MGMT2002 Managing Business Communication - 2018

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Semester 1
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
On Campus

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

Effective communication management at individual, group and organisational levels is crucial in business and professional contexts. This course facilitates understanding of how people manage their communication processes, considers 'best practice' for successful organisational communication and provides opportunities for communication skills development and enhancement.

Topics include the:
  • foundations of communication theory;
  • the dynamics of building relationships and networking through interpersonal communication;
  • the significance of intercultural communication;
  • meanings created by body language and other nonverbal communication;
  • managing communication in small groups and teams;
  • digital and social media in organisations;
  • critical thinking and argumentation;
  • managerial ethics and corporate social responsibility;
  • strategies for improving organisational communication; and
  • organisational culture and communication climate

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

The aim of this course is to provide you with the skills and knowledge to achieve a standard of professional communication excellence in your interactions with others. The course is grounded in theory that has a very practical application in developing and maintaining professional relationships in contemporary organisations in a global context. Through exploration and application of theories and concepts, you will develop an understanding of how you and others manage communication processes when interacting with organisational stakeholders. You will consider ‘best practice’ for managing interpersonal interactions in organisational contexts and you will be provided with the opportunity to develop and enhance your professional, academic and personal communicative behaviours.

Because of the broad applications for this course, successful completion will build on knowledge from previous courses you have already undertaken. You will also develop skills and knowledge that you will use in the application of concepts learned in this and other disciplines.

There are no prerequisites for this course.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeMrRaymond DurhamWest foyer 5th Floor, Business School building – Ref E12+61 2 9385 9779Wednesday and Thursday: 10.45am to 11.45am. Please make consultation appointments by email.
Tutor    Raymond DurhamSee aboveSee aboveSee below

​To meet with Ray for a consultation, go to the Business School, west foyer 5th floor. Next to the entrance to the School of Management is an intercom. Dial 59779 to speak with Ray.

Please use email to contact Ray outside these hours.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

The course comprises four key elements: a two hour lecture; a one hour tutorial; group study and participation, and individual study and participation. There is an expectation that you will attend both lectures and tutorials and that you review the relevant readings for each weekly topic prior to attending classes.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

The topics displayed in this course outline are best explored through active participation and experiential learning, so that participating in this course will be an interesting, challenging and fun experience. Classes therefore, will involve workshop activities, which include discussion groups, debates, simulation exercises, seminar presentations and analysis of case studies. The activities will involve large and small group teamwork. Core topics will be discussed in an integrated lecture environment, where you are encouraged to question and comment on aspects of each topic.

Your prior academic, workplace and life experiences are valued. Therefore, to make this an optimal and enjoyable learning experience, it is expected you will actively participate in tutorial and lecture discussions, so that we might establish a community of learners in a cooperative learning environment. You are expected to individually and collectively reflect on the content and relevant discussions of weekly topics prior to attending classes and take responsibility for your own learning.

Tutorial discussions will be based on lecture content, any additional readings and the text chapters relevant to the scheduled weekly topics. The rationale for these learning and teaching strategies is to provide you with the opportunity of dealing with a range of both expected and unexpected communicative behaviours of people with whom you will interact in an organisational context and to provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully complete this course.

5. Course Resources

The website for this course is on Moodle. Additional course resources to support your learning experience are provided on this site.

Weekly lecture slides and tutorial resources will be uploaded to the website by the Monday preceding the lecture. Please note that lecture slides will provide an outline of the weekly topic but will not contain all the material discussed in the lecture. Other resources, including additional readings, may be uploaded from time to time and you are advised to monitor the website regularly. Also, important announcements from the Lecturer in Charge will be posted on Moodle.

If you have any questions regarding course content, they should be posted on the Discussion Forum on Moodle. The Lecturer in Charge will respond to these questions; however, you are all encouraged to respond or comment on any postings.

Communicating with teaching staff

Outside of teaching hours, communication with staff will be via email. It is important to monitor your unimail address for any messages from staff or announcements from the university. These messages will be deemed as having been received by you when sent to your unimail address.

Prescribed Text

The prescribed text for this course is a custom text with multiple authors compiled by Ray Durham:

  • Durham, Ray, 2018, Managing Business Communication, McGraw Hill

It is strongly recommended that you obtain a hard copy of the textbook, which is available from the UNSW Bookshop or purchase an e copy from the publishers. You are expected to read the relevant chapters of the text and other prescribed readings before classes.. A knowledge and understanding of the text material is essential in you achieving an overall pass grade and will also inform your class participation and discussion.

