Organizational and Leadership Communication

Today’s citizen leader requires skill sets in critical reasoning, research, persuasion, and oral and written expression. The organizational and leadership communication major develops these skills in tandem with the knowledge and experience necessary to participate effectively in organizational, group, sociopolitical, interpersonal and intercultural contexts.

Graduate paths include nonprofit work, law, politics, graduate work, sales, education, health, religion and activism. All courses in the  curriculum are designed to integrate with and enhance Drury’s liberal arts education and CORE requirements.

The organizational and leadership communication major must complete 42 hours of coursework.

All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.

Please note that COMM 211: Presentational Speaking is a prerequisite for COMM 351: Principles of Persuasion and Influence. Students should complete COMM 211 early in their degree program.

Core Courses (18 hrs.)

COMM 211: Presentational Speaking
3 credit hours

Principles and practice of effective oral communication. This course focuses on researching, composing and delivering formal and informal presentations. Topics include ethics and public speaking, listening, research, analyzing and adapting to audiences, message construction, outlining, delivery of message, effective use of visual aids and critically evaluating public address. The course emphasizes informative and persuasive speaking. Designed for students who seek speaking and critical thinking skills.

COMM 215: Foundations of Communication Theory
3 credit hours

Introduction to the fundamental questions, methods and theories that define the communication discipline and communication professions. Students also will survey approaches to the study of interpersonal relationships, organizational dynamics, public discourse, mass media and cultural criticism as well as the history and development of the communication field. This introduction will help students make informed decisions about the focus and trajectory of their study and career.

COMM 216: Multimedia Storytelling
3 credit hours

Students will learn about linear, integrated, and nonlinear storytelling approaches using multiple multimedia formats, including short-form video/animation, photo stories, and Web posts. Students will develop individual projects, one for each medium, as well as an integrated project over the course of the semester. This digital foundations course will expose students to basic video/animation and photo editing, Web design, and storyboarding.

COMM 285: Communication and Ethics
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  COMM 215.  
CCPS - none.
Introduction to ethics in communication studies. Students examine conceptual perspectives for understanding and evaluating communication ethics in interpersonal relationships, small groups, organizations and intercultural contexts. This course is designed to stimulate the moral imagination, reveal ethical issues inherent in communication and provide resources for making and defending choices on ethical grounds.

COMM 351: Principles of Persuasion & Influence
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 211, COMM 215.
A study of the persuasive process in contemporary culture. Students study basic theories of persuasion and public speaking in an effort to become responsible consumers and creators of public persuasion. Practical applications are made by presenting persuasive speeches and critical projects.

COMM 493: Senior Seminar
3 credit hours

A capstone experience for students majoring in strategic communication, organizational and leadership communication, and multimedia production and journalism. Over the course of the semester, students will develop, execute and present projects that reflect the highest performance standards of their major area of study. Additionally, the course will prepare students for the transition from student to working professional (or graduate student) through the creation of career planning and development tools. Students will develop portfolios that serve as an integrated and documented album of knowledge and skills in communication and liberal arts studies.

Major Requirements (18 hrs.) 

COMM 332: Intercultural Communication
3 credit hours

A survey of critical and qualitative inquiry into intercultural communication. This course provides an introduction to the tenets of intercultural research as well as in-depth analysis of intercultural communication competency and cultural criticism. Topics include introductory readings in ethnography, social anthropology and communication studies, and numerous case studies across various cultures. Theories include nonverbal communication analysis and facework across cultures. Diversity issues and identity politics are explored.

COMM 355: Organizational Rhetoric
3 credit hours

What is organizational rhetoric? In short, this seminar answers this question by introducing students to scholarship that integrates rhetorical theories and methods with principles of organizational communication. This seminar is designed to introduce students to the academic study of organizational rhetoric. We will examine organizational rhetoric by focusing on three interrelated topics: (1) how organizational rhetoric has evolved historically, (2) prevailing theoretical assumptive bases that guide academic studies, and (3) some key content addressed in organizational rhetoric research. Additionally, this seminar is designed to help students to identify, analyze, critique, and evaluate examples of organizational rhetoric in society. Students, via case studies and other scholarship, will be introduced to real-life organizational situations and the exigencies that drive them.

COMM 387: Organizational Communication
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 215.
Analysis of how organizations are produced and affected by communication. This course provides an in-depth examination and application of theories, contemporary perspectives and research in fields of organizational communication. Topics include organizational structures, culture, socialization, decision making, diversity, stress, burnout, technology processes and leadership.

COMM 435: Organizational Crisis and Change.
3 credit hours

COMM 435 provides an introduction to foundational principles, theories, contemporary perspectives, and research in the fields of organizational crisis and change. Topics include planning, decision making, leadership, teamwork, and management issues in organizational crisis and change contexts.

COMM 444: Leadership Communication
3 credit hours

This course explores the critical, affective and transformational dimensions of leadership through a series of comprehensive, integrative, and practical communication case studies. Additionally, myriad types of leadership are explored including team, virtual, individual, and organizational. Toward these ends, emergent scholarly and developmental leadership apparatuses are examined through self-assessments, ethics audits, networking analyses, coaching praxes, culture and diversity seminars, and strategic and crisis leadership analyses.

COMM 380: Data Visualization
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 221.
This course focuses on the theory and practice of analyzing and presenting information for a variety of audiences. Students will learn how to gather data from public and private sources, and tell stories with visual representations of data, both in print and online.


COMM 386: Web Communication
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 221.
Explores audience engagement on the Internet, teaching students basic web-design and social media skills. Using media-usage theory as a guide, students will develop an overall online communication strategy and web presence that incorporates interactivity and new ways to tell stories. Serves as the capstone experience for the web communication and design minor.

Electives (6 hrs.)

BSCI 275: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101.  Co-requisite:  BSCI 275-L. 
This course provides an overview of descriptive and inferential techniques behavioral scientists use to help guide decision-making. Emphasis is given to hypothesis testing, to include coverage of t-tests, one-way ANOVA, regression, and correlation, as well as APA-formatting issues.

BSCI 275-L: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
1 credit hours

Co-requisite:  BSCI 275. 
A laboratory to complement Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. SPSS basics are emphasized.

COMM 141: Radio Activities
1 credit hours

Activities associated with KDRU, the student radio station, as well as Internet and web-based projects.

COMM 161: Public Relations Activities
1 credit hours

This activities class gives students the chance to develop creative solutions in the event planning process. Hands-on projects will allow students to develop public relations skills as they use their imagination to solve the challenges of promoting organizations as well as planning and hosting events.

COMM 271: TV Activities
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 226 or prior experience approved by instructor.
Students work with the instructor to identify relevant multimedia projects for Drury University, the Springfield community, and/or DUTV. Students will coordinate studio or field productions and take story content into post production to generate programming for broadcast. This applied learning environment allows students to oversee video production projects from start to finish.

COMM 221: Multimedia Writing
3 credit hours

Provides a writing foundation for multiple disciplines, including print journalism, broadcasting, web and public relations. Students will learn about compiling information effectively for audiences and presenting content through social media.

COMM 226: Multimedia Production I
3 credit hours

Provides students with the basic understanding of shooting and editing digital video. Using their own digital cameras, students will write, shoot and edit videos under the direction of the instructor. Upon course completion, students should be equipped
with basic understanding of storytelling, camera strategies, the importance of sound and editing terms, as well as the skills necessary to produce good amateur videos.

COMM 231: Integrated Brand Management
3 credit hours

This course will highlight the changes taking place in the world of integrated marketing communications – the process of communicating to promote products, services, and ideas. No longer is it just print or broadcast images connecting with audiences; skilled marketers must understand the importance of social media and the power of the audience. COMM 231 will introduce you to the communication tools, techniques, and media that practitioners use to design strategies to connect with audiences.

COMM 322: Media Law
3 credit hours

A survey of federal, state and municipal laws governing freedom of speech and commerce in journalism, public relations and advertising, with an exploration of ethical guidelines for professional behavior.

COMM 397, 497: Internship
Variable credit hours

Interns must have at least 60 credit hours, completed appropriate coursework and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 prior to registering for academic credit. Also, approval must be obtained from the student's faculty sponsor and required forms must be completed by the deadline. Note: *Architecture, Music Therapy and Education majors do not register internships through Career Planning & Development. These students need to speak with his/her advisor regarding credit requirements and options. S/U grading. 

MGMT 301: Leadership & Organizations
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  ACCT 210 and admission to Breech School of Business
Introduction to management of organizations, including strategy, leadership and organizational design. Projects in leadership development and evaluation. The project will include a paper and presentation as part of the deliverables.

Senior Portfolio Requirement

All communication majors, and those planning to declare a major, must keep a file of important assignments completed in communication courses and in the general education program. Items to be placed in the file include any written assignments graded or evaluated by the instructor, written projects, speeches, internship projects and audio/video materials. The contents of the file will be used to develop a senior portfolio, a course requirement in COMM 493: Senior Seminar. The senior portfolio is a reflective document that provides evidence of a student’s learning achievements and it may be used to facilitate career planning, job search activities and/or admittance to graduate study.

Students pursuing a major in organizational and leadership communication may not also major in strategic communication or minor in communication.