Business Communication 1 - Lesson Plan

Business Communication 1 - Lesson Plan: 1 x 1 hour lesson

A series of 'off the shelf' lesson plans and resources for use in the classroom. This lesson deals with Business Communication and is relevant to the following specifications:

  • AQA: Module 2
  • Edexcel: Unit 1, Section 6
  • OCR: Module 2876

Aim:

The lesson can be flexible in terms of its outcomes. The two events highlighted can be used as the basis for a discussion or can be used for a case study approach with a written response required from students. If the latter is chosen a suggested marking regime is included below. The two events - especially the Rio case - have been well documented and there will be no shortage of additional sources for research! The basis of both cases is that there has been a question about the communication methods used. In the Rio case, the problem could be the communication between the players and the FA - on the face of it the obvious one, but underlying the whole thing is the relationship between the FA and Manchester United, especially given the moves in the share market over Manchester United at that time.

The decision to release the name of Rio, at the heart of the players' objections, seemed to have come from Manchester United rather than the FA! The players' stance was widely reported in the press as them 'boycotting the match'. It could be that the emphasis on this left little room for manoeuvre by both the FA and the players - any solution would make it look as though one or other had had to 'back down'. The subtleties of the purposes of the communication can be explored here - what is actually said may not always be what is meant! The target of the communication is also a key issue, press statements by businesses could be targeted at government, shareholders, consumers and other stakeholders but who it is really trying to target?

The second case seems to be a little more straight forward - surely sacking people by text - if that is what happened - is not acceptable as a business communication practice? It will be interesting if students find any form of defence for the actions of the administrators! The discussion, however, can centre on the method chosen, how appropriate it was and what else might have been needed to engage in a successful communication process. Making people redundant could be seen as a no win situation since those on the receiving end are never going to be happy with the information being given to them. Does this make the method of communication even more important?

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the lesson, students should understand:

  • The variety of methods and media that can be used to communicate information
  • The process of communication
  • The nature of barriers to successful communication

Resources:

Lesson Structure:

The topic can be introduced via the two scenarios given. Questions can be asked at the outset about the importance of communications in a business - who is the business communicating with, where, when, how and why? All these questions will raise quite fundamental issues and highlight the integrated role that communications play in a business. The tasks can be given as a set of questions for students to write a report on, can be the basis for whole class discussion or can be used as the basis for group work.

It is suggested that the tasks the students have to focus on be the structure that informs the lesson activity.

  • What communication processes were adopted in each case (there may be more than one)? (8 Marks)
  • What message/information was the sender trying to give out? (8 Marks)
  • How successful was that person/body in communicating that message? (8 Marks)
  • What barriers to successful communication did the information experience? (10 Marks)
  • Advise the sender on an alternative approach that may have had different results. (16 Marks)

(Total = 50 Marks)

The suggestions for marks above reflect the emphasis on both the analysis of the issues involved and the importance of making informed judgements about the issues that are not merely based on anecdote but refer to the theories of successful communication - highlighting Drucker's fundamentals of communication may well be highly relevant in both instances covered here.