Business Communication

Southern Californian International University

San Diego, CA

Course Syllabus

Course Title:  Business Communication

Instructor:  Douglas M. LePelley, Ph.D.

Faculty Bio: Dr. LePelley brings over 30 years of Worldwide Business Experience to this course having worked with some of the greatest company in the world, including; IBM, GE, Rockewell International, Lockheed Martin, 3M, Sun Microsystems, Lenovo (China) and Hitachi (Japan), and many others.  He holds a PhD in Human & Organizational Systems, Master degrees in Human Development, and Organizational Development & Analysis and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Finance.  Dr. LePelley’s international experience includes working in China, Japan, all throughout Europe, specifically, England, Ireland, Italy, Germany and France, Nigeria, Africa, South America, Mexico and Canada.

Location: SCIU Online

Time required by the student:  Minimum 45 hours

Credit Hours:  Four semester units

Course Assessment:

Each student should complete all course modules before taking the Final Exam, which will be transmitted to him/her when he/she is ready to take it. The Final Exam is graded automatically at SCIU. It is the ONLY means used to assess course performance, and its intent is to measure mastery of the course content; SCIU does NOT use quizzes, papers, or other means of assessment.

In order to pass the exam and thus complete the course, the student must earn a score of 70 % on that exam. If the student scores lower than 70 %, he/she must re-take the exam at a later date. Each student may progress through the modules at his/her own pace and then take the exam when he/she feels ready to do so.

Academic Honesty Policy: Academic honesty is strictly adhered to at SCIU. The Final Exam, for example, must be taken solely by the individual student without assistance from any other person. Should SCIU discover at any time that the student received outside assistance from another person or persons, it will consider appropriate disciplinary action. We believe strongly in trust, however, and in the desire of the student to complete the exam honestly and with integrity. Note: The Final Exam must be completed within a period of 6 hours from the time it is transmitted to the student by SCIU. The 6-hour time period between the transmission of the exam to the student and the return of the exam to SCIU by the student will be strictly enforced.

Note: The student should feel free to use any course materials (or other material) as he/she completes the exam.
Course Description:

This empowering class looks at Organizational / Business Communications from three distinct perspectives, and then encourages / allows / and forces the students to begin to determine ‘their unique leadership approach’ to organizational / business communications according to the needs of the business, their unique qualities as leaders, and their personal communication needs and desires.

First, students will review and examine ‘basic of organizational / business communications.’  Here students will learn “what does experience and modern leadership” say concerning the basics of successful organizational / business communications.

Second, students will examine current and recent academic research, including Master Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.  This leaning is to ensure students ‘evolving best practice communications approaches’ are based on real, peer-reviewed research.

Third, students will examine and view modern experts in personal and organizational communications via ‘Web Links’ and ‘YouTube’ videos, with the purpose of bringing out the uniqueness of each student, and inspiring his or her best.

Finally, the end result of this class is for the students to independently conduct a comprehensive and complete personal and organizational communications analysis resulting in the clarification of their own strengths and weaknesses, leading the way for each student to become the best possible “communicator” for his or her organization.

Course Objectives: Upon completing this course students will be able to:

  1. Display knowledge of the basic requirements of successful ‘organizational communication’ approaches and content necessities, i.e., communications must align and reinforce business strategy as well as corporate and personal values.
  2. Evaluate ‘best practice’ options through the examination of organizational communication research – mostly via case study research. This objective ensures that students communication decisions are accurate and valid, as demonstrated through research.
  3. Evidence sensitivity to the unique requirements of ‘communications’ throughout the world and via their own distinctive culture and values.
  4. Create and apply communication approaches that are appropriate to both the needs of the business and the uniqueness of each student.

Instruction / Learning Methods:

  1. Use of online readings
  2. Use of research readings and examination of case studies via academic research
  3. Review of You Tube videos
  4. Application of materials via OPTIONAL skill-based ‘discussion questions’ in preparation for the Final Exam.

Module 1: Understanding the Basics of Organizational / Business Communications

This first module is designed to help in learning the basics of organizational / business communications.  Included are both Online Readings and You Tube videos to review.
Read the following articles:

OPTIONAL – Share your answers to this Module’s Discussion Questions with other students enrolled in the course: (based on readings)

Discussion Question: What do the terms “Clear & Concise” mean to you?

Discussion Question: Why are including “Organizational Values” in all communication efforts important? … or is it important at all?

Watch the You Tube videos: (introduction to organizational communication) (communications and strategy) (how to create a communication plan) (how to implement an organizational communication strategy)

OPTIONAL – Share your answers to this Module’s Discussion Questions with other students enrolled in the course: (based on You Tube videos)

Discussion Question: What are the most important aspects of an organizational communications strategy for you and your current organization?