Recommended Readings

Other texts that you may find useful in studying this course include:

  • Adler, Ronald B., Rosenfeld, Lawrence B., & Proctor II, Russell F., 2015, Interplay: the process of interpersonal communication, Oxford University Press
  • Cardon, Peter, 2015, Business communication: developing leaders for a networked world, McGraw-Hill Irwin, Boston
  • DeVito, Joseph A., 2015, Human communication: the basic course, (13th edition), Pearson, Boston.
  • Eunson, Baden, 2011, Communicating in the 21st century, (2nd edition), John Wiley & Sons, Australia
  • Griffin, Em, Ledbetter, Andrew, & Sparks, Glen, 2015, A first look at communication theory, McGraw Hill, Boston
  • Kossen, Christopher, Kiernan, Eleanor & Lawrence, Jill, 2013, Communicating for success, Pearson Australia
  • Passer, Michael & Smith, Ronald, 2013, Psychology – the science of mind and behaviour, The McGraw Hill Companies.
  • Recommended Journals
  • Journal of Communication
  • Communication Quarterly
  • Australian Journal of Communication
  • Harvard Business Review
  • International Journal of Management
  • Management Communication Quarterly
  • Journal of Management Development
  • Journal of Business Communication
  • Additionally, you will find helpful library information and other course resources.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Each year feedback is sought from students and other stakeholders about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. UNSW's myExperience survey is one of the ways in which student evaluative feedback is gathered. In this course, we will seek your feedback through end of semester myExperience responses during a lecture. Feedback from previous students resulted in the available individual marks for the course being increased to 85%. New topics have also been introduced resulting from student feedback.

7. Course Schedule

Week 1: 26 Feb




  • Foundations of communication
  • Course overview


  • No tutorial this week

Week 2: 05 Mar

Lecture and Tutorial



  • Ethical communication and corporate social responsibility



  • Induction

Week 3: 12 Mar

Lecture and Tutorial



  • Interpersonal communication



  • Ethical dilemma - video case study

Week 4: 19 Mar

Lecture and Tutorial



  • Nonverbal communication



  • Individual, societal and organisational values

Week 5: 26 Mar

Lecture and tutorial



  • Persuasion and argumentation



  • Creating meaning nonverbally - case study
  • Form group presentation teams

Mid Semester Break: 02 Apr
Week 6: 09 Apr

Lecture and Tutorial



  • Intercultural communication



  • Report writing workshop

Week 7: 16 Apr

Lecture and Tutorial



  • Communicating in teams



  • Intercultural business negotiations - case study

Week 8: 23 Apr

No classes-public holiday


No lecture or tutorials this week due to public holiday, Anzac Day on Wednesday 25 April.

Week 9: 30 Apr

Lecture and tutorial


  • Professional presentations



  • Team decision making


Assessment due


Case analysis report due this week

Week 10: 07 May

Lecture and tutorial



  • Negotiating in diverse contexts



  • Presentation planning workshop

Week 11: 14 May

Lecture and Tutorial



  • Organisational communication



  • Group presentations
  • Intercultural negotiations

Week 12: 21 May

Lecture and Tutorial



  • Organisational culture and communication climate



  • Group presentations
  • The multi lingual organisation

Week 13: 28 May

Lecture and Tutorial



  • Internal and external networking
  • Briefing for final exam



  • Group presentations

8. Policies

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Goals and Outcomes

The Business School Program Learning Goals reflect what we want all students to BE or HAVE by the time they successfully complete their degree, regardless of their individual majors or specialisations. For example, we want all our graduates to HAVE a high level of business knowledge and a sound awareness of ethical, social, cultural and environmental implications of business. As well, we want all our graduates to BE effective problem-solvers, communicators and team participants.

