2171 Key Concepts in International Business Communication
Dr. Susanne Kopf
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/22/21 to 09/26/21
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Friday 10/01/21 01:30 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.10
Thursday 10/14/21 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM TC.5.04
Friday 10/15/21 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM TC.4.02
Thursday 10/21/21 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM D2.0.326
Friday 10/22/21 09:00 AM - 11:30 AM D2.0.326
Thursday 10/28/21 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.10
Friday 10/29/21 09:00 AM - 11:30 AM EA.5.040
Thursday 11/04/21 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.12
Friday 11/05/21 09:00 AM - 11:30 AM EA.5.040

The course introduces students to the study of international business communication. Grounded firmly in both linguistics and organisational discourse studies, the approach we will take is interdisciplinary, reflexive and critical. The questions to be addressed include the following: What does it mean, in both theoretical and practical terms, to look at management and organisation from a language and communication perspective? How can adopting such a vantage point contribute to managerial effectiveness in international settings? What mindset, knowledge and tools do researchers and practitioners need to understand and improve communication processes?

Learning outcomes

The overall aim of the course is to lay the conceptual and methodological groundwork for the Spezialisierung. Having attended and successfully passed the course, students will be able to:

  • Appreciate the key role played by language and communication in management and organisational life.
  • Recognise the relevance of linguistic choices for attaining communicative goals in international settings.
  • Explain what adopting a critical stance towards language and communication means in the context of management and organisation.
  • Recognise the challenges involved in collecting, analysing and interpreting language data.
  • Distinguish between popular and scholarly approaches to language and communication.
  • Present and write up their own research in English.
Attendance requirements

As with all PI courses, you are required to be present in the sessions. You may miss up to two meetings of the PI. That means, in case that no Covid-restrictions are implemented and all sessions can be held with all students present, you may miss five hours of the course. In case of restrictions, the PI will be held in a rotation mode (further information see below and on the WU website) and you may miss 2.5 hours of the course. These conditions apply whatever the reasons for your absences may have been.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course combines input-oriented lectures with critical thinking exercises and hands-on analysis. During input sessions on linguistic devices, critical and academic thinking students will actively participate and critically reflect on the concepts introduced. Furthermore, in groups of three to four people, students will analyse, reflect on and present a study in the field of international corporate communication. This way students will be able to apply what they internalised about academic and critical thinking and will become experts in one of the “focus” topics of the course (identity, persuasion and power).


The final grade combines the following three criteria:

  • Participation (20%)
  • Presentation of a journal article on the expert topic (in groups of three to four students) (40%)
  • Written review of the journal article (in groups of three to four students) (40%)


Last edited: 2021-04-30