Purpose: This course is designed to help students to better understand the theory and practice of group communication, cohesion, culture, and decision making in group contexts. Students learn how to work effectively both in groups and as part of an organization, which should assist them in both the social and professional contexts.
Example of activity: Students use case studies and field studies to learn about how to apply persuasive concepts to real-life situations. I assign teams of four to analyze case studies from various sources (e.g., Harvard Business Review). Students study a variety of issues that organizations face, and then they collaborate with their group members to find solutions based on the concepts learned during class. For instance, students are told to imagine they are a consultant team whose job is to figure out why Euro Disney failed. Each team is provided a different set of interview transcripts from executives, managers, park employees, or park guests. After reading the transcripts, groups discuss the problem and potential solutions. Each group then presents their solutions to the class, and I provide feedback. Through these kinds of exercises, students learn how cultural norms may affect organizational outcomes, and they can apply cultural knowledge to increase employee satisfaction and motivation.