Discussion Question: What aspect of implementing an organizational communications strategy stands out as most important?  Why?

Module 2: A look at Research

In this Module, please examine five (see pdf files below) academic research Master’s Thesis and or Doctoral Dissertations to ensure your understanding of best practice “organizational /business communications” are based on real research.

A look at modern research in the field of organization / business communications.

Note: All academic research follows similar formatting;

Chapter 1 – Introduces the Research – and shares the core ‘research question’ to be answered.
Chapter 2 – Past and current Literature – a Literature Review – concerning the topic being researched.
Chapter 3 – Explains the research methodology used and why.
Chapter 4 – Shares the answer to the ‘core research question’ – the results of the research.
Chapter 5 – Shares the Conclusions of the Research and the Implications.

Read the following research papers: Pay particular attention to chapter 1 (the introduction), chapter 4 (the results chapter) and chapter 5 (the conclusion and implications chapter) within each paper.

org comm effects morale.pdf

impact of org comm on behavior.pdf

Best Practices for Effective Corporate Crisis Management- A Break.pdf

Organizational Use of Social Media- The Shift in Communication C (1).pdf

OPTIONAL – Share your answers to this Module’s Discussion Question with other students enrolled in the course: (based on readings)

Discussion Question: What research results surprised you in each paper?  Why?

Module 3: The Importance of You – in organizational / business communications

In this Module please examine both internet link readings and You Tube videos to see the importance “we as individuals” have in and on successful organizational / business communications.

This Module provides the opportunity to begin to think through and create very personal strategies and approaches to ensure ‘your uniqueness as a leader’ is expressed in your communications.

Online Readings:

You Tube Videos: (Stanford – effective spontaneous communication) (Tony Robbins on building rapport) (How to speak so people will want to listen)

OPTIONAL – Share your answers to this Module’s Discussion Question with other students enrolled in the course: (based on readings and videos)
Discussion Question: If you want someone to really hear you, what are the best communication approaches to use?

Discussion Question: What is unique about you, that you want to ensure is part of your organization / business communications? … style? … content tone? … values and beliefs? Something else?

Discussion Question: What uniqueness do you bring as a leader that you want to ensure comes through as you communicate?

Module 4: Preparing for Final Exam

In this Module please take whatever time is necessary to review and prepare for the Final Exam.  Note: The content in every Reading and You Tube video presented throughout this course is used within the Final Exam.

OPTIONAL – Share your answers to this Module’s Discussion Question with other students enrolled in the course:
Discussion Question: What aspects of Global & Cultural Uniqueness should be considered in Organizational / Business Communications?

Discussion Question: How will “you” ensure your communications are globally & culturally appropriate?  What steps will you ‘go through’ to ensure effectiveness?

International Perspectives: Even though many of the Readings and or You Tube Videos are from writers and speakers who live and work in the United States, the skill of successful Organizational / Business Communications obviously necessitates a Global and Cultural sensitivity and application.  This aspect of this organizational / business communications course is most often addressed in the OPTIONAL (within each module) Discussion Questions, and specifically in Module 3, where you – as a leader – are the focus of the learnings.

Application: Though the course is measured solely by the use of the Final Exam, the course is very important to the success of everything in a business, and, as a result, we strongly encourage you to begin to develop and apply your ‘uniqueness as a leader’ in all of your communications immediately.

Some ideas: send new style – your style – emails to trusted colleagues to test out some of your communications ideas, and ask for their input.  Apply the importance of “Clear and Concise” communications immediately, and test for effectiveness (again go and ask people what they think).       Share some ideas on how your department and or company can improve upon their communications – letting ‘leaders’ know you care and are studying to improve.

Note: Many leaders are impressed with staff going back to school and sharing and testing out what they learn, … so be open about being a student and your commitment to being a better co-worker and leader.              Let others know you are in school and working to improve.

Final Exam: This exam containing 50 multiple-choice questions will ‘be open’ only after you have completed the course and then only for a limited time – 6 hours.

A passing score is 70% or better.  Note: Most questions contain a ‘perfect answer’ worth 2 points, and a good answer (but not the perfect answer) worth 1 point.

Assessment: A final exam will be given and our fully-automated system will correct the exam.

Numerical Grade Equivalence:

95-100             A

90-94               A-

86-89               B+

83-85               B

80-82               B-

77-79               C+

74-76               C

70-73               C-

0-69                 F

W                     Withdrawn

IN                     Incomplete

IP                     In-Progress

Copyright Policy:

Reminder: Any reproduction of copyrighted material without permission of the copyright owner is illegal.  Such unauthorized copying may violate the rights of the author or publisher.  SCIU adheres to federal laws regarding use of copyrighted materials.


If at any time you have questions or concerns, you may contact SCIU staff at