Organizational Theory and Communication across Cultures

Organizational Theory and Communication across Cultures

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-450-5.ch006
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This chapter analyzes organizational behavior and communication across cultures, using as a case study a cross-border project in hazmat transportation. It exemplifies the great complexity of global professional communications, equipping readers with both a model and application.
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Case Of Us-Mexico Cross-Border Hazmat Project

In 2008, I directed a study funded by the EPA that evaluated the ability of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies to track the movement of hazardous materials between the manufacturing plants in Mexico and their disposal sites in the United States. According to NAFTA regulations, all hazardous materials used in the manufacturing of goods in maquiladoras (manufacturing plants) for sale in the United States must be returned to the point of their origin, which in most cases was United States. (This law has since changed, by the way.) Thus, the US-Mexico border region has some of the most concentrated flow of hazmat in the world, with raw chemicals moving from the United States into Mexico for the manufacturing processes, and the hazardous waste returning from Mexico to the United States for disposal. Unfortunately, due to a lack of regulation and oversight in the border region, some of the hazardous materials and waste ended up being dumped in clandestine sites, becoming a significant threat to the environment and health of border residents. In addition, because of the enhanced levels of hazmat flow, the chance of hazmat incident on the border is quite high.

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