Topic outline

  • Summary of course content: 

    Week 1: First session (11.1.2023): Course practicalities, theoretical frameworks, and starting the project work

    Week 2: Project proposal

    Week 3: Second session, self-study (25.1.2023): Bad news messaging and sensitive managerial messages

    Week 4: Executive summary and presentation planning

    Week 5: Peer feedback

    Week 6: Third session (15.2.2023): Presentations of the group projects, final executive summaries

    Assessments and assignments:

    The course is built around one main group project that includes several deliverables. They are the following:

    A1: Project proposal
    A2: Executive Summary
    A3: Peer feedback to other group's executive summary
    A4: Project presentation and the final executive summary (50% of the course grade)

    Additionally, there are two individual assignments, one on the self-study session and another in the end of the course: 

    B1: Bad news message
    B2: Reflection paper (50% of the course grade)

    We'll go over the group project in detail on the first session; the detailed descriptions and evaluation rubrics for each assignment can be found from the folders of each week: for the instructions on the main group project, check the folder 'Week 6'. 

    In case you have any questions regarding the assignments or the course in general, please contact Aleksi at any time at Throughout the course I'll notify you of deadlines and assignments with the 'Announcements' tool, so make sure to check that or your Aalto email every now and then. 

    We'll all meet together on the 11th of January on the first session of the course, see you then! 

    Best regards, Aleksi

  • The course is built around one main group project that includes several deliverables, and some individual tasks. 

    Week 2

     A1: Proposal of the group project. Group assignment. 


    Week 3

     B1: Bad-news message. Individual assignment. 


    Week 4

     A2: Draft executive summary and presentation plan. Group.


    Week 5

     A3: Peer feedback on executive summaries. Group.


    Week 6

     A4: Project presentation and executive summary. Group.

    (0-5), 50 %

    (Week 7)

     B2. Reflection paper. Individual. 

    (0-5), 50 %

    Deadlines: To pass the course all assignments must be completed by the given deadlines. The due date for each assignment is clearly stated on the respective submission box. Please upload the final versions of each of your assigments (pdf) by the given deadlines.

    Grading criteria: Assignments are assessed using preformulated rubrics on a scale of 0-5.

    EBC grading criteria: 4.5 and above is a 5; 3.5-4.49 range is a 4; 2,5-3,49 range is a 3

    Please take a look at these grading criteria (in submission boxes) before you start work on the given assignment, and also before you submit your assignment.

    Team assignments: Only one group member needs to submit your team's assignment.

    Re-do or extra assignments not possible: Students are not able to re-do assignments, or do extra assignments to improve grades or make up for absences.

    Class contribution: During this course, we only have two sessions together, in the beginning and in the end of the course (11.1.2023 and 15.2.2025). Attendance to both of these sessions is mandatory, as you'll need to work with your assigned group in both of these sessions. If you know already that you'll not be able to attend one of the sessions, please inform Aleksi as soon as possible. 

    Assignments at a glance

    A1: Proposal for the group project (pass/fail): Deadline 18.1.2023

    With your group, answer the questions found in the 'Week 2' folder, to let the teacher know how you plan on approaching the group project

    B1: Bad news message email (pass/fail): Deadline 1.2.2023

    Individually, you are required to write a bad news message aimed at an internal audience using inputs 2 & 3 (found in 'Readings') to guide you.

    A2 and A3 (pass/fail): Draft of the executive summary and peer feedback. A2 deadline: 3.2.; A3 deadline: 10.2.

    With your group, post your draft of the executive summary regarding your final project on the discussion forum in the folder ' Week 4', and give feedback to one other group on 'Week 5' on their draft using the Analysis of Argument Measure feedback model. Aleksi will assign the feedback pairings.

    A4: Communication project: presentation and executive summary (50% of the course grade). Deadlines: Executive summary and presentation on 15.2.2023.
    The assignment submission box and detailed instructions in the 'Week 6' folder!
    This team assignment requires you to act as consultants and analyze an authentic organizational communication situation (problem / challenge / crisis / change). In your analysis, you are expected to take a strategic approach towards communication and draw on relevant communication models dealt with during the first session of the course (or in the course materials). You also need to make recommendations based on your analysis. Your audience for both the executive summary and the team presentation are the other students of the course, who 'represent' the top management of the organization / company in question.

    B2: Reflection paper on the course (50% of the course grade). Deadline 22.2.2023
    In this individual assignment, you are asked to reflect on your learnings during the course and especially the group assignment. More specific questions and specifications for the text can be found on the 'Week 6' folder. 

  • Not available unless any of:
    • You are a(n) Teacher
    • You are a(n) Student

    Here you'll find lecturer inputs and articles that you may find useful in your project.

