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Bridging Boundaries, Negotiating Differences: The Nature of Leadership in Cross-functional Proposal-writing Groups

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This paper analyzes behaviors and mechanisms that led to successful and unsuccessful aerospace proposals written by one company over 10 years. Successful proposal managers elicited cooperation through persuasion and by successfully negotiating organizational, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries. Tracking devices that identified scheduling problems early in the project and designation of a dedicated, neutral project space located near corporate decision makers also contributed to a proposal team’s success. This research suggests the need for technical writing instruction that develops students’ non-coercive persuasive skills and their sensitivity to the communication challenges inherent in cross-organizational and cross-cultural contexts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2000

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  • 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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