Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Heisterkamp, Brian


Business ownership is imperative in correcting economic issues for demographic groups subjugated to discrimination, inequality, poverty, and other harmful disadvantages. This project supports the idea that building communication competence within minority-owned small businesses and nonprofit organizations, will significantly increase achievement of long-term sustainability and success. The solution is not only creating communication training tailored for minority entrepreneurs, but to allow access in feasible and tangible ways. This study begins by defining communication and explaining its function to assist in moving past the narrative of communication interaction as “talking and listening,” but instead a concept rooted in logic, theoretical analysis, and practical application. Next, “competent communicator” will be defined based on effectiveness and appropriateness, both salient in the conversation. The theoretical lenses used to analyze this dilemma are social penetration theory and expectancy violation theory; the key constructs of self-disclosure and expectancies are critical to understand in organizational settings. As part of the efforts to provide a solution, the author selected five essential communication competencies for smaller organization success and created communication curriculum to be presented via training manual, recorded audio, and recorded video. Utilizing communication skill training will make successful business more than a dream but a reality for minorities.

GMT20200416-210854_Shirleena-.m4a (6631 kB)
Appendix B

Additional Files

GMT20200416-210854_Shirleena-.m4a (6631 kB)
Appendix B