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Organizational Implications of the Future Development of Technical Communication: Fostering Communities of Practice in the Workplace

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As the profession of technical communication develops and evolves, practitioners are forming formal and informal organizational structures that support collaborative communities. These organizational structures are emerging within commercial companies and professional societies such as the Society for Technical Communication. This article describes evolving methods and best practices that technical communicators can apply in the workplace to create an environment that supports effective communities of practice. We identify specific techniques and best practices, including methods of assessing the effectiveness and business impact of communities in the workplace, and interventions for improvement. We also reference a specific technical communication organization, Data Management (DM) User Technology at IBM Corporation, as a case study of ways to implement an organizational infrastructure that supports both skill-based communities of practice and multidisciplinary goal-based communities.

Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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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