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Business Communication Quarterly

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404 File Not Found: Citing Unstable Web Sources   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Researchers, including students, must accommodate to the mutating character of hyperlinks on the World Wide Web. A small study of citations in three volumes of BCQ demonstrates the phenomenon of 'URL rot,' the disappearance of sites cited in the sample articles. Digital technology itself is now being used to create pockets of permanence, but with the understanding that preservation of content is only one ingredient in the mix of media and format migration. Databases like JSTOR offer digitally preserved copies of many scholarly journals. Online journals and search engines may offer their own archives. In general, researchers should cite digital articles in databases where possible and consider avoiding references to online journals with print editions.

Griffin, Frank. Business Communication Quarterly (2003). Articles>Research>Style Guides>Online


Actively Learning About Readers: Audience Modelling in Business Writing   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The advantages of peer feedback in business writing classes are clear. Students receive more appraisals of their writing than any single lecturer can ever realistically deliver. Also, the feedback comes from different perspectives and sometimes carries extra credibility coming from fellow students. Students gain from giving one another feedback as well. It is certainly learning by doing. Critiquing the work of colleagues raises awareness of the many ways to approach a given task and demands skills of analysis and attention to detail. Delivering feedback also requires tact and the ability to look for positives to commend as well as areas to improve. Reviewing written documents is a skill that students will certainly use in their future work lives. However, many of us have experienced problems with peer reviewing. Students hesitate to criticise their friends and prefer praising in a general way rather than suggesting improvements, which requires confidence.

Holst-Larkin, Jane. Business Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Education>Business Communication>Audience Analysis


Activists' Influence Tactics and Corporate Policies   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Corporations increasingly pay attention to issues of social responsibility, but their policies and procedures to articulate such responsibilities are not just a result of the good will of top management. Often, such policies and procedures are devised because some stakeholders raised their voice on issues relating to the interests of employees, investors, governments, and others. One category of visible though heterogeneous stakeholders is composed of 'activist groups.' In this article, we present a range of tactics that activist groups employ to influence corporate policy and conclude with some corporate policy responses to these tactics, illustrated with some examples. Different Tactics Activist groups usually start an influence campaign by collecting and organizing information about some issue about which they are concerned (e.g., sustainable development, human rights, labor conditions), disseminating this information to their audiences and formulating desired outcomes. They inform the target firm's top management of their particular concern and propose desired outcomes or alternative courses of action. If the firm's responses are considered inadequate, they will likely continue their campaign, but by starting to employ a more varied set of tactics. Below, we discuss four different types of tactics that activist groups use to leverage pressure on firms and that do not rely on the state or legal action for resolution of the issue: shareholder activism, political consumerism, social alliances, and alternative business systems (de Bakker and den Hond, 2007).

de Bakker, Frank G.A. and Frank den Hond. Business Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Policies and Procedures


Ain't Miscommunicating: Business Communication At a Distance   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Recently, while sitting in the waiting area of an out-patient surgical clinic, I was privy to one side of a cell phone conversation between a woman and a business associate. Apparently the woman was a social worker assigned to assist families with children who have gender identity issues. As the woman continued her conversation, discussing one particular family and giving intimate details of her meetings, I was astounded at the lack of concern for privacy. I learned the child’s full name (including the proper spelling of her first and last name), date of birth, social security number, street address—and then I learned her mother’s name and personal identification information as well. I was not alone.

Hemby, K. Virginia. Business Communication Quarterly (2010). Articles>Business Communication>Privacy


The Anywhere Office = Anywhere Liability   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The 20th-Century office is dead. According to Telework Trendlines 2009, WorldatWork’s new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, the number of Americans working remotely at least once a month jumped 39%, from 12.4 million in 2006 to 17.2 million in 2008. Last year Congress even introduced bills that would encourage and expand telework programs in the federal government. Although the disap- pearing office boundaries caused by technological advances have obvious benefits for employers and employees, something else is dissolving along with those cubicle walls: clear limit lines of employer liability.

