Development communication expectations in occupational contexts. A Comparison of U.S. and foreign graduate students

Michael S. Nilan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study focuses on the communication approaches used by experts in development. In line with recent "paradigm shift" issues, this study asks whether foreign and U.S. graduate students have inculcated alternative communication approaches instead of, or in addition to, the predominant "top to bottom" communication approach in their occupational communication roles. A total of 24 foreign and 23 U.S. graduate students from various departments at the University of Washington were asked to describe their expected communication with contact groups above, at the same and at lower status levels. All graduate students showed a marked tendency to exhibit "top to bottom" approaches with contacts of lower status and alternative communication approaches (i.e., bottom to top or interactive) only with peers. Few differences were found between U.S. and foreign, but those that were found were attributed to differing societal and occupational structures. Discussion focused on the lack of a coherent communication approach showing inculcation of more user oriented approaches suggested by the "paradigm shift.".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-210
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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