placeholding image for one-page faculty site

Matt Abrahams - Communication Studies

Speech 70/Bus 80

Com: puzzle

An empowered organization is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success.    -Stephen R. Covey

Fall 2009 Syllabus


Final Grades (posted 12-11-09)

Crisis Management

-Powerpoint presentation

   As we discussed in class, one of the most trying and difficult tasks in business communication is to respond to a crisis.  You are to draft an email that would be sent out to your constituents (employees, customers, investors, the public at large) that addresses the crisis below.  Your email is to be grammatically correct and must use at least one of the crisis response strategies discussed in class.  Additionally, you are trying to minimize the damage this crisis will have on your company and the victims.

You are the Vice President of Public Relations for Up and Down Burger, which is the fastest growing fast food restaurant in the Western United States.  During the last week, several of your customers have reported becoming sick after eating at your restaurants -- at least 350 people have reported becoming ill, 27 have been admitted to the hospital, and one person has died. The San Jose Mercury News just posted a news story on their website that the Food and Drug Administration believes the illnesses are related to a hazardous chemical that is used in the cups your patrons use to hold their drinks.  

Grades (posted 11-04-09)

Sample Business Plan Proposal

Facilitation Self-Evaluation

Agenda Template

Facilitation Group Presentation Times

Case Study Instructions
(1) Down load Case Study

(2) Read the case study

(3) Answer the following questions

>Identify the issues underlying the main conflicts in the case.  For example What is underlying the issue behind the dress code conflict?

>Come up with an integrated solution for one of the issues you identified above.

>How will you know if you are successful in resolving this conflict?

(1) Down load Case Study

(2) Read the case study

(3) Answer the following questions:

>What is the purpose of the meeting according to Abigail?  What do the other participants think the meeting is for?

>Identify at least 3 issues that set this meeting down an ineffective path.

>Using your lecture notes and the meeting pre-work sheet you have in your packets, describe 5 ideas that could have been done to make this meeting more successful.  Be sure to explain why each of your ideas would help.

>Create an agenda using the format we discussed in class that Abigail could distribute prior to the meeting.

Blank Performance Review and Action Plan template (MS Word)


"What is an organization?"

"Do corporations have to be evil?" article

"The brand called you" article

"7 sins of deadly meetings" article

"The rage to engage" article

"Using numbers to manage" article

Course Description
Effective Organizational Communication is a hands-on practical class that examines 
communication and reasoning in the context of effective group problem solving. Organizations 
are an integral part of our daily lives and much of our communication is within an organizational 
setting.  In this course we will study concepts and theories relevant to organizational 
communication and apply these to communication issues and problems facing organizations. 
This course is intended to provide students with an understanding of strategic organizational 
communication -- the ability to analyze a situation, select appropriate communication strategies 
from a number of available options, and enact those strategies effectively.  
I believe that true learning only occurs when everyone is involved and interested in the material 
presented.  Our class will consist of a combination of lectures, discussions, group activities, 
projects, and presentations.  Through constructive feedback, we will all have the opportunity to 
teach and help each other.  I encourage you to use this course to explore and broaden your world 
view.  Please, challenge yourself and explore issues that matter to you. 

email icon Email: Matt Abrahams
phone icon Phone: 408.864.8534

Communication Studies

Last Updated: 4/20/16