ERIC Number: ED382953
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Discourse Conventions: The Socialization of Technical Writers.
Katz, Susan M.
Newcomers learn about the practices and values of an organization through a process called socialization. Organizational socialization research provides useful information on the strategies, such as indirect questioning and disguised conversation, that new employees can use as they move into unfamiliar settings. At one time, researchers believed that socialization was a passive process but recent work suggests that it is a process that the newcomer is involved with actively. In addition to asking questions, he or she can test the limits by intentionally deviating from accepted behavior, seeking out written materials such as manuals, questioning peers or third parties, and directing casual conversation toward particular topics. At a time when there is a great deal of movement and uncertainty within industry, an awareness of socialization strategies and resources can be critically important in helping technical communicators make the transition to new assignments, divisions, or organizations. While some may see this process as a positive one, others may consider it indoctrination and question whether it crosses the line ethically. More research is needed to investigate this and other questions. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Discourse Conventions; Newcomers; Organizational Culture; Technical Communication
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Society for Technical Communication Conference (42nd, Washington, DC, April 23-26, 1995).