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Publications in VIVO

Ashcraft, Karen Lee



Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Professor Ashcraft's research examines how relations of difference, such as gender and race, come to matter in work and organizational life. She addresses a range of contexts, from bureaucratic and alternative forms of organizing to specific industries, spanning occupations as diverse as commercial aviation, social services, and academic labor. Her work has appeared in such outlets as Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization, and Communication Monographs, as well as in two co-authored books, Reworking Gender (Sage, 2004) and The Work of Communication (Routledge, 2017). She received the 2013 Best Article of the Year award from the Academy of Management Review for her formulation of the “glass slipper,” which captures how communication generates occupational identity and professional privilege through bodily association. Her current work considers how new materialisms can enrich communication theory and practice amid contemporary capitalism.


  • organizational communication, organization and management theory, feminist and critical theory, affect theory, organizational and occupational forms and identities, work and professions, alternative organizing, culture and power, difference, race, gender, sexuality, class, gendered organization, workplace diversity, qualitative research methods, organizational ethnography, aviation industry


selected publications


courses taught

  • COMM 3420 - Gender and Communication
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Spring 2024
    Examines gender as a social practice that remains vital to identities, relationships, and institutions in contemporary society. Treats gender as something we do or enact through communication, rather than as something we are or have, and explores the implications of this shift in perspective. Investigates how gender interacts with sexuality, race, class, nation, age, ability, and other aspects of identity.
  • COMM 4600 - Senior Seminar: Organizational Communication
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023
    Reviews current theory and research on topics such as communication and organizational decision making, organizational culture, gender relations, communication technology, and power and control in organizations. Same as COMM 5600.
  • COMM 4950 - Senior Thesis: Honors
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2023
    For exceptional communication majors who wish to graduate with department honors and receive credit for writing an honors thesis. Recommended prerequisite: COMM 4100 and overall GPA of 3.35 or higher and a COMM or COMN GPA of 3.50 or higher.
  • COMM 5620 - Readings in Organizational Communication
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Fall 2021
    Survey of historical and contemporary readings in organizational communication. Treats theory, research, and application from a variety of perspectives.
  • COMM 6200 - Seminar: Selected Topics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2022
    Facilitates understanding of current and past theory and research on a selected topic in communication and the ability to develop new theory and research on that topic. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours on different topics.
  • COMM 6950 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2020


awards and honors

International Activities

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