9780136157502

Excellence in Business Communication (8th Edition)

Thill, John V.; Bovee, Courtland L.

ISBN 10: 0136157505 / 0-13-615750-5
ISBN 13: 9780136157502
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Publication Date: 2007
Binding: Softcover
About this title:
Synopsis:

KEY BENEFIT: This best-selling book captures the dynamics of business communication as no other on the market does. It presents the subject in a fascinating way, powerfully stimulating and motivating readers; this book gives the foundation for excellent, effective, and practical business communication. By offering “On the Job” simulations that feature actual companies, readers apply business communication concepts to real situations and sharpen their problem-solving skills.

KEY TOPICS: Incorporating a three-step approach to writing (planning, writing, and completing business messages), Excellence in Business Communication covers letters, memos, e-mail and other brief messages, reports and oral presentations, and employment messages (including resumes and application letters).

MARKET: With its helpful appendices and a “Handbook of Grammar, Mechanics, and Usage,” this a must-have desk reference for anyone responsible for writing business letters, e-mail, memos, and reports.


From the Back Cover:

Mastering Business Communications, Perils of Pauline, Version 2.0, updates and improves the popular Perils of Pauline CD-ROM. Students follow the ups and downs of a fictional character, Pauline Peterson, in her first job after graduating from college. Students watch Pauline as she faces a variety of crises at work, then they help her meet these challenges through interactive exercises. Students will see the positive consequences when Pauline puts her business communication know-how to work. They'll also see the sometime humorous, sometime difficult, consequences when she fails to meet these challenges.

This dramatic, informative, and stimulating CD covers the following topics:

  • Conducting a Meeting
  • Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Using E-Mail Effectively in Business
  • Brainstorming Sessions
  • Listening Skills
  • Persuasive Messages
  • Succesful Résumés
  • The Job Interview
  • Giving a Formal Speech
  • Writing Bad News Messages
  • Resolving Conflict

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Only One Text Gives Students Experience "On the Job"

Each chapter opens with an exclusive feature, "On the job: FACING A COMMUNICATION DILEMMA." This slice-of-life vignette summarizes a communication problem being faced by an actual company, such as American Express, Home Depot, the U.S. Mint, Patagonia, and Dell Computer. The solution to the dilemma is found in the concepts presented in the chapter, and the featured company reappears from time to time throughout the chapter to dramatize the connection between chapter principles and life on the job.

But we don't stop there. Each chapter ends with another exclusive feature, "On the job: SOLVING A COMMUNICATION DILEMMA." These simulations expand on the chapter-opening dilemma and are set within the featured company. Students are asked to solve situational problems by applying the principles discussed in the text, by making decisions about the communication process, and by selecting the best alternatives from the choices offered.

Not only do these simulations give students the opportunity to practice real-world decision making, they also tie the textual information to real-life examples, providing a concrete basis for analyzing the chapter principles. This feature provides a dimension of reality unmatched by other textbooks in the field.

New Features in This Edition A Greater Emphasis on Process and Product

We have reorganized the material in many of the text's chapters into a series of three easy-to-follow steps: planning, writing, and completing business messages. Students will `appreciate this practical strategy for solving 'communication problems and creating well-crafted communication products. The three-step process is explained in detail (Chapters 4-6) before it is applied to specific types of business messages: letters, memos, and e-mail messages (Chapters 7-9); reports and proposals (Chapters 10-12), and speeches and oral presentations (Chapter 13). The three-step writing process even serves as the framework for writing employment messages (Chapters 14-15).

Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web is quite different from writing for print, so anyone who wants to be an effective Web writer must learn new skills. Discussed briefly in Chapters 1 and 4, writing for the Web is covered more fully in Chapter 5, which also includes a checklist. In addition, an "Effective E-Business Communication" feature is included in each chapter of the text. Using real company Web pages as examples, these features present important Web-writing guidelines and include two discussion questions. Topics include:

  • Get to the Point–Quickly (Southwest Airlines)
  • Calling a Meeting in Cyberspace (WebEx)
  • Putting the World in the Web (REI)
  • Design Messages for Easy Navigation (UPS)
  • Annual Reports in Cyberspace (Compaq)
  • Speeches That Live On and On (Sears)
Special Feature Sidebars

Boxed and strategically placed within each chapter, special-feature sidebars extend the chapter material. We've included discussion questions at the end of each special feature to give students numerous opportunities to analyze business communication principles and practices. These special features center on four well-integrated themes:

