module specification

MN6055 - Managing Corporate Reputation (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Managing Corporate Reputation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
 
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Team presentation
Coursework 70%   Individual written report, 2,000-words
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Monday Afternoon
Autumn semester City Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module explores the importance of corporate reputation (and corporate communications), what it is, how and why it is managed it, how it affects the organisation’s performance, and how it may be perceived by an often complex group of internal and external stakeholders, including the media.  Maintaining a strong corporate image, identity, and reputation is a strategic priority for most CEOs.   Organisations which enjoy a strong corporate reputation in the market see this as a competitive advantage and crucial to improving financial returns, shareholder value and improved competitiveness.  External forces, often globally driven, can quickly change the way stakeholders view the organisation, often as a result of sudden, often unforeseen and relatively unmanageable forces, leading to destabilisation, leadership change, criticism in the media, damage to the corporation’s reputation, and a fall in market value.  Understanding and managing corporate reputation is complex, as it is not just the responsibility of the corporate communications team, or the CEO - it is the responsibility of all employees.

This up-to-date contemporary Module is a 15-credit ‘Option’ Module at Level 6 (Year 3), aimed at students who are interested in developing expertise in corporate reputation management and associated areas, such as corporate communications, branding, liaising with the media, and responding to reputational crises.

Employability in corporate communications continues to grow (see for example: http://careers.marksandspencer.com/career-areas/head-office/corporate-communications), its international dimensions are growing in importance (see for example https://www.warnermusiccareers.com/categories/corporate-communications), and many corporations see equality, diversity, and inclusion as a key part of their corporate strategy and corporate image, identity, brand and reputation (see for example https://www.btplc.com/Careercentre/lifeatbt/diversityandinclusion/index.htm).
Students will study a range of theories, models, concepts, and techniques in corporate reputation management, will work in small teams to analyse a range of high-profile companies and their corporate reputation management, and will therefore develop their own expertise in business communication and reputation management.

Syllabus

The syllabus uses both academic material (from textbooks and journals), blended with contemporary business media stories, to analyse how a corporation can develop its communications, brand, identity, and reputation, and what responses it needs to put in place when a real ‘live’ reputational crisis emerges.

These key academic theories, models, concepts, and techniques will be studied and applied to contemporary corporations and real ‘live’ events LO1, LO2

Techniques to amend and improve a corporation’s communications, brand, identity, and reputation will be studied and applied to a range of corporations and situations LO1, LO2

Responses to a corporate crisis, which could potentially damage a corporations’ performance as well as its reputation, will be studied and applied to a range of corporations and real ‘live’ events LO1, LO2

Preparation for assignments (i) and (ii) LO1, LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Classes are 3-hour ‘workshops’, and are a combination of lectures, tutorials, academic study skills, discussion, study of academic theories, models, and concepts, blended with the study of real ‘live’ events in the business media.  All course and teaching material is available on WebLearn.  Students are also sent a WebLearn ‘email / announcement’ every week, reminding them what they should be working on in preparation for the next class.  Students form teams early, work on weekly Case Studies, and email their analysis of these Case Studies weekly to the tutor, which the tutor replies to, thereby providing both summative feedback and academic development.

Learning outcomes

1.  Evaluate, using theories, models, concepts, and techniques, the ability of a contemporary corporation to manage and develop its corporate communications, brand, identity, and reputation

2.  Evaluate and assess the impact of a corporation’s reputational crisis, recommending, with the use of theories, models, concepts, and techniques, responses and ways forward to enhance the corporation’s communications, brand, identity, and reputation

Assessment strategy

Students form teams in Week 3 or 4, and work on weekly Case Studies, presented to the class tutor, and feedback is provided – this study method serves as both ongoing summative assessment and assignment preparation.

Assignment 1 (30% weighting) is a team-presentation in Week 8, where students choose a real ‘live’ event where a corporation has a current reputational problem or crisis, and the team presents their analysis of it and solution to it.  Preparation for

Assignment 1 begins in Week 4, allowing the students time to discuss their assignment with each other, and with the tutor.  Constructive and developmental written and verbal feedback is provided by Week 10, allowing students time to use this feedback as a basis for Assignment 2.

Assignment 2 (70% weighting) is an individual report, 2,000-words in Week 12, where students are given a Case Study of a ‘live’ event where a corporation has a current reputational problem or crisis, and the student presents their analysis of it and solution to it.  Written and verbal feedback is provided, following 2nd-marking, by Week 15, the end of the Module.
These assignments, their timing, weighting, and feedback, are in line with recommended guidelines.

Bibliography

Textbooks:

Core Text:
Cornelissen, J (2017) Corporate Communication: A Guide to Theory and Practice, 5th Edition, Sage
See also the ‘student companion’ site at: https://study.sagepub.com/cornelissen5e

Other Texts:
Doorley, J and Garcia, HF (2011) Reputation Management: The Key to Successful
Public Relations and Corporate Communications, 2nd Edition, Routledge
Also available FREE as an e:book via the London Met Library at:
http://0-lib.myilibrary.com.emu.londonmet.ac.uk/Open.aspx?id=324155
See also the ‘student companion’ site at: http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/doorley

Journals:
Corporate Communications: An International Journal, available FREE via the London Met Library at:
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journal/ccij?login=shibboleth&return=%2Findex.htm&fd=inst%2Flom

Websites:
WPP guide to Managing Corporate Reputation in the Digital Age:
http://www.wpp.com/wpp/marketing/digital/managing-corporate-reputation-in-the-digital-age

Palgrave FREE Case Studies and Journal Articles:
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/crr/free_articles.html

Electronic Databases:
N/A

Social Media Sources:
TED talks:
1 https://www.ted.com/talks/rachel_botsman_the_currency_of_the_new_economy_is_trust?language=en

2 https://www.ted.com/talks/scott_galloway_how_amazon_apple_facebook_and_google_manipulate_our_emotions?language=en

Other:
The Economist (www.economist.com) /
Guardian Business (www.theguardian.com/uk/business) /
BBC Business News (www.bbc.co.uk/news/business) /
Brand Republic (www.brandrepublic.com) /
Marketing Magazine (www.marketingmagazine.co.uk) /
PR  Week Magazine (www.prweek.com) /