Writing in the Business Professions

Bertie E. Fearing, Myra Kogen
1990 College composition and communication  
Writing in the Business Professions c, U we were sometimes looked upon with a certain condescension by the "real scholars" in the Department.' In these early experiences can be seen the seeds of issues that have characterized the discipline up to the present day. The subject matter of business writing was in a kind of limbo between business and the from information theory have come theories on the ways in which information is transmitted in a technological society. This multidisciplinary blend
more » ... as sometimes resulted in certain conflicts and confusions. Faculty, meeting across disciplinary lines for the first time, have been known to experience each other's work as alien xii in line with the kind of intellectual examination characteristic of modern academic scholarship. There has, in recent years, been considerable feeling that research in business communication often lacks intellectual force and rigor.' There has been criticism, especially, of the many surveys that characterize scholarship in the field. 5 Along with all this, however, important changes are occurring in composition, business, communication, and the social sciences that are bringing all these fields closer together. For example, although past research in composition has often been intuitive and analytic, composition scholars are now learning the value of scientific methodology; similarly, whereas research in the social sciences has traditionally been objective and scientific, social scientists are now acknowledging the value of discovery and intuition. Unavoidably, as the field of business communication becomes more important, it will inevitably become more traditionally academic in its interests and accomplishments (if for no other reason than that status and academic respectability will demand it).6 The Boundaries of the Discipline Because the subject matter of communication in the world of work is traditionally shared by a number of fields, there have been doubts about whether a bona fide discipline of business communication actually exists. There are, of course, undergraduate and graduate courses called "business communication," and even whole programs in business communication in many colleges. There are also courses in organizational communication (usually in business divisions or in speech), technical writing
doi:10.2307/357892 fatcat:nh4q24k3dfhobe4gvjzs73ruzm