Technical communication is usually seen as a practical profession -- one that emphasizes products, process and results -- rather than one that emphasizes theory and broad, generalized application of research results.
Corporate 'downsizing' is effecting a large worker population: and not just those workers being laid off. The pervasiveness and breadth of layoffs at this time is changing workers’ trust in the future and ability to plan for tomorrow. The loyalty to firm is changing also. As one woman said 'the company used to be my family. This was my community, my network, like my parents’ hometown was to them. Its been bombed.' Trust in the future as it was known is shattered. Belief in the 'do a good job and you’ll be rewarded' is low. The effect of the economy on the workplace is grieving and distrust, and shattered selves.