PUNJAB COLLEGE OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION
COURSE MODULE OUTLINE: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
MODULE LEADER: SIMRAN.R .KAUR,Shilpa jain
E-Mail ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Class friend’s phone no-
No. of total lectures: 50 Marks: 100
Assignments: 3 Internal assessment:40
Case Studies: 3 External:60
Test: 3+1 60 marks will be divided as follows:
Midd Semester exams:15
discussion, writing skills): 2 marks
Presentation: 5 marks
Speech competition:3 points
This is a module in basic communication. It gives the student a fairly rigorous grounding in the
essential tools of communicating in business organisations. The aims and objectives of the module,
together with information on learning methods is given below. .
Course guidelines: 1.
Sr. No Date Topics Assignments Case studies Tests Article
1 Introductory Session (the students will
Introduce themselves to the class and will
be required to speak on any topic in
general or specific which they might have
2 Ice –breaking activity
Meaning of communication and
definitions- Through oral lecture
Communication- A science or art
5 Importance of communication
6 No. 1 2
n failure) discuss
7 Formal Communication
-Types of formal
8 Upward communication
9 Effective communication
10 Informal communication
11 Noun, pronouns
12 Verb, adverb
13 Activity-the students will conduct one
formal communication and informal
communication. Prepare a report on the
same and identify the differences
15 Informal communication E-mail; write
a short note
16 Verbal communication
17 verbal communication
18 No. 2
19 Essentials of effective communication
20 Non verbal communicaton
22 Non verbal communication
23 Activity on non verbal communication
(through the movie on Mr. Beans)
24 Public speaking- students will be asked No.
to attend atleast one lecture beyond their 1
regular syllabus and will have to bring at give
least 10 unique things about the speaker n
25 Non verbal communication
26 Extempore Assignment
27 one way two way communication
28 Sharing the views of the students about
their aims in life and writing a paragraph
29 sharing the views of the students about
what their parents want them to become
in life and writing a paragraph on it
30 Paragraph writing- teaching them how to
place the sentences in order and telling
them the importance of connectivity
31 Discussions on the shortcomings or the No. 2 given
problems of the assignments back
32 Precis writing
34 Precis writing, report writing
35 Debate No. 3
37 Prepositions, articles and conjunctions
38 No. 3 given No. 2
back 2 articles
39 Report writing on Koshish
43 Mst paper distribution
44 Paper discussion
45 Principles of letter writing
46 Sales letters
47 Request letter
48 Response letters
49 Refund letters
50 Salary advance letters
51 Applying for loan appeals
52 Query handling Who
53 Query handling and revision
The presentations will be of 10 marks and its weight age in the internal assessment will
be 70 marks.
The students will be divided into groups of 4 students each and will be given the
respective topics. (a movie)
Each group will be required to speak on the respective topics for 20 minutes.
The students will be marked on the basis of a fixed criteria: material collected 1 mark,
report submission on the given date 2 marks, discipline in the class room 1 mark, dress
code (formals) 1 mark, presentation skills 1 mark, expression and communication skills
Attendance will be compulsory.
Students will also be marked on the basis of questions they ask to the other group,
which requires them to be attentive throughout the presentation day.
Some of the movies are available with me, kindly get them from me as soon as possible.
1. Fight Club – Although it’s a bit gory in spots, Fight Club is perhaps the best movie
through which you can explore virtually every chapter in the book. But, it definitely
shines at its depiction of power, particularly at what it has to say about culture and
gender. You will have two analyses of how each character communicates
powerfully – before the surprise ending and after.
2. Steel Magnolias – This moving movie can serve as a vehicle through which you can explore
several different types of relationships: friendships, close relationships, and
familial relationships as well. What characterizes effective communication in the film?
What characterizes ineffective communication?
3. Father of the Bride, Part II – This movie can serve as a vehicle through which you
can explore communication in the family. Depicted is communication between parents
and children, significant others, and extended family networks. What role does empathy
play in these characters’ actions?
4.Monster’ s Ball -- The close interconnection between culture and interpersonal
relationships, especially the role of racism, is seen in Monster’s Ball, as it explores the relationship
between Hank and Leticia
5. Freaky Friday – This film shows the importance of empathy in listening and how it can
change our behaviours
6. You’ ve Got Mail – This movie serves as a nice vehicle for exploring how e-mail
conversations can differ from real-life exchanges
7. As Good As It Gets -- Jack Nicholson plays a most ineffective communicator — at least
at the beginning — and becomes involved in the lives of a waitress and a neighbour. As
these relationships develop, Nicholson’s character becomes more human.
8. The Mummy or The Mummy Returns – How do these action-adventure films use
nonverbal communication in the sets, costumes, etc. to convey a sense of romance,
mystery, and intrigue?
9. Erin Brockovich -- The story of a woman’s fight for the rights of victims of
misconduct is told in Erin Brockovich. Throughout the film you see how people base their
initial impressions of Erin Brockovich on how she looks and dresses — on her nonverbal
communication messages. Although she is incredibly competent and resourceful, many
persist in dismissing the validity of her arguments because of her flamboyant
10. Sixteen Candles – In several episodes, this movie demonstrates the stages of listening.
11. Forrest Gump – Forrest Gump’s mother practices the art of confirmation and honest
appraisal in her dealings with her son.
12. The Wizard of Oz – This film begins in black and white and switches to color to express
meaning, but that’s just the beginning. Verbal and nonverbal alike both make this movie classic.
13. Zoolander – This outlandish comedy relies on exaggeration of nonverbal and verbal
14. Fight Club – Who we are completely changes our listening competence and the lens
through which we perceive situations and actions.
15Madagascar – neatly shows the purposes of listening.
16 My Best Friend’ s Wedding – The ability to listen effectively influences the plot and
The marks for the assignment for the purpose of internal assessment will be taken as the
average of the marks of all the assignments.
The students will be given the topic for the assignment on the scheduled date and will be
required to submit the same after 4 days. Late submissions will not be accepted.
The students are required to keep a record of all the assignments given so that at the time of
giving the assessment no confusion is created.
Assignment No. 1:
Write a note on Non verbal communication
Assignment No. 2:
Write a precise note on, at what position they will be, in their life 10 years down the lane
E-Assignment: This is a kind of assign which the students will be required to give through the
net (respective yahoo Id's)
The feedback and the marks for the same will be sent to the students through the e-mail
Topic for e-assignment:
Write a note on informal communication ( likely to be changed)
The case studies as said above help the students to have a better understanding of the topics of
economics and understand their application in the practical world.
The class will be divided into groups of two each and the case study will be discussed.
The marks will be allocated to the students on the basis on the basis of their participation
The students will be given the case studies in advance. The students are expected to have a copy of
the same on the date of discussion.
SOME CASES HAVE BEEN ATTACHED THE REST WILL BE GIVEN TO THE STUDENTS
IN THE CLASS.
1. Communication Complication
2. Missing Briefcase
3. A True Tale of a Case Interview
4. T he Farewell Speech Gone Bad
5. Goodwill Cor poration ltd
6. Missing Briefcase(suggested)
The students will be given the articles and the house will be open for discussions. The basic
motive for the article discussion is to keep the students updated with the latest news and
OUT OF THE BOX ACTIVITY:
This activity is held for the purpose of making the students aware and knowledgeable about the
topics not from the syllabus:
-The students will be divided into groups of 4 each and will be asked to visit any institutes teaching
spoken English. The students will have to interview the concerned and inquire about the procedure
as to how to become a part of the institute and how will it be beneficial for them. The students will
be required to prepare a report.
− Public speaking
The students will get the benefit of attending a lecture by any guest who will be renound in the field
of language and in the same subject.
Attendance for the same will be must and will carry weight age of marks.
A copy of the syllabus given by the university is also attached along with, for the ready
and easy references of the students.
Business communication: Varinder Kumar and Bodh Raj(Indian author)
Business communication: Monipolly, Shirley Taylor(changes)
Hope to have a nice semester with you!
A True Tale of a Case Interview Gone Bad
Job-seekers true story
I 'he following is the sad but-true story of what went wrong in a case interview. The narrator was .1 liberal-
arts graduate in political science who worked for a short and unhappy time after graduation as a financial
consultant and aspired f () a position in management consulting. He was interviewed at McKinsey and
Company. The names in the story have been changed.
It was the third week in February on a gloomy gray morning, and I sneaked out of the office and
away from the phones, to which I was chained, under the guise of a personal business appointment. I
raced to my car, trying perhaps to create a physical excuse for my rapid pulse. Carefully
maneuvering around the droop in the ceiling, I shut myself in my dingy red '85 Nissan 200, and with
a tentative glance at my leaking sunroof, I was off to be interviewed at what felt like my only
salvation from the life-sucking, money-ruled treadmill that had become my existence. I scrambled in
the mist from my parking lot to the third tallest building in Atlanta, and headed for the top floor. As I
was greeted by the recruiter, I had condensation or perspiration- I'm not sure which-trickling down
my temple. She led me hack to an area with two sofas already accommodating three other
interviewees. That caught me off guard slightly. For some reason I figured I would be alone since it
was the end of recruiting season. Seating myself, I realized I had not really had a chance to
contemplate what to expect. I waited there in the morgue.
All three of my companions looked like the antithesis of at-ease. Had I realized at the time (hat this
was the job, I would have been nervous, too, perhaps. I was anxious all right, but it had little to do
with the company. If I had been interviewing for a similar paying job at Bob's Wholesale Hardware,
I would have felt the same. The Truman scholar from Cali and the Yalie to my left-info I would soon
pry out of them each seemed to be focused on some mental mantra that they were repeating in their
heads. Both looked like they were trying to remind themselves that they were brilliant
enough and also decide exactly, which fine feat they should talk about as their greatest
accomplishment, or use for some clever analogy in their interview. I, too, had considered these
questions, but not knowing what to expect, I figured I would simply say what I believed. Probably,
my biggest mistake.
I was surprised at how tight-lipped everyone seemed to be during those few anxious minutes on the
couches. I casually sparked up a little conversation and learned that each person was there for a final
day-long round of interviews. They kept looking at me with a strange tilt, as if they were sending me
telepathic messages saying, 'what are you doing!? Don't you know this is MCKINSEY??!!! They
could hold this stuff against us!' One by one, they were led off, leaving me alone on the couch for a
few uncertain minutes. Finally, I was greeted by a young woman in her late 20s and pregnant. I will
call her Mandy for the sake of this anecdote. She was welcoming, and we chatted as she led me to a
narrow little station where we could talk. I found Mandy to be warm, personable, and helpful. She
put me at ease in what I realized was a completely unknown environment. She asked me several
'interview-type' questions, but her tone was always helpful and inquisitive.
I think I made three mistakes during this interview: (a) I felt as though I was always trying to give
some nebulous right answer and failing short.
I had difficulty being concise because my nerves were so shot, and I think my stammering did not
help. (b) When she asked a question about where I saw myself in 10 years, I gave a very honest
and unusual answer about how people create stress for themselves trying to plan and not being able
to be flexible. I instead gave goals but probably was not as concrete as I should have been. I
wondered if my honesty was appreciated less than a strong goal-oriented statement. (c) Although I
was vaguely familiar with case questions, I was not well versed or practiced. When she asked me
about how to figure out how many quarters were in a mall, I knew she would want to hear how I
structured my analysis, but I probably focused too much on that and also got myself caught in my
own thoroughness. Had I been more practiced, I could have been more systematic in my approach
and then stuck to my answer instead of feeling the need to add something I may have left out.
Walking out of the room back to the sofas, 1 felt that it had gone fairly well. I had shown some
strengths, found some connections with her (she was human). 1 was not sure whether 1 had done
well or poorly on the case question, but could not think of anything 1 left out. With hindsight, i
could have been a little more efficient and structured but 1 still think 1 did all right. Back on the
couch we waited, and one by one) my 'friends' were whisked away. Again, 1 was the last one on
the couch and really beginning to believe that 1 was an afterthought, at best. Maybe, looking back,
1 should have been flattered, but at the time and under the circumstances, i tried hard to be
amused, primarily to keep at bay the doubt that kept creeping in. When my final inquisitor-I will
call him Ken-finally arrived, 1 heard the hammer hit the nail.
Nothing Ken did or said put me at ease or made me feel like the interview was anything other
than adversarial. 1 also knew that the moment I became confrontational, 1 would lose. He started
out with a series of questions that were harmless enough, but sent me scrounging. 'What was
your most rewarding leadership experience?' 1 told him about how 1 started, at the age of 15,
playing ice-hockey, without knowing which way to hold my stick or how to skate backwards,
and the next year was chosen captain, and the next again when 1 led our team to the playoffs.
Ken's enthusiastic response, 'That's nice, but how about something you did?' Maybe I chose the
wrong thing by giving a heartfelt answer as opposed to an ideal answer, or perhaps 1 just was not
clear in my point of leadership by example. Either way, 1 felt his response to be colder' than the
He then asked me a case question: 'How much does a Boeing 757 weigh?' Again, I knew he was
less concerned about the number 1 came up with as opposed to my process,
but he was no help. 1 asked him all sorts of questions, and he just shrugged his shoulders and sat
tight-lipped until after the fifth attempt he finally said, 'To answer your one question, you can
assume that the seats are empty and the tank is full'. He corrected me a few times, too. 'Now 1 heard
recently that the Concorde that they mounted atop a building near Times Square weighs 25,000
'Tons or pounds?' asks Ken.
‘I thought tons...right???' 1 asked as 1 felt the last bead of self-esteem trickle down the small of my
back. 'I don't know,' helped Ken smugly.
'Well 1 figure the Concorde seats about 300 people, so the 757 probably somewhere around
350-375'. 'Actually, its more like 500', helped Ken again, 'and you have two more minutes'.
I could barely stand up after our time was up; my legs were weak. Ken started down some
stairs, and 1 mentioned, 'I need to pick up my umbrella and briefcase from the waiting area, and
he said, 'OK, meet me at the door afterwards'. 1 did not know what to make of it all, but I was
scared. I could hardly keep the tears back as I headed for the job I so desperately wanted out of. I had a
bad feeling in my stomach. Two weeks later I received a voice message from Ken, and over the next
week and a half of phone tag, I could scarcely wonder whether I was nixed, or they wanted to take
another look. When we finally connected, he seemed to be friendlier than I remembered. It hurt all
the more when he said, 'I've got some bad news...'. I asked why they felt they were not interested, and he
said I took too long to answer some questions and seemed to be unsure with numbers
That hurt. All day long, I rapid-fire numbers and calculations on the spot as a financial consultant. Always
one of the first with an answer. And I have been told time and time again that my biggest strength is being
able to communicate a point quickly. Yes, I stumbled in the interview, but it still seemed ironic.
I bombed out in this interview because of: (a) innocent naiveté about the big players in consulting and
what that really meant; (b) unfamiliarity with their process and what it is they look for in a first interview-I
just had no clue; (c) emotional turmoil; (d) lack of confidence and certainty about what I was doing and why;
and (e) some general bad luck.
I. What were the biggest mistakes that the author made? Do you really think that these are mistakes or do
you believe that the author is being too under estimative? Discuss.
2. What are some of the necessary mental preparations that the author missed and for which he paid heavily?
2. What are some of the necessary mental preparations that the author missed and for which he paid heavily?
Woodrow Wilson once said: 'If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if
fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.'
As Indian businesses continue to globalize in scope and activity, effective communication with
both international and domestic clients and, employers is becoming one of the mast important
ingredients for sustained success. From a young graduate needing to prove himself in an
interview, to a corporate executive wanting to build a strong inter-personal relationship with a
client, to a CEO giving a powerful presentation in hopes of winning an international business
deal, oral and written , communication have became vital elements in our professional
landscape. Sushma Panniker Communication Training Head at Wipro Spectramind, Powai,
explains, 'Globalization is so rampant in India today that you cannot afford to ignore,
ommunicatian. You can be technically very sound but if you are unable to communicate that
knowledge, you end up stuck doing one type of thing and not growing.' To find a job in almost
any multinational today, appropriate communication is necessary. Prem Kamath, former Head
(HR), Hindustan Lever, states, 'It is understood that to attain a corporate job with a company
such as Hindustan Lever, you need to know haw to communicate effectively, write reports, and
put together presentations.'
Tragically, the majority of our youth today not only lack fluency and polish, but are also
embarrassingly deficient in grammar. Even students who have studied in English medium schools
their whole lives are unable to construct grammatically correct sentences. Others grapple with pace,
tone, and pronunciation. This is not just about attaining a British or American accent to work in a
call centre but about expressing ones thoughts cogently and using language properly. Ritu Yadav,
communication specialist and trainer states, 'Today’s youth have either a pathetic command over the
English language or very weak delivery. Communication is wasted if not chosen for the correct
audience-this is what is missing too.' HR and training managers are made painfully aware of this
Sunita Bhuyan, Training Head at Epicenter Technologies, explains, 'Ninety per cent of those
who apply far voice based positions are turned away due to poor communication skills.' Panniker
adds, 'In addition to poor grammar the youth have grave problems with listening, comprehending,
assimilating, and responding.' It is not only Call Centres that are facing problems, as revealed by an
HR manager, 'We face a problem as our employees need to be able to express themselves strongly.
