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Elizabeth Petrun Sayers

Associate Behavioral and Social Scientist, RAND Corporation

Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" L. Petrun Sayers is an associate behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation with 9 years of experience researching risk-related topics. Petrun Sayers studies how traditional and new media shape risk perceptions, decision-making, and behaviors. Her current research focuses on understanding how humans respond to health, security, and environmental risks. Petrun Sayers' research has been supported by grants and contracts from multiple federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DOD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Science Foundation (NSF), among others. Her work has most recently been published in Review of Communication, Journal of Risk Research, and Journal of Applied Communication Research. Petrun Sayers is also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her Ph.D. in communication from the University of Kentucky.

Courses Taught

Course Section: 012
On-Campus Day(s): Friday, Saturday
On-Campus Time(s):

Fall 2017 on-campus meetings will be held on the following Fridays and Saturdays from 2-5:30pm: First session: September 8 & 9, October 13 & 14 Second session: November 10 & 11, December 1 & 2

Online Day(s): Monday
Online Time: 8:15 PM-9:15 PM
Course Description:

Understanding workplace communication in U.S. society requires an interdisciplinary approach to develop an enlightened consideration of the complex and contextual nature of communication in organizations. This course emphasizes the impact of organizational structure, strategic communication, and leadership. Students will learn how organizational structures impact the management and communication process in real organizations. We will discuss traditional, relational, cultural, and network strategies of organizing. Insight is also offered about how leaders can strategically leverage communication to design and operate companies to benefit individuals and the organization. Case studies accompany each structure, where we will dive into real world organizations, CEOs, and what went right and wrong for some of the biggest companies spanning Ford, Apple, Enron, and Disney. 
This course will be conducted as a seminar, which means that it is crucial to complete readings in advance so that we can actively engage and discuss course concepts during our meetings. While we have core content that covers topics mentioned above, several other elements of organizational science are also discussed including: ethics, rhetoric, organizational change, diversity, power, worker well-being, research methods, and information communication technology. The course addresses a large number of ideas in substantial depth with the aim of developing an understanding of effective and responsible participation in diverse workplaces. As a result, students will better understand how to effectively communicate in the complex, diverse, and unpredictable contexts that comprise U.S. organizations.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu