• Harnessing intercultural energy: developing interdisciplinary insight and solidarity through an organizational communication study

      Uppal, Charu (2010-05)
      "Globalization provides us with an opportunity to interact on a daily basis with our counterparts across the globe. This study attempts to delineate the working of a multicultural department in an atmosphere of globalization. In order to conduct the organizational analysis, three main ideas were utilized (a) communities of practice; (b) diversity is the key to innovation, and (c) engineering the engineer, a process of socialization. These theoretical ideas guide the process of understanding the lived experiences of organizational members within a multicultural engineering department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This human science research is grounded in the epistemology of constructionism, guided by interpretivism and its related branch, symbolic interactionism. The study utilized conversational interviewing, focus group meeting, and participant observation for the process of data collection. Relying on the ideas presented by my co-researchers, I employed thematic analysis to draw the following themes: (a) sitting on the fence: an insider/ outsider communication perspective, (b) too much of a good thing: role of cliques in group communication gone sour and finally, (c) the brick wall: a communication barriers perspective. These themes illustrate the communication practices within the engineering department, allowing for an in-depth understanding"--Leaf iii