About Dr. Michael B. Goodman, Ph.D.: Michael B. Goodman, Ph.D. is the Director of the Master of Arts in Corporate Communication program at Baruch College, The City University of New York. He is the founder and director of CCI –Corporate Communication International, and also serves as a Visiting Professor of Corporate Communication at Aarhus University (Denmark), Bangkok University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Universita IULM (Italy).

As the Director of the Master of Arts in Corporate Communication program at Baruch College, Dr. Goodman manages recruitment, admission, student advising, curriculum development and revision, thesis and research project support (including IRB compliance), alumni outreach, career development, and Graduate Students Association activities. Professor Goodman teaches graduate courses in Corporate Communication, Corporate Culture and Sustainability, Multinational Corporate Communication and Culture, and Investor Relations.

He has published widely, including most recently: Corporate Communication: Critical Business Asset for Strategic Global Change; Corporate Communication: Strategic Adaptation for Global Practice; Corporate Communication: Tactical Guidelines for Strategic Practice; Corporate Communication for Executives; Intercultural Communication for Managers; Crisis Communication; and Work with Anyone Anywhere: A Guide to Global Business.

Dr. Goodman is on the Editorial Advisory Board and Associate Editor for North America for the journal Corporate Communication: An International Journal (UK). He is a Fellow of the RSA (The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce), London; a member of the Arthur W. Page Society; a Fellow of The Society for Technical Communication; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Business Communication.

Dr. Goodman earned his BA from the University of Texas at Austin, and his MA and PhD degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has worked as a corporate communication consultant for more than 40 corporations and institutions on managerial communication, problem-solving, new business proposals, and corporate culture development.

Interview Questions

[MastersinCommunications.com] Could you please provide an overview of the Master of Arts in Corporate Communication program at Baruch College, The City University of New York, and how it is structured? What topics are covered in the core curriculum and electives, and what are the key learning outcomes students can expect from this program?

[Dr. Goodman] Our Master of Arts in Corporate Communication program seeks to prepare students to be leaders in communication in organizational contexts. All students in the program take the same required core courses:

  • Corporate Communication: This class provides students with a foundational survey of the following areas of corporate communication: corporate identity and branding, company advertising, media relations, employee relations and development, corporate culture, financial communications, and crisis prevention and management. Students not only learn about the different types of communication that are necessary in managing a corporation, but also learn the essential theories on how a corporation functions and thrives.
  • Quantitative Research Methods in Corporate Communication: Students learn about the principal quantitative research methods that professionals employ in corporate communication research, including survey methods, inquiry development, and content analysis. The goal of this course is to prepare students to conduct independent quantitative research studies to examine problems or phenomena in the workplace setting.
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Corporate Communication: This course gives students an overview of the theories and principles that guide communications professionals and journalists in crafting and distributing ethical content. Students learn about the key ethical issues underpinning the corporate communication space, and how to make important decisions in a range of professional situations.
  • Qualitative Research in Corporate Communication: This course teaches students the essential qualitative research methods that are frequently employed in corporate communications research, including ethnography, focus groups, and individual and group interviewing. As with the course in quantitative research methods, this class prepares students to design and implement research studies that employ a variety of methods such as interviews, subject studies, and ethnography.

Students can then choose one of three courses on business communication and media analysis and strategy:

  • Communication Strategy: This course gives students the skills in institutional communication management, building on previous coursework in message design. How to merge institutional decision-making with communications strategies and considerations. Essential concepts in negotiation, media selection, consensus building, and thematic strategy are covered and discussed.
  • Media Analysis for Corporate Communication: The history and function of media, including print, broadcast, and electronic, are covered, along with how stories and sources are chosen, how institutional contexts and processes affect the shaping and dissemination of news. Best practices for business journalists and corporate communications specialists are also discussed.
  • International Business Communication: In this course, students explore how to communicate across different nations and cultures. How differences in social and political institutions, cultural traditions, gesture, and language impact communication within and between nations.

