CFP Case Studies Diverse Organizational Settings

Call for Case Study Chapters

“Cases in Organizational and Managerial Communication: Stretching Boundaries” (Routledge, 2016)

Edited by:
Jeremy P. Fyke, Marquette University
Jeralyn Faris, Purdue University
Patrice M. Buzzanell, Purdue University

About the Edited Volume:
Given the interest in engaged scholarship and more flexible and virtual forms within communication, and organizational communication in particular, cases in this volume will cross over different areas within our field and related disciplines. We encourage contributors to cover topics and populations that have been largely underresearched in organizational communication literature (e.g., Twitter, transnational organizations, faith-based organizations, blogging, cybervetting, women in the informal work sector in India), but that play an important role
in today’s global economy. Thus, contributions might delve into organizing structures, relationships, and visions for global not-for-profits, hybrid, creative industry, and entrepreneurial organizations. Cases can be more “positive” in orientation to display exemplars of organizations that have qualities to emulate. However, cases might also display “destructive” elements and processes (e.g., dysfunctional leadership, workplace bullying). Furthermore, the chapters in this volume could reflect an awareness of the necessity of intercultural communication competencies, emphasizing communication in multicultural contexts (e.g., China, India, Africa, Turkey). Overall, regardless of topic, we encourage submissions that explore intercultural/cross-cultural communication issues.

Possible Case Study Topics:
Identity(ies)/Identifications * Technology/Technological Processes * Cybervetting * Diversity/Difference * Engaged Scholarship * Social Change * Leadership * Global Labor Force/Labor Trends * Professionalism/Careerism * Volunteerism * Popular Culture * Career Lifecycles/Meanings of Work * Constructive/Destructive Processes * Social Networks

Submission Details:
To contribute, send a 1 page (~300 word) proposal that highlights the case study topic area by January 31, 2014. Potential authors will then be contacted by the end of February. The deadline for full case submissions is May 1, 2014.

Final cases should be between 2,500-3,000 words (10-12 double spaced pages total) and should be accompanied by discussion questions for students and suggested further readings. Additionally, contributors will be asked to provide a 150-word case synopsis that can be used for in-class exercises.

Jeremy Fyke, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Communication Studies & Strategic Communication Diederich College of Communication, Marquette University

ICA regional conf in China

Extended Deadline for the First Co-Sponsored ICA Regional Conference in the People’s Republic of China

The deadline for submitting papers to ICA’s first Co-Sponsored Regional Conference in the People’s Republic of China [PRC] has been extended to June 1, 2013! Co-hosted by 18 Chinese associations and institutions, the theme of “Communication and Social Transformation” crosses communication contexts and offers specific opportunities for networking and institutional collaborations. This regional conference will be hosted in Shanghai on November 8-10, 2013. Full details about the conference–including free wifi at and the convenient location of the conference hotel to cultural sites, as well as information about submissions and presentations in Chinese or English–are listed here.

The conference hotel, the Pullman Shanghai Skyway hotel, is easily accessible from the Pudong International Airport by Metro or taxi. For first-time visitors to Shanghai who would like to be greeted at the airport, the website offers details about making these arrangements with our hosts.

As noted in the May 2013 ICA Newsletter, officials from our host universities/ associations in China and ICA President Cynthia Stohl will welcome conference participants. Of special interest is the plenary address by the top official of Sina.Com. Seven Chinese scholars from top universities have been invited to present keynote addresses-we are awaiting their responses to our invitations. Keynote speakers who already have accepted include: Bill Dutton (Professor and founding Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, Professorial Fellow of Balliol College), Jan Servaes (UNESCO Chair in Communication for Sustainable Social Change, University of Massachusetts Amherst), Stephen Reese (Jesse H. Jones Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin), and Maureen Taylor (Gaylord Family Chair of Strategic Communication, Oklahoma University). ICA Communication Director John Paul (JP) Gutierrez will discuss impact factors and keys to media exposure.

In discussion sessions, leading faculty from around the globe will talk about the changing nature of (future) communication scholarship and engagement, entrepreneurship education, and the city, among other topics. Conversations will continue during an (optional) tour of an ancient Chinese water village close to Shanghai on the day following the official close of the ICA Regional Conference.

For further information, please contact Qian WANG, assistant professor in The School of Media and Design at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (icashanghai2013 AT or Patrice M. Buzzanell (buzzanel AT, Professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University, SJTU Advisory Board member, and ICA Liaison for this regional conference in China.  The Call for Papers is posted on the ICA website for details.

Send papers to: icashanghai2013 AT


Shanghai Normal U Int’l Conf Intercultural Comm

Intercultural Competence and Interaction
Call for Papers: 2012 SHNU International Conference of Intercultural Communication

With the success of the first International Conference of Intercultural Communication in 2008 and the second in 2010, Shanghai Normal University will sponsor the third on December 15-16, 2012. The 2012 ICIC focuses on Intercultural Competence and Interaction”. It is, as the previous two, characterized by high-level scholarship, explicitly focused themes, multiple perspectives and in-depth discussions. We welcome both domestic and international scholars to interpret the conference theme from different perspectives, and would like to share their knowledge and expertise.

Working Language: English/Chinese
Time: December 15-16, 2012
Venue: 100 Guilin Road, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China

Invited Speakers:
Colleen Ward, Donal Carbaugh, Guo-Ming Chen, Michael Byram, Molefi K. Asante, Nobuyuki Honna, Patrice Buzzanell, SUN Youzhong, SHI Xu and XU Lisheng.

Abstract and paper submission:
Please submit a 300-500 word abstract (APA style, Times New Roman 12 point font and double spaced) to as an email attachment no later than September 15th. Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by October 15th, 2012, and will then be invited to submit a full paper ranging from 5000 to 12000 words by December 1st. All submissions will be carefully reviewed. High quality articles will be selected for publication. For more information, please visit:

Conference Registration Fee:
Teachers or researchers: 800 RMB($120)
Students or Spouse: 400 RMB($60)

Payment of the registration fee covers the cost to attend the main conference and the concurrent sessions, coffee breaks and conference meals. Notice that this registration fee does NOT cover the cost of the local transportation and accommodation.

Sponsor: Foreign Languages College of Shanghai Normal University
Chief of Organization Committee: Prof. Lu Jianfei, Secretary of Shanghai Normal University/chair of SHNU council.
Deputy Chief: Prof. Cai Longquan, Dean of Foreign Languages College of Shanghai Normal University.
Executive: Dr. Dai Xiaodong, Shanghai Normal University, Fulbright research scholar.
Tel: 86-21-64323699
Fax: 86-21-64321755

ICA 2012

The International Communication Association convention was held from May 23-28, 2012, in Phoenix, AZ. I presented a paper co-authored with Yves Winkin, of the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon entitled “Walk Like a Local: Pedestrian Behavior in the US, France, and China” to the Urban Communication Foundation Preconference.

(Thanks to Casey Lum for both organizing the event, and for the photo of me at the Seminar.) I also served as respondent to a panel entitled “Narrative and Community in Intractable Conflicts.” In addition, the Language and Social Interaction Division honored me with a panel entitled ” Constructing Communities of Scholars: Celebrating the Work of Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz” (thanks to Theresa Castor for organizing the event, and to Liliana Castañeda Rossmann, Teri Harrison, Beth Haslett and Saskia Witteborn for participating).

We continued the tradition of holding a mini-meeting of those members of the Advisory Board of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue who were present at a conference (this time it was Donal Carbaugh and Michael Haley) along with the past and current Presidents of our parent organization, the Council of Communication Associations (Patrice Buzzanell and Linda Steiner).

While at ICA I connected with many international scholars, including some of those I had met or visited during the last year or two of travels: Simon Harrison (met in France, now based in Germany), Ifat Maoz (Israel), Saskia Witteborn (Hong Kong), Vivian Chen (Singapore), and Carla Ganito (Portugal).

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Cross-cultural Research with Children

Cross-Cultural Research with Children: Negotiating the Labyrinth of Institutional (Ethics) Review Boards (IRBs) through Proactive Partnerships

Doing research with children in multiple countries is rewarding, but also challenging. For many scholars, one particular challenge involves working with institutional review boards (IRBs), independent ethical review boards designed to protect human subjects.  Over time, IRBs developed norms for consent, assent, confidentiality, and privacy, among other concerns that provide standard protocols for research practices. For example, in the United States, children under the age of 18 are considered minors. In almost all research situations, informed consent standards require that in addition to receiving verbal or written assent from the children themselves, the parents or guardians of the children must provide written consent as well.  Although parental consent may be waived in certain situations, this waiver is rare and another protection mechanism for children must be provided.

Unfortunately, this standard protocol does not always translate across countries. Different countries approach guardianship as well as the practice(s) of research differently, creating a number of challenges during our IRB submission. We learned these challenges the hard way when doing research on children’s conceptualizations of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers in 4 countries. At the end of the project, we had gathered data from over 400 Pre-K through 4th grade children (typically ages 4 – 10, some as young as 3) in four countries (Belgium, China, Lebanon, and the United States); however, getting IRB approval for all 4 countries took almost a year because what is typical in the U.S. for data collection with children is not always typical elsewhere. Ethical practice requires contextual understanding. Accordingly, we were asked and had to figure out how to communicate and document these cultural differences to our U.S. IRB in ethical research a manner that allowed them to achieve their central objectives even as the protocols—from their initial perspective—looked different from what they considered “typical” for research such as ours. (Certainly anthropologists, sociologists, and other scholars who have historically and routinely engaged in cross-cultural or international research have successfully addressed such challenges; however, the increasing global economy and interest in global and intercultural scholarship has extended these challenges to a broader array of disciplines that may be less familiar with how cross-cultural research complicates research logistics even as it can enhance research richness).

A graduate student at the time of this research, the process of working with IRB through this process, while at times frustrating, taught me—and my colleagues (Dr. Lorraine Kisselburgh, then a graduate student, and Dr. Patrice Buzzanell, the PI and originator of the project)—a lot about some of the logistical nuances of cross-cultural research, data collection with children, and working with ethical review boards. Our hope is that the examples from our research will help you anticipate potential miscommunications and resistance to cultural differences so that we can gain the cross-cultural and lifespan benefits that come from studies such as this. An unintended benefit of this process, was the opportunity we had to communicate and partner with IRB personnel to expand cross-cultural understandings of particular cultural practices and norms in terms of parenting and guardianship as well as conducting research.

In all 4 countries, we recruited children through local schools. In the United States, in addition to school board, principal, and teacher permission, we gathered consent and assent forms from every participating student, consistent with typical U.S. IRB protocols for young children.  This process worked similarly in Lebanon; however, we had to change the process for Belgium and China.  In Belgium, as soon as the child arrives at school each morning, guardianship transfers to school officials. This means that if there is a medical emergency or a research request, the administrator(s) and/or teachers can authorize action. Guardianship thus transfers from parents to school administrators and back during the day. Parents do not have to be contacted. Parental consent for research also operates differently in China.  Here—at the elementary schools affiliated with universities—parental consent for research conducted in the elementary schools was only required for biomedical research (e.g., drawing blood). Since our research involved questions such as “what do you want to be when you grow up?,” our Chinese collaborators informed us that sending letters home and requesting parental consent would have caused undue concern among the parents, violating a primary goal that the typical parental consent process was intended to fulfill.

As one might imagine, it took a while to work through the standardized IRB processes that are not set up to deal with research situations like ours. The lack of inclusion of parental consent forms for the protocols for Belgium and China were initially questioned. The idea of guardianship and therefore the authority of consent transferring out of the control of parents based on context was foreign to the administrative assistants responsible for the initial review of our IRB applications. After a few unsuccessful emails, we met in person with IRB assistants and decision makers to work through the details of crafting a protocol that was culturally sensitive, consistent with U.S. human subjects requirements, and met overall research goals.  In addition to guardianship concerns, for data collection in Belgium and China, we were partnering with non-U.S. colleagues to collect the data as none of us spoke either Flemish or Mandarin. As a result, there were a number of initial concerns from IRB administrative staff, given recent reports of research abuses within and outside of the U.S., that all research personnel be familiar with and follow the ethical principles around which U.S. IRB orient. However, talking through their concerns and ours helped. Even with the incredible volume and hard work these IRB staff experience daily, they worked diligently with us through rounds of meetings and letters to find appropriate ways to address the cross-cultural differences that complicate understandings and applications of human subject protections.

The communication strategy we found most successful involved teasing out IRBs specific goals and finding reasonable ways to fulfill human subject goals and achieve our research goals. In addition to documenting how research and guardianship worked in the Belgium and China, we were initially asked to provide signed documents on letterhead from high level government or education officials who could attest to this as the national norm, in English or written in the national language and then translated into English by an independent, verified translator. Needless to say, we as researchers did not have access to high government officials.  So we negotiated again, explaining our dilemma and asking: “Can you tell us the purpose of this particular letter/document?” Once we understood their purpose, we were able to provide letters from different, more accessible sources. For example, for our data collection in Belgium, we had the head of a university ethics board write a letter approving our research protocol as consistent with national and university norms. In China, we were able to find a university official who could provide similar documentation. In both cases, we also helped the letter writers understand the purpose and perspective of the IRB, so that they could tailor their letters appropriately.

So when I do a study like this again, I would work harder to anticipate the perspective of the IRB, informing them about the different cultural protocols with appropriate documentation, talking with the IRB in advance, and leaving lots of time to work through all the details. Specifically, I would recommend that I/you:

1)    Think like the IRB. Be sure you understand the goals and objectives of IRB generally, and your IRB personnel specifically. Set-up your application to meet their goals in language they understand. In addition to the human subjects protections, increased threats of legal liability and negative press increase pressures to avoid anything potentially problematic. Show them why it is not a problem, from their perspective—whether your audience is the initial gatekeepers or the full board. Before you submit your application, see #2.

2)    Be proactive and initiate a partnership. If your study is going to deviate from the national (or institutional) norm, and you have good reasons for doing so, talk to IRB personnel in advance. IRB personnel can often help you know what language to use and/or what documentation to provide. Even when you are frustrated by what seems to be administrative hoop-jumping, rather than human subjects protection, keep the goals in sight: protecting human subjects while getting rich, cross-cultural, lifespan data. It may not always seem that way, but you’re on the same team. Go into the meeting knowing your key objectives, your best understanding of theirs, and ask questions to help you understand the specific obstacles. As more researchers complete cross-cultural work with minors, these new understandings of cultural differences will become part of institutional memory, but it takes time, especially with the regular turnover of IRB boards.

3)    Leave time. Lots of time. Start early and be persistent. As we worked through each country, one-by-one, we were able to begin gathering data, so we started to see the rewards of all these logistical efforts. Not anticipating the challenges, including a number of others not listed here (e.g., school board review timelines, anti-research teachers, different interview approaches), delayed access to the data, but we got the data, and we’re better prepared for the next collection.

4)    Be strategic. And as a graduate student or tenure-track professor: When you get the chance to do a logistically complicated study like this, do it (but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for the dissertation), you’ll learn a lot. Have other, complementary research projects that give you access to data that doesn’t require the same logistical overhead.

Although only one part of the logistical story of collecting data across countries with children, it, along with our other research adventures, provided a complement to formal education that few experiences could match.

Dr. Brenda L. Berkelaar
in consultation with Dr. Lorraine Kisselburgh & Dr. Patrice M. Buzzanell


Dr. Brenda L. Berkelaar (Ph.D. Purdue University) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, where she does research on work, careers, and new technologies/new media. Dr. Lorraine Kisselburgh, is an Assistant Professor in Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University, and conducts research on intersections of organization, technology, and gender and difference. Dr. Patrice M. Buzzanell, the P.I. and originator of the research study is a professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University who researches career, leadership, and work-life issues, particularly relating to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines).

More details on our research process are addressed in a chapter earlier presented to the 2009 Chinese Communication Association Convention and published as:

Kisselburgh, L.G., Berkelaar, B.L., & Buzzanell, P.M. (2010). Collaborative research in global contexts: Institutional and ethical synergies. In Communication in e-Society: Innovation, collaboration and responsibility (pp. 69-84). Shanghai, China: Shanghai People’s Publishing House.

If you are interested in some of the results of the study, recent publications include:

Buzzanell, P. M., Berkelaar, B. L., & Kisselburgh, L.G. (2012). Expanding understandings of mediated and human socialization agents: Chinese children talk about desirable work and career. China Media Research, 8(1), 1-14.

Berkelaar, B. L., Buzzanell, P. M., Kisselburgh, L. G., Tan, W., Shen, Y. (2012).  “First, it’s dirty. Second, it’s dangerous. Third, it’s insulting”: Chinese children talk about dirty work. Communication Monographs, 79(1), 93-114. doi: 10.1080/03637751.2011.646490

Buzzanell, P. M. (2011). Interrogating culture. Intercultural Communication Studies, 20(1), 1-16.

Buzzanell, P. M., Berkelaar, B. L., & Kisselburgh, L. K. (2011). From the mouths of babes: Exploring families’ career socialization of young children in China, Lebanon, Belgium, and the United States, Journal of Family Communication, 11(2), 148-164. doi:10.1080/15267431.2011.554494

Kisselburgh, L., Berkelaar, B. L., & Buzzanell, P. M. (2009). Discourse, gender, and the meanings of work: Rearticulating science, technology, and engineering careers through communicative lenses. In C. Beck (Ed.), Communication yearbook 33 (pp. 258-299). New York: Routledge.

We are grateful for collaborations and assistance  from colleagues throughout the world, especially including Wufeng Tan (China), Yiwen Shen (China), Steven Eggermont (Belgium), Abrar Hammoud (USA), Rebecca Dohrman (USA), and countless others who helped with data collection, transcription, and translation.

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