TV Show ‘The Office’ Forms Basis for NSCM Professional Communication Class

Successful professional communication is as much about what not to say as it is the right way to negotiate a raise or write a thorny email, reasons Communication Assistant Professor Michael Strawser, Ph.D.

And what better teacher of gaffes and miscues than the “world’s greatest boss” Michael Scott of NBC’s hit series “The Office.”

“This show brings to light a lot of traditional work-place conflicts and scenarios from a comedic perspective,” said Strawser, who is using the show as inspiration for his course offering “Business and Professional Communication” (COM 4110) beginning Spring 2021. “I hope that by using a unique and entertaining teaching style that students will be more engaged in the course and in turn, more eager to learn.”

Scott and the other characters at fictional paper company Dunder Mifflin are what Strawser points to as his inspiration behind the creation of his course.

“This is my favorite TV show because I find it so relatable,” said Strawser. “There is so much we can learn from Michael Scott’s leadership style or Dwight Schrute’s followership. There is more to dissect here than you’d think.”

The course is organized into modules that will use episodes to exemplify scenarios and tasks students may encounter in the workforce. The class has a 30-seat capacity, and is offered through an online modality.

“We are living in a trying time, and I want this course to be as accessible as possible,” Strawser said. “I also want it to inspire students to have fun with their coursework and to remember that education doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.”




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