Bulletin of the Association for Business Communication

Articles

Vol. 57, No. 4, December

Adapting Corporate Presentation Skills Training Practices for Use in a University Classroom
INTRODUCTION Some of today's most popular corporate training seminars and workshops cover subjects taken right from speech communication textbooks: leadership, facilitation of small groups, team building, negotiation, communication skills, presentation...
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A Case Study in Business Writing: An Examination of Documents Written by Executives and Managers
Although a number of studies have sought to identify the types of business writing activities individuals perform at work, these studies have focused either on surveying graduates in the workforce (Bednar & Olney, 1987; Storms, 1983; Wiggs, 1993)...
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A Short Classroom Unit, but a Significant Improvement, in Listening Ability
The American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), with its new standards for business and accounting accreditation, indicates in its section on curriculum content and evaluation that communication skills are important characteristics of...
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Teaching Listening: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Approaches
The field of business communication is expanding as practitioners more clearly articulate their communication needs and as scholars better define the parameters and key constructs of the field. No longer confined to teaching primarily written skills,...
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Resume Content and Format - Do the Authorities Agree?
Getting a job is an involved process. One part of the process is the preparation of a resume. Even though the resume's primary function is simply to obtain an interview for the writer, it is a major instrument which aids in determining who will get the...
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Augmenting Instruction in Business Communication Courses with the Internet
SEEKING NEW METHODS OF TEACHING The academic world today is experiencing a deep crisis going beyond economic and social problems to questions of identity and existence. Students, parents, instructors, administrators, and staff are being forced to redefine...
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Written Communication Skills of International Business Persons
As the borderless economy evolves, international negotiations are dissolving many barriers to the free flow of money, products, and services, as well as ideas. Today's global business people are faced with environmental concerns, financial deregulation,...
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Diversity on a Shoestring: Repurposing Traditional Activities in the Business Communication Classroom
Summer, 1994: The Real World 1A, T-Th, 1:00-2:15. This course introduces issues of importance to the contemporary working professional: working in a multicultural environment; sensitivity to power, gender, disability, socioeconomic, cultural, and lifestyle...
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Think Globally, Act Locally
In a joint business communication class and University District Chamber of Commerce project at the University of Washington, student teams surveyed 20 local merchants whose first language typically was not English. By working in teams to conduct the...
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Reviewing the Practice of Document Testing
The term document testing refers broadly to a cluster of techniques used to assess the accuracy, appeal, and appropriateness of a document. Appropriateness includes characteristics such as accessibility, effectiveness, and usability. Document testing...
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The Value of Usability Testing in Document Design
The Statistics of Income Division (SOI) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sponsored a series of studies on forms redesign in which they worked with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Westat, Inc., and the Document Design Center (DDC) to assess the quality...
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Gaining Support for User Testing
Health insurance communication is notoriously difficult to read, especially the legal document (often referred to as a "policy") that explains what the insurance company promises to pay if and when a person requires health-care services. This legal document...
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Reader-Based Document Testing at VA
Reader-based document testing by writing teams in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has resulted in writers who now focus on their readers rather than on their supervisors. Document testing has enabled the writers to understand and anticipate the...
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Vol. 57, No. 3, September

Assessment Methods for Business Communication: Tests, Portfolios, and Surveys
The widespread dissatisfaction with the American educational system is hardly news anymore; yet the expressions and degree of that dissatisfaction continue to make the headlines of the daily newspapers. Most of the news stories target the public educational...
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Three Sales Letter Themes: Taste It, Try It, Touch It
Sales letters are one type of persuasive letter often assigned in the business communication classroom. This article discusses three approaches that require the student to either taste a product, try out an item, or touch an object before writing the...
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Grammatik 5 for Windows: Random Thoughts from a White, Male, Middle-Clase German-Canadian
Any writer or teacher who has examined a sample of Grammatik feedback, no matter how brief the passage analyzed, will be aware of the serious errors executed by this software. To use an obvious example, Grammatik will identify any word that is not...
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Teaching Company Research: Step-by-Step Instructions for Guiding Students through a Library Assignment
The responsibility for teaching students to research companies often falls to business communication instructors. While textbooks provide useful information related to company research, some instructors may need more detailed assistance in guiding...
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Helping Business Writing Students Improve as Document Designers
Most introductory-level business writing texts fail to carry page design challenges beyond the chapter that outlines fundamentals. Clearly, if business writing instructors wish to help their students improve as designers, they must go beyond what textbooks...
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Management Communication Strategy in Case Assignments: The Double-Message Approach
Case studies, used extensively in business communication classes, offer an advantage by presenting students with real-life situations to which they can respond using written business genres. Cases, however, limited by their cryptic and condensed nature,...
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Enhancing Business Communication with Group Decision Support Systems
Meetings have become a fact of life in organizations. Studies have shown that managers may spend up to 70% of their time in meetings (Mintzberg, 1973). Traditional, verbal meetings have suffered from a lack of participation, groupthink, and inefficient...
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Why Must I Take Business Communication?
Each semester students question why they must take a business communication course. They think they already know how to communicate, so why is the college wasting their time with this required course? Therefore, I've developed an assignment to answer...
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Using Consumer Reports in the Sales Letter Assignment
The sales letter lecture and writing assignment can become relevant and interesting by permitting students to write sales letters on real products of personal interest. Consumer Reports magazine provides useful product information that students may...
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Teaching Business Students to Write Performance Appraisals
Many business students will become managers or supervisors, and in that capacity, they will be required to write performance appraisals. Therefore, a unit on employee performance appraisals is appropriate for the business communication course, and...
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Facilitating Research in Multicultural Business Communication
Increasing globalization of business and the recent passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, (an event of even more relevance and significance for North Americans than the largely successful completion of the Uruguay round of the...
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Finding Intercultural Business Communication Research Sites in Companies
The North American Fee Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will increase intercultural communication between business people in Mexico, Canada, and the U.S., creating important opportunities for business communication researchers. Research conducted inside companies...
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Strategies for Overcoming Barriers Inherent in Cross-Cultural Research
The term cross-cultural implies comparison, juxta-position, and differentiation. Cross-cultural research contrasts two or more distinctive cultural groups in terms of some quality, value, belief or behavior. Business communication examples include...
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Advancing Research in International Business Communication
The ability to compete in an increasingly integrated world economy is arguably the most pressing issue business must address as the current century draws to a close. Virtually no area of business has grown as rapidly as global trade. With this increase...
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Bernardine P. Branchaw, 1933-1994
Dr. Bernadine Branchaw, Western Michigan University professor of business information systems and ABC President in 1992-1993, died of cancer on May 20, 1994. She was born January 23, 1933, in Joliet, Illinois. She earned her bachelor's degree from...
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Vol. 57, No. 2, June

Managing the Drafting Process: Creating a New Model for the Workplace
Most business communication teachers who have studied process approaches to writing recognize the value of "drafting" as part of that process. By "drafting," we mean the recursive activity of writing multiple versions of a document, each version changing...
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The Performance Appraisal Interview: A Multi-Purpose Communication Assignment
The performance appraisal has become a standard topic in the business or management curriculum, most frequently covered in personnel, management, human resources, or organizational behavior classes. Students learn such things as the types of employee...
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A Role-Playing Exercise for Analyzing Intercultural Communication
Getting the message right the first time is fast becoming the motto of successful businesses in today's highly competitive environment. Although this concept typically is applied to total quality management (TQM), it is equally relevant to intercultural...
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A Real-World Project for a Desktop Publishing Course
College students who learn to use the tools of desktop publishing can put them to use in a variety of ways. They can create a professional-looking resume, a flier to advertise a meeting, or a poster to sell a car. A course in desktop publishing can...
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The Communication Audit as a Class Project
Off-campus experiences enhance students' eductional experience and learning process. One such class involves students in conducting a "communication audit" or assessment of an off-campus organization. Classes employing the communication audit provide...
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Another Look at Teaching the External Negative Message
Many traditionally aged students who take our business communications course lack business experience. As consumers themselves, however, most at some time have bought an unsatisfactory product or received an unsatisfactory service. Thus, they have...
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Increasing the Relevance of Class Assignments by Responding to Real Needs
Today's pragmatic college students expect to see the relevance of the out-of-class writing assignments. I have discovered that students are more motivated and write business letters more conscientiously when the letter meet legitimate needs and will...
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Exploring References for Improved Writing
Students often have little idea of the variety and volume of written references available for the struggling writer. With the emphasis in technological innovations, students have learned to use computer programs to check spelling, to search a thesaurus,...
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Using Small Groups to Develop Editing Skills
Writers who are competent editors are more likely to communicate effectively than writers who are not good editors. The ability to edit - to correct surface-level errors - contributes to strong writing. Often, however, students fail to correct such...
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Developing Collaborative Insights and Skills
In their quest for increased productivity and greater employee satisfaction and commitment, many organizations are increasingly implementing participatory management concepts such as quality circles, self-directed work teams, matrix teams, and total...
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The Traditional Model and the Collaborative Model
For years, teachers have known that most report writing in professional environments is collaborative, and many commentators have discussed the societal currents which in recent years have made collaborative writing more common (Jorn & Duin, 1992;...
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Mapping: A Collaborative Activity for Fun and Profit
In Physical Eloquence and the Biology of Writing, Robert Ochsner notes that "good language learners typically adopt a child-like personality; they reset the biological clock, becoming open to new experiences ..." (1990, p. 33). In his exploration of...
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Some Gentle Reminders
I'd like to make three suggestions to authors: (a) Read the instructions; (b) remember the audience; and (c) talk to the Editor. These suggestions may seem mundane. But my experience working with The Journal persuades me to offer these gentle reminders....
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The Three D's of Denial; the Three a's of Acceptance
No magic formula guarantees an article's acceptance for publication - at least not if the journal's editor understands what scholarship is about. Yet anyone who has served as a reviewer, associate editor, or editor knows successful articles have common...
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Thoughts on Research
During the three years I've been an associate editor for The Journal, I've worked with many excellent reviewers. Most put their heart and soul into the manuscripts they critique, offering many constructive comments. They comment on the methodologies,...
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Doing a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Your Writing
What I have to say here has to do mostly with decisions you make as you write up your research, though it could be helpful as you plan your research as well. As you draft and revise, consider what it would cost readers to read what you've written,...
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Turning a Presentation into an Article
Many articles begin as conference presentations. Presenting what you hope will become an article at a conference can give you both a deadline for finishing the first draft and elicit useful comments and questions which can help you revise. But simply...
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Four Parts to a Publishable Piece
Research articles are built around four sections: the literature review, research methods, data analysis, and interpretation. The labels and organization are typical of quantitative work, but even qualitative research such as case studies and historical...
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