Also, we do not provide language training and so we expect our hires to have communication skills
to begin with.' Ironically, individuals most disappointed by this glaring deficiency of adequate
communication training are the graduates themselves. Namita Khaire, a 23-year old commerce
graduate, needed to work immediately after she graduated. 'I went to aver 15 call centres, and was
told by the last one that I should not apply to any job where spoken English is required. I was so
humiliated,' she confesses. Or take Malesh Dugudu, another commerce graduate who was forced to
work for a meagre Rs 2500 per month as no other jobs were available. 'I went for about 20
interviews but because I could not speak well I was rejected.'
Today, people from all walks of life concur that communication is an important skill for any
profession. As Abhijit Bandyapadhyay, an IT specialist, shares, 'Just having technical knowledge
and no communication knowledge is like having one leg amputated.' A group of engineering
students opine, 'We need English in everything as 99 per cent of the professional world
communicates in English.'
It seems that corporations and young graduates are both on the same page. So why is there such
a wide chasm between actual and desired performance? Why are to day's youth found wanting in
There are two main ways in which individuals develop communication skills: exposure and
education. While global exposure may be available to urban youth, formal training in
communication seems to be lacking.
Postgraduate institution profess that there is no room in their curriculum for a communication
course and that these skills should be acquired at the undergraduate level. Sunil Karve, Founder
Trustee and Vice Chairman of Mumbai Education Trust, further explains, 'Most of our postgraduate
management students come directly from the undergraduate level without having work experience.
I believe effort should be made at the undergraduate level in terms of personality development and
improving communication skills, as at the postgraduate level, there is no time to focus on these
skills. And once these graduates get into the industry, there is no room to rectify their flaws.'
Students agree with this viewpoint, 'Our subjects are not practical. We should learn how to give
an interview, how to communicate---whether an MBA or not, you should know these skills', states
Dugudu. 'Communication classes should be mandated by universities', says Khaire. Neelum
Moolchandani, a tutor from Jai Hind College, MMK College, Mithibhai College and NM College,
states, 'It is frightening to imagine that these students will have to write formal letters and
communicate in the business world. There is grammar comprehension, but no ability when it comes
Opinion on the importance of establishing formal courses in communication at the undergraduate
level seems divided among college principals. Some feel that communication within their student
body is 'good enough'. One principal commented, 'If a person is to be hired in communication or PR
then it is important that these skills are taught. Otherwise it is useful but not of utmost concern.'
The ray of hope, however, comes from certain universities who recognize the need for better
communication and are planning extensive courses so that their students graduate with enough
wherewithal to face the corporate world. Dr Indu Shahani, Principal of HR College, comments,
'Over the last two years we realized that while our students were good at theory, their analytical
and communication skills were not up to the mark. So we took steps to change this.'
Vernacular and English medium students who have undergone high-impact, industry-driven, and
interaction-based communication training at the corporate level, commented that in less than 10
days, their grammar, diction, intonation, conversation abilities, and speaking confidence improved.
Perhaps the solution is for corporate India to come forward and work with educational institu-
tions to help instate such courses. Dr Madhavi Pethe, principal of Dahanukar College, points out,
'We are interested to make a push to improve the communication levels, but I feel that the
corporate sector should begin co-shouldering this responsibility. We need help in designing courses
and want to better understand the requirement of various corporates.'
For our youth to attain a level of polish required in today's globally competitive economy, focus
has to be placed on enhancing communication skills at the undergraduate level. If university
management accepts this phenomenon and begins offering quality training in the first year, there is
scope for improvement. It is our duty as society to create an environment where our youth can
develop the skills they need to achieve their success.
(The author is managing director and CEO of communication consultancy, Fitter Solutions
Source: Nasha Fitter, 'CommunicationMissing Briefcase
Complication', Education Times, the
Times of India, Mumbai, 10 February 2005, p. 33.
I. Comment on the views of Sushma Panniker, Communication Training Head at Wipro
Spectramind Powai and Prem Kamath, former Head (HR), Hindustan Lever on the organizational
L Rim Yadav, communication specialist and trainer states, 'Today's youth have either a pathetic
command over the English language or very weak delivery. Communication is wasted if not
chosen for the correct audience-this is what is missing 100.' Discuss Ms Yadav's views with
special reference to the importance of audience analysis in written communication.
3. What role do the colleges and universities play in developing communication skills in their
4. There are two main ways in which individuals develop communication skills: exposure and
education. Discuss this statement with suitable examples.
5. Neelum Moolchandani, a tutor, says, 'There is grammar comprehension but no ability when it
comes to application.' Do you agree? Justify your view in about 150 words.
