Faculty and Staff Participation

Professor William Ressler's Research on Minor League BaseballProfessor William Ressler's Research on Minor League Baseball
Strategic Communication Assistant Professor William Ressler and his students have been conducting research for the past four years on cultural diversi

Working with two IC graduate students, Sebastian Itman and Patricia Rodriguez, Professor Ressler conducted interviews with 80 English- and Spanish-speaking minor league baseball players. That research led to the following article, which the three researchers published together, “English- and Spanish-speaking minor league baseball players’ perspectives on community service and the psychosocial benefit of helping children.” In addition, the research led to a conference presentation, “Spanish-speaking minor leaguers and small-town fans: Culture and community in confronting challenges.” In turn, that presentation led to a new line of research, conducted together with IC graduate student, Enrique Nunez, combining participant observation with interviews of over two dozen general managers, in order to learn how teams help Spanish-speaking players adjust to their first year living in the United States.

 

More recently, Professor Ressler has interviewed approximately 50 Jewish and African American minor league players. Results from that research have led to a conference presentation at baseball’s spring training, “Culture and diversity in the minor league clubhouse: An organizational communication perspective,” and a symposium presentation at the Baseball Hall of Fame, “Being Jewish doesn’t matter—except when it does: What Jewish minor leaguers can teach us about strategic communication and culture.” One article, “Baseball players, organizational communication, and cultural diversity: Organizational Citizenship Behavior in minor league clubhouses,” will appear this year in the academic journal, NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture. A second article, “Integrating external objectives with internal outcomes: Benefits of culturally based, holistic approaches to IMC in minor league baseball,” examines players’ reactions to Jewish and Negro League Heritage Nights.