Following their completion of the core classes, students can then choose from electives in areas such as Corporate Culture and Sustainability; Theories of Persuasion; Crisis Communication; Corporate Advertising; Reputation Management; Global Communication, Media, and Culture; International Perspectives on Digital and Media Literacy; Counseling the Corporation; and Investor Relations. Students’ final graduation requirement is either a master’s thesis or a capstone project in corporate communication.

Our goal with this program is to prepare our students to be the next leaders in corporate communication, whether that means working as a Chief Communication Officer or Director of Communications at a multinational corporation, a non-profit or philanthropic organization, or a government body, or by opening up their own consultancy or agency. We focus on the strategic nature of corporate communication and define corporate communication as a strategic management function, by which we mean it encompasses all of the communications that enable a corporation to execute its business strategies.

Corporate communication is more than just public relations or press releases; it also includes employee engagement, relationship formation and maintenance within communities, corporate social responsibility, or CSR, also known as corporate citizenship. So the focus on the health of the business and how to maintain a corporation’s culture are major topics.

We define corporate sustainability as having environmental, social, and economic impact. Using these three pillars as a model, we look at how organizations are successful, and how they develop that internal corporate culture and project that to the outside world. We examine companies that have been around for over 100 years, and which have demonstrated their ability to endure from generation to generation. That would include companies like Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, IBM, and other organizations that have a strong brand and history.

Students also learn how to conduct high-level research that complies with the Institutional Review Board, and which helps them understand and address communication issues within large organizational and corporate settings.

[MastersinCommunications.com] Could you please elaborate on the opportunities that are available to students of Baruch College’s Master of Arts in Corporate Communication program through Corporate Communication International (CCI) and the Baruch Corporate Communication Graduate Student Association (BCCGSA)? As the Director of CCI, what services do you and your colleagues provide to students through this organization?

[Dr. Goodman] The CCI Corporate Communication International Research Center was established in 1999, as an outgrowth of a conference on communication that we have held here at Baruch College on an annual basis for ten years. We have also held it in Hong Kong. I began hosting that conference in 1988, at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. My Board of Advisors told me, “We love this concept, but it’s only two days out of the year. These resources could be made available year-round.” And I said, “Ok, let’s think about that.” And so we put our heads together and came up with the idea for Corporate Communication International, which is an organization that hosts briefings, programs, and other educational, research, and professional development. CCI receives no funding from Baruch College, and is completely independently funded. Our mission is to accomplish the following:

  • Perform research on corporate communication practices, issues, and phenomena; and disseminate the results
  • Advocate for corporate communication professionals and support their continuing education and advancement through symposia, white papers, conferences, and other educational events and materials
  • Serve as a leader in research within the space of corporate and organizational communication

Some of the programs we have held include a panel discussion on the ethics of big data, an interactive presentation on reputation, risk, and organizational resilience in the age of hyper-transparency, and a public relations internship networking event. And for all of our events, we have archives of the presentations held, with streaming video, as well as transcripts and educational papers. To keep current with multinational developments in corporate communication, we are also affiliated with universities in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong, and China. Our goal is to not be another version of what other organizations accomplish, nor do we want to be a duplicate of the National Communication Association (NCA), the Association for Business Communication (ABC), or the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), but to provide a layer of substantive information that is not really gathered by any other organization, and to collaborate with these other organizations in order to give students and professionals the best resources across all areas of this field.

We are also working on writing a new book on corporate communication based on the most recent research and a retrospective on the studies we began in this area back in 2000.

Simply by virtue of being accepted into our master’s program, students are automatically members of CCI, and can leverage all the resources this organization provides. This gives them access to all the journals, programs, and contacts with CCI members from all over the world.

[MastersinCommunications.com] For their final graduation requirement, students must complete either a research project or a master’s thesis. Could you elaborate on both of these options and what they entail?

[Dr. Goodman] Many professionally focused programs, such as MBA programs, only offer a professional capstone course as an option for their students. We wanted our students to have the option of either a master’s thesis or a corporate communication capstone project so that they could either pursue an in-depth academic investigation of an issue in corporate communication, or a research project that was more applied in nature. Students who have completed the master’s thesis have been able to publish their findings in CCI journals, and we are very proud of that. The master’s thesis is comprised of a literature review, methodology, analytical procedures, and findings and analysis. Students implement the theories, practices, and communication management methods they have learned throughout the program in their design of their study, as well as their report and evaluation of the results. They also have the opportunity to present their results in a public colloquium. The field of corporate communication is dynamic, changing both constantly and rapidly, and therefore many of our students investigate developments in the field within the context of corporate communication’s history and foundational principles.

