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Negotiating Professional Consciousness in Technical Communication: A Community of Practice Approach

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Abstract:

Purpose: To examine the elements of professional consciousness in technical communication to facilitate the growth of professional identity.

Method: To develop a structured collaboration model based on Wenger's three dimensions for establishing a community of practice: joint enterprise, mutual engagement, and shared repertoire.

Results: Structured collaboration shows strong potential to nurture a community in which the specific professional identity of being an academic or a practitioner is minimized in favor of the negotiated identity of being a community member working toward mutual goals.

Conclusions: Effective collaboration between the academic and practitioner communities creates a negotiated professionalism through better research, better education, and a more comprehensive body of knowledge. Structured collaboration along the lines of community of practice can be used to encourage professional consciousness, which can lead to professional status.

Keywords: ACADEMIC/INDUSTRY RELATIONS; BODY OF KNOWLEDGE; COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE; PROFESSIONALISM; TCBOK

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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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