Work
MON 30 Org Lecture Chapter 2
WED 01 Org Lecture Chapters 3 & 4
FRI 03 Org Lecture Chapter 5
MON 06 Org Lecture Chapter 6
WED 08 Service Learning & Fieldwork Lecture Chapter 1 (FW)
FRI 10 Service Learning & Fieldwork Lecture Chapter 2 (FW)
MON 13 Quiz #1 1 Ropes Course completed
WED 15 Fieldwork Lecture / Discuss Client Chapter 3 (FW)
FRI 17 Field Assignment
MON 20 Org Lecture Chapter 7
WED 22 Org Lecture Chapter 8
FRI 24 Fieldwork Lecture Chapter 4 (FW)
Arrange 1st client meeting
MON 27 Org Lecture Chapter 10
WED 29 Org Lecture Chapter 11
FRI 01 Field Assignment I Sign Client Contract
MON 04 Fieldwork Lecture Chapter 5
WED 06 Org Lecture / Fieldwork Discussion
1st client meeting completed
FRI 08 Team Workshop
MON I I Quiz #2 / 2nd meeting (client tour completed)
WED 13 Org lecture Chapter 12
FRI 15 Org Lecture Chapter 13
MON 18 Fall Break
WED 20 Fieldwork Discussion / I st essay due
3rd meeting (start observations/interviews)
FRI 22 Org Lecture Chapter 14
MON 25 Fieldwork Workshop
WED 27 Service Learning / Fieldwork Systems Check
FRI 29 Fieldwork Meeting 4 Guidelines
MON 01 Fieldwork Analysis
WED 03 Fieldwork Site Reports
FRI 05 Field Assignment
MON 08 Fieldwork Lecture Chapter 6 (FW)
WED 10 2nd Essay Due / Discussion
FRI 12 Service Learning Final Report Workshop
MON 15 Service Learning Final Report Workshop
WED 17 Service Learning Final Report Workshop
FRI 19 Complete Client Analysis DUE
MON 22 Client Presentation Practice
WED 24 Thanksgiving
FRI 26 Thanksgiving
MON 29 Client Presentation
WED 01 Client Presentation / All Materials Due to Me
FRI 03 Project Evaluations / Final Exam Review