Communicating complex connectivity: Studying global management and global training from a communicative perspective

Stephanie Reding Galarneault, Purdue University


The goal of the study was to produce a set of guidelines for and exemplars of global training that reflect the richness and complexity of today's global work experience. Meta-analytic methods are combined with field research spanning five international sites and over 80 interviews with aviation maintenance professionals, managers, and area managers to produce a theoretically driven and grounded research project. Comparative analyses of (a) the role and understandings of culture in cross-cultural training and assumptions found in contemporary theories of globalization and (b) workers' and managers' experiences of work in a global workplace (i.e., the maintenance facilities of a large international airline) identified several disjunctures that need to be addressed. Stark contrasts in the way (a) culture is conceptualized (i.e., static versus dynamic, simple versus complex, monolithic versus polycentric), (b) content is incorporated (i.e., economic, legal, identity, boundary, and technology dimensions of globalization), and (c) managerial roles are abstracted and concretized present several opportunities for improvement in the types of training both managers and workers need to succeed in today's volatile global environment. Findings from the meta-analytic reviews and the empirical study are used to devise strategies to improve cross-cultural training, to identify key components of global training, and to develop exemplar global training materials.




Buzzanell, Purdue University.

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