50 Best Articles on Business Communication

This listicle provides 50 of the best articles on business communication. The list is ranked based upon the amount of upvotes you, the readers, give to of the articles!

#1 The Role of Facebook Contacts in Employee Identification

This study examined the extent to which having colleagues as friends on Facebook influences departmental and organizational identification by blurring the boundaries between work and private life. Based on social identity theory and proxy efficacy, we argue that work-related friends on Facebook may affect employee identification with different levels of the organization. The results of an online panel study among Dutch employees (N = 1,002) show that the perceived quality of online relationships with work-related Facebook contacts increases departmental identification, whereas the perceived authority of such contacts strengthens identification with the organization. Therefore, we suggest that blurring boundaries between work and private life through social media can have positive effects on organizational functioning.

#2 Communication Activities in the 21st Century Business Environment

Effective undergraduate instruction requires accurate knowledge of professional communication practices and employer expectations, but ongoing contradictions between academic and professional expectations reflect historical, rhetorical, and pedagogical causes for inaccurate presumptions. Taking a customer service perspective, one business faculty revised its undergraduate goals in terms of empirically determined employer expectations. Interviewing professionals familiar with expectations of entry-level business graduates, the authors identified 10 communication activities, each comprising three to nine subtasks that constitute entry-level communication competencies. The results suggest a need to reconsider traditional curricular organization and instructional focus across the business curriculum to develop relevant skills across all business majors.

#3 A Relational Theory of Infrastructure for Writing Studies

This article theorizes the term infrastructure as a framework for articulating how writing products, activities, and processes underwrite organizational life in technical organizations. While this term has appeared broadly in writing studies scholarship, it has not been systematically theorized there as it has been in other fields such as economics, computing, and information science. This article argues for a four-part framework that incorporates and builds on Star and Ruhleder’s relational theory of infrastructure. Fieldwork from a federally funded supercomputing center for scientific research operationalizes the theory for its contributions to writing studies scholarship and its applications for industry and writing pedagogy.

#4 Experiences and Learning Outcomes of a Flipped Communication Course

In this article, we present a study focusing on the learning experiences of business students in an organizational and marketing communication course. The pedagogical approaches of a flipped classroom, collaborative inquiry, and communication in the disciplines guided the planning of the course. A mixed-methods approach was used. The key findings include positive student evaluations of the pedagogies utilized. Moreover, a wide variety of learning outcomes was reported, particularly in the fields of crisis communication and workplace communication. The pedagogies utilized enabled a comprehensive model for teaching communication and contributed to relevant learning experiences and skill development for the 21st century.

#5 How Business Communication Students Perceive the Outlining Process

This study investigates how students perceive the outlining process. Students in two business communication sections completed a survey regarding outlining perceptions and reasons for outlining or not. Using qualitative content analysis and qualitative coding, the researcher and an independent coder analyzed 34 students’ responses regarding outlining process, use, and reasons for outlining or not. Results indicate that students perceive outlining as more useful if their outlining process includes both organization and content exploration and less useful if it excludes organization or content exploration. Notable reasons for not outlining include concern for outlining time and difficulty generating content for the outline.

#6 An Interdisciplinary Business and Professional Communication Course

The arts have not received much attention from business and professional communication (BPC) scholars who are interested in workplace communication. This article begins to fill that gap by explaining a course focused on the BPC that artists produce in their careers. Students learned BPC genres by addressing arts situations: They crafted email pitches to promoters, took promotional photography, created crowdfunding proposals, and more. I argue that teaching artist communication can give a new context to existing BPC assignments, encourage interdisciplinary initiatives, and allow for the incorporation of natively digital communication genres into existing courses.

#7 Agency, Authority, and Epideictic Rhetoric: A Case Study of Bottom-Up Organizational Change

By analyzing a case study of organizational decision making at a large research university, this article argues that the agency to make a difference within organizations—to effect organizational change—is not exclusive to those in positions of authority. This case study demonstrates how subordinate members of a university affected management’s decision-making process through their use of rhetorical identification. Specifically, these organizational members gained this agency by reproducing certain values and identities through epideictic rhetoric in order to encourage collective action and effect organizational change from the bottom up.

#8 Assessing Business Communication Skills in Interns and Recent Graduates

This article extends a dialogue regarding how (and what) communication skills are stressed within business schools, which should be regularly examined and updated. Specifically, this article addresses which skills interns and employers perceive as important. Results indicate that interns and their supervisors have similar perceptions of which communication skills are most important. Furthermore, emphasis placed on communication skills in the business curriculum did not necessarily translate to perceived importance by the interns. Skills employers perceived to be important were compared with adequacy of interns’ skills. Writing, proofreading, interpersonal skills with customers, and listening were among the skills interns lacked.

#9 Examining Dialectical Tensions in an Interorganizational Change Effort

Given the increasing number of interorganizational collaborations across governmental and private sectors, this study furthers theoretical understanding of these relationships by focusing on dialectical tensions experienced in a collaborative strategic change effort. The research site was an 11-member statewide interorganizational committee working to create change across all involved organizations. Data collection included prolonged observation of meetings over 18 months and interviews with committee leaders. Analytical procedures began with a modified constant comparative analysis that guided the research toward a tension-centered approach for ongoing data collection and analysis. Results include seven dialectical tensions representing three tension types: commitment-based, process-based, and outcome-based tensions. Participants used four strategies for communicatively negotiating tensions: acknowledging, delaying, hedging, and invoking authoritative texts. This study contributes to an increasing awareness of the constitutive nature of communication in collaborations and continues to refine our understanding of dialectical tension management in group interactions.

#10 Meeting new demands in international business communication

The last decade has witnessed increasing interest in email communication. Research in this area has focused on stylistic conventions, the role of email in the communication patterns of a company and the link between emails and corporate culture. Most of the studies so far published have concentrated on simple, one-way emails. However, evidence from a databank of 123 emails for international business communication seems to suggest that emails are gradually becoming a more complex genre. This article analyses the emerging textual and communicative complexity of business emails from the databank and suggests that this complexity has resulted mainly from efforts to accommodate the genre to the new demands of the international business community.

#11 An Analytical Toolkit to Explore Agency in Business Discourse and Communication

We argue that language awareness and discourse analytical skills should be part of business communication curricula. To this end, we propose a three-step analytical model drawing on organizational and critical discourse studies, and approaches from systemic-functional linguistics, to explore agency and action in business communication. Focusing on language and discourse helps students to analyze texts more systematically, researchers to gain deeper insights into organizational discourse, and practitioners to reflect on communication processes and produce texts with more impact. We view discourse as central to organizational processes and render a specific approach accessible and easy to integrate into business communication curricula.

#12 Student and Professional Perceptions of Mobile Phone Etiquette in Meetings

Previous studies have noted the difficulties students have in understanding and adapting to professional workforce policies, especially mobile device usage and e-etiquette. This study focuses on determining how closely students and working professionals align in their perceptions of appropriate mobile phone usage during business meetings. After comparing the 476 student responses from our survey with a previous study, we found that student and professional perceptions aligned frequently; however, gender, age, and year in school influence student perceptions. The article concludes with suggestions for teaching and future research.

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Written by Cameron Anderson

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