The capstone project in corporate communication is also a research-based work, but it can take different forms according to the student’s interest–for example, a journal-worthy paper, a corporate communications strategy or media management strategy, or a case study. Similar to the thesis, students are expected to employ and integrate the theories, communication management practices, and methods that they learn in the program to their research and final product. Students who choose this option are also required to present their results at a professional colloquium.

Many of the theses and capstone projects that students complete seek to provide a fresh perspective on corporate communication across different settings. For example, we had one student conduct a crisis communication and social media analysis of Chick-Fil-A, while another student studied Citizens United and another interviewed members of the United Nations regarding the transition of the Secretary General. Many of our students are part-time and employed at a non-profit, for-profit, governmental organization, etc., and their work on their thesis or capstone project often enhances their understanding of the situations they encounter in the workplace, and leads to advancements in their performance and responsibilities.

[MastersinCommunications.com] What role does faculty mentorship play in the Master of Arts in Corporate Communication program at Baruch College, and how can students make the most of these mentorship opportunities and support systems? Additionally, what career development resources and academic services are available to students of this program?

[Dr. Goodman] There are 14 active full-time faculty (tenured and non-tenured), including 4 new hires (12 PhDs, 1 D.Sc.Econ., 1 ABD). There are 12 adjunct professors–all have an MA or an MBA degree, two are active agency CEOs, and one is a retired CEO. We also have two retired New York Times reporters, and three administrators and staff professionals who have MAs in Corporate Communication. For example, we have Stephen Dishart, who is the founder of Communications and Crisis Management Consultants (CCMC), and was Chief Communications Officer at Swiss Re in Zurich before becoming a faculty member at Baruch College. We also have Peter Hirsch, who has worked with companies such as AstraZeneca, Fujitsu, and PricewaterhouseCoopers in crisis management, corporate image development and maintenance, and financial communications. Richard Woods, who is just joining us, was formerly the Chief Communications Officer at Capital One.

So many of our faculty have had industry experience, and continue to work in some capacity in corporate communication. While all students start with me as their first advisor, all full-time faculty serve as advisers for our 77 graduate students. During their work on their thesis or project, students receive guidance from their individual faculty advisors, whose combination of academic experience and industry expertise make them ideally suited to advise students in reaching their full potential in the research and their final product.

Our faculty (full-time and adjunct) average 15 – 20 years of experience as academics, as well as working professionals in the Corporate Communication and Public Relations sector. Our faculty/student ratio is – 1:3 (26:77), and our full-time faculty/part-time faculty ratio is – 7:6 (14:12).

[MastersinCommunications.com] What advice do you have for prospective students in terms of submitting a competitive application for the Master of Arts in Corporate Communication program at Baruch College?

[Dr. Goodman] Applicants are encouraged to submit a compelling personal statement of how graduate study fits with their career development goals, and how corporate communication is important to their meeting those goals. We are looking for applicants who have done their homework in that they have researched our program and can speak intelligently about why they want to attend Baruch College and what they feel they can contribute in the classroom.

Applicants should have some degree of experience in the field of corporate communication, and should demonstrate an understanding of how communication intersects with organizational leadership, as well as management and business development.

Applicants who have professional experience are encouraged to petition to waive the GRE requirement based on submission of a portfolio of professional work.

We encourage applicants to submit letters of recommendation from professionals, as well as academics. They should choose individuals who can speak in detail about their ability to handle rigorous research, complex communication problems, group projects, and other challenges in a variety of contexts.

[MastersinCommunications.com] What makes the Master of Arts in Corporate Communication program at Baruch College unique, and a particularly strong graduate degree option for students?

