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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Managing Stakeholder Communications (MBA) (CMSE11222)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course aims to prepare future business leaders to recognise its multiple stakeholders, manage and consistently communicate a corporate vision and brand strategy and to know how to respond to crises if they occur. The course will help students identify the complex web of corporate stakeholder relationships; identify potential crisis issues; understand the importance of consistent communications to establish and maintain reputation and trust; devise processes to manage ongoing communications; consider tools to assist in building strong stakeholder relationships; develop tools to help influence the influencers; and devise processes to ensure the effective management of crises.
Course description The traditional paradigms of corporate and marketing communications are being challenged in an increasingly complex global environment including 'wicked problems' and world economic crises. At the same time, businesses must adapt to increasingly knowledgeable and powerful stakeholders who expect immediate, 24/7, often personalised, communication from organisations. If concerns are identified by stakeholders, they can be shared worldwide in seconds via digital media. Whereas in previous generations, businesses could compartmentalise and manage stakeholder relationships, today¿s technology ensures the corporate brand is more a co-creation by stakeholders and the organisation, based on trust, transparency and sharing. More than ever, external and internal communications need to be strategically managed, consistent and timely to build commitment between the organisation and its stakeholders. Business leaders need to understand the dynamic environment, the inter-connectivity of stakeholders and the consequences of poor communications. A clear and consistent corporate vision and brand is needed to build trust. Business Leaders need to understand the processes and tools available to achieve affective communication. They need to recognise, anticipate and respond to potential issues/crises before they develop and create permanent damage. This course will address a significant gap in traditional management education.

Theoretical context, stakeholders, inter-relationships and potential issues.
Corporate vision, leadership and brand; Building stakeholder relationships.
Strategic tools to help communicate the vision and brand.
Day to day management: communications planning process and media management (including social media tools).
Influencing the influencers: investor relations, government/NGOs, local/national funders, banks and specifically key shareholders.
Integrated view of stakeholder relations; Issues and crisis management.

Student Learning Experience
The format will involve interactive lectures, case studies, buzz groups, student presentations; expert panel interviews and guest lecturers; simulated crisis role play and in-class debates.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 30, Summative Assessment Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 48 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Individual Assignment - 60%
Group Report - 25%
Group Press Conference - 15%

For the Individual assignment students will be asked to prepare a written communications audit and corporate communications plan for an organisation of their choice (agreed with the course organiser). Maximum 2,000 words.

For the Group assignment and press conference, during the week of the course groups will be given a specific brief to prepare a press conference for a given organisation, guidance and training will be given during the week from the course organiser and a media expert.
Feedback Feedback consists of oral feedback and coaching throughout the week of the course on the approach they are taking and their individual contributions. This includes iterative feedback on the students' approach to media interviews. Further one-to-one feedback is available if desired. Formal written feedback on summative assignments will also be provided within 15 days of the submission date.

Students will be provided with electronic written feedback for all coursework.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and critically discuss the importance of stakeholder relationships.
  2. Understand and critically discuss the importance of strategic leadership, clarity of vision and consistency of brand in order to build relationships and trust.
  3. Critically evaluate the role of relationship tools such as lobbying, sponsorship and CRM, and how to integrate them in communication planning.
  4. Devise processes and plans to manage consistent stakeholder communications.
Reading List
Roper S and Fill C (2012) Corporate Reputation: Brand and Communication, Pearson, England
Further reading will be provided for each lecture, including case studies.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive and Subject Specific Skills:
Devise processes and plans to manage consistent stakeholder communications.
Recognise 'wicked issues' and concerns pertinent to a specific sector and devise plans to respond and manage crises.
Demonstrate confidence in identifying communication issues, and planning effective communication strategies.

Transferable Skills:

Think critically and adapt to change, appreciating the importance of communications for any organisation.
Build on written and verbal reasoning, communication and research skills.
Be able to strategically plan and communicate, as well as contingency plan, in the context of an unexpected disaster.
KeywordsCommunications Strategy Crisis Corporate Stakeholder
Course organiserMrs Caroline Marchant
Tel: (0131 6)50 3807
Course secretaryMrs Angela Muir
Tel: (0131 6)51 3854
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