Date of Award

Fall 2005

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Shuter, Robert

Second Advisor

Soley, Lawrence

Third Advisor

Meyer, Gary

Abstract

The late 1990's was a boom time for web development. Communication media changed along with our vocabulary as the proverbial "e" was placed in front of everything (e.g. e-communication, e-business, e-culture). Thankfully the e's have moved back to their appropriate location in words, but a new era of communication and communication technology remains and grows. As an employee communication manager for a global company during this time, I was charged with improving and developing the company intranet. There was a significant amount of content available across the company and in the regions where the company does business. But there were also significant differences in the level of use of the intranet by region and country. In addition, some regions seemed more enthusiastic about the web-based tools than other regions. This made me question why there were differences. Was culture having an impact on the uses of the company intranet? To explore the topic I decided to focus my thesis on a comparison of the uses and gratifications of the company intranet in two cultures; the United States, where the company headquarters is located; and China, a country where future market development represents a significant opportunity for the organization. These were chosen as examples of individualist and collectivist cultures.

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