LCOMM203-21A (HAM)

Communication Consulting

15 Points

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Division of Management
School of Management and Marketing

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: helena.wang@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

: casey.kennett@waikato.ac.nz
: teri.dawson@waikato.ac.nz

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: nat.enright@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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The purpose of the paper is to introduce students to the art and science of communication consulting. Many organisations identify communication and marketing challenges, and internal and external consultants are utilised to assess the problems, identify solutions, implement changes, and evaluate the impact of those changes. In this manner, communication consulting follows an action research methodology. Communication and marketing practitioners need a strong foundation in research methodology and research methods for assessing challenges and identifying ways of improvement. Otherwise, consulting solutions can be a waste of resources or create further damage.
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Paper Structure

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This course adopts a 'hands on' and interactive approach to facilitate your learning. We learn by riding the bike not by talking about it. To this end, the paper is lectured as a 'blended' learning environment. Lectures are delivered online through short, voice-over power points to provide the basic information needed. Assigned resources also provide needed information. Students should view the lectures and read the resources prior to attending the workshops. Workshops/tutorials provide opportunities to put into practice the information in the lectures and resources. Workshops are set up to build on each other to help you complete the assignments in the paper.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Learning Outcome 1

    Use action research methodology to plan a communication/marketing consultation.

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Learning Outcome 2

    Design a survey, interview/focus-group guide, and observations to conduct a needs assessment.

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Learning Outcome 3

    Develop a training programme or communication/marketing intervention to address problems identified in a needs assessment.

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Learning Outcome 4

    Create an evaluation plan for a training programme or communication/marketing intervention using survey, interview, and/or observational methods.

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Learning Outcome 5
    Communicate statistical and qualitative data in written, visual and oral formats to maximise clarity, transformation, influence and engagement.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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General Context: Most assignments in LCOMM courses are marked for quality of the writing and presentation. That is, a fundamental part of being an effective communicator is clear and competent written expression. This paper reflects this key element. Our goals with this policy are to (a) encourage competent writing practices as appropriate for the study of communication, and (b) develop students' writing skills over the course of their study.

For some assignments, the quality of writing is the primary criterion for marking. For most other assignments, the quality of writing or presentation is important, but equally or more important is the ability to demonstrate command of the conceptual material. For these assignments, a clearly designated component on a marking schedule should be allocated to writing and presentation (usually between 10-30% depending on the paper; 10% in this paper). Thus, students who have yet to develop strong writing skills, will be disadvantaged on this one portion of the marking schedule, but not on the rest. Of course, if the quality of writing is so poor that it hinders the instructor from ascertaining whether students meet other criteria, their writing deficiencies may influence those marks as well. Students are encouraged to seek out support to help them improve their written assignments before they are submitted.

Assignments: Individual 80% + Group 20% = 100%

Rubrics for these assignments and detailed instructions for the the three major assignments are included in the Moodle page for this paper. Description for the weekly assignments are described in this paper outline and will be re-visited during workshops. Please consult the paper outline, assignment guidelines and rubrics well in advance of the due date to ensure the best possible performance.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Individual activities
Average of All
1 Jun 2021
No set time
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Week 3: RQs and Rationale
16 Mar 2021
12:00 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Week 4: Interview or Focus Group Guide
23 Mar 2021
12:00 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Week 5: Survey Questionnaire
30 Mar 2021
12:00 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Week 5: Transcripts
30 Mar 2021
12:00 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Week 6: Thematic Analysis
7 Apr 2021
12:00 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
7. Week 7: Survey Responses
13 Apr 2021
12:00 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
8. Week 10: Descriptive Stats and Mean Comparison
4 May 2021
12:00 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
9. Week 11: Correlation and Chi-Square
11 May 2021
12:00 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
10. Week 12: Intervention Ideas
18 May 2021
12:00 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
11. Individual: Needs Assessment Proposal
21 Mar 2021
11:30 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
12. Individual: Needs Assessment Report
16 May 2021
11:30 PM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
13. Group: Intervention Report
13 Jun 2021
11:30 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Required readings are available in Waikato Reading Lists; link via Moodle. Reference list below (in alphabetical order not according to weeks):

Alreck, P. L., & Settle, R. B. (2004). The survey research handbook (3rd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Chapter 6

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101.

Daymon, C., & Holloway, I. (2011). Qualitative research methods in public relations and marketing communications (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. Chapter 14

DeWine, S. (1994). The consultant’s craft: Improving organizational communication (1st ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. Chapter 6

DeWine, S. (2001). The consultant’s craft: Improving organizational communication (2nd ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. Chapter 8

Hair, J. F., Money, A. H., Samouel, P., & Page, M. (2007). Research methods for business. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons. Chapter 15

Krueger, R. A., & Casey, M. A. (2009). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Oetzel, J. G. (no date). SPSS Training Guidebook, Chapters 1-4 and handouts

Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research methods for business students (5th ed.). Essex, UK: Pearson Education. Chapter 12.

Watkins, R., West Meiers, M. and Visser, Y. (2012). A Guide to Assessing Needs: Tools for collecting information, making decisions, and achieving development results. Washington, DC: World Bank. Chapter 1

Zhang, W., Levenson, A., & Crossley, C. (2015). Move your research from the ivy tower to the board room: A primer on action research for academics, consultants, and business executives. Human Resource Management, 54, 151-174.

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Recommended Readings

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Langbein, L. with Felbinger, C. L. (2006). Public program evaluation: A statistical guide. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. Chapter 1

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Other Resources

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The following will provide more details about action research

Costello, P.J. (2011). Effective action research: Developing reflective thinking and practice (2nd ed.). London: Continuum. Chapter 1 (pp. 3-14): What is action research?. E-book Available: http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.waikato.ac.nz/lib/waikato/reader.action?docID=10443230OPTIONAL (For more background on action research)

McNiff, J. (2014). Action research: Principles and practice (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge. Chapter 5: How do we do action research? E-book Available: http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.waikato.ac.nz/lib/waikato/reader.action?docID=10672732OPTIONAL (For more background on action research)

The following textbook on communication research is highly recommended for quantitative research if you are interesting in learning more about statistics

Reinard, J.C. (2006). Communication Research Statistics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

In addition, the supplemental readings listed below can be used to further your understanding of the course content:

Church, A.H., & Waclawski, J. (1998). Designing and using organizational surveys. Hampshire, England: Gower.
Czaja, R., & Blair, J. (2005). Designing surveys: A guide to decisions and procedures (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge.
Guest, G., MacQueen, K.M., & Namey, E.E. (2012). Applied thematic analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Finally, below is a great (and free) resource on how to conduct needs assessments: http://wesharescience.com/na/guidebook.html#chapters

Watkins, R., West Meiers, M. and Visser, Y. (2012). A Guide to Assessing Needs: Tools for collecting information, making decisions, and achieving development results. Washington, DC: World Bank

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Online Support

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Moodle is used extensively in this paper for links to lectures, communication about the paper and submitting assignments. You can contact the course convenor and tutors via e-mail to ask any questions or visit the convenor during office hours.

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Workload

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150 hours
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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper is required for the BCS. It provides a basic foundation in research methods and data analysis needed for other level 2 and 3 papers.
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Prerequisite(s)

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: MCOM220

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