Achieving Intercultural Communication: Tested techniques help students communicate successfully in the global arena and in the culturally diverse business world at home. Cultural issues are well explored in special features such as:

  • Test Your Intercultural Knowledge
  • Communicating with a Global Audience on the Web
  • Good Ways to End Bad News Around the World

Promoting Workplace Ethics: By examining critical ethical issues that face business communicators in today's workplace, students gain instruction on how to identify areas of ethical vulnerability, how to steer clear of ethical perils, and when to seek ethical advice. Special features include a wide range of topics such as:

  • Spin Cycle: Deciphering Corporate Doublespeak
  • Recommendation Letters: What's Right to Write?
  • Inflating Your Résumé: Is It Worth the Risk?

Sharpening Your Career Skills: Practical pointers and confidence-building guidelines help students improve their writing and speaking skills. Special features help students strengthen their career skills by exploring such topics as:

  • Beating Writer's Block: Nine Workable Ideas to Get Words Flowing
  • How to Proofread Like a Pro
  • Interview Strategies: Answering the 16 Toughest Questions

Using the Power of Technology: Specific techniques offer students guidance for using technological applications to improve business communication. Special features present a well-balanced selection of technological topics, including:

  • Elements of Cyberstyle
  • Spam: Putting a Lid on It
  • Netting a Job on the World Wide Web
Streamlined and Reorganized Text

This edition streamlines and reorganizes the text, reducing the number of regular chapters from 18 to 15, making it easier to cover the entire text in one term. Material previously covered in Chapters 1 and 2 has been combined into Chapter 1. The chapter on writing direct requests has been combined with the chapter on writing routine, good-news, and goodwill letters—shortening the letter-writing chapters from four to three. The discussion of interpersonal communication skills such as listening and working in teams has been expanded and moved to Chapter 2. And the discussion of the writing process now begins one chapter earlier.

Trademark Features — All Updated for This Edition Up-to-Date Internet Resources

The World Wide Web contains a wealth of valuable resources. To acquaint students with Web sites that relate to the content of Excellence in Business Communication, each chapter includes a Going Online feature that describes an especially useful Web site.

Students can access the site by using the URL provided or by visiting the Web site for this text (www.prenhall.com/thill), where live links take students straight to the site of their choice.

Examples of the Going Online feature include:

  • Write Is Right: Rethink and Revise
  • Announcing an Employee Layoff. How to Write a Termination Notice
  • Influence an Official and Promote Your Career
  • Pointers for Business Plans
  • Post an Online Resume

To give students practice exploring the rich resources of the Web, Going Online Exercises are included at the end of each chapter. These exercises are directly tied to the Going Online sites showcased within the chapters. Moreover, students can access online instructions for completing these exercises

Gallery o f Business Communication Professionals Another unique feature of this text is the inclusion of full-color photographs with incisive captions that focus on 30 highly successful communication professionals from business, industry, government, and the media. Among the new individuals featured are Meg Whitman (eBay), Martha Stewart (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia), Gerald Levin (AOL Time Warner), Andrea Jong (Avon), Curly Fiorina (Hewlett-Packard), and Sherry Lansing (Paramount Studios).

Strategically placed in the margins throughout each chapter, these captions with accompanying photographs expand the amount of insight to be gained from this book. Each caption relates specifically to the text and adds a new dimension to student learning by giving a communication expert's view about a particular aspect of business communication.

Example After Example of Letters, Memos, E-Mail Messages, and Reports

This text contains outstanding examples of documents from numerous types of organizations and from people working in a variety of functional areas. Many of these documents are fully formatted, and some are presented on the letterhead of well known companies. Accompanying analyses help students see precisely how to apply the principles discussed in the text. Poor and improved examples illustrate common errors and effective techniques for correcting them.

The report-writing chapters give numerous examples too. And the last chapter of the report unit illustrates the step-by-step development of along report, which appears in its entirety to show how all the parts fit together.