It was Saturday afternoon and Reisti was determined to take care of all pending correspondence before
leaving for the weekend. A few days back, he had received a memo from John, a sales representative, which
went like this:
'Last week I made a sales presentation to Riverside Electronics and carried two briefcases with me---my
regular one plus a second one filled with brochures and pamphlets. At the conclusion of my presentation, I
distributed the brochures, picked up my regular briefcase and left---completely forgetting about my other
suitcase. When I discovered the following morning what had happened, I immediately called Riverside
Electronics, but so far they have been unable to locate the suitcase. This leather suitcase as around a month
old and cost $275.70. Since the company policy manual states that employees will be reimbursed for all
reasonable costs of carrying their assigned duties, may I please b~ reimbursed for the loss of the briefcase?
The cash memo is attached.'
Reisti has been thinking about this situation all week long, he had even discussed it with Borde, Marketing
Chief, who has told him to make whatever decision he thought was reasonable. John is a good sales
representative and the policy manual does contain the exact sentence he has quoted. On the other hand,
Reisti feels that assuming responsibilities for such mistakes would not only be expensive bur also might
encourage padded expense accounts. Finally, Reisti decides to do two things. First, he will write a memo to
all the sales staff, interpreting more fully the company policy. He wants the sales staff to know that in future
he intends to interpret this policy to mean that any personal property that is stolen will be reimbursed at
present value only if reasonable care has been taken to secure such property, if the incident is reported within
two working days, and if the value can be determined. Any sales representative can, however, appeal Reisti's
decisions to Borde. Second, because the present policy may not have been sufficiently clear, Reisti will write
a memo to John and agree to his reimbursement request.
1. How reasonable was John's claim? Was the intent of the policy clear? Should Reisti have reimbursed him?
Why or why not?
2. How reasonable is John's interpretation of the company policy?
3. Compose the two documents that Reisti intend to write: the memo to the sales staff and the memo to John.
Format them in appropriate styles.
The Keyboard Syndrome
A manufacturing facility in Mumbai employs three data entry operators who work full time entering f he
records related to production, personnel, and III VCl1tory data into the8 computer. This data is then sent over
the Internet to Brijlax Systems mainframe computer, where it becomes part of the corporate database for
financial, production, and personnel management. As required by the labor agreement, in addition to a one-
hour break as part of the lunch period, these three operators receive two 15 minutes break daily; they may
take them at any convenient time, once in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Otherwise, they
generally work at their keyboards all day.
last year, Rajiv Sen, one of the operators, was absent from work for two weeks for a condition diagnosed as
carpal tunnel syndrome, neuromuscular disorder of the tendons and tissues in the wrists caused by repeated
hand motions. His symptoms included a severe ache in the wrists and ever growing pain in the neck and
shoulder. His doctor treated him with anti-inflammatory medicine and a few injections, and he had no
problems thereafter. However, after a week, a second data entry operator experienced similar symptoms; his
doctor diagnosed his ailment as 'RSI or repetitive stress injury' and referred to it informally as the VDT
(Video Display Terminal) disease. Because the company anticipates further automation in the future, with
more data entry operators to be hired, Ramesh Chauhan asked his assistant, Sandeep Kaul, to gather
additional information on this condition. In fact, Ramesh wants Sandeep to survey all workers in Mumbai to
determine the type and degree of their use and to identify any related health problems. Once the extent of the
problem is known, he wants Sandeep to make any appropriate recommendations regarding the work
environment-posture, furniture, work habits, rest breaks, and the like-that will alleviate this problem.
Sandeep develops a questionnaire as a first step and asks at least 50 clerical staff of the company to fill it. He
then analyses the data carefully and uses it to prepare his final report.
Assume the role of Sandeep Kaul, define the problem of the report and then identify the components of the
1. What are the ethical implications of this case?
2. Develop an employee questionnaire that elicits the information Ramesh had asked for. Include a short
introductory paragraph at the top of the questionnaire explaining the purpose of the study and giving any
3. Considering the findings from your questionnaire and the secondary sources, what does all this
information mean in terms of your problem statement?
4. Prepare a recommendation report. Include an executive summary, use formal language for the body of the
report, organize the body by criteria, and place the recommendations and conclusions at the end.
