Managerial Communication


Fall 1996

Instructors / Office Hours / Materials / General Description / Course Goals / Grading / Daily Schedules


Subscription to the Wall Street Journal. Have on hand: one VHS blank videotape new or used, purchased anywhere, and blank sheets for transparencies.
(Required) Business and Managerial Communication: New Perspectives. (Recommended) The Business Writers' Handbook, Brusaw, Alred, and Oliu. Additional materials and assignments on reserve in the Business Information Center and on the World Wide Web at
Reading materials are on reserve in the Business Information Center (BIC) or in some instances can be accessed through the Internet.


The course teaches a strategic approach to managerial communication that can be applied to a variety of situations. Participants have opportunities to master fundamentals of creating and delivering oral presentations, writing letters and memos, preparing graphics, and using and editing standard English. In addition, the course textbook includes chapters on communication practices relating to various business specialties, such as managerial accounting communication, marketing communication, and communicating about finance, which should be useful in other Jones School courses and summer internships. The two credit hours awarded are required for graduation.


Communication skills are a prerequisite for success in business. The Jones School has established specific objectives for Administration 507. By the end of this course, you should be able to
  • Assess situations, analyze your audiences, and plan communication strategies accordingly.

  • Conduct interviews to obtain information and listen actively.

  • Research business topics and develop effective written communication (letters, memos, and reports).

  • Plan and deliver prepared and impromptu oral presentations confidently and persuasively.

  • Generate and use high-quality visuals to support written materials and oral presentations.

  • Analyze communication situations by applying models and theories of organizational communication.
  • In addition, course activities have been designed to help you work constructively in groups and coach other class members as you would coach fellow employees at work.

    The instructor's job here is to help you learn. If you do not understand an evaluation of your work or are having trouble with the course, the instructors hope you will talk with them. Please drop by during office hours or make an appointment for a mutually convenient time. To make an appointment, please try the instructor's Rice office first. If you can not reach the instructor at Rice, you may call alternate phone numbers (see Instructor Information).

    This syllabus may be changed to accommodate students' needs or interests, to accommodate speakers' schedules, to adjust for software availability or technical problems, or for other reasons. Changes will be negotiated with the class whenever possible.

    Section 1 - Driskill
    Communication plan assignment 5%
    Written case 7 %
    AEI case documents 15%
    3-minute talk on corporate culture 5%
    AEI briefing 5 %
    "Nightly Business Report"6-min. talk 5%
    Wetlands team presentation 15%
    Wetlands individual assignment 5%
    Research project 33%
    Participation 5%

    Grading policy note: The Jones School faculty have endorsed a policy of awarding no more than 50% of the students in a course a grade of "A" (A-, A, or A+). The numerical grade required for specific letter grade will depend on the distribution of scores. It is therefore impossible to say with certainty what grade a student will receive until the end of the semester. There are no quizzes, and there is no final examination in this course.
    Sections 5 and 6 - O'Sullivan
    Class attendance, preparation, and participation 10%
    Oral presentations (individual and group) 30%
    Written work 30%
    Research project 30%

    Note to students in Sections 5 and 6: Students will be graded relative to one another. High quality work that meets the instructor's expectations will receive a B+. Outstanding, average, and below average work will fall above or below this level accordingly.

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    Last modified on September 2, 1996