A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

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Advance Organizers in Advisory Reports: Selective Reading, Recall, and Perception   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

According to research in educational psychology, advance organizers lead to better learning and recall of information. In this research, the authors explored advance organizers from a business perspective, where larger documents are read under time pressure. Graphic and verbal advance organizers were manipulated into six versions of an advisory report, read by 159 experienced professional readers in a between-subjects design. Their reading time was limited to encourage selective reading. The results show that graphic advance organizers facilitate selective reading, but they do not enhance recall. Verbal advance organizers introducing a problem enhance recall, and graphic advance organizers moderate the effects on both selective reading and recall.

Lagerwerf, Luuk, Louise Cornelis, Johannes de Geus and Phidias Jansen. Written Communication (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration


Aligning Yourself with a Cause

When your organization lacks a compelling cause, you can at least take comfort in the idea that you’re pursuing your calling or vocation. Aligning with your calling is ideal, but this can be an issue for technical writers, because almost no one feels that technical writing is a calling.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration


Being Seen in the BA Scene

As Business Analysts we have such a great opportunity everyday to use a variety of skills in ever changing project situations. This gives us the chance to showcase and develop in multiple areas that will help us evolve the profession of Business Analysis and help us each grow in our own careers.

Wick, Angela. BA Collective (2007). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration


Best Practices in Open Source Foundation Governance – Part I

There is a real need for best practices to be set down that will allow any project to set up a structure quickly, easily and cheaply that will effectively serve its short term and long term goals. Given that open source projects are more likely to be international rather than national in scope and participation, it makes little sense to restrict the choice of law to that of any particular nation.

Updegrove, Andy. ConsortiumInfo.org (2011). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Open Source


Client-Vendor Communications: What to Talk About to Get the Job Done   (PDF)

This progression presents a structured approach to client-vendor communications that can enhance quality; ease frazzled nerves; and result in win-win situations for clients, vendors, end users, and their organizations. Participants will discuss how clear, structured communications can strengthen their roles as clients and vendors of publication products and services. Participants will review the checklist that this vendor developed for use from initial contact to contract to project completion. Discussion will address how participants can develop their own customized checklists.

Shenouda, Judith E. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration


Demystifying Chinese Guanxi Networks: Cultivating and Sharing of Knowledge for Business Benefit   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Guanxi referrals help identify potential business partners. Through guanxi networks, businesses can establish favourable and mutually beneficial relationships vital to business success. Guanxi carries assumed knowledge of trust and facilitates business references. It is the construct of `face' that underpins this trust. The high degree of trust in guanxi networks facilitates the flow of strategic information and knowledge, further adding value to business. This article illustrates through case studies how guanxi relationships are formed and how knowledge in guanxi networks can benefit business. The case studies are drawn from experiences of three Europe-based Chinese business directors.

Chan, Ben. Business Information Review (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Knowledge Management>Collaboration


Facilitating Teamwork With Lean Six Sigma and Web-Based Technology   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

One of the largest team-based projects that I worked on in industry involved a team of more than a dozen members, a multiyear timeline, and a budget well into six figures. Our task was to deliver a new corporate Web site. As the business owner of that project, I remember sitting down with our IT manager, who explained that she would be assisting the team in managing the cost, scope, and time involved in delivering the end product. I was thrilled to have someone who would help ensure we were successful across those variables, until she told me that I had to pick one of the three as the most important. When the team ran into issues, she said her team would sacrifice aspects of the other two. Although I insisted all three were equally important, the manager ultimately decided that cost would be the controlling variable because it was the one by which she and her team would be judged by her supervisor. My experience with projects like this one has led me to think about what successful teams look like and then to determine how best to foster such teams.

Krause, Tim. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration


Five Facets of Successful Global Communication

Managing internal communication across a global organization is an exciting and challenging task. How this task is approached will vary widely depending on the culture and structure of the particular organization, as well as the location of its headquarters.

Samuels, Paul. Communication World Bulletin (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>International


Forming Perceptions of Entrepreneurial Discourse: The Effectiveness of Oral or Transcribed Communication   (PDF)

This paper explores the possibility that trained business communication professionals might perceive differentially the quality of the identical entrepreneurial presentations, depending on whether they are in audio or print form. By conducting a comparative analysis of heard and read versions of these speeches, we uncovered evidence which frames the following discourse. Results point to the variables which shape either (1) oral communication with an immediately- present audience, or (2) written transcripts with a distanced or imagined set of readers. This has aided us in identifying the funding for new ventures.