Genova, Gina L. Business Communication Quarterly (2010). Articles>Legal>Telecommuting>Workplace


Are Business-Oriented Social Networking Web Sites Useful Resources for Locating Passive Jobseekers? Results of a Recent Study   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Employment recruiters often maintain that business-oriented social networking Web sites offer a fertile source of information concerning “passive” jobseekers. These individuals, according to placement specialists, are persons who are currently employed and not seeking a career change. Many human resources professionals maintain that passive jobseekers are especially desirable because they represent an untapped pool of potential candidates who are not already associated with placement agencies or other recruiting professionals. Also, many passive candidates are considered to be especially stable employees. Although special effort may be required to convince the passive jobseeker to seek employment elsewhere, this effort is worthwhile because of the quality of the individual and the ultimate payoff to the recruiter who successfully places the candidate . The managers of business-oriented social networking sites do not dispute the notion that their services are oriented toward passive jobseekers. Indeed, some of these sites, such as LinkedIn and Power Search, explicitly promote their networks as providing vast databases of passive candidates accessible to recruiters. However, the assumption that members of business-oriented social networking Web sites are passive jobseekers has never been validated. The purpose of this study is to examine the accuracy of this assumption.

DeKay, Sam. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Careers>Unemployment>Social Networking


Best Practices in Preparing Students for Mock Interviews   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Studies have shown the importance of employment interview preparation in boosting the confidence and performance of students and jobseekers when they interview. This article reviews several techniques for preparing students for mock job interviews and, hence, actual job interviews.

Hansen, Katharine, Gary C. Oliphant, Becky J. Oliphant and Randall S. Hansen. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Education>Interviewing>Business Communication


Bring Workplace Assessment Into Business Communication Classrooms: a Proposal to Better Prepare Students for Professional Workplaces   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

To help students better understand and be better prepared for professional workplaces, the author suggests that business communication teachers examine and learn from workplace assessment methods. Throughout the article, the author discusses the rationale behind this proposal, reviews relevant literature, reports interview findings on workplace assessment, and compares classroom and workplace practices to suggest areas where we can meaningfully bridge the two.

Yu, Han. Business Communication Quarterly (2010). Articles>Education>Collaboration>Assessment


A Column Sponsored by the ABC Teaching Committee   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

If you asked your students whether they'd rather listen to a lecture, take notes from PowerPoint slides, or work with classmates on a project, most would probably opt for the project. Although definitions vary, active learning strategies are classroom techniques that engage students with the subject they're studying by discussing it, writing about it, applying it in some meaningful context, or otherwise working it into the fabric of their own experience and prior knowledge. They become active creators of knowledge rather than passive recipients of information.

Worley, Rebecca B. Business Communication Quarterly (2007). Articles>Education>Methods


Communicating Across the Curriculum in an Undergraduate Business Program: Management 100: Leadership and Communication in Groups   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Educating undergraduate business students in the 21st century requires more than addressing the quantitative side of business; rather, it calls for including the more qualitative 'soft skills,' such as speaking and writing. This article examines the design, delivery, and effectiveness of an undergraduate program dedicated to leadership, teamwork, and communication and describes this program within the context of the communication across the curriculum movement.

Tuleja, Elizabeth A. and Anne M. Greenhalgh. Business Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Education>Communication


Review: Communication Skills for the Processing of Words, 5th Edition   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This text aims to prepare students for entry-level jobs and foster their career progress after they enter the workplace. The focus of this book is not as broad as the typical introductory text on business communication. However, this book could be the right choice for an advanced business writing course in a high school or an introductory business writing course in a college, university, or technical school. This book might also work well as a supplement in a postsecondary business communication course for use by students who either have not completed a 1st-year composition course or who have completed that course without mastering grammar, mechanics, and style. This textbook includes 18 units: 8 discuss specific types of punctuation (e.g., commas and colons); 7 cover usage and mechanics (e.g., capitalization and numbers); and 3 cover grammar (e.g., subject and verb agreement).

Stallworth Williams, Linda. Business Communication Quarterly (2007). Articles>Reviews>Textbooks>Business Communication


Constructing the Organization: Engaging Students in the Public Role of Contemporary Corporations   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

In recent years, many professional writing teachers have turned to service learning to achieve a number of important pedagogical goals. In addition to offering practical experience outside the classroom, service learning provides students with an “understanding of the community as well as a sense of their social and civic responsibilities” (Hutchinson, 2005, p. 428). For many of its advocates, service learning is “deeply connected to social action and democratic practices” (Weisser, 2002, p. 53) and subsequently serves as a way to engage students in understanding how their roles and responsibilities as professional writers are tied to matters of ethics and the public good. In this article, I describe a pedagogical approach that allows us to achieve many of the same pedagogical objectives afforded by service learning while allowing us to avoid many of the challenges of locating viable pedagogical opportunities outside the classroom. In essence, the writing activities in the approach I describe offer students the opportunity to investigate the social and civic responsibilities of contemporary for-profit corporations and consider how such responsibilities coincide with the pursuit of profit.

