Institutional culture in a multicultural community of practice: A case study of a Kenyan University College.

Oluoch, Everlyn A. (2018-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to explore institutional culture in a multicultural and linguistically diverse university college in Nairobi County, Kenya. It examined intercultural communication and the ability of a shared Community of Practice (CofP) to overcome intercultural barriers and contribute to intercultural understanding, rather than misunderstanding. The study adopted a qualitative paradigm through the collective case study design. The study was guided by four research questions: how institutional culture is constructed in official policy documents in a Kenyan university college; how students in a Kenyan university college perceive the institution’s efforts to make them aware of each other’s culture; how staff members in a Kenyan university college perceive the institution’s efforts to make them aware of each other’s culture; and how students at a culturally and linguistically diverse institution in a Kenyan university college view themselves and others in relation to the institutional culture and official language practices. The study focused on first to fourth year students who were enrolled in the institution in the Department of Education, and teaching and non-teaching staff. The researcher used homogeneous and purposeful random sampling techniques to select the students. For the teaching and non-teaching staff, the researcher employed a purposive sampling technique. The total number of participants for this collective case study was 34. The instruments that the researcher used to collect data for this study were a focus group discussion schedule for students, an interview schedule for teaching and non-teaching staff and a document analysis guide. The researcher transcribed the interviews, manually coded the data, categorised the data, derived themes from the categories, interrelated themes and interpreted the meaning of themes. In spite of creating understanding among members of the established CofP, the study established that the core values of the university college are sometimes a source of conflict between members of the institution. Linguistic variety excludes some members of the institution in the CofP and misinterpretation also occurs in contexts where ambiguous words that denote different meanings in varied languages are used. The study recommended that the administration and staff should continue to create awareness of and sensitise students to the core values. Students should practise intercultural fluency to promote inclusiveness and cohesion in diversity and members of the community should at all times use a common language.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was om institusionele kultuur te ondersoek in ’n multikulturele en linguisties-diverse universiteitskollege in Nairobi distrik, Kenia. Daar is ondersoek ingestel rakende interkulturele kommunikasie en die vermoë van ’n gedeelde Praktykgemeenskap (CofP) om interkulturele hindernisse te oorkom en om by te dra tot interkulturele begrip, eerder as misverstande. Die studie het ’n kwalitatiewe paradigma aangeneem deur middel van die kollektiewe gevallestudie-ontwerp. Die studie is gelei deur vier navorsingsvrae: hoe institusionele kultuur saamgestel word in amptelike beleidsdokumente in ’n Keniaanse universiteitskollege; hoe studente in ’n Keniaanse universiteitskollege die instituut se pogings om hulle bewus te maak van mekaar se kultuur, beskou; hoe personeellede in ’n Keniaanse universiteitskollege die instituut se pogings om hulle bewus te maak van mekaar se kultuur, beskou; en hoe studente in ’n kultureelen linguisties diverse instituut in ’n Keniaanse universiteitskollege hulself en ander beskou in verhouding met die institusionele kultuur en amptelike taalpraktyke. Die studie het gefokus op eerste- tot vierdejaar studente wat ingeskryf is by die instituut in die Onderwys Departement, en akademiese- en nie-akademiese-personeellede. Die navorser het homogene en doelgerigte ewekansige steekproeftegnieke gebruik om die studente te selekteer. Met die akademiese- en nieakademiese- personeellede het die navorser ’n doelbewuste steekproeftegniek ingespan. Die totale aantal deelnemers vir dié kollektiewe gevallestudie was 34. Die instrumente wat die navorser gebruik het om data in te samel vir die studie was ’n fokusgroepbesprekingskedule vir studente, ’n onderhoudskedule vir die akademiese- en nie-akademiese-personeellede en ’n dokumentanaliseraamwerk. Die navorser het die onderhoude getranskribeer, die data met die hand gekodeer, die data gekategoriseer, temas afgelei van die kategorieë, die temas verbind en die betekenis van die temas geïnterpreteer. Ten spyte daarvan dat die kernwaardes van die universiteitskollege begrip skep tussen lede van die gevestigde CofP, het die studie vasgestel dat die kernwaardes soms ’n bron van konflik tussen lede van die instituut is. Linguistiese variëteite sluit party lede van die instituut in die CofP uit en misinterpretasie kom ook voor in kontekste waar dubbelsinnige woorde wat verskillende betekenisse in verskillende tale oordra, gebruik word. Die studie het aanbeveel dat die administrasie en personeel moet voortgaan om bewustheid te skep en studente te sensitiseer teenoor die kernwaardes. Studente moet interkulturele vlotheid beoefen om inklusiwiteit en kohesie te bevorder en lede van die gemeenskap moet ten alle ’n gemeenskaplike taal gebruik.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103798
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