PB418      Half Unit
Corporate Communications

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ben Shenoy 


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Behavioural Science, MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Organisational Behaviour), MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc in Psychology of Economic Life, MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology, MSc in Social and Public Communication and MSc in Strategic Communications. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Corporate communications is about the coordination of an organisation’s internal and external communication, with the overall purpose of establishing and maintaining a favourable reputation for that organisation in the eyes of relevant stakeholder groups.  As such, organisations’ corporate communications 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 practice of corporate communications.  The field of corporate communications is grounded in professional practice, and has its roots in a variety of disciplines. 

This course aims to bridge theory and practice by analysing contemporary cases of organisations handling communications challenges through the perspective of key organisational and psychological concepts.  This approach will shed light on how key concepts and theories are having to adapt to explain how modern corporate communications is evolving.


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, 2020.

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

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 13.6
Merit 69.6
Pass 16
Fail 0.8

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2019/20: 36

Average class size 2019/20: 12

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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