Renee Cowan-Microgrant report

NCA Microgrant Report
Renee Cowan, University of Texas at San Antonio

HOW DO I KNOW IF IT’S WORKPLACE BULLYING? CULTURE MATTERS
Project Description

 

The National Communication Association micro grant provided through the Center for Intercultural Dialogue allowed me to begin a very productive conversation and collaboration with renowned European workplace bullying researcher, Dr. Denise Salin (Hanken School of Economics, Finland). I first connect Dr. Salin after reading her extensive research on workplace bullying and the organization from the European perspective.  Dr. Salin and I, along with our project partner, Dr. Suzy Fox (Professor, Loyola University, Chicago) are in the planning stage of a large multi-national research study on conceptions of workplace bullying.  Our conversations allowed me to better understand workplace bullying from a European perspective and helped shed light on pertinent issues when investigating bullying from a culture perspective.  In order to begin this effort, I needed to raise research funds to allow attendance at the planning meeting in Helsinki, Finland.

Renee_Denise-sm
Renee Cowan, Denise Salin

Raising Funds for the Trip
To fund this international collaboration trip, I estimated I would need $2,400 for airfare and hotel arrangements.  I was granted $900 from the National Communication Association through the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and $1200 in a Faculty Research Grant from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  This covered the majority of costs associated with the trip and I personally supplemented the remaining sum.  Our meeting was highly successful and because of the trip we are advancing through Phase 1 of the project.

The Project
During our meeting we discussed and finalized a three-phase international workplace bullying project.  From a U.S. human resources perspective, workplace bullying (WB) is defined as “Actions and practices that a ‘reasonable person’ would find abusive, occur repeatedly or persistently, harm or are intended to harm the target, and result in economic, psychological, or physical harm to the target and/or create a hostile work environment” (Fox, Cowan & Lykkebak, 2012, p. 10). While WB is a universal phenomenon, there are institutional, legal, organizational, and cultural factors that necessitate different approaches to bullying in different parts of the world.  We determined our guiding research question: based on the assumption that the violation of national, gendered, or other cultural norms will be perceived as rude, crude, or bullying behavior, to what extent will national differences in cultural values and communication norms be associated with differences in behaviors perceived to constitute workplace bullying?

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue grant allowed me to meet with Drs. Salin and Fox to discuss and refine our three-phase intercultural bullying research project.  We held this meeting during the week of June 1-8, 2013.  During this week-long meeting we were able to discuss important logistics of our international project including securing grants, our project schedule, securing country partners, and specifics of data collection.  The meeting was very productive and we are now able to move forward with data collection for Phase 1 in Summer 2013. We hope to complete the full project by Fall 2015.  We have secured collaboration from country partners in Argentina, Poland, Bahrain, Turkey, India, Australia, Austria, China, Greece, Mexico, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and we have collaborators who have expressed interest in the United Kingdom and Israel.  What follows are more details on the project:

Phase 1. In this phase we have determined the participating countries and collaborators, gained commitment and alignment of the team members, developed the collaboration protocols and project guidelines, and began creating the interview and survey measures. The two main clusters of materials will be common measures of cultural characteristics and communication norms, an initial set of bullying items based on popular Workplace Bullying measures and semi-structured interview protocols. Focus groups in the U.S. and Finland will be conducted.  We have largely completed Phase one and plan to conduct most focus groups by the end of Summer 2013.

Phase 2. Focus group, interview and survey materials will be translated and back-translated, supplemented by culture-specific questions contributed by our country researchers. Each collaborator will conduct interviews with a minimum of 15 respondents, and will include Human Resource professionals, managers who have handled bullying incidents, and union leaders or other employee representatives.

The focus groups and interviews will seek to uncover underlying cultural assumptions, values, norms, and perceptions that contribute to judgments of workplace bullying behaviors. For each culture, we will work with the collaborators to develop a comprehensive and specific set of behaviors that employees in that culture would consider to be workplace bullying. This will be the starting point for the next phase, the survey.

Suzy, Renee, Denise-sm
Suzy Fox, Renee Cowan, Denise Salin

The project will produce strong intellectual significance by attending to the question: To what extent are national differences in cultural values, communication norms and gender roles associated with differences in a) behaviors perceived to constitute workplace bullying, b) how individuals and organizations respond to perceived workplace bullying, and c) preferences for organizational and public policies, including specific roles assigned to HR professionals in efforts to counter workplace bullying?

