3Q17 Issue of IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication

The September 2017 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication has recently been published online. If you are a paper subscriber, you will receive this issue, printed together with the December issue, in December.

The issue contains the following articles, described below:

  • Research Article— A Descriptive Survey of Technical Editors, by M. L. Kreth and E. Bowen
  • Research Article— Communicating with Employees: Resisting the Stereotypes of Generational Cohorts in the Workplace, by R. Stanton
  • Research Article— The Generic Structure of CSR Reports in Italian, Chinese, and English: A Corpus-based Analysis, by D. Yu and M. Bondi
  • Research Article— Integrating Ego, Homophily, and Structural Factors to Measure User Influence in Online Community, by C. Zhang, S. Chen, C. Zhang, and T. Lu
  • Case Study— A Writing Across the Curriculum Faculty Development Program: An Experience Report, by P. Zemliansky and L. Berry
  • Teaching Case Study— Establishing Effective Global Virtual Student Teams, by R. M. Davison, N. Panteli, A. M. Hardin, and M. A. Fuller
  • Book Review— Dirk Remley, How the Brain Processes Multimodal Technical Instructions, Reviewed by Sarah Johnson
  • Book Review— Carolyn R. Boiarsky, Risk Communication and Miscommunication, Reviewed by Aimee Kendall Roundtree

Volume 60, Number 3, September 2017

Research Article— A Descriptive Survey of Technical Editors, by M. L. Kreth and E. Bowen

This study fills gaps in our knowledge about technical editors’ work practices and perceptions that might be useful for teachers and practitioners, as well as current and prospective students. Survey responses by 253 editors revealed a broad range of job titles, disciplinary and professional fields, genres and media, editing-related tasks, and extent and type of collaboration. Respondents perceived as useful several forms of academic preparation, personality traits, and attitudes. About half had become editors through deliberate preparation during college, and half had not. Thus, college students majoring in scientific and technical fields might be attracted to minors and certificate programs in technical communication.

Research Article— Communicating with Employees: Resisting the Stereotypes of Generational Cohorts in the Workplace, by R. Stanton

Stereotypes about generational cohorts are widespread. This study challenges them and provides a simple method for learning how to effectively communicate with, motivate, and retain employees, no matter what cohort they belong to. A survey of 107 participants and interviews with 8 of them reveal that managers need to learn more about individuals rather than relying on stereotypes in communicating with employees. This learning can foster more effective communication, enhancing job satisfaction and engagement, and ultimately retention. These crucial variables to consider about a person’s tenure in a position and workplace compliance behavior are not included by most when studying generational cohorts.

Research Article— The Generic Structure of CSR Reports in Italian, Chinese, and English: A Corpus-based Analysis, by D. Yu and M. Bondi

This study examines the structure of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports, which communicate corporate social and environmental performance. The authors designed an observational framework for move identification. They annotated 18 CSR reports for comparative analysis. They found that the CSR report is characterized by rhetorical recursivity and hybridity of speech acts: beyond “reporting” and “presenting,” it is also “demonstrating,” “evaluating,” and “committing.” As a globally established genre, it presents noticeable similarities in different languages, suggesting that the communicative purposes of CSR reports are recognized by different cultures. The authors’ observational framework for move identification may also be transferable to other genres.

Research Article— Integrating Ego, Homophily, and Structural Factors to Measure User Influence in Online Community, by C. Zhang, S. Chen, C. Zhang, and T. Lu

People today share their interests online and are influenced by the relationships developed from that sharing. This study was intended to better measure peer influence in online communities. The authors developed a measurement technique that incorporates peer-based characteristics, the homophily effect, and the position of a user in the network to measure user influence. Two studies in a service-based online community and an professional logistics online community verified the effectiveness of the method. The results show that it provides higher prediction accuracy of user influence rank than existing methods, lay a foundation for future exploration, and provide a useful tool for targeting influential users in online communities.

Case Study— A Writing Across the Curriculum Faculty Development Program: An Experience Report, by P. Zemliansky and L. Berry

This case study focuses on the key components of an effective faculty development program to integrate WAC into engineering and science courses. The 10-week workshop covered fundamentals of writing theory and pedagogy, assignment design and assessment, and situating assignments in disciplinary courses. It included large and small-group meetings, consultations with WAC program staff, and peer review of writing assignment drafts. Key challenges included designing ways to bridge the conceptual gap between the participants’ and WAC instructors’ understanding of the role of writing in disciplinary courses, limited time available to participants, and scheduling challenges.  The workshop was given seven times, and 90% of faculty participants found it to be very effective or effective.                                                                                                

Teaching Case Study— Establishing Effective Global Virtual Student Teams, by R. M. Davison, N. Panteli, A. M. Hardin, and M. A. Fuller

Virtual teams in multiple countries are becoming increasingly common. However, studies of the factors that contribute to their success have not been systematically identified and discussed. In seeking to address this knowledge gap, the authors drew on several years of experience with global virtual student teams and addressed the question of how to establish effective projects. The cases explored here involve teams with members in Hong Kong, the USA, the UK, and Singapore, with a mix of undergraduate and graduate students. The authors examine cultural differences, note how issues of time and space vary across teams, and consider how trust may be developed to ensure productive work. The authors elicit 10 pertinent factors that should be of value to educators planning global virtual student team projects.

Book Review— Dirk Remley, How the Brain Processes Multimodal Technical Instructions, Reviewed by Sarah Johnson

Book Review— Carolyn R. Boiarsky, Risk Communication and Miscommunication, Reviewed by Aimee Kendall Roundtree

The issue is available online at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=47. Note that a user ID and password are required to view individual articles.

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