Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Loraleigh Keashly


The primary focus of this research was to critique and reconceptualize Oetzel’s (2005) Effective Intercultural Workgroup Communication Theory (EIWCT). The research explored the foundational research concepts in Oetzel’s theory: situational features (history of unresolved conflicts, equal/unequal status, and ingroup/outgroup), self-construals, face-concerns, interaction climate, and task and relational group effectiveness and satisfaction. The central critique of Oetzel’s theory was the operationalization of group diversity through self-construals, face concerns and ethnic identification. The current study proposed that relational models and horizontal/vertical individualism/collectivism may more completely and accurately capture diversity dimensions because they are considered deep-level diversity features (Fiske, 2004; Triandis & Gelfand, 1998). Even though not all hypotheses were supported, several variables were significantly correlated with the tested outcomes, i.e. interaction climate, group satisfaction and group effectiveness. Specifically, the relational model of market pricing, and the cultural dimensions of vertical collectivism and vertical individualism were significantly related to some outcomes variables.

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Communication Commons