Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, Virtual Issue (2013): Doctoral Research at the interface of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice

Intercultural communication in a development project in Samoa

Fran Byrnes
Issued Date: 7 May 2013


Through the study of selected project events and their associated discourses this research explores how participants in a development project used cultural and professional resources, including communication resources; and the consequences resulting (for them and for others) from this use. The project is explored as a ‘soft’ system of social interactions and processes; and as a ‘Third Space’ (Bhabha 1990) where traditional boundaries of socio-cultural organisation, or of professions, are destabilised and where newly-constructed practices, orders of discourse, identities and representations are required. The research takes a critical and ideological stance, underpinned by a belief in the value and possibility of social action. While not primarily a call to action, the study presents its interpretations in the context of larger ethical and political challenges, with a view to informing change, specifically what deliberate action might be taken to improve processes and practices in future projects. Recommendations for change, based on the research findings, are concerned with determining principles and codes of practice for: (i) identifying and developing intercultural competence in project situations (ii) training for intercultural project work, including ongoing participant research (iii) improving project systems and (iv) using relevant approaches/techniques in organisational change management.

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DOI: 10.1558/japl.v1.i1.17288


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