Elucidating Students’ Perception of Themes Employed in Business Communication


  • Xiaoxia Wei
  • Yan Ye


Theme-based Instruction, Business Communication, Students’ Perception


As mainstream literature in the business communication field has yielded a strong preference toward the specific skills required in the business field, this study aimed to elucidate students’ perceptions of the six main enduring themes, namely, rhetoric, technology, culture, dissemination, motivation, and impression, in current business communication instruction. A questionnaire survey was employed to determine the perceptions of 144 students toward topics they had already studied in a business communication course conducted in an international college in Thailand. Students’ perceptions were also compared with the five widely-used business communication textbooks, as well as the course syllabus being used in the above-mentioned business communication course. The analysis indicated technology as the most controversial theme with regard to the course, the five textbooks, and the students. The findings in this study have both theoretical and practical implications. The study considered the application of theme-based instruction into a business discipline by adopting a top-down approach to research students’ learning from “big ideas”, i.e. themes, rather than a superficial knowledge of a broader range of ideas, information or specific skills.