Bridging intercultural communication divides: examining technology use by dispersed research teams working in South East Asia

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Abstract

Multinational agricultural research teams operating in low-income countries must overcome communication challenges to address agricultural problems and rural poverty. Collaborations between dispersed team members rely on information and computer technologies (ICTs) to facilitate communication and share knowledge and expertise. These collaborations can compound dependencies of low-income countries on high-income countries through power imbalances and ICTs used. This paper explores impacts of these externalities on ICT communication between Lao and Australian researchers operating in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) through the theoretical lens of intercultural rhetorical theory. The study used constructivist grounded theory methodology with 30 interviewees collaborating in research projects in Lao PDR. The results identified external constraints on team communication, such as: limited ICT infrastructure and user education; economic, funding, and political pressures; variable coordination between national and international organisations. Researchers can apply these findings to project planning and implementation to improve communication between team members and enhance international collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-393
Number of pages17
JournalCommunication Research and Practice
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2023

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