Syllabus for MAN-376



Leadership Communication is an introduction to the study and practice of leadership from a communication perspective. The course focuses particularly on understanding leading as a symbolic process. Students examine communication concepts and skills that will increase their effectiveness as leaders in a variety of leadership contexts: small group, organization, community, and society. Students also learn how to deal with issues of culture, gender, and ethics, as well as how to handle crises and participate in leader development. The course provides the opportunity for students to assess their leadership communication styles, behavior, and skills as well as apply course concepts to real-world settings.


After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of leadership communication theories and concepts.
  2. Differentiate between leadership communication styles in group, organizational, and public communication contexts.
  3. Analyze the role of communication in promoting diversity, ethical behavior, and developing leaders.
  4. Assess your own leadership (and followership) styles and behaviors.
  5. Devise strategies for improving your leadership and followership skills.
  6. Demonstrate written communication competency.
  7. Apply leadership style to real world settings.


You will need the following textbook to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

ISBN-13: 978-1478602590


Leadership Communication is a three-credit online course, consisting of seven modules. Modules include: objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums and case analysis group activities and to complete writing assignments (Application/Analysis Papers and Self-Assessment Exercises), module quizzes, and a Final Project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum, Leadership Communication requires you to participate in weekly graded class discussions—in some weeks there are two topics and in others just one.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings, and concepts as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums). Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Meaningful participation in online discussions is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation.

Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement.

Deadlines for posting responses to the discussion questions are given in the Course Calendar.

A rubric for discussions is available in the Evaluation Rubrics folder of the course website.

Case Analysis Group Activities

You will be assigned to a team that will analyze three cases from the text using chapter concepts.

Group Case Analyses (3)

Your team will work together to come up with answers to intermediate questions as well as a final question about each case study. The quality and accuracy of answers to the discussion questions will be evaluated. High-quality responses reflect careful thought, are thorough, and integrate chapter concepts into the analysis. Clarity of writing as well grammar, spelling, and punctuation will be factored into the grade for each case. (Instructions for completing this activity can be found in the individual activities.)

Group Process Analysis

After submitting answers to the final case analysis, you will analyze and evaluate your team’s interaction over the course of the semester. In your analysis:

Your group process evaluation will be assessed on the quality of the description and the analysis of your team’s process, as well as on demonstration that leadership and group process concepts were applied. Clarity of writing, grammar, spelling, and punctuation will also be factored into the grade.

Percentage of Grade

Taken together the three case analyses and the group process analysis will count for 20% of your final grade (5% each).

Writing Assignments

Leadership Communication has several types of writing assignments. Each of these is described more fully in the module areas of the course. However, they can be grouped into the following categories:

For the assignment topics and questions, see the modules of the course. Due dates for each assignment are listed in the Course Calendar.

Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the readings and concepts. They should also adequately answer the questions posed. If you need help in writing, take a look at The Writing Center: University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Also, formulate responses in your own words. Do not merely copy answers from your reading materials. When quoting or paraphrasing from the text or other sources, be sure to cite the source of information properly according to APA guidelines. If you have further questions, your mentor will guide you in accordance with the correct style of documentation.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

Rubrics for all assignments are available within the respective assignment submission links.


Leadership Communication has seven quizzes, one for each module of the course.

Final Project

There is no final exam in this course. There is, however, a Final Project. In addition to the modular activities just described, you will write an in-depth analysis of a leadership communication issue. The original case project will provide you with the opportunity to apply what you have learned to a real-world situation. (See the Course Calendar for the due date.) A full description of this project and guidelines for completing it are located in the Final Project section of the course website.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

Note: Phase 1 of each case analysis is not graded but required.

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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