NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ879120
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1080-5699
Constructing the Organization: Engaging Students in the Public Role of Contemporary Corporations
Bowers, Tom
Business Communication Quarterly, v73 n1 p68-79 2010
In recent years, many professional writing teachers have turned to service learning to achieve a number of important pedagogical goals. In addition to offering practical experience outside the classroom, service learning provides students with an "understanding of the community as well as a sense of their social and civic responsibilities." For many of its advocates, service learning is "deeply connected to social action and democratic practices" and subsequently serves as a way to engage students in understanding how their roles and responsibilities as professional writers are tied to matters of ethics and the public good. In this article, the author describes a pedagogical approach that allows professional writing teachers to achieve many of the same pedagogical objectives afforded by service learning while allowing them to avoid many of the challenges of locating viable pedagogical opportunities outside the classroom. In essence, the writing activities in the approach the author describes offer students the opportunity to investigate the social and civic responsibilities of contemporary for-profit corporations and consider how such responsibilities coincide with the pursuit of profit. Moreover, students have the opportunity to reflect on how their individual values and commitment to civic responsibility may conflict with the values that inform the practices of contemporary corporations. One of the more prominent debates taking place among for-profit businesses in recent years has centered on the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In essence, CSR engages corporations in purposes beyond the blind pursuit of the bottom line and invokes consideration of the role and responsibilities that corporations have in advancing the public good and addressing community and societal problems. Although CSR has found its way into the business school curriculum, little has been done to integrate concepts relating to CSR into the professional communication curriculum. In this article, the author discusses how an online, multimodal case study can be used to address this gap and illustrates how integrating CSR into the professional writing courses can serve as an additional approach to teach students how civic and social responsibilities interact with their professional lives. He also offers an analysis of two reports written in the class to illustrate how the use of the online, multimodal case study offers a way to extend the discussion and teaching of ethics and language use.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A