Sokuvitz, Sydel and Stephen Spinelli. Association for Business Communication (2004). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Genre


Gender Differences in Employees’ and Students’ Knowledge of Office Politics   (PDF)

Office politics goes on in most work environments. Learning the rules of office politics helps employees of both genders reap the rewards to which they are entitled. As future employees, students must become knowledgeable about office politics to be successful in the world of work.

Green, Catherine G. and Lillian H. Chaney. Association for Business Communication (2008). Articles>Education>Business Communication>Collaboration


Getting the Ear of Your CEO

Communication professionals can and should have frequent, direct access to and influence on executive leadership. Your CEO needs you, but are you ready? It is a misperception that CEOs are too busy, uninterested or unreceptive. While some communicators have close contact with executives, many other communication professionals rarely see the CEO and may have many layers of management between themselves and that "C-level" suite. But you don't have to report directly to the CEO to get his or her ear.

Gayeski, Diane. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Business Communication>Management>Collaboration


Ghosting Authenticity: Characterization in Corporate Speechwriting   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

One of the most distinctive stylistic virtues of speechwriting is characterization, the art of capturing a client’s voice in a believable and engaging manner. This article examines characterization in the context of corporate communication, interweaving an interview with veteran executive speechwriter Alan Perlman with accounts from the ancient rhetorical tradition. As the analysis shows, Perlman’s approach to characterization confirms long-standing rhetorical wisdom yet incorporates insights that reflect the contemporary corporate context in which he has worked. The analysis also calls attention to enduring tensions in characterization—tensions between imitation and representation, effectiveness and ethics, and dramatic character and trustworthy ethos.

Bruss, Kristine S. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2011). Articles>Business Communication>Rhetoric>Collaboration


Harnessing Collective Expertise: Delivering Market and Client Intelligence Research Within a Law Firm   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Explains how a leading global law firm manages its market and client research. Outlines the firm's divisions, business activities and client base. Explains in detail how the firm uses business research, covering use of market intelligence on the business issues that an individual client faces, and the gathering of intelligence about the client, to disclose the nature and extent of the firm's ambitions to advise the organization concerned. Discusses the staffing of a law firm's business research capability, pointing out that not only staff expertise but also confidentiality concerns mean that it is not always efficient for lawyers to access internal and external information sources directly. Suggests that defining the minimum business research necessary improves the usefulness of the information delivered and saves the firm time -- and that removing the uncertainty about what is required improves job satisfaction as well.

Blaxland, Diane. Business Information Review (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Legal>Collaboration


How Employees Fight Back Against Workplace Bullying

Adult bullying at work is a shocking, terrifying, and at times shattering experience. What's more, bullying appears to be quite common, as one in ten U.S. workers report feeling bullied at work, and one in four report working in extremely hostile environments. Workplace bullying is repetitive, enduring abuse that escalates over time and results in serious harm to those targeted, to witnessing coworkers, and to the organizations that allow it to persist. Bullying runs the gamut of hostile communication and behavior and can consist of excluding and ignoring certain workers, throwing things and destroying work, public humiliation and embarrassment, screaming and swearing, and occasionally even physical assault. What makes workplace bullying so harmful is its persistent nature. Exposed workers report that bullying goes on and on, lasting for months and--in many cases--even years.

Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela. Communication Currents (2007). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration


How To Persuade Your Users, Boss or Clients

Whether you are getting a client to sign off on a website’s design or persuade a user to complete a call to action, we all need to know how to be convincing. Like many in the Web design industry, I have a strange job. I am part salesperson, part consultant and part user experience designer. One day I could be pitching a new idea to a board of directors, the next I might be designing an e-commerce purchasing process. There is, however, a common theme: I spend most of my time persuading people.

Boag, Paul. Smashing (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Rhetoric


The Intermingling of Aesthetic Sensibilities and Instrumental Rationalities in a Collaborative Arts Studio   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article argues for the theoretical and practical incorporation of aesthetic sensibilities into the communicative management of hybrid organizing. Using Dewey's Art as Experience as a conceptual framework, it explores imaginative and aesthetic practices as knowledge-producing resources for organizing and social change. The analysis centers on the complex and contradictory ways that artful capacities and instrumental rationalities interweave to achieve the organizational order of a collaborative art studio. Using discourses from multiple stakeholders, this article examines in detail three themes: art as creation and vocation, art as ephemeral integration, and art as survival and social change. Findings are discussed in the context of other scholarship committed to recovering and fostering alternative logics for organizing.

