Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Richard C. Freed


Although localization, internationalization, and globalization efforts to meet international customers' product and information needs are accepted strategies in the US computer industry, the needs of second language (L2) English speakers are less directly addressed in the international workplace. Application of strategies similar to these three technical communication strategies may benefit international workplace communication;The international writing approaches represented by these three communication strategies are related to the global management strategies of organizations (e.g., ethnocentric, polycentric, geocentric). This categorization, based on Perlmutter and Hedlund, considers organizations' strategic missions and can be used to align management strategies with international writing approaches and individual rhetorical strategies. For example, an ethnocentric organization, entering the international market from a broad national base, instead of immediately changing its communication approach, might continue to use its source-localized information to communicate internationally. An organization might enter the global arena with an ethnocentric strategy, and, in reaction to emerging problems, focus on localization for each market and rely heavily on translation and translators, becoming more polycentric in its approach. A geocentric organization, balancing between ethnocentric and polycentric management strategies, is in constant communication across national and language borders, and might use both internationalization and globalization approaches in communication. Organizations' global management strategies should align with their international communication practices, both for customers and in the workplace. An organization seeking a larger role in international ventures, yet with ethnocentric, localized communication strategies, might be less successful than one with similar goals and a more geocentric, globalized communication;In recognition of the diverse needs of organizations and individuals, an assessment method, an International Written Communication Audit (IWCA), is developed in this dissertation. The IWCA, based on linguistic and contrastive rhetoric research, focuses on cultural, pragmatic, and translation issues important to international workplace writing in US-English. The basic IWCA combines internationalization and globalization approaches. A localization module for the PRC is offered as an example of tailoring the audit methodology to the needs of L2 English readers from a specific language group. The construction of a workplace sampling frame and the analysis of the IWCA data are discussed.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Carol Christine Leininger



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

147 pages