PB418      Half Unit
Corporate Communications

This information is for the 2021/22 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 offers a framework for coordinating an organisation’s internal and external communication, with the overall purpose of establishing and maintaining a favourable reputation for that organisation.  As such, corporate communications affects each one of us in various guises: as customers, employees, investors, citizens or, more generally, as members of the public.  Establishing and maintaining a favourable reputation turns out to be a considerable challenge in the complex times in which we live.

This course aims to provide insights into this challenge by adopting a ‘sociotechnical systems’ perspective to corporate communications that examines the interactions between an organisation’s work and its stakeholders.  This approach will shed light on how key concepts (e.g. identity, trust, reputation and power) can explain how modern corporate communications is evolving.  The course aims to bridge theory and practice by analysing contemporary cases of organisations handling communications challenges.


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.


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

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 69

Average class size 2020/21: 18

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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