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Business Communication for Success

textbook cover image
Business Communication for Success cover is used under a CC-BY-NC-SA licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).

Description: Business Communication for Success (BCS) provides a comprehensive, integrated approach to the study and application of written and oral business communication to serve both student and professor. The text includes a number of features such as learning objectives, exercises, real world examples, key terms, and post-chapter assessments. Each chapter is self-contained, allowing for mix-and-match flexibility and custom or course-specific design. The first three chapters form the core foundation for the study of oral and written business communication. The next sequence of chapters focus on the process of writing, then oral performance with an emphasis on results. The final sequence of chapters focus on contexts where business communication occurs, from interpersonal to intercultural and from groups to leadership.

Author: University of Minnesota Libraries' Publishing Services (Adapted version)

Original source: open.umn.edu

Adoption (faculty): Contact us if you are using this textbook in your course

Adaptations: Support for adapting an open textbook

Open Textbooks:

Creative Commons License
Business Communication for Success by University of Minnesota Libraries' Publishing Services (Adapted version) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


Review this book

Reviews for 'Business Communication for Success'

Number of reviews: 2
Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5

1. Reviewed by: Christine Horgan
  • Institution: SAIT Polytechnic
  • Title/Position: Curriculum Coordinator
  • Overall Rating: 4.9 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

The content in the book is very comprehensive.

It meets the needs of several of our diploma-level business communications courses and could also meet the needs of our degree-level business communications courses.

A lot of the content will also be suitable for our diploma-level and degree-level technical communications courses.

Several chapters may be useful resources to our degree-level sociology or psychology courses.

There is no Table of Contents, Table of Illustrations, or Index. All of which would be useful additions.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

Accuracy of the content is excellent. Supplemental materials take the form of takeaway statements, exercises, and end-of-unit references.

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

Content is current and relevant.

New software for report generation or presentations may mean that some chapters require small updates at some point in the future.

The text is written in a straightforward manner.

What I'm particularly pleased about is that there is one consistent writing voice and one consistent editing voice throughout the textbook. As the book has been previously published by a traditional print publisher, that level of detail shows up in this e-book. This is not the case with most OER e-books, and it is that consistency of voice that is, in part, allowing me to recommend the book. (Afterall, we must be seen to practice what we preach in our communications courses.)

I particularly appreciate how the content of each chapter is "chunked" into small, manageable pieces.

Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

Very clear. Relevant. To the point. The writing is very accessible. While the book is written for diploma- and degree-level students, the writing itself is not heavily academic.

Consistent writing and editing voice.

Jargon is explained.

Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

There is consistency in terminology.

If by framework you mean the flow of the writing and the organization of the formatting, then both are excellent. The layout of the chapters/units within chapters is logical and it makes navigation very easy.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

The chapters are broken up into manageable "chunks" so that students are not overwhelmed with large chunks of academic text.

Because the content is broken into smaller units, it would be very easy for an instructor/professor to assign reading material. It's also these smaller chunks/units that make the book so flexible, accessible, and manageable for students (even reluctant students) because some chapters or units within those chapters would be supplemental reading material in courses other than business communications courses.

It's going to be very easy to select chapters and units within chapters as reading material in several different courses.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

They topics in the book are presented in a logical, clear fashion.

There's a logical flow from one topic to the next. There's also a logical flow from one unit in a chapter to the next.

There's organization consistency (which supports the logical flow of content) in each chapter and each unit within the chapter. Each chapter has one or more quotes relevant to the content, introductory exercises, content, learning objectives, key takeaways (which function as a unit summary), and suggested exercises.

There are enough photographs, tables, point-form lists to add interest and break up the text. (A few more photographs would not go amiss.)

The unit exercises are relevant and interesting. They provide students and instructor/professor with ideas and options. Most of the unit exercises will work (or can be adapted) for both on-campus students and distance students.

Organization Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

I didn't notice any interface issues or navigation problems. Images displayed just fine.

The only distraction I noted was on page 253 where the e-mail example appears to overlay some of the chapter text.

