Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dana Lynn Driscoll

Second Advisor

Gian S. Pagnucci

Third Advisor

Bennett A. Rafoth


This dissertation explored the academic and disciplinary literacy socialization of seven international undergraduate business students. It used a qualitative multi-case design to answer the question: How do international undergraduate students in business and management experience academic literacy and disciplinary socialization in their majors? The data collected to answer this question utilized face-to-face interviews and writing samples. The respective participants were seven international undergraduate senior students from four business majors: international business management, human resources management, supply chain management, and finance.

Results indicated that there are nine salient themes speaking to how my participants experienced academic literacy and disciplinary socialization in their majors. These included the participants’ path and journey to their majors, and their disciplinary writing and reading perceptions and practices. Results also revealed the role of group work as impactful in the participants’ socialization. As the participants encountered disciplinary challenges, they used coping strategies and/or affordances to respond to such challenges and proceed with their socialization. The role of environment has also been identified as a contributor to the participants’ academic literacy journeys. As a consequence, they managed to develop a sense of disciplinary identities in their majors. Moreover, they had perceptions about the value of their first languages (L1) as making them more marketable as business professionals.

Considering the findings above, this study offers new insights into how international undergraduates experience academic literacy and disciplinary socialization in business and management majors. It also helps reveal the kind of challenges those students encounter and how that relates to their socialization. It concludes with highlighting important areas for future exploration to better understand the socialization processes of international students in general and business students in particular.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 02, 2020