You can demonstrate your achievement of these goals by the specific outcomes you achieve by the end of your degree (i.e. Program Learning Outcomes—henceforth PLOs). These PLOs articulate what you need to know and be able to do as a result of engaging in learning. They embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are identified, mapped, taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as outlined in the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is therefore important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the course components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Undergraduate
  • Postgraduate Coursework
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply disciplinary knowledge to business situations in a local and global environment.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify and research issues in business situations, analyse the issues, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to prepare written documents that are clear, concise and coherent, using appropriate style and presentation for the intended audience, purpose and context.
Oral communication You should be able to prepare and deliver oral presentations that are clear, focussed, well-structured, and delivered in a professional manner.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Workplace skills (Co-op programs only) You should be able to conduct yourself in a professional manner in the work environment, communicate effectively in diverse workplace situations and be able to apply discipline knowledge and understanding to real business problems with initiative and self-direction.
Related PLO Documents View the Undergraduate Honours PLOs (pdf)
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply current knowledge of disciplinary or interdisciplinary theory and professional practice to business in local and global environments.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify, research and analyse complex issues and problems in business and/or management, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to produce written documents that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Oral communication You should be able to produce oral presentations that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Related PLO Documents View the Master of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)
View the Doctor of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)

UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Research capability
  • Teamwork
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Professionals capable of ethical, self- directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Workplace skills
Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Oral communication
  • Written communication

The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against these PLOs and graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You could use these records for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website


It is expected that you will spend at least nine to ten hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of eighteen to twenty hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Special Consideration

You must submit all assignments and attend all examinations scheduled for your course. You can apply for special consideration when illness or other circumstances beyond your control, interfere with your performance in a specific assessment task or tasks. Special Consideration is primarily intended to provide you with an extra opportunity to demonstrate the level of performance of which you are capable.

General information on special consideration for undergraduate and postgraduate courses can be found in the Assessment Implementation Procedure and the Current Students page.

Please note the following:

  1. Applications will not be accepted by teaching staff. The lecturer-in-charge will be automatically notified when you lodge an online application for special consideration
  2. Decisions and recommendations are only made by lecturers-in-charge (or by the Faculty Panel in the case of final exam special considerations), not by tutors
  3. Applying for special consideration does not automatically mean that you will be granted a supplementary exam or other concession
  4. Special consideration requests do not allow lecturers-in-charge to award students additional marks

Business School Protocol on requests for Special Consideration

The lecturer-in-charge will need to be satisfied on each of the following before supporting a request for special consideration:

  1. Does the medical certificate contain all relevant information? For a medical certificate to be accepted, the degree of illness and its impact on the student must be stated by the medical practitioner (severe, moderate, mild). A certificate without this will not be valid. Students should also note that only medical certificates issued after physically visiting a registered medical practitioner will be accepted. Medical certificates submitted for Special Consideration should always be requested from a registered medical practitioner that you have seen at a medical practice. Certificates obtained online or via social media may be fraudulent and if relied upon could result in a breach of the UNSW Student Code.
  2. Has the student performed satisfactorily in the other assessment items? To understand what Satisfactory Performance means in this course, please refer to the 'Formal Requirements' section in Part A of your Course Outline

Special Consideration and the Final Exam in undergraduate and postgraduate courses

Applications for special consideration in relation to the final exam are considered by a Business School Faculty panel to which lecturers-in-charge provide their recommendations for each request. If the Faculty panel grants a special consideration request, this will entitle the student to sit a supplementary examination. No other form of consideration will be granted. The following procedures will apply:

  1. Supplementary exams will be scheduled centrally and will be held approximately two weeks after the formal examination period.

    Supplementary exams for Semester 1, 2018 will be held during the period 14 - 21 July, 2018. Students wishing to sit a supplementary exam will need to be available during this period.

    The date for all Business School supplementary exams for Summer Term 2017/2018 is Wednesday, 21 February, 2018. If a student lodges a special consideration for the final exam, they are stating they will be available on this date. Supplementary exams will not be held at any other time.

  2. Where a student is granted a supplementary examination as a result of a request for special consideration, the student’s original exam (if completed) will be ignored and only the mark achieved in the supplementary examination will count towards the final grade. Absence from a supplementary exam without prior notification does not entitle the student to have the original exam paper marked, and may result in a zero mark for the final exam.

The Supplementary Exam Protocol for Business School students is available at:

For special consideration for assessments other than the final exam refer to the ‘Assessment Section’ in your course outline.

Protocol for Viewing Final Exam Scripts

The UNSW Business School has set a protocol under which students may view their final exam script. Please check the protocol here.

Given individual schools within the Faculty may set up a local process for viewing final exam scripts, it is important that you check with your School whether they have any additional information on this process. Please note that this information might also be included in your course outline.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418