Bowers, Tom. Business Communication Quarterly (2010). Articles>Education>Business Communication>Workplace


Consulting By Business College Academics: Lessons for Business Communication Courses   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article briefly reports on my very preliminary attempt to explore consulting by business academics. I began with a simple question: What lessons might BC instructors draw from the consulting practices of business academics? I interviewed three professors at the business college of a large Midwestern university who also consult on the side: Erin Dawson (a pseudonym), an associate professor of marketing; Thomas Chacko, a professor of management; and Sri Nilakanta, an associate professor of management information systems (MIS). Additionally, I leafed through the marketing plan Erin had written for her client, a local boat manufacturer. Below, I briefly discuss my main preliminary findings.

Dave, Anish M. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Careers>Consulting>Industry and Academy>Ethnographies


Consulting On Negotiation: Teaching Business Students Basic Techniques   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

My experience as a consultant has provided a wealth of information and ideas that I often share with my college students. Perhaps the most important skill I have honed has been the ability to negotiate deals and contracts. No other factor has had such a direct impact on the success of my consulting business. The art of negotiation is understood by few people or regularly utilized, and yet most people negotiate several times a day. Each time a person buys a product or service, an internal as well as external negotiation occurs. We barter professionally, personally, and psychologically with little or no thought of improving this much-needed skill.

Layng, Jacqueline M. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Education>Consulting>Business Communication


Designing a Successful Group-Report Experience   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Report assignments and collaborative assignments can both be fraught with risk. Report projects, if notstration) and/or can leave students wondering what they are supposed to have learned—all while creating a major grading burden for the instructor. Poorly planned group projects can cause similar difficulties, with the added danger of creating interpersonal stress in the student groups. Yet for many reasons, the report assignment is the perfect choice for the collaborative project. Because of its extra length and complexity, the report enables several students to contribute meaningful research, writing, and document design decisions to one product or a related set of products. If the project goes well, each student will learn important lessons both about report writing and about teamwork. To maximize the likelihood that the project will go well, the instructor must think through a wide range of variables and decide, based upon his or her learning objectives, what the features of the project will be.

Rentz, Kathryn, Lora Arduser, Lisa Meloncon and Mary Beth Debs. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Education>Business Communication>Reports


Designing Email Messages for Corporate Readers: a Case Study of Effective and Ineffective Rhetorical Strategies At a Fortune 100 Company   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Within the last 12 years, email has emerged as the most commonly used form of written communication in the corporate workplace. A 1997 study, conducted by Office Team, revealed that a majority of American executives favored face-to-face meetings to any other form of communication; only 34% preferred email (Oh, 2007). By contrast, a 2005 survey sponsored by the Economist Intelligence Unit indicated that two thirds of corporate executives prefer email as a means of business communication compared to the next most popular options—desktop telephones and mobile phones. These are each favored by just 16% of those participating in the study (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2005). More recently, a 2008 study performed by the Pew Internet & American Life Project revealed that 72% of all full-time employees have an email account that they use for work, and 37% of those workers “check them constantly” (Madden & Jones, 2008). Several factors have contributed to the widespread use of email. This form of communication is generally rapid, is more economical than distributing or mailing printed documents, and permits simultaneous communication with large numbers of recipients.

DeKay, Sam. Business Communication Quarterly (2010). Articles>Business Communication>Correspondence>Email


Do Business Communication Technology Tools Meet Learner Needs?   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

While institutions of higher education are enthusiastically embracing technology-mediated learning (TML), little research has been conducted to identify factors that influence student use of TML tools or determine whether use of them increases student learning. This study of business communication students at two universities found that (1) students tend to be sensing, visual, active, and sequential learners; (2) perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of TML tools are positively associated with perceived learning success; (3) learning styles do influence the students' usage behavior of certain TML tools; and (4) students' sensing/intuitive learning style is related to their perceived learning success.

DuFrene, Debbie D., Carol M. Lehman, Franz W. Kellermanns and Rodney A. Pearson. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Education>Business Communication>Online


The Effect of Rater Training On Reducing Social Style Bias in Peer Evaluation   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This study employed a quasiexperimental control group design in a university setting to test the effect of a rater-training program on reducing social style bias in intragroup peer evaluations after controlling for ability based on GPA. Comparison of rating scores of the test group to the control group indicated minimal social style rating bias in the test group, whereas significant bias was exhibited in the control group. Implications for college instructors who use peer evaluations for grading in team projects are discussed.

May, Gary L. Business Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Education>Collaboration


The Emotionally Challenging, Open-Ended Interview   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

For most job candidates, the interview experience is "an emotionally challenging endeavor". To succeed in interviews, candidates must understand the emotional labor needed to "manage their feelings" as they "create a publicly observable facial and bodily display". This is particularly true when recruiters use open-ended interviews that are not constrained to a narrow set of questions. My work in conducting research interviews illustrates several aspects of emotional labor in the interview context. Although I will talk from the perspective of the interviewer, my discussion of my own emotional labor is instructive for people entering an open-ended interview as either interviewer or interviewee because the challenges of emotional labor within the open-ended interview context apply to either interview role. Additionally, although I will draw on examples of datagathering interviews within a research context, this discussion of emotional labor applies to any interview setting--research, job interview, and so on--because the difficulties one encounters are similar across various open-ended interview situations.

Hoffmann, Elizabeth A. Business Communication Quarterly (2008). Careers>Interviewing


Employer Preferences for Résumés and Cover Letters   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article reports the results of a survey of employers' preferences for résumé style, résumé delivery method, and cover letters. Employers still widely prefer the standard chronological résumé, with only 3% desiring a scannable résumé. The vast majority of employers prefer electronic delivery, either by email (46%) or at the company's Web site (38%), with only 7% preferring a paper copy. Cover letters are preferred by a majority (56%). Preferences regarding résumé style and cover letters were independent of national (USA) vs. multinational geographic range, company size, type of industry, or respondent's job function. Smaller companies prefer résumé delivery by email, and human resources workers prefer delivery using the company's Web site.

Schullery, Nancy M., Linda Ickes and Stephen E. Schullery. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Careers>Resumes>Cover Letters


Enterprise Networking Web Sites and Organizational Communication in Australia   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article aims to report initial findings about networking in organizational settings in Australia through the use of enterprise social software.

Zhang, Allee M., Ynxia Zhu and Herbert Hildebrandt. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Social Networking>Organizational Communication


An Exploratory Study of Indian University Students' Use of Social Networking Web Sites: Implications for the Workplace   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Increasingly, individuals across the world seek relations of cooperation and collaboration rather than that of command and control. This need has influenced the rate at which individuals have allowed the Internet to intricately weave itself into their everyday lives in just over a decade. For many people, human interaction has truly adopted a virtual dimension. Online communities now link to one another and form a complicated technical web of interactions. Social networking Web sites (SNWs) are online tools that have transformed the virtual encounters of the past that were technical and impersonal to today's virtual socialization that is truly nontechnical, social, and interpersonal. The purpose of this article is to report the findings of a study we conducted among university students. We developed a survey to identify the reasons for which individuals use SNWs. We believe that these findings contribute to understanding future workplace expectations and arrangements.

Agarwal, Shaijila and Monika Mital. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Articles>Education>Social Networking>India


Expressive Practices: the Local Enactment of Culture in the Communication Classroom   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

As students participate in corporate communication classes, they may, on occasion, use the term culture to make sense of their experiences. The authors use Mino's idea of a learning paradigm to shift the emphasis away from teaching traditional theories of culture and use student-centered experiences to teach culture as an expressive practice. Using instances drawn from their own classrooms, the authors show how students can recognize the value of understanding their role in creating culture each time they choose how to act, how to evaluate others' behavior, and whether to label what is going on as cultural.

Wolf, Karen, Trudy Milburn and Richard Wilkins. Business Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Education>Business Communication>Cultural Theory


Facilitating Better Teamwork: Analyzing the Challenges and Strategies of Classroom-Based Collaboration   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

To help students develop teamwork skills, teachers should be aware of the strategies students already employ to assert authority and manage conflict. Researchers studying engineering students have identified two such approaches: transfer-of-knowledge sequences, in which students emulate teacher and pupil roles; and collaborative sequences, in which students use circular talk to reach consensus. As demonstrated in this article, these strategies are also used by students in professional communication courses. The second half of this article provides specific suggestions for designing team assignments, interacting effectively with student teams, and developing evaluations that value the process of teamwork.

Fredrick, Terri A. Business Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Education>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



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