Real-World Issues

The boundaries of business communication are always expanding. In addition to covering all the traditional subjects, Excellence in Business Communication, Fifth Edition, provides material to help students manage these important current sues in business communication:

  • Ethics. Taking an ethical position in the face of pressures and temptations requires more than courage—it requires strong communication skill.
  • Communication Barriers. The shift toward a service economy means that more and more careers will depend on interpersonal skills, making it vital for people to overcome communication barriers.
  • Cultural Diversity. The changing nature of the domestic work force requires strong communication skills to relate to older workers, women, members of various socioeconomic groups, immigrants, and others. Also, strong skills are needed to communicate effectively with people from other cultures.
  • Communication Technology. More and more face-to-face interactions are giving way to interactions with and through computers. And this trend will continue. To survive in today's business world, students must master high-tech communication skills.
  • Law. The increasing tendency of people to sue makes it important to understand the legal implications of written and oral communication.
  • Employment Search. More and more people are making radical mid-career job changes, whether by choice or because their companies are downsizing and ^ , flattening hierarchies. These people need to master new communication skills to compete in today's job market.
  • Communication Versatility. Small businesses create most of the new jobs and employ more people than large corporations do. Since these small businesses are unable to support communication specialists for specific jobs, people working for them need to be versatile in their communication skills.
Real-World Competencies—SCANS Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills

Like no other business communication text, this edition emphasizes the skills and competencies necessary for students to make the transition from academia to the workplace. As described in the SCANS report from the Department of Labor, it is essential that students meet national standards of academic and occupational skill. To help accomplish the SCANS goal, this text offers a wide variety of interactive pedagogy (much of which is grounded in real-world situations).

Checklists

To help students organize their thinking when they begin a communication project, make decisions as they write, and check their own work, we've included numerous checklists throughout the book. In the Fifth Edition, we've streamlined and condensed them to increase their usefulness. Appearing as close as possible to the related discussion, these checklists are reminders, not "recipes." They provide useful guidelines for writing, without limiting creativity.

Documents for Analysis In this textbook we have provided a wide selection of documents that students can critique and revise. Documents include letters, memos and e-mail messages, a letter of application, and a résumé. This hands-on experience in analyzing and improving sample documents will help students revise their own business messages.

In-Depth Critiques

You will find up-to-date sample documents, many collected in our consulting work. All In-Depth Critiques are introduced in the text (identifying the particular business situation being illustrated), and all are accompanied by margin comments that point to specific letter parts to help students see precisely how to apply the principles discussed in the text. Many samples are also accompanied by a three-step-writing-process graphic that gives students important insights into planning, writing, and completing the specific document shown.

Additional documents are displayed in text, some including poor and improved examples to illustrate common errors and active techniques for correcting them.

Exercises and Cases A wealth of new exercises and cases (almost all companies featured are real) provide assignments like those that students will most often face at work. Many of them are memo-writing and email tasks. New in the Fifth Edition, each exercise is labeled as to its type, such as "Team," "Ethical Choices," "Self-Assessment," or "Internet." The exercises and cases deal with all types and sizes of organizations, both domestic and international. Each chapter also includes exercises and cases that require access to the World Wide Web, giving students practice with this fast-growing communication technology.

The cases are yet another tool for demonstrating the role of communication in the business world. Examples include:

  • Midnight mission: Thank-you letter at The Blue Marble Bookstore
  • Reverse migration: Letter requesting letter of recommendation for "dot-com" dropout
  • Tethered SwimCords: Letter to Italian sports retailer returning order
  • Air rage fiasco: Letter requesting refund from British Airways
  • Travel turnaround: E-mail message at Travelfest convincing your boss to expand client services
Learning Objectives

Chapter-opening learning objectives are clearly stated to signal important concepts that students are expected to master. In addition, the numbered objectives reappear in the text margins, close to the relevant material. Moreover, the end-of-chapter "Summary of Learning Objectives" reinforces basic concepts by capsulizing chapter highlights for students.

Margin Notes

To reinforce learning, the book's margins contain short summary statements that highlight key points of Excellence in Business Communication, Fifth Edition. These notes are no substitute for reading the chapters, but they help students quickly get the gist of a section, review a chapter, and locate areas of greatest concern.

End-of-Chapter Questions

The end-of-chapter questions (225) are divided into two types: Test Your Knowledge (review questions), and Apply Your Knowledge (application questions). One application question in each chapter focuses on ethics and is labeled "Ethical Choices."

The end-of-chapter questions are designed to get students thinking about the concepts introduced in each chapter. The questions may also prompt students to stretch their learning beyond the chapter content. Not only will students find them useful in studying for examinations, but the instructor may also draw on them to promote classroom discussion of issues that have no easy answers.

Appendixes

Excellence in Business Communication, Fifth Edition, contains four appendixes: Appendix A, "Format and Layout of Business Documents," discusses in one convenient place the formatting for all types of documents. Appendix B, "Documentation of Report Sources," gives basic guidelines for handling reference cita


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