PS438      Half Unit
Corporate Communications

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ilka Gleibs STC3.05


This course is available on the MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology and MSc in Social and Public Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Students from other programmes may access this course subject to availability.

Course content

Corporate communication affects each one of us in various guises: as employees, customers, citizens, investors or, more generally, as observers of today's world. It is therefore essential to develop a critical understanding of the different practices associated with corporate communication, be it traditional public relations, corporate social responsibility, crisis management or internal communication. Future practitioners also need this critical perspective so as to understand better the challenges associated with the development and implementation of corporate communication programmes. This course provides an introduction to corporate communication, both internal and external and makes use of different social psychological concepts to improve our understanding of this significant aspect of organisational life. It combines a critical perspective on corporate communication with practical examples provided by invited external experts. Both theoretical and practical perspectives are discussed during the seminars that complement the lectures.


15 hours of lectures and 5 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 case study in the LT.

Indicative reading

J Cornelissen, Corporate Communications: A Guide to Theory and Practice. Sage, 2011;; J M T Balmer & A Stephen (eds), Revealing the Corporation: Perspectives on Identity, Image, Reputation and Corporate Branding, Routledge, 2002; Harvard Business Review on Crisis Management, Harvard School Press, 2000; C B M Van Riel & C J Fombrun, Essentials of Corporate Communication: Implementing Practices for Effective Reputation Management, Routledge, 2007. Ashforth, B.E., & Mael, F. (1989). Social identity theory and the organisation. Academy of Management Review, 14, 20-39. Kramer, R.M. (2010). Collective trist within organisations: conceptual foundation and empirical insights, Corporate Reputation Review, 13, 82-97.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 23.1
Merit 55.6
Pass 20.6
Fail 0.6

Key facts

Department: Social Psychology

Total students 2012/13: 56

Average class size 2012/13: 14

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills