A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


9 found.

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Challenging the Transformational Agenda: Leadership Theory in Transition?   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

There are many terrific leaders at large. But society and business have suffered from poor leadership, bad leadership, narcissistic leadership, and above all, too-powerful leadership. Viewing followers as recalcitrant infants in need of tough parental attention really will not do. Too much leadership discourse has evaded this kind of problem: Fairhurst (2007) offers a challenging alternative to a route that frequently leads to a dead end. The myths of powerful, transformational, and charismatic leadership offer short-term comfort. It would be consoling to believe that Superman has stepped from the cinema screen and into the boardrooms of our organizations, whatever his attire. But such comfort exacts too high a price.

Tourish, Dennis. Management Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Management>Theory


Content Strategy: The Philosophy of Data

As interactions proliferate, so does the content that supports them. Why should software professionals take a step back and examine their content from a philosophical perch? Rachel Lovinger takes a look at content strategy and the benefits of its perspectives.

Lovinger, Rachel. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Articles>Content Management>Theory>Content Strategy


Exactly What Is Content, Anyway?

Not too long ago, one of the key people behind a substantial e-commerce operation confidently assured me, 'Content is not a consideration for our site. We just sell stuff – we don't publish content.' CRINGE!!! This statement reflects a sadly limited understanding (a profound misunderstanding, actually) of the nature and role of content in online media. Content is a broad term, with broad implications. It includes far more than article-style material.

Gahran, Amy. Contentious (2001). Articles>Content Management>Theory


Leaders or Leadership: Alternative Approaches to Leadership Studies   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

It is unnecessary and impossible for any one perspective to cover all the ground, although it is necessary that a perspective have a clear and distinct view, be it narrow or broad, of the subject matter, of the domain that it belongs to, and of the level of analysis that it entails. With respect to the study of leadership as a communication phenomenon, holism may just be the response necessary for knowledge advancement and for the field of communication to grow

Chen, Ling. Management Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Management>Theory


The Mediation of Policy Knowledge: An Interpretive Analysis of Intersecting Activity Systems   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

We use structurating activity theory,an integration of structuration and cultural-historical activity theories, to examine how individuals construct policy knowledge. The study was conducted over 5 months with participants from related activity systems who interacted regarding special education policy. Qualitative analysis focused on how participants drew on system-specific and structural rules and resources to construct policy knowledge within and between activity systems. Results reveal how participants developed policy knowledge that was mediated by system elements of divisions of labor, communities, rules, subjects, and both material and symbolic mediating resources.The mediated knowledge construction process also reproduced broad structural features. Results interpreted through structurating activity theory extend current understandings of policy and knowledge processes and offer directions for future research.

Canary, Heather E. and Robert D. McPhee. Management Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Management>Policies and Procedures>Activity Theory


Recycled Writing: Assembling Actor Networks From Reusable Content   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Drawing on a study of writers reusing content from one document to another, this study examines the rhetorical purpose of reuse. Writing reuse is predominantly studied through the literature on single sourcing and enacted via technologies built on single-sourcing models. Such theoretical models and derivative technologies cast reusable content as context-less and rhetorically neutral, a perspective that overlooks the underlying rhetorical strategies of reuse. The author argues for a new understanding of reuse as a rhetorical act of creating hybrid utterances that gather their rhetorical strength by assembling ever larger and denser actor networks.

Swarts, Jason. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2010). Articles>Content Management>Writing>Theory


Resistance, Gender, and Bourdieu's Notion of Field

Recent conceptualizations of resistance have tended to privilege intentional and conscious acts of resistance and forms of resistance manifested within relations of power that researchers typically define as asymmetrical, such as the labor-management relation. The author argues that these tendencies lead us to overlook forms of resistance manifest in other relations of power that exist in organizations, as well as set ourselves up as arbitrators of what is to be considered 'effective' resistance. Using Bourdieu's concepts of capital and field, the author examines how we can read resistance both to the idea of sex discrimination and to patriarchal power relations from the accounts of female career police officers and offers a more perspectival, relativistic account of resistance.

Penny, Dick. Management Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Management>Theory


Resistance: Would Struggle by Any Other Name Be as Sweet?   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Management in professionalized workplaces is often characterized as Mtrying to herd cats. Having grown up on a dairy farm, the characterization never made much sense to me. Cows and sheep earn our disparaging remarks because they are easy to push around. Their occasional resistance seems counter to their character. But cats are also easy to herd; just have milk. Cats may walk by themselves, but they quickly all choose to walk in the same direction following the pail. Cats may quickly resist getting pushed in common directions, but they are easily pulled there. Got milk, got cats. Are cats more autonomous than the herds? Has resisting cats led us to overlook how easy they are to herd? Resistance comes to us as a term growing out of workplaces that tried to push and direct. Resistance was at least a pushing back; sometimes it was an organized pushing for another direction.

Deetz, Stanley. Management Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Management>Workplace>Cultural Theory


Stasis Theory as a Strategy for Workplace Teaming and Decision Making   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Current scholarship tells us that skills in teaming are essential for students and practitioners of professional communication. Writers must be able to cooperate with subject-matter experts and team members to make effective decisions and complete projects. Scholarship also suggests that rapid changes in technology and changes in teaming processes challenge workplace communication and cooperation. Professional writers must be able to use complex software for projects that are often completed by multidisciplinary teams working remotely. Moreover, as technical writers shift from content developers to project managers, our responsibilities now include useradvocacy and supervision, further invigorating the need for successful communication. This article offers a different vision of an ancient heuristic—stasis theory—as a solution for the teaming challenges facing today's professional writers. Stasis theory, used as a generative heuristic rather than an eristic weapon, can help foster teaming and effective decision making in contemporary pedagogical and workplace contexts.

Brizee, H. Allen. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2008). Articles>Management>Collaboration>Theory

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