Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design


Williams, Sean D

Committee Member

Katz , Steven

Committee Member

Hu , Xiaobo

Committee Member

Zhang , Yanhua


How people from different cultural backgrounds represent themselves and communicate with each other is an intriguing topic in the age of globalization. Using a grounded theory approach, this work investigates how Chinese individuals and companies introduce themselves to a global audience via resumes and annual reports.
To better understand the features of professional communication practices in China today, this work compares and contrasts current resume writing and annual report writing with those in the past, especially before Chinafs entry into the WTO, in order to understand the changes as well as the cultural contexts and cultural motives of these features. All data were collected by following the grounded theory protocol and were triangulated with interviews and non-technical literature (historical records). Data were analyzed in three layers: contextual, visual, and textual.
This work uncovers the current features of Chinese resume and annual report writing. A cross-genre analysis also reveals that Chinese professional communication practices after Chinafs entry into the WTO have an imprint of unique incorporation of both traditional Chinese culture and western influences. Results of this work have confirmed and answered the research call by Zhu and Li (2010) to address issues related to such combined influences. The term gglocalizationh developed and theorized by Roland Robertson vividly captures the essence of this incorporation which synthesizes the needs of a globalizing post-modern world by appreciating and appropriating professional communication practices both in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. Part of the motivating or justifying force behind international professional communication is to achieve a better understanding of U.S. professional communication by learning more about non-US professional communication practice---so that U.S. professional communication can be reexamined, refined, and enriched through other professional communication practices. Doing so will retain the vigor and vitality of the field of international professional communication and eventually improve the quality of professional communication practice worldwide.
The pedagogical implication of this work is to enrich the international audience analysis and better prepare students for the global workplace. The research methodology used can be applied to discover professional communication practices in other countries.

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