This research will result in several direct outputs that will be beneficial for both U.S.-based and global HR departments: 1) specific guidelines for what should be effective practice in addressing WB from a training standpoint, 2) specific guidelines for anti-bullying policy for global and U.S.-based organizations, 3) guidelines for identifying and addressing WB in both local and multicultural contexts, 4) dispute resolution guidelines and procedures and 5) suggestions for incorporating anti-bullying considerations into organizations’ formal performance management and disciplinary systems.  The project’s potential broader impacts are to offer guidance to Human Resource Professionals (HRPs) and managers in defining, recognizing and responding to workplace bullying complaints and situations, and to help multinational corporations develop guidelines that enable people from diverse national backgrounds to work together.

REFERENCE
Fox, S., Cowan, R. & Lykkebak, K. (2012). Revision of the workplace bullying-checklist: workplace bullying policy survey for HR professionals. Proceedings, Academy of Business Research, New Orleans, March 15, 2012.

[NOTE: Renee Cowan’s original project proposal is available here.]

U of Helsinki and Aalto U

On April 23, 2013, I gave a talk entitled “A Necessary Complexity: Understanding Language and Social Interaction and Intercultural Communication as Complementary Approaches” at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

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My thanks to both Dr. Saila Poutiainen (at the University of Helsinki) and Dr. Leena Louhiala-Salminen (at Aalto University, and on the advisory board of this Center for Intercultural Dialogue) for serving as co-hosts, and to the Department of Communication at Aalto University for sponsoring the excellent dinner afterwards.

On April 25, I was able to join the Corporate Communication Evening Seminar at Aalto University, co-sponsored by the Department of Communication and Aalto BIZ Corporate Relations, entitled “Multilingual and intercultural issues in Corporate Communication.” The presenters were Dr. Ulla Connor (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis) and Pia Friberg (Senior Manager, Wärtsilä Corporation). The former talked about intercultural rhetoric, and the latter described her own experiences with intercultural issues in a multinational corporation. I look forward to continued discussions with all these scholars.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

SJSU study abroad Finland

San José State University is hosting an Early Summer Study Abroad Program in Jyväskylä, Finland (May 27-June 13, 2013).

Please consider participating in this opportunity to earn 3 units in the lush, beautiful town of Jyväskylä, Finland. In just three weeks, explore Jyväskylä, and also, through guided excursions, also Helsinki (Finland), Tallinn (Estonia), Stockholm (Sweden) and St. Petersburg (Russia). Communication, Hospitality and Tourism, and Business students may be able to earn credit in their majors/minors. Courses will be taught in English by international faculty and will include students from around the world. Program costs are approximately $2000 plus travel and meals. To learn more, please contact Dr. Deanna Fassett at Deanna.Fassett AT sjsu.edu or Professor Minna Holopainen at Minna.Holopainen AT sjsu.edu

Participants may earn 3 units of credit in 3 weeks by taking courses ranging from creative leadership to international business speaking to Russian language and culture. Anyone, including graduate students, is welcome.

Renee Cowan – micro grant

Renee CowanDr. Renee Cowan, of the Communication Department at the University of Texas at San Antonio, received one of the National Communication Association’s micro grants in Fall 2012 to travel to Finland and meet with Dr. Denise Salin, of the Hanken School of Economics, to plan collaborative work on investigating conceptions of workplace bullying across nations. How bullying and bullying behaviors are understood is likely influenced by the values and beliefs of the larger culture or nation in which the activity has taken place. What constitutes bullying in one culture likely differs from other cultures because of differing value systems. Salin is an international expert on workplace bullying from an organizational perspective who has theorized several important antecedents to bullying in organizations and organizational responses to bullying from the Finnish organizational perspective. Cowan will begin an intercultural conversation with her in an effort to better understand workplace bullying from the European perspective as well as discuss possible collaborations with her on a large multi-national workplace bullying research project. The research question is: based on the assumption that the violation of national, gendered, or other cultural norms will be perceived as bullying behavior, to what extent will national differences in cultural values and communication norms be associated with differences in behaviors perceived to constitute workplace bullying? 

U Jyväskylä job ad

The Department of Communication  at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, seeks a permanent Full Professor in Speech Communication. The position is located at the Department of Communication within the Faculty of Humanities. The Department houses four disciplines: Speech Communication, Organizational Communication, Journalism, and Intercultural Communication.

Applicants’ substantive areas of research and teaching must contribute to areas of strength in the Department: media and communication in social processes of change; human interaction, communication and culture; communication and well-being in work and learning environments. More specifically, Speech Communication in the Department of Communication focuses on human social interaction, and the aim is to understand speech and communication behavior and the dynamics of interaction, both in face-to-face and online communication. A variety of phenomena and areas are investigated, such as friendship, couple and family relationships; teams, groups and networks; interpersonal communication in the workplace and in organizational contexts; the connection between social interaction and well-being; persuasion and argumentation; communication ethics.

The University of Jyväskylä, with 15,000 students, has been ranked by the Shanghai-based Academic Ranking of World Universities as one of the top 500 universities in the world. Jyväskylä is located in Central Finland, close to nature, with excellent domestic and international connections.

Deadline for application: 19 October 2012. Applications will be examined by a selection committee which will shortlist a small number of candidates. The employment start date has been set to January 2013, but it is negotiable. The detailed call for applications is here.

For additional information, please contact Director of the Department of Communication Pertti Hurme (email: pertti.hurme at jyu.fi) or Dean Petri Karonen (email: petri.k.karonen at jyu.fi).

Kristen Cvancara – Fulbright

Kristen Cvancara
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Fulbright Teaching/Research Scholar Grant in Finland

When planning ahead for my sabbatical, I realized that a Fulbright award was an excellent opportunity for me to achieve the goals of growing professionally and living abroad with my husband and our three children. I applied for a grant in Finland because I wanted to work with a colleague with whom I had been collaborating since 2002. I drafted a plan for a project that would blend our research interests and reviewed it with my Finnish colleague at the 2009 NCA conference in Chicago. With encouragement and support from her and her department (including a letter of invitation), I submitted my Fulbright application in the summer of 2010. In March of 2011, I was notified by letter of the acceptance of that application. My two goals were finally realized in January of 2012 as my family boarded a plane headed for Jyväskylä, Finland, where we would live for the coming 5 months.

While in Finland, I taught two courses and conducted research in the Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä. The teaching connected me with students from all over Europe, exposed me to different worldviews, and prompted me to adapt my teaching style in new and unique ways. The research project blossomed into a study involving five countries on four different continents. It was amazing to watch this kind of collaboration develop through conversations, emails, Skype calls, and joint meetings. I had the opportunity to build relationships with Finnish and European colleagues, fellow Fulbrighters, and members of the community where we lived for 5 months.  All of these experiences changed me, and my family as well. The challenges and obstacles we faced together forced us to re-evaluate beliefs that we took for granted, revise ineffective strategies, and review our motivations for living outside of our comfort zone. Even when reflecting on the most difficult days, I marvel at the amazing, wonderful experience the Fulbright grant provided us.

A Fulbright experience is worthy of the preparation devoted to crafting a solid application. Check out the following websites for more information on Fulbright grants, the Fulbright Center in Finland, and the Fulbright scholar list to view others from the discipline who have earned grants. I especially encourage individuals with children to apply. In keeping with Senator Fulbright’s initial goals, living abroad with children is a prime opportunity to strengthen their empathy for others and foster a worldview that integrates compassion and understanding.

Donal Carbaugh-Fulbright

Donal Carbaugh
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Distinguished Fulbright Professor to Finland

The Fulbright Program is an outstanding resource for collaborating with others on studies of communication, dialogue, and intercultural relations. I have been extremely fortunate over the years to have the support of this program. This began in 1992-1993 when my family and I lived in Finland where I worked with colleagues at the Universities of Tampere and Jyvaskyla, and at the Turku School of Economics. Later, during the 2007-2008 academic year, I held the position of Distinguished Fulbright Professor and Bicentennial Chair of North American Studies at the University of Helsinki. These opportunities have led to longstanding collaborations with colleagues in Finland, to a deepening of studies in intercultural communication and dialogue, and to forging personal relationships that will last a lifetime.

On a related note, on May 11, I will present the closing address at the University of Helsinki’s 14th Biennial Maple Leaf and Eagle conference: “An American West and a Western World: From American Indians to Aristotle and back again.”

Univ of Jyväskylä job

UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ (Finland)
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
Faculty of Humanities
Department of Communication

The position is located at the Department of Communication within the Faculty of Humanities. The Department houses four disciplines: Organizational Communication, Speech Communication, Journalism and Intercultural Communication. Each of the four disciplines offers postgraduate studies. The aim of the Department is to conduct high quality research of communication and offer high-level and diverse academic education in communication.

The research and education activities focus on: (1) Media and Communication in Social Processes of Change, (2) Human Interaction, Communication and Culture and (3) Communication and Well-Being in Work and Learning Environments. The Department’s teaching and research staff consists of seven professors and nine other teachers and researchers. In addition, the Department has 10–12 temporary researchers. The number of students with Communication as their main subject is approx. 550 and the annual intake of students is 80. The number of postgraduate students is 70.

Intercultural Communication includes both the Master’s Programme in Intercultural Communication and doctoral schooling, and has a professor and a university lecturer in its staff. The Intercultural Communication Master’s Programme has 60 students and 6 doctoral students. The studies prepare for careers in communication involving significant intercultural contact.

Research activities within Intercultural Communication focus on interaction in multicultural settings. The core areas are intercultural competence, and communication in multicultural communities and organizations. The challenges of internationality and multiculturality in both interpersonal and organizational communication as well as various media contexts will be met by applying research results.

A professorship in Intercultural Communication, based on a contract of employment to be filled as of August 1st, 2012, in effect until further notice

According to § 33 of the Universities Act, the professor shall carry out and supervise scientific research or artistic work, provide instruction based on such work and follow developments in science or art, as well as participate in societal interaction and international cooperation in his or her field.

According to § 67 of the University of Jyväskylä Regulations, members of the teaching and research staff are obliged, within their respective job descriptions and work plan, to conduct and supervise scientific research, follow the developments in their respective disciplines, examine theses and dissertations, teach and enhance teaching practices, provide study counseling, carry out relevant examinations, take part in the student selection process, as well as attend to tasks ensuing from memberships in the administrative bodies of the University and to other tasks counted as part of their work or assigned to them. In addition, they are to provide the necessary reports concerning their teaching and supervising activities, publications and scientific activity in general, and the examinations belonging to their sphere of responsibilities.

The professorship is closely associated with two of the University’s strategic core areas, Languages, Culture and Social Change and Human Technology.

The professor is expected to conduct research on interaction in multicultural settings and must have a profound knowledge of the discipline. The professor is also expected to conduct and develop research and teaching within the Department’s focus areas, which presupposes applying for supplementary research funding. The duties also include developing interdisciplinary research and education in accordance with the strategic objectives of both the Department and the University of Jyväskylä. The professor will also be expected to participate in the administration of the Department.

In addition, the duties include teaching, supervision and development activities regarding the Intercultural Communication Master’s Programme, the Intercultural Communication specialization option of the Interactions Master’s Programme, commencing in 2012, as well as the Doctoral Programme in Intercultural Communication. The professor will also be responsible for the Intercultural Studies (ICS) Programme and participate in the development and implementation of the European Masters in Intercultural Communication Programme. The professor is also expected to cooperate closely with the other disciplines of the Department.

The emphasis in the work of the professor is on active research, and launching and implementing of research projects, as well as participation in joint international research and teaching activities. In addition, the tasks include supervision of doctoral dissertations and Master’s theses as well as providing instruction to basic degree levels and postgraduate level students.

In accordance with Section 57 of the University of Jyväskylä Regulations, a professor is required to have a doctoral degree, solid scientific competence, experience in leading research projects, ability to provide research-based teaching and supervising of high quality, as well as proven experience in international research cooperation in his/her field. Practical familiarity in the sphere of duties is not required.

The applicant’s merits are assessed on the basis of scientific publications, other scientific research results, experience in teaching and supervising, as well as pedagogical training, production of textbooks and other teaching materials, other indications of skills achieved in education, and if necessary, teaching ability as shown by trial lectures.

In addition to this, the applicant’s activeness in the scientific community, success in acquiring complementary research funding, as well as involvement in international scientific work and international positions of trust will also be considered.

According to Section 1 of the Government Decree on Universities (770/2009), which defines the language proficiency requirements for university teaching and research positions in Finland, a full command of the teaching language, Finnish, is required. The teaching languages in the professorship in Intercultural Communication to be filled are Finnish and English. A good command of English is required and a proficiency to teach in English will be considered an additional qualification. When considered appropriate, the university can grant exemption from the language proficiency requirements.

In accordance with Section 65 of the University of Jyväskylä Regulations, a professor is required to complete studies in university pedagogy or equivalent within two years of the beginning of the employment contract, unless studies have already been completed by the time of appointment. This prerequisite concerns all teaching staff whose employment starts on 1 August, 2012 or thereafter.

The professor’s job-specific salary component is based on the job demands levels 8 – 11 (4434,84 €/month – 6541,87 €/month) according to the salary system concerning teaching and research staff at universities. In addition, a personal performance-based salary component amounting to the maximum of 46,3% of the job-specific salary component is also paid.

Application procedure

The application form is available at the University webpage www.jyu.fi/en and the appointment procedure on the Faculty webpage www.jyu.fi/hum/en.

The appointment procedure for filling the vacant professorship provides more information on the duties involved and on the ways of meeting the qualification requirements, as well as on the application and appointment procedure itself.

The application shall include:
Brief (2 – 3 pages each) written accounts in four copies on the following:
● Scientific merits and activities connected with managing and supervising research work, acquiring research funding, leading positions in research projects, supervision and final examination of doctoral dissertations, and instruction of doctoral students;
● Pedagogical training and teaching merits;
● Activities in the field of societal interaction, and international activities;
● An account of how the candidate plans to develop the domain in relation to the
University’s three basic tasks (research, teaching, and societal interaction) in Jyväskylä. In addition, the application shall include the following documents in four copies each:
● A copy of the CV
● A list of publications drawn up according to the regulations of the Academy of Finland covering all the scientific and other publications with which the candidate wishes to demonstrate his or her eligibility and merits for the post.

The list of publications must contain the following information (with a number of pages for each):
o articles in refereed scientific journals
o articles in refereed and edited scientific volumes and conference proceedings o published monographs
o other scholarly publications
o textbooks and other research-related books and texts
o research-related popularized articles and radio or TV programmes.

The publications are to be listed with full reference data, containing the names of the authors and the title and publisher of the work (see http://www.aka.fi/en-gb/A/For-researchers/How-to-apply/Appendices/List-of-publications/).
● A maximum of 10 publications, numbered in accordance with the above list and arranged in four identical packages ready to be sent to the external evaluators.For additional information, please contact Dean Petri Karonen (mobile +358 (0) 400247388, email petri.k.karonen@jyu.fi), or Director of the Department of Communication Pertti Hurme (mobile +358 (0) 505471612, email pertti.hurme@jyu.fi).

The applications and their attachments for the post shall be addressed to the University of Jyväskylä and delivered to the University Registry Office, Seminaarinkatu 15, or mailed to the following address: University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, FIN-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The closing date for the applications is October, 17, 2011 at 16.15. Applications will not be returned to the applicant.

Anne Kankaanranta Researcher Profile

Researcher ProfilesAnne Kankaanranta is Senior University Lecturer of Organizational Communication at the Department of Management Studies of Aalto University School of Business (Aalto BIZ) in Helsinki, Finland.

Her PhD is in Applied Linguistics (University of Jyväskylä, Finland). In addition, she has an MSc in Economics and Business Administration from the Vaasa School of Economics and an Executive MBA from the Helsinki School of Economics (since 1 Jan 2011 Aalto BIZ).

Kankaanranta’s main research interests focus on the concept of ‘corporate language’, identity and multilingualism in the global workplace. In particular, her long-time interest has been the use of English as shared language in business (English as Business Lingua Franca, BELF) Her research has been published in, e.g., Journal of Management Studies, Multilingua, Corporate Communications, International Journal of Business Communication, Public Relations Review, and IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication.

She has worked as a researcher in projects funded by the Academy of Finland examining communication and language use in newly merged Finnish-Swedish companies and communication as business know-how of internationally operating companies. Currently Kankaanranta is involved in investigating Englishization of global knowledge work and the use of English as an academic lingua franca in a Russian business school.

She has worked as a visiting researcher/lecturer  at the University of Michigan, USA; Southampton, UK; and Aarhus, Denmark; with shorter scholarly visits to, e.g., WU Vienna University of Economics and Business; Takachiho University, Japan; NHH Norwegian School of Economics; and Ural State University of Economics, Russia.

Kankaanranta has been a member of the Association for Business Communication since 1996 and serves the organization on the Editorial Boards of both the International Journal of Business Communication and Business and Professional Communication Quarterly.

Leena Louhiala-Salminen Researcher Profile

Researcher ProfilesLeena Louhiala-Salminen is Professor and  Program Director of the Master’s Program in Corporate Communication at the Aalto University School of Business (AaltoBIZ) in Helsinki, Finland.

Her PhD is in Applied Linguistics (University of Jyväskylä, Finland). In addition, she has a Licentiate degree in English philology (University of Jyväskylä), an MSc in Economics and Business Administration from the Helsinki School of Economics (current Aalto University School of Business) and studies in communication (University of Helsinki).

Louhiala-Salminen’s main research interests include the various genres of business communication, the use of English as the business lingua franca, and corporate communication in international contexts. Her PhD focused on the notion of genre in business communication, with a particular emphasis on the generic qualities of the business fax. She has worked as researcher and project director in two major research projects funded by the Academy of Finland. The first one examined communication and language use in newly merged Finnish-Swedish companies, and the second project investigated business and corporate communication as business know-how of internationally operating companies and organizations.  Currently Louhiala-Salminen is involved, for example, in a study examining ‘corporate language’ and communication of strategy in multinational enterprises operating in Europe.

While serving on the Advisory Board of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, Louhiala-Salminen represented the Association for Business Communication (ABC). She is an ABC member since 1991 and has served the organization e.g. as member and chair of the Publications Board.  In 2011 she was elected member of the ABC Board (Director at Large).