Karen Ashcraft
Department of Communication • Organizational Communication Graduate Faculty

Office: Hellems 90


Karen Lee Ashcraft is a professor as well as the director of the Communication & Society Residential Program, a living-learning community for early college students broadly interested in communication, media, journalism and related themes. Her research examines organizational and occupational formations—such as identity, culture and mode of governance—and is guided by an interest in relations of power and difference, particularly gender, race, sexuality and class.

Ashcraft’s past research explored the texture and sustainability of alternative forms of organizing. Specifically, she investigated feminist communities seeking to counter bureaucratic logics and practices, or to merge them with egalitarian forms—a project that resulted in several award-winning works devoted to the potential of hybrid organization. Her recent empirical research traces the historical evolution and contemporary organization of professional identity in the context of commercial aviation, among others. For work in this vein, she recently received the Best Article of the Year Award from the Academy of Management Review.

Ashcraft has published some 50 articles and chapters on these and related themes in the journals of communication and management as well as work and organization studies. Her book with Dennis Mumby, Reworking Gender: A Feminist Communicology of Organization(2004, Sage), received the Book of the Year Award from the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association.

Ashcraft teaches undergraduate courses on gender and communication, as well as senior seminars on relations of difference at work. She also offers an array of graduate courses addressed to organizational communication and qualitative research methods. She teaches seminars internationally and regularly delivers research talks to diverse audiences. Ashcraft holds a PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder.