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University of Delaware Faculty

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Beth Haslett
Professor Emerita
University of Delaware
238 Pearson Hall
Newark, DE 19716


Beth Bonniwell Haslett (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) is a professor in the Department of Communication, and holds joint appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Women’s Studies. She is active in the communication discipline’s major organizations and a member of the editorial board of Communication Studies.

Her research and teaching interests focus on cross cultural communication and organizational communication. More specifically, she is very interested in Face, broadly defined as treating others with dignity and respect, and receiving this same treatment in return. As such, Face is important for establishing and maintaining effective social relationships with others. Strategies for honoring Face vary across cultures, although the importance of Face in interaction appears to be universal.

Her interest in organizations focuses on how communication varies as a function of organizational contexts, varying from NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to multinational organizations to governments. She is particularly interested in computer mediated communication in virtual organizations, and in the differences between face-to-face communication and computer mediated communication in organizations.

Communicating and organizing in context: The theory of structurational interaction combines her interests in cross cultural and organizational communication. This book reflects a new approach to analyzing communicative processes—structural interaction—and analyzes issues such as identity and identification in organizations, social presence, the impact of computer mediated communication on organizations and across cultures, processes of globalization, and leadership.

Courses that she teaches include public speaking, gender and communication, cross cultural communication, conflict, and organizational communication. In addition to providing students with current research findings in a given area, she also encourages students to develop critical and analytic thinking skills in her courses. Another goal is in having students apply this knowledge to their own lives and future careers. Hopefully, such knowledge benefits students in their personal and professional lives.

Courses Taught

COMM204: Gender and Communication
COMM 417: Communication and Conflict Management
COMM 421: Intercultural Communication
COMM 455: Symbolism in Organizations
COMM 456: Communication in Organizations
COMM 485: Analysis of Face-to-Face Communication
COMM 610: Organizational Communication Theory


Haslett, B. (in press). The Minnesota years. In W. Leeds- Hurwitz (Ed.), The social history of language and social interaction research: People, places, ideas. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press

Haslett, B. Communicating and organizing in context: The theory of structurational interaction, forthcoming, Spring, 2011, Routledge. ​

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