I assume that the book can be read by an e-reader for those students with vision limitations/challenges and that it will display well on mobile devices. I will be following up with my institution's multi-media team and Accessibility committee to ensure that we are not disadvantaging some students.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

I was not aware of any grammatical or spelling errors. The following images will need citations, though: Fig 14.1, 14.3, 14.5, and 16.2.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The author was aware of and respectful of inclusion and diversity. The author used he/she in most instances and occasionally "they" as a singular pronoun. Several chapters included content that made students think beyond their own culture. One whole chapter is devoted to doing business in other cultures. Many of the photos are U.S. based and some coud be changed. While there are some photos with non-caucasion participants, many could be changed to include a more diverse group including indigenous students and those with obvious physical disabilities.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

I would recommend this book. In fact, I have recommended it to several colleagues for several of our business communications courses as a starting point.

2. Reviewed by: Laurie Waye, PhD
  • Institution: Northwest Community College
  • Title/Position: Dean of Instruction (Business Administration, Libraries, and Developmental Education)
  • Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

This text covers many areas and ideas relevant to business communication. The index is complete and easy to navigate. However, I felt that some of the areas were not covered in enough detail, with enough examples, or with enough practice. For this reason, I think this textbook is suitable for students past first and second year levels of study.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

I found no errors in the content and found it to be unbiased, with the exception of intercultural communication. My comments are included in the response to Question 10.

Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

I found the content up-to-date and the assignments reflective of the digital world of students. Updates would be easy to make as technologies that are mentioned sunset, making way for new technologies to be referred to. The short chapters with short sections make it easy to make such changes; there is no one section that is so large or at risk of being dated that I have concerns.

Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

I found the prose accessible and pleasant. I felt there could have been more description and examples used throughout the text, especially for some of the more technical aspects (such as the fundamentals of revision) and philosophical aspects (such as intrapersonal communication and intercultural communication).

Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

The textbook is incredibly consistent in both terminology and framework, making it easy to read and navigate. As an instructor, it is clear how the textbook has been organized and why. It is also clear how the textbook has been created, with three foundational chapters and an array of additional chapters from which an instructor can "mix and match" to best suit the needs of the program and students.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

As mentioned in my previous comment, this is one of the major strengths of this textbook. As an experienced instructor who has taught Business Communications courses many times and at a handful of institutions, I can easily imagine which sections I would draw on after teaching the first three chapters. I also really liked that the "additional" chapters (those that come after the first three) are not just a smattering of different aspects of business communication, but go deeply into these different aspects. It would be easy to tailor a course to focus heavily on writing, with a little bit on presentations, or to focus heavily on the spoken word. Rounding out this ability for the instructor to balance writing and speaking are some true gems on effective group work, meetings, and leadership.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

Most of the topics are presented clearly, with accessible descriptions and a few examples. However, I think the text would be strengthened with more examples, more scaffolding for some of the activities, and more opportunities to practice the content - although that might be seen to be the work on the instructor, to interpret the text for the students. The more abstruse topics of intrapersonal communication and some of the points raised in the section on intercultural communication could be brought more into students' daily lives through the text, not just in the exercises.

Organization Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

I encountered absolutely no issues with the interface of this text. I used the online version on my tablet and found the text easy to navigate and read. The images were helpful and provided some clarity to concepts presented in the text.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

The text is error-free.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The text has no insensitive or offensive language. The photos represent a diversity of people. However, I felt that the textbook often (but not always) assumed homogeneity in the classroom. For example, in chapter 1.4, there could have been mention of high context/low context cultures, which would likely have been represented in the classroom by students, who would likely hail from different co-cultures. Also absent was explanation of how to interpret the impact of culture on written texts. Third, I thought the chapter on intercultural communication was interesting, but not applied to students' daily life, which kept it abstruse and philosophical, instead of tangible and practical. Intercultural communication can be a separate chapter, but should also be woven throughout the textbook to help students navigate the various and ongoing impacts of cultural differences on both written and spoken business communication.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

This textbook would benefit from more examples, more practice opportunities, and more scaffolding to some of the more challenging ideas and skill sets. For example, the sections on plagiarism and incorporating the ideas of others should include more examples of incorrect and correct paraphrases, quotations, and summaries. This is often a challenging learning goal for students, which means they need to see more examples and have more practice. As it stands, the text seems to focus more on the ethics of plagiarism instead of the more common accidental plagiarism that reflects a growing, but incomplete, writing skill set. That said, as an experienced instructor who has taught many, many sections of Business Communications, I would use this text because it is easy to pick and choose from and I can imagine how to build on each section. But for a new instructor, this textbook may not be the easiest starting point for the first time teaching Business Communication.