Goodwill Corporation ltd
The president of Goodwill Corporation Ltd., Mr. Abhishek Mukherji, wanted to facilitate
upward communication. He believed an open-door policy was a good option. He
announced that his own door was open to all employees and encouraged senior managers
to do the same. He felt this would give him a way to get early warning signals that would
not be filtered or redirected through the formal chain of command. Mukherji found that
many employees who used the open-door policy had been with the company for years and
were comfortable talking to the president. Sometimes messages came through about
inadequate policies and procedures. Mukherji would raise these issues and explain any
changes at the next senior managers' meeting. The most difficult complaints to handle were
those from people who were not getting along with their bosses.
One employee, Anand, complained bitterly that his manager had over committed on behalf
of the department and put everyone under tremendous pressure. Anand argued that long
hours and low morale were major problems. However, he would not allow Mukherji to
either bring the manager into the discussion or seek out other employees to confirm the
complaint. Although Mukherji suspected that Anand might be right, he could not let the
matter lie and said, 'Have you considered leaving the company?' This made Anand realize
that a meeting with his immediate boss was unavoidable.
Before the three-party meeting, Mukherji contacted Anand's manager and explained
what was going on. He insisted that the manager come to the meeting willing to listen and
without hostility towards Anand. During the meeting, Anand's manager listened attentively
and displayed no ill will. He learned the problem from Anand's perspective and realized he
was over his head in his new job. After the meeting, the manager said he was relieved. He
had been promoted into the job from a technical position just a few months earlier and had
no management or planning experience. He welcomed Mukherji's offer to help him do a
better job of planning.
1. What techniques increased Mukherji's communication effectiveness?
2. Do you think that an open-door policy was the right way to improve upward
communication? What other techniques would you suggest?
3. What problems do you think an open-door policy creates? Do you think many
employees are reluctant to use it? Give reasons for your answer.
The Farewell Speech
The farewell dinner was on. The vice president was being given a farewell by the employees with
whom he had worked for more than 25 years. Camaraderie, reflections, sharing of thoughts and
memories, lots of wine, and plenty of food could sum up the mood of the party. The CEO walked
in to join the party and he was soon requested to deliver a short speech looking at the mood and the
spirit of the occasion. The CEO, an eloquent speaker, stood up and delivered a great speech,
marked with touches of gentle humour, about life after retirement, what the vice president meant to
the company and to him personally, how he had reached such heights and yet never compromised
his values, and that his exit would be a difficult space to fill in. As the CEO spoke, all eyes were
fixed on him. Most employees were serious, watchful, and paying full attention. Some were clearly
indifferent. A few proactive listeners, however, enjoyed every bit of what the CEO said which was
quite evident from their body language. Their smiling faces, twinkling eyes, and occasional head
nods, in agreement with what the speaker said, were indicative of their level of involvement and
enjoyment. In other words, they had tuned themselves to whatever the CEO was saying. However,
midway through his speech, the CEO sensed that his speech was becoming a little too stretched; he
cut short his speech and wished the vice president all the good health and peace.
1. What has happened here? Explain.
2. Did everybody receive the message the same way? Why?
3. How should a CEO approach his speech preparation for such an occasion?
4. How do listening skills differ according to place, person, and time? Explain in the context of the above
This first Activity involves you in transposing a piece of information. A supplier has sent you a doc-
ument and you want to communicate its main points to a section of your staff. The staff concerned
are those working directly with the new machinery that is being discussed in the document. This
new equipment is an integral part of a drive to improve efficiency so its successful implementation
is seen as being important.
(Your task is to summarise the main points in the following document in as few a words as possible.
It is a document sent by Supplier X to Company B regarding the delivery of the new equipment or-
dered by Company B.)
(This machine is a highly specialised precision built piece and as such needs to be handled with
care. The Company (hereafer referred to as the 'Supplier') will not be liable for any damage caused
by incorrect usage or failure to follow the guidelines contained in the manual and online help facili-
ty provided by the purchaser (hereafter referred to as the 'Buyer').
The machine must be installed by fully qualified IS0 9000 accredited engineers according to the
specifications laid down in the contract of purchase. Notwithstanding the liability of the Supplier
for any defects in the manufacture of the equipment prior to delivery, the Buyer must ensure famil-
iarity with the conditions of installation and operation at all times.
Installation should be carried out under ambient temperatures - extremes of temperature should be
avoided. The equipment must be stored in the eventual location for a period not less than 36 hours
prior to unpackaging to allow for the dispersal of any condensation that could affect internal com-
ponents. Once this has been completed the packaging must be removed in strict order as detailed in
the aforementioned manual. The power supply is designed for use in UK and European countries
utilising 240v AC supplies. Any variations to such power supplies must be corrected by the use of
suitable transformers at the expense of the Buyer. No warranty can be offered for incorrect power
supplies and the subsequent damage this could cause.)
The unit must be fully earthed and wired in acordance with the regulations laid down by the regula-
tory bodies dealing with health and safety in the workplace in the relevant country of use as well as
any regulations apertaining to member states of the European Union.
The unit needs to be powered up on completing the installation and run for a period no less than 48
hours but no more than 72 hours, before loading appropriate raw materials onto the machine. Intro-
duction of the raw materials must only be carried out following certification of the working order of
the machine by the appropriate supervisor who should register the successful trial run with the Sup-
Periodically, the machine must be shut down and fully cleaned. The period of continued use must
not exceed 27 days in any one calendar month but can be less as dictated by the usage of the ma-
chine. Maintenance must not be carried out by any site employee from the Buyer; such maintenance
will invalidate any warranty on the machine.
Changes to the operational features can be made through amending the software settings. Any per-
son so doing must be fully conversant with M (Mumps) language and the characteristics of dis-
tributed cache protocol and the relational capabilities of the language with SQL.
We hope that you enjoy using this machine and that it adds to the efficiency and productivity of the
Below is a list of different business situations that might involve different methods of communica-
tion. Choose an appropriate medium and method of communication as well as who might need to be
part of the communication and explain the possible problems that might arise in ensuring the com-
munication is delivered successfully.
• Notification of the intention to increase bonus payments for all full time staff
• Plans to consider relocation of a section of the business to India
• Amendments to holiday entitlement for all full time and part time staff
• Notification about a visit to the business by a minister from the Department of Trade and In-
dustry (DTI) on a fact-finding mission about small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
• An announcement of the news that the accounts manager is blessed with her first child.
Plans are being discussed to introduce a new appraisal system for all staff within the next 18
• A minute's silence at the firm is to be held in memory of the victims of a natural disaster
• A meeting is being held to celebrate the retirement of a member of the firm who has been
with the company for 30 years.
• 5 members of a team of 15 people in the distribution section of a business have to be made
• The firm has received a takeover approach from a rival and it looks like the shareholders
• Several customers are threatening to report the firm to Trading Standards officers after they
reported health problems after eating food produced by the firm
Look at the conversation below - what do you think are the elements of the communication that is
going on in the conversation? What can you conclude about the aims and objectives of the two par-
ties in the conversation? Try to look for the subtle as well as the obvious communication that may
be going on in this extract.
• Helen is the team leader for a sales section dealing with the north west of England. 18
months ago, she returned from maternity leave and has since had some gaps in her at-
tendance following a long-term illness of her daughter.
• Her section leader, Norman, has asked to see her about the disappointing sales figures
the team have achieved in the last quarter - the first time the team has missed its tar-
gets in 5 years.
NT: Ah, Helen, come on in, sit down my dear.
HR: What do you want to see me about Mr Thomas?
NT: Just a quick chat about the last quarter sales targets.
HR: Really, what's the problem with them? I haven't had chance to study them yet as they were
only released to the Section Heads yesterday.
NT: Well, I am afraid they don't make good reading: targets were missed by 20% without any ap-
parent external reasons. I wanted to know what your thoughts on the reasoning might be?
HR: It has been a difficult period - there seems to be a reaction to the interest rate rises and spend-
ing seems to have dropped in general.
NT: None of the other regions seem to have suffered like that; are you suggesting that the north
west is somehow different to everywhere else?
HR: No, not at all I am just trying to offer a possible answer to your question, as I haven't had any
time to investigate this in any detail.
NT: Ah - there, my dear, might lie the problem: time. Things have not been easy since you returned,
NT: Could that explain why these figures are so poor?
HR: I don't think so - the team have worked as hard as they ever do.
NT: Hmm, tell me Helen, how does your husband view you coming back to work?
HR: I am not sure that question has any relevance to the targets, Mr Thomas. What are you getting
NT: Nothing at all my dear, just trying to understand the situation you find yourself in. My wife has
always been a housewife, you see, and I don't know how you manage to do everything.
HR: I manage fine, thank you. What I will do, Mr Thomas, is to get hold of the figures if you will
give me the appropriate links to the data and I will get back to you by the end of this week - no, sor-
ry, can we make that the start of next week, as I have an appointment at the hospital for a couple of
hours on Friday?
NT: Well, OK but make sure it is ready for then, Helen. I don't want this situation to get any further
out of hand.