[Dr. Goodman] Baruch College’s Master of Arts in Corporate Communication provides students with a strong foundation in corporate ethics, leadership skills, and communication dynamics for both internal, business-to-business, and public-facing messaging. Ethics are at the core of what we do–not just within our program specifically, but also as a College overall–from the business school to our arts and science programs, every program has an ethical component.

The investment that faculty have in students’ development, and in helping them forge connections with people in industry, also makes our program a unique and strong option for students seeking to transition into leadership roles in corporate settings. As mentioned previously, many of our faculty members have been in managerial and leadership positions themselves at companies that have national and international reach. Through this industry experience, they prepare students optimally with a strong understanding of the history and traditions of corporate communication, as well as a strong and flexible set of communication and leadership skills that propel our graduates into more advanced roles, and continue to support them throughout their careers.

Below is an example of the variety of positions our students took on after graduating in the last few years, and a list of the companies that have employed our graduates.

Types of Positions

Position TitleNumber of Graduates
Marketing manager21
Director of: Communications, Corporate Communications, Marketing and Communications, Investor Relations and communications, Client Services, Sales Operations11
Manager of: Corporate Communication, Digital Sales Research, Learning and Organizational Development Manager6
Social Media Coordinator, Manager; Senior Digital Strategist5
Human Resources Professional4
Project Manager4
Public Relations4
Sales Marketing4
Adjunct College Professor, Lecturer3
Business Development Director3
Communications Coordinator3
Communications Specialist3
Media Supervisor3
Research Manager 3
VP Communications (2); Account Executive (2), Supervisor/Director (2); Client Relations Manager (2); Communications Manager (2); Digital Marketing & Communications (2); Employee Communications Manager (2); Owner (2); Principle (2); Public Affairs Specialist (2); 20

Where They are Placed (Representative Organizations)

AECOM Technology Corp
American Cancer Society
American Heart Association
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
AOL (2)
Arthur W. Page Society
Bank of America
Baruch College (4)
Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica
Brookfield Office Properties, Inc.
Capital One
Citi (2)
Credit Suisse
CUNY (6) — Graduate Center; Hostos Community College; School of Professional Studies; FIT; Guttman Community College; Macaulay Honors College
DC Comics / Warner Brothers
DDB — Mudra, India; DDB Tribal Group
Digitas Health (2)
Dow Jones Inc.
Ernst and Young
Estee Lauder Group, Malaysia
European-American Business Organization
Experian Marketing Services
Goldman Sachs (via Advantage xPO)
Google’s Local Community Management Team
Guggenheim Partners
Hampton University
Havas Health (2)
HP (Israel)
IBM (2)
Jet Aviation
JP Morgan Chase (3)
Loriet LLC
Marsh & McLennan Companies
MasterCard (2)
Media Audits International
Mercer Human Resource Consulting
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management
Metropolitan Jewish Healthcare System (MJHS)
Moody’s Corporation
Morgan Stanley Investment Management
MSL Group (2); MSL Group, India
MTA Business Service Center Customer Management Center
MTV Networks
National Hockey League
NBC (3) News Digital; NBC Universal, Inc.(2)
New York City (4) — Consumer Affairs; Health & Mental Hygiene; Education
New York Life Insurance (2)
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Northside Hospital
Nuclear Waste Management Organization
NYU Lagone Medical Center (3)
Ochsner Clinic Foundation
Omni Berkshire Place Hotel
Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
Pitney Bowes
PKPR (2)
President Chain Store Corporation, Taiwan
Real Estate, Cypress
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.
S&P Capital IQ
Schumacher Group
Silverstein Properties
SinuVision, Inc. Beijing News
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian
Social Security Administration
Sony (3) Japan; USA
TD Ameritrade (2)
Tesla Motors
The Associated Press
The Brooklyn Hospital Center
The Brooklyn Waldorf School
The National Hockey League
The New York Times
Towers Watson (2)
Tweezerman International
United Nations (2)
US Dept of Homeland Security (2)
Ustay Construction Co, Turkey
Verizon (3)
Virgin Mobile
Wing/Grey Global Group

Thank you, Dr. Goodman, for your excellent insight into Baruch College, The City University of New York’s Master of Arts in Corporate Communication program!