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Learning at Work: The Role of Technical Communication in Organizational Learning

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Abstract:

This article analyzes how the technical support group in a mid-sized technology organization creates, disseminates, and uses technical and product knowledge, and the role of customer documentation in these activities. In particular, the article investigates the following questions: How does the technical support group learn and share the product knowledge it needs to perform its work?How does customer documentation fit into these learning processes and activities?What boundaries exist between technical support and customer documentation groups that hinder effective knowledge sharing, and how can these boundaries be overcome?

Knowledge management and organizational learning theory provide a basis for analyzing how product knowledge is transferred between the research and development and technical support groups, with a central focus on customer documentation. Genre theory helps to define the customer documentation genre and the ways in which it operates within the organization’s social system.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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