Media Use in Organizational Contexts


Course Objective

To get acquainted with ethnographic research methods, such as keeping
fieldwork diaries, participant observation, and interviews;
To learn to observe different communicative events and routines with the
help of ethnographic research methods;
To learn how to interpret and analyze ethnographic observations;
To learn how communicative events and communicative routines in
organizations are related to different (online) modes of communication;
To reflect on organizations' uses of different (online) communication
modes to fulfill different tasks.

Course Content

In this course, students will investigate how people in organizations
use different modes of (online) communication to communicate internally,
externally with stakeholder groups (for example, customers). Making use
of ethnographic research methods, students will explore how (online)
media are being used within organizations (to communicate with
colleagues) and towards stakeholders. Questions concerning positive and
negative consequences of (online) media use will be addressed. The
common denominator is that students will study these phenomena in actual
organizations, by approaching actual participants involved, and by
making use of ethnographic research methods such as observations and
Because research topics will vary, research literature may vary as well.
Students will be encouraged to find relevant literature themselves.
General theoretical background will be provided in a variety of
approaches, but will contain introductions in computer-mediated
communication theories and ethnographic field work.

Teaching Methods

One lecture and one seminar (of 2 hours each) per week will be scheduled
in period 5. In period 6, students will work on their own research
project, and they will discuss their findings in a weekly seminar.
Besides classroom attendance, workplaces will be visited to perform
observations, interviews or questionnaires.

Method of Assessment

Two individual assignments (50%) and one group assignment (50%). Every
assignment should be graded with minimally 5.5 out of 10 points. End
grade (average of the two assignments) should be at least 5.5.

Target Audience

First-year students of Communication and Information Studies, in
particular those doing the English track or the
Dutch track .

General Information

Course Code L_AABACIW113
Credits 6 EC
Period P5+6
Course Level 100
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator R.A.M. van den Heerik MA
Examiner R.A.M. van den Heerik MA
Teaching Staff R.A.M. van den Heerik MA

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Seminar*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: