How Can We Make Our Research More Relevant? Bridging the Gap between Workplace Changes and Business Communication Research
Thomas, Gail Fann
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Some management scholars argue that academic literature is becoming less and less relevant to practicing managers. Thomas posits that the same will be true for business communication if scholars do not venture into the field and connect with those who “do” business communication. As organizations shift from manufacturing to service jobs, expand their operations overseas, manage “talent” more strategically, and alter traditional bureaucratic structures, business communication is becoming increasingly intercultural, virtual, horizontal, strategic, and change focused. Yet it is not clear that the business communication literature is keeping pace. Examples of Thomas’s work in interagency collaboration, electronic mail overload, and strategic communication demonstrate possibilities for gaining access and studying communication dilemmas that face practicing managers. Bridging the academic-practitioner gap is a way to build face validity in the business world as well as help academics to develop better theories about workplace communication.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0021943607302193
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