Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Department
COM 59700 – Customers and Clients – Fall 2011 – 3 credits
Section 01 – Call Number 13114 – Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:30-5:45 p.m. – Neff Hall 141
Instructor: Professor Irwin
Mallin – Office:
Neff Hall 230E
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 1-3 p.m.
See course web site for exceptions. Other times by appointment.
Phone: 481-6553 – E- Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Web Site: http://users.ipfw.edu/mallini/
I. Course Description: An analysis of key readings on the relationships organizations have with their customers and clients, emphasizing the communication perspective. Students will conduct a brief ethnographic study on this topic.
II. Prerequisite: COM
30000 or COM 32400 or consent of instructor.
III. Course Goals: Upon completing
this course, you should be able to (or have enhanced your
1) be able to apply relevant theories of communication to the relationships between service providers and their customers/clients;
2) be able to evaluate the usefulness of some of these theories for enhancing the customer/client relationship in your own workplace; and
3) have developed an awareness of ethnography as a tool for studying organizations.
IV. Course Tools:
• One required textbook, available from Follett’s IPFW
Bookstore in the Kettler Hall basement, The Bookmark on North
Anthony Boulevard, and from various web-based booksellers:
Ford, W. S. Z. (1998). Communicating with customers: Service approaches, ethics, and impact. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. (ISBN: 1572731419).
• Links to required readings and other important course information will be e-mailed to course participants. Reading guides and other important information will be posted to the course web site. Accordingly, you are required to have an e-mail account and access to the World Wide Web. It is expected that your e-mail account will not be set to block e-mail from me as spam and that you will check this account regularly.
V. Course Assignments: This course will be graded on a 1000 point scale, as follows:
• Tests (2 at 250 points each = 500 points). The tests will cover material in lecture, class discussions and the readings. The tests will not be cumulative, except as explicitly noted in test review.
• Research project (400 points). This project will require you to propose and conduct an ethnographic study of some aspect of the customer client relationship at an organization of your choice. Upon approval of your proposal, graduate students will produce a 10-12 page paper suitable for presentation at a regional or national communication convention and undergraduate students will produce a 7-10 page paper suitable for presentation at an undergraduate research conference. Each student will make an in-class research presentation. This assignment will be introduced and described in more detail in class.
• Class contributions (100
points) You are expected to attend class. Beyond mere
attendance, though, this is a participatory course. Your productive
contributions to class discussions and activities are
important. In addition, brief homework assignments beyond
the readings will be assigned. This portion of your grade
reflects my assessment of your participation in class
discussions and activities and brief homework assignments. Each
unexcused absence will reduce your grade for this component
by 10 points. 11 or more
unexcused absences will result in a grade of F for the course.
All that is required here is that you account for yourself for
each class period, as follows: 1) If you know in advance you
won’t be able to attend a given class, you should let me know
the reason in advance, preferably by e-mail as that provides us
with a written record. 2) In emergency situations where
you can’t tell me in advance of your absence, it’s your
responsibility to account for those absences as soon as possible
afterward and in no event more than two weeks afterward. 3) If
you arrive to class after I have taken attendance, it’s your
responsibility to see me after class to insure that I have
recorded your presence. 4) Leaving class early without
permission shall constitute an unexcused absence. 5) Use of a
cell phone in class for any purpose without express prior
permission from the instructor shall constitute an unexcused
VI. Grading Scale: A = 930-1000; A- = 900-929; B+
= 870=899; B = 830-869; B- = 800-829; C+ = 770-779; C = 730-769;
C- = 700-729; D+ = 670-699; D = 630-669; D- = 600-629; F =
VII. Late or Missing Assignments and Tests: In the absence of extreme circumstances, assignments will not be accepted after the date and time they are due, Failure to turn in an assignment will result in a grade of F for the course.