Scholarship & Creative Work
Communication Studies Department
December 2011—Franziska Macur (Associate Professor, Communication Studies) and Ken Macur (Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Online Learning) published the chapter, “A Case of Wine: Assessing the Organizational Culture at Resolute Winery,” in the textbook Cases and Exercises in Organizational Development and Change, ed. Donald L. Anderson (2012). This case studies the dynamics of a small, third generation, family-owned winery, struggling with poor morale and lackluster sales, as the owner feels the entity has lost the family touch of this family-owned business. This reveals itself through a tall hierarchy, micromanagement, and distorted perceptions about employee attitudes and the underlying causes. The case guides students through initial observations, contracting and data gathering and challenges them to analyze the situation and make recommendations. The case provides an inside view into an organization’s missed opportunity to make a smooth transition from a real family business to one owned by the last family member.
Franziska published the chapter “Friendly Fire,” in the textbook Casing Organizational Communication, ed. Jason S. Wrench (2012). The case portrays two friends who had built a successful consulting business over a two-year span. However, when one partner suddenly wanted out, the friends quickly became adversaries dissolving the partnership. The remaining partner faced difficult decisions and questions regarding how she and the new firm would operate. The purpose of this case is to expose students to some of the challenges related to working closely with friends and to make students think about strategies on how to best build sustainable work and friend relationships.
2009—Franziska presented a paper, "'You have to be red hat with them'—How a thinking system shapes group communication" at the INGRoup conference (Interdisciplinary network for group research) in Colorado last summer.
Franziska was accepted to present at the CSCA (Central States Communication Association) in Cincinnati this coming April. ("A Conversation Analytical Approach to Understand How a Communication Tool Shapes Business Discussion") She submitted a chapter proposal for a special issue of "Small Group Research" on facilitation in business meetings.
"I‘m working on two applied scholarly projects with community organizations:
First, the Dane County Coalition to Reduce Alcohol Abuse, formed by the Dane County Executive and headed up by the former directors of Edgewood‘s Human Issues program, Judy Adrian and Carol Lobes (Judy still teaches here as well).
This is a county-wide coalition working on ways to reduce alcohol misuse among young people, and they recently received a grant to develop social-marketing campaigns for the three institutions of higher learning in Madison (us, the UW, and MATC).
I‘m teaching a Human Issues class this spring in social-marketing campaigns, so I‘m going to have the students work with the Coalition to develop campaign plans on lower-risk drinking. John Boyne and I conducted two focus groups on campus last spring, asking students about their opinions of and experiences with alcohol use. That work is going to serve as the formative research for these campaigns.
If the Coalition chooses to implement any/all/part of the campaigns my students create, I will continue working with the Coalition to help them evaluate the campaign‘s effectiveness, as part of the grant they received. Students may continue working on the implementation and/or evaluation phases as well, perhaps as internships or independent studies.
The other project is with the city-county health department, where I used to be Communications Manager. I‘m working with them and Dane County Emergency Management to develop a social-marketing campaign to encourage people with disabilities and other "special needs" populations—low-income, non-English speakers, people without access to transportation—to prepare for emergency situations (natural disasters, power outages, etc.).
The intent of this project is to avoid debacles like the one that developed after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. This group has also received a grant for their project, and if the campaign materials I produce are deemed worthy, they may be used state-wide and perhaps nationally.
I‘ve been accepted to write a chapter based on my dissertation for an edited scholarly volume on communication regarding tobacco (tentatively titled "Talking Tobacco"), and I‘ve been presenting at various health-communication conferences."