Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

David I. Hanauer, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jianfeng Wang, Ph.D.


This empirical study investigated the nature of MBA literacy from the experiences of Taiwanese MBA students and faculty members in Taiwan and the United States. It extends our understanding of MBA literacy by focusing on the literacy phenomena students experienced during their literacy process and also sought to better understand how students utilize their languages as advantages for different purposes and functions. While there is existing literature focusing on ESP, EAP and professional business discourse, research in pedagogical business literacy could be more thoroughly understood. Data collection was conducted through snowball and convenience sampling. The data included documents and interviews. The interviews were conducted, transcribed and analyzed in Chinese and English. The interviews were only translated when the quotes from the participants were used. The analysis focused on a series of comparisons between the literacy practices in Taiwan and the United States to see if there were similarities and differences, including students’ processes of approaching different literacy tasks, professors’ observations and experiences with Taiwanese students and study-abroad students, and prior and in-school MBA literacy experiences. From the results of this study, the nature of MBA literacy practices has the characteristics of multimodality and multilingualism. Meaning making in disciplinary business communication requires a combination of textual and non-textual modes. L2 students may flexibly use their linguistic resources to function in accordance with their varying levels of control over their languages. With both linguistic and cultural diversity existing in student backgrounds, their literacy practices can be flexible and creative because they may use their resources as strategies. The results also implied that business professionals dealing with communication that is crossing linguistic and cultural boundaries need to reconsider the nature of business communication and business literacy performance.