NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Fall 2010

Instructor Details

Sharlach, Jeffrey


(212) 337-9821

See Below

KMC 3-100

Office Hours:

Generally Tuesday and Thursday 1:30 to 2:30 and after each class but pleaseemail first to confirm an appointment.

My Teaching Fellow, Abhi Gupta, will be assisting me throughout the term and is available to help you with any questions about scheduling, course work and preparation of assignments. Email is the preferred method of communication for both of us; we both have mobile email and will respond promptly.  Please use the phone only for urgent contact (e.g., waiting more than five minutes for us at a scheduled appointment time.)        

Abhi Gupta (206) 434-2139

E-mail: abhimanyu_gupta@stern.nyu.edu



Course Meetings

TR, 3:30pm to 4:45pm

Tisch T-UC19

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

Course Objectives: Why Are You Here?

Effective communication has never been more critical than now to the success of the business enterprise.  Skilled communicators take the lead in the workplace and much of your future success in business depends on your ability to manage communication effectively. In this course you’ll build on your existing knowledge and learn new methods and techniques for reaching business audiences. As part of the Social Impact of Business Core, this course will provide the theoretical fundamentals in communication, apply communication strategy to oral and written business assignments, and focus on how organizations communicate to their varied internal and external stakeholders.


Course Basics: Teams, Readings, Blackboard

Reflecting the use of teams in the business world, a significant part of this course is based on teamwork and team assignments. You’ll be assigned to teams early in the course, and we’ll discuss the rights and responsibilities of team members in class. Each team will need to meet on average once a week outside of class. In addition, this course requires two team meetings with the professor and/or the teaching fellow. Details will be explained in class.


Course materials will be managed by Blackboard. PowerPoint lectures, handouts, etc. that are available in electronic form will be posted to Blackboard. You’ll be directed to post assignments to specific Blackboard locations, unless paper versions are needed for classwork.


To do well in this course you need to:



Participation Guidelines:

Participation is a key factor in this course and that includes being prepared for class discussions, being on time for class, and attending class regularly. The course involves many in-class activities, which can’t be made up. Be prepared to discuss assigned readings. Participating with your team is also required, and poor team participation will result in lower grades. Participation also includes timely posting to Blackboard where required. Late assignments, lack of preparation for class discussion or presentations, or more than two absences during the semester will result in a lower grade. As in any professional situation, you are expected to explain any absence to me in advance or as quickly as possible; an email is appropriate.

 You’re encouraged to read current business news either in the business section of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or Business Week.  Each class we’ll spend a couple of minutes at the outset discussing the impact of communication on real-world current business events to help you understand the important role of communication in commerce and finance.

 Laptops are not permitted to be opened unless specific directions are given. Mobile phones and other electronic devices (“anything with an on-off switch”) must be turned off.


Course Outline

Coming Soon!


Required Course Materials

Required Materials:


1.  Organizational Communication and Its Social Context

 Purchase Instructions:

2.   Guide to Presentations (Munter, Mary and Russell, Lynn. Prentice Hall Guides to Advanced Communication, 3rd edition, 2011; available in NYU bookstore.)

3.    A Plain English Handbook: How to Create Clear SEC disclosure documents. Office of Investor Education and Assistance. (1998).Washington, DC: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Available free online at <www.sec.gov/news/extra/handbook.htm>.

Additional readings will be distributed in class or posted for online reading.


Assessment Components

To do well in this course you need to:



Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of the term. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



Assignments and grading:


At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate differential mastery of the subject matter. Assigning grades that reward excellence and reflect differences in performance is important to ensuring the integrity of our curriculum.

 In core courses, our faculty have adopted a standard of rigor for teaching where:


 Note that while we use these ranges as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well each of you actually performs in this course.

Grade Values

(as published in the Stern Bulletin)


  A       4.0

  A-      3.7

  B+     3.3

  B       3.0

  B-      2.7

  C+     2.3

  C       2.0

  C-      1.7

  D+     1.3

  D       1.0

  F        0

IMPORTANT: Although I try to follow the same guidelines in grading each assignment, that’s not always possible.   In addition, since the Blackboard software converts all of your letter grades to a 100-point scale in order to calculate a weighted score the end of the term, you can’t necessarily predict your final grade precisely from a mathematical tally of the grade values.  You should do the best job you can on every assignment and presentation without regard to what you think may be your predicted grade at that point.


Please see www.stern.nyu.edu/undergraduate/gradingfor “Teaching and Grading at the NYU Stern Undergraduate College” for more information.

Don’t forget that participation and attendance are a significant part of the point system.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course




In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:




Classroom Norms


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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