This research examines U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Airmen perceptions regarding the cultural training provided in preparation for deployments. The implications of these perceptions provide an understanding of factors that impact the use and further the effectiveness of cultural training. This study fills the gap between the experiences of USAF Public Affairs Airmen and general culture training studies as the literature review shows little scholarly research conducted for this specific group. The research study incorporated a generic qualitative research methodology utilizing semi-structured interview questions to explore the perceptions of intercultural communication experiences of the 14 participants. Participants were retired and honorably discharged USAF Public Affairs Airmen who, while serving in the USAF, previously deployed in support of a Department of Defense (DoD) tasking outside of the continental United States and received some cultural training before deploying. The results confirm previous studies’ findings that the participants perceived their pre-deployment cultural training as being useful and vital to their success during their deployment. In addition, participants reported cultural training as the primary factor contributing to their success when participating in cross-cultural communications further adding to the effectiveness of executing their deployed mission. Participants identified factors such as increased awareness and increased efficiency as beneficial results from cultural training that influenced the successful interactions with people from other cultures. However, the study also acknowledged several perceived deficiencies in the training despite initial findings that participants viewed their pre-deployment cultural training as being useful. Feedback from the participants suggests that including mission-specific training, improving the quality of trainers, and incorporating coalition cultural training would enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the training. This research provides insight regarding proposed improvements and enhancements to the current cross-cultural awareness training and the mission effectiveness of Public Affairs Airmen, as well as input regarding cross-cultural training curriculum for public sector organizations and businesses that regularly collaborate with clients, co-workers and service providers. Also, the research fills gaps in the Air Force and cross-cultural training literature for outreach service providers.
|Commitee:||Mottaz, Carole, Versuk, Karen|
|Department:||School of Public Service Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Public administration, Communication, Multicultural Education|
|Keywords:||Air Force deployment training, Intercultural communications, Intercultural training, Perception of training|
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