Harter, Lynn M., Mark Leeman, Stephanie Norander, Stephanie L. Young and William K. Rawlins. Management Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Collaboration


Interpretative Management in Business Meetings   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Middle managers interpret experiences and observations of employees and relate them to organizational contexts, practices, and strategies. By analyzing authentic verbal communication between middle managers and employees, this article will draw five conclusions about how interpretational work support organizational goals and values: 1. Middle managers and employees collaborate in interpreting tasks in relation to organizational context; 2. This interpretative work is based on language acquisition: learning the vocabulary of the organization; 3. The managers articulate the process, explicitly defining reality and influencing language use; 4. Employees show expectation of having their experiences interpreted by managers; 5. Employees may challenge managers with competing interpretations. This article will contribute to the study of leadership communication by combining organization communication theory and conversation analytic methodology. The article shows important ways in which middle managers "do leadership": by contextualizing employee actions and bringing employee perceptions in accordance with executive-level perceptions of organizational practices.

Nielsen, Mie Femø. JBC (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Collaboration


A Lack of Coordination is Why Technical Support Isn't Working   (members only)

Technical support relies heavily on users' abilities to perform tasks, and we're all more than familiar with the difficulty involved with assisting inexperienced computer users. Most widespread worms and viruses take hold and spread due to poorly maintained systems, commonly home systems found on broadband networks.

Yarden, Jonathan. TechRepublic (2003). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Help


Negotiation Techniques

Most of us are involved in negotiating in some form or other on a daily basis. Here is a look at the process of negotiation and tips you can use to improve your technique as you progress through the process.

Harris, Kerri. Writing Assistance (2006). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Workplace


Obfuscating the Obvious: Miscommunication Issues in the Interpretation of Common Terms   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

We communicate via many forms every day. When what we say or write is misunderstood, the fault may lie with either party. One source of miscommunication is the different meaning people place on commonly used words and phrases. In this article, the authors report preliminary results from a study on such miscommunication and lay out an agenda for research on improving business communication based on the Integrative Model of Levels of Analysis of 'Miscommunication,' developed by Coupland, Wiemann, and Giles.

Brewer, Edward C. and Terrence L. Holmes. JBC (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Rhetoric


The Perils of Our Digital Communications

When 90% of what you do for work is based online, there are bound to be some glitches, and not just the technical ones. How do you handle the inevitable misunderstandings that come with today’s rapid-fire digital conversations and communications in the workplace? I’ve put together a few ideas for how we can all minimize misunderstandings or at least diffuse the fallout.

Sherman, Aliza. Web Worker Daily (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Online


Professionalizing Knowledge Sharing and Communications: Changing Roles for a Changing Profession   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Web 2.0 technologies are becoming increasingly ubiquitous among younger generations of IT users and this is creating a new set of expectations about accessing quality information for business, research and academic purposes. The article looks at how this situation has impacted on the expectations of users of library and information services. Although there are solid reasons for standing by professional standards, there is little doubt that the next generation has a greater expectation around being participants in, rather than recipients of, knowledge sharing. How will this impact the status of the professional librarian and information manager, and to what extent should they change with this paradigm shift looming?

Cullen, John T. Business Information Review (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Online


Save the Touchy-Feely for the Redwoods

When you lay your feelings out to people, it can be cathartic for you, but it also places a weight on those around you. Learning when, where, and how, to talk to someone about your feelings is tricky. Sometimes it’s okay, and sometimes it’s not.

Powazek, Derek. Powazek.com (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Emotions


Seeking a Direct Pipeline to Practice: Four Guidelines for Researchers and Practitioners    (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The authors of this article, a researcher and a practitioner, revisit the collaborative process by which a training program addressing report writing for police officers was developed and implemented as a means of understanding why and how this collaboration was successful. From this reflection, the authors offer four guidelines for others involved in similar efforts to help them obtain a direct pipeline to practice.

Cotugno, Marianne and Mark Hoffman. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2011). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Case Studies


Squaring the Learning Circle: Cross-Classroom Collaborations and the Impact of Audience on Student Outcomes in Professional Writing   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Student compositions traditionally are written for the teacher. Yet instructors of professional communication genres have discovered that students' motivation may be enhanced when they write assignments for audiences of peers within the classroom or professionals outside the campus. Yet client-based projects require writing students who have never yet written for an external audience to make a leap beyond the classroom. To bridge the gap between writing for classroom peers and writing for professional clients, this article describes a third and intermediate choice of audience, namely, external peers in cross-classroom collaborations that occur via telecommunication. The author places this intermediate-audience strategy within the larger conversation about the impact of audience on student writing outcomes, applies the strategy to professional writing pedagogy, and reports the results of a small pilot study that provide some preliminary support for the strategy.

Ward, Mark. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2009). Articles>Education>Business Communication>Collaboration



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