PS438      Half Unit
Corporate Communications

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ben Shenoy, QUE.3.13. 


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

The different activities encompassed by the concept of corporate communication affect 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.  Future practitioners also need this critical perspective so as to understand better the challenges involved in the development and implementation of corporate communication programmes. The objectives of the course are two-fold: 1) to provide an introduction to corporate communication, here understood as a set of activities undertaken by organisations in order to establish favourable corporate images and reputations with all of an organisation's stakeholder groups; and 2) to underline how a better understanding of key social psychological concepts can contribute to the overall management and effectiveness of organisations and corporate communication.


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 trust within organisations: conceptual foundation and empirical insights, Corporate Reputation Review, 13, 82-97. Hewstone, M.W., Strobe, W. and Jonas, K. (eds) (2012) Introduction to Social Psychology, 5th Edn. Oxford: Blackwell. Chapters 1, 12 and 13); Hogg, M.A. and Vaughan, G.M. (eds) (2012) Social Psychology, 6th Edn. Harlow: Prentice Hall. Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 15. 


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

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 15.8
Merit 72.5
Pass 11.7
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Social Psychology

Total students 2014/15: 62

Average class size 2014/15: 17

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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