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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Improving intercultural dialogue between mining companies and Native American communities in Northern Nevada
by Becker, Lisa A., M.A., Gonzaga University, 2015, 57; 10017941
Abstract (Summary)

This study analyzed intercultural communication and cross-cultural hurdles between a multinational mining company, “the Company,” and the indigenous Western Shoshone community in Northern Nevada. Standpoint theory, as presented by Wood (2004), was the framework used to analyze the engagement methods utilized by the Company and the local tribal organizations to identify communication barriers between the two groups. This study explored an external perception of the Company and the general mining industry from tribal employees, as well as the unique perspective of those participants who bring a Native American standpoint to their position of employment within the Company. Research data was derived from focus groups of the Company employees of Native American descent and targeted interviews with external Native American stakeholders. The focus group participants varied by departmental function, tenure, and standing across multiple geographic operations, while the interview participants were employed by two different tribal organizations. Focus group and interview data each highlighted a discernable gap in the Company’s current outreach with the local Native American communities and indicated key areas for improvement. Both internal and external participants recommended improvements to the Company’s communications strategy and provided specific examples of culturally effective outreach methods and topics. These disparities originated from differing cultural perspectives and standpoints between the Company and the Native American communities. Through improved dialogue practices and communication outreach, this intercultural relationship can progress.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shlossberg, Pavel, Hazel, Michael T.
School: Gonzaga University
Department: Communication and Leadership
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Mining engineering, Native American studies
Keywords: Communication, Engagement, Intercultural, Mining, Native American
Publication Number: 10017941
ISBN: 978-1-339-50621-0
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