    NB. Harvard Business Review does not allow its articles to be linked directly into any learning environments. Therefore, you have to access most HBR articles through Aalto library / e-journals.

    7 lecturer inputs

    1. Competing Values Communication Framework (CVCF)
    2. Strategic Contingency Model
    3. Persuasive writing: communicating sensitive information
    4. Reader-focused business writing
    5. Writing an executive summary
    6. Essentials of effective slide design
    7. Preparing an effective recommendation presentation

    Additional elective readings

    1. Rogers (2003), Building a case and arguing with sophistication 
    2. Yates, J. (2009), Active listening 
    3. Munter, M. (2007), Q and A sessions 
    4. Jaques, T. (2007), Issue Management and Crisis Management: An Integrated, Non-linear, Relational Construct

  • We meet for the first time on Wednesday, 11th of January, at 13.15 in the class U1 - U154 in Kandikeskus. 

    During the first session, we'll go over the course practicalities, the key theoretical concepts and frameworks, and get to know each other a little bit and divide into groups. Importantly, this session will function as a kick-starter for the project around which the course is built, so attendance for this session is mandatory. 

    The slides from the first week's session will be uploaded here after the session. 
  • During the second week of the course, you're expected to submit a proposal for your group work project.

    Please place your project proposal in the submission box below.

    You'll find all the details about this final group assignment in the 'Assignments' folder.

    Your project proposal should answer the following questions:

    1. What communication situation have you chosen? Why?

    2. What spoken / written messages were involved overall?

    3. Which messages have you chosen to focus on specifically? Why?

    4. What primary (original) data sources will you use (survey, interview..)?

    5. What analytical frameworks do you intend to use to help you analyse the communication situation / messages that you've chosen: Competing Values Communicaion Framework (CVCF), Strategic Contingency Model (SCM), Bad News Messaging (BNM), Claim Data Warrant (CDW)?

    6. How have you divided up your teamwork?

    You submit your answers in a form you deem suitable, e.g. in a Word file, in a Powerpoint slide, as a video entry etc.

  • On Week 3, the second 'session' of the course is organized in the form of self-study. I will not be able to be there with you in class, and thus this topic will be covered with readings and a related assignment B1 on 'Bad News Messaging'.

    In addition to the readings below, please check the 'Readings' folder for readings 3 and 4, that you may find useful in constructing your text. 

    Below you'll find the assignment; as the assignment substitutes the second session of the course, it will be graded either pass or fail. 
  • During week 4, you need to submit a draft executive summary of your project (and a draft/ a structure for your final presentation in case you wish to receive feedback on it). The deadline for submitting the first draft of your executive summary is on Friday 3rd of February, 11.59PM.

    Post your draft to the forum down below, and please name your post clearly with the group number, so that the other group giving feedback will find it easily.
    Aleksi will assign the feedback group pairings during this week. 

    For further information on writing the executive summary, please check the reading 5, in the 'Readings' folder.

    Next week, you'll give feedback to another group, and in turn, receive feedback from a group about your executive summary. The deadline for the final version of the executive summary is on Week 6, the final week of the course. 

  • Not available unless: You are a(n) Student

    Last week each group submitted their group's draft of the executive summary; during week 5 of the course, you are expected to give feedback to another group's draft ES, by replying to their forum post in the Week 4 folder. Please post your feedback before Friday the 10th of February, so that the group receiving the feedback has time to react and make changes based on your suggestions.

    You'll find the group pairings below (Aleksi will assign the feedback pairs); every group is expected to give feedback to one other group's draft executive summary, and receive feedback back from the other group respectively. 

    Pairings for giving feedback to executive summary drafts: 

    Group 1 and Group 12

    Group 2 and Group 15

    Group 3 and Group 4

    Group 5 and Group 6

    Group 7 and Group 14

    Group 8 and Group 13

    Group 10 and Group 16

    To formulate your feedback, use the 'Analysis of Argument Measure' (available in the 'Week 4' folder in MyCourses) as the framework. In the executive summary, look for Claims, Data, and Warrants, and use them as your starting point. Also comment on the reader adaptation and the document design. More detailed information on this can be found on the aforementioned PowerPoint document. 

  • In Week 6, the groups come together to present their projects and thus their analysis and recommendations to communication situations. 

    We'll meet in two classrooms, Y228a or U356 depending on your group from 13.15 until 16.00. More information on this closer to the date. 

    Room Y228a (with Siddhant Ritwick): Groups 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 12, and 15; 

    Room U356 (with Aleksi): Groups 3, 4, 7, 10, 13, 14, and 16.