Wayne State University

Dr. Rahul Mitra


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Rahul Mitra is an associate professor, whose research is at the intersection of organizational and environmental communication. Prior to obtaining his PhD from Purdue University, he worked in the news broadcast and public relations fields in India for three and a half years. His scholarship focuses on environmental organizing, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR),and meaningful work discourses. He is a critical-interpretive scholar, and uses primarily qualitative methods, such as ethnography, interviews, focus groups, discourse analysis, and arts-based research. His work has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed publications such as Environmental Communication, Management Communication Quarterly, Human Relations, Communication Theory, International Journal of Business Communication, Public Relations Review, and Journal of Business Ethics.

At Wayne State, he directs the “Resilient Institutions & Sustainable Environments” (R.I.S.E.) Lab, which examines how communicative practices enable resilience and sustainability in a variety of organizations, ranging from for-profit companies to nonprofits, religious organizations to purpose-driven consultancies, government agencies to institutions of higher education. Learn more about the RISE Lab here.

Full CV available here.

Awards & Honors

2018 Brock Research Award, Department of Communication, Wayne State University.
2018 Linda L. Putnam Early Career Scholar Award, Organizational Communication, International Communication Association.
2018, 2014 Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship, Wayne State University.
2018, 2014 Dean’s Creative/Research Grant, College of Fine, Performing & Communication Arts, Wayne State University.
2016-2017 Faculty Fellow, “Next Generation” Humanities Faculty Mentoring Fellowship Team, Wayne State University. ($2,500 awarded)
2016 Resident Scholar. Humanities Center, Wayne State University (Winter and Spring-Summer 2016 semesters).
2014 Visiting Fellowship, Institute of the North, Anchorage AK.
2013 Harriet Dowdell Bantz, Sandra G. Petronio, and Charles R. Bantz Endowed Faculty Development Award, Wayne State University.

In addition, I have won several Top Paper awards at international, national, and regional conferences, such as the International Communication Association, National Communication Association, and Central States Communication Association.

Degrees and Certifications

Ph. D. - Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (August 2013), Major area of study: Organizational Communication

M. A. - Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH (August 2009). Major area of study: Organizational Communication/ Public Relations

Postgraduate Diploma - Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, India (May 2004), Major area of study: Print Journalism

B. Sc. - University of Calcutta, at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, India (May 2003), Major area of study: Economics (Honors)

Recent Publications

Mitra, R. (2018). Natural resource management in the U.S. Arctic: Sustainable organizing through communicative practices. Management Communication Quarterly, 32, 398-430. doi:10.1177/0893318918755971

Mitra, R. (2018). Communicative management of tensions by multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) for water resilience. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 23, 257-273. doi:10.1108/CCIJ-04-2017-0041

Cooper, W.P., & Mitra, R. (2018). Religious disengagement and stigma management by African-American young adults. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 46, 509-533. doi:10.1080/00909882.2018.1502462

Mitra, R., & Buzzanell, P.M. (2018). Implementing sustainability in organizations: How practitioners discursively position work. Management Communication Quarterly, 32, 172-201. doi:10.1177/0893318917724234

Mitra, R., & Fyke, J. (2017). Purpose-driven consultancies’ negotiation of organizational tensions. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 45, 140-159. doi: 10.1080/00909882.2017.1288290

Mitra, R., & Buzzanell, P.M. (2017). Communicative tensions of meaningful work: The case of sustainability practitioners. Human Relations, 70, 594-616. doi: 10.1177/0018726716663288

Mitra, R. (2016). Re-Constituting “America”: The clean energy economy ventriloquized. Environmental Communication, 10, 269-288. doi: 10.1080/17524032.2015.1047885

Mitra, R. (2015). Proposing a culture-centered approach to career scholarship: The example of subsistence careers in the US Arctic. Human Relations, 68, 1813-1835. doi: 10.1177/0018726715570100 (Lead article.)

Mitra, R. (2013). From transformational leadership to leadership “trans-formations”: A critical dialogic perspective. Communication Theory, 23, 395-416.doi: 10.1111/comt.12022


Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses:

COM 2000: Introduction to Communication Studies

COM 3250: Introduction to Organizational Communication

COM 4500: Leadership Communication

COM 4270: Group Communication

COM 5900: Senior Project in Communication Studies

Graduate Courses:

COM 6250: Organizational Communication

COM 7365: Ethnographiic Methods for Communication Research

CPM 7150: Micro-Approaches to Organizational Communication

COM 7410 Communication Theory