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Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 4 • Date Dec. 2012

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Displaying Results 1 - 14 of 14
  • [Table of contents - Front cover]

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): C1
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  • IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication publication information

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): C2
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  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 293
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  • Research Article Structure of Research Article Introductions in Three Engineering Subdisciplines

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 294 - 309
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    This study aims to provide scholars with insight into the task of writing research articles. Research questions: (1) What are the generic structures of research article introductions in three engineering subdisciplines? and (2) What are variations that distinguish the introductions of one subdiscipline from the others? Literature review: Swales's genre analysis method has proved to be an effective textual analysis to identify the structural organization of each section of research articles. Even though there seems to be a pattern in each section, previous genre-based studies also demonstrate that disciplinary variation is discernible. It thus remains to be determined whether research articles of different subdisciplines within a single discipline share the same organizational structure. Methodology: Based on journal impact factors, three datasets of English research article introductions representing three subdisciplines of engineering (civil, software, and biomedical) were compiled, consisting of 180 introductions with 60 from each subdiscipline. Then, the three datasets were analyzed using Swales's genre analysis technique to identify the structural patterns prevalent in the introductions of each subdiscipline. Units of textual analysis called moves and steps were quantified to capture variations among the introductions. Results and discussion: Analysis shows that these introductions generally adhere to a common rhetorical organization across subdisciplines. However, disciplinary variations are also captured, highlighting the unique characteristics and perspectives of each subdiscipline. The findings bear pedagogical implications, allowing English for Specific Purposes practitioners to prepare novice scholars to be able to publish successfully in their fields. View full abstract»

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  • Research Article The Role of Leadership and Contextualization on Citizenship Behaviors in Distributed Teams: A Relational Capital Perspective

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 310 - 324
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    Research problem: This study provides insights into the role that a leader plays in improving relational capital, thereby motivating team members' citizenship behaviors in distributed teams. We address the following research questions: (1) What is the role of inspirational leadership in cultivating relational capital (i.e., reciprocity and commitment) in distributed teams? (2) Are team members' citizenship behaviors (i.e., knowledge sharing and interpersonal helping) influenced by relational capital in distributed teams? (3) How does technology support for cognitive and affective contextualization facilitate leaders to improve organizational communication? Literature review: The purpose of the review was to provide a theoretical background for the variables in this study. Based on the relevant theories on relational capital, leadership, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and contextualization, this study reviewed how previous studies link these theories to one other, and proposed the positive relationship between leadership, relational capital and OCBs, as well as the moderating relationships of technology support for contextualization. Methodology: The researchers conducted a quantitative survey with 141 respondents in a major university in Asia. The subjects were part-time graduate students pursuing their master's degree. Researchers administrated a paper-based questionnaire along with a cover letter explaining the study's objectives. Responses indicating teams that were situated in only one location and their role as team leaders were removed from the analyses. Participation was completely voluntary. The researchers chose partial least squares to test the hypotheses since it has fewer restrictive assumptions and its ability for analyzing measurement and structural models. Results and discussion: This study highlights the importance of inspirational leaders in cultivating two kinds of relational capital, namely commitment and reciprocity. This study al- o explores the differential values of contextual information from the cognitive and affective dimensions. A key result is that the effect of inspirational leadership on reciprocity is strengthened when there is technology support for cognitive contextualization. At the same time, technology support for affective contextualization has a direct impact on commitment. These findings provide empirical support for affective and cognitive contextualization in distributed organizational communication, and suggest a way for distinguishing between reciprocity and commitment. This study concludes by illustrating the positive effects of commitment on citizenship behaviors, such as knowledge sharing and interpersonal helping. The implication of this study is that when teams are physically dispersed, there should be more emphasis on leadership with inspirational attributes to get their team members to perform beyond standard requirements. In addition, this study provides leaders and organizations with an opportunity to reflect on the appropriate technology that can be adopted to compensate for insufficient communication. The limitation of this study is that each respondent represents his/her working team. As a result, it may introduce bias to the findings. In addition, self-reported measures may also cause common method bias. Future research could consider the addition of objective measures and longitudinal work to reduce the possibility of common method bias, and investigate how work behaviors change over time. View full abstract»

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  • Research Article Electronic Media Variety and Virtual Team Performance: The Mediating Role of Task Complexity Coping Mechanisms

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 325 - 344
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1231 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Research problem: Much of the research on electronic communication media so far has been characterized by a focus on the impact that specific media may have on individuals and teams, as opposed to the impact that multiple media, when used in combination, may have on individuals and teams. Research questions: (1) Does a high degree of media variety facilitate the implementation of team mechanisms for coping with task complexity? (2) Does the degree of implementation of team mechanisms for coping with task complexity positively influence team performance? Literature review: Based on a focused literature review, we develop a new set of propositions relating media variety and team performance, which we tested in the context of teams engaged in new product development. Methodology: Data from 290 new product development teams in 66 organizations located in the Northeastern US were analyzed through partial least squares-based structural equation modeling. The analysis was conducted with the software WarpPLS 2.0. Results and discussion: The results of the analysis suggest that a high degree of electronic communication media variety facilitates the implementation of task complexity coping mechanisms, such as coordination activities, in new product development teams. This, in turn, seems to lead to significant gains in team efficiency and effectiveness in those teams. The results also suggest that while electronic communication media variety plays an important facilitation role, by facilitating coordination activities, it has a much less pronounced direct effect on team efficiency and effectiveness. In other words, in the absence of task complexity coping mechanisms, such as coordination activities, a high degree of media variety may not be very useful for teams carrying out complex tasks such as new product development. View full abstract»

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  • Research Article Phishing Susceptibility: An Investigation Into the Processing of a Targeted Spear Phishing Email

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 345 - 362
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    Research problem: Phishing is an email-based scam where a perpetrator camouflages emails to appear as a legitimate request for personal and sensitive information. Research question: How do individuals process a phishing email, and determine whether to respond to it? Specifically, this study examines how users' attention to “visual triggers” and “phishing deception indicators” influence their decision-making processes and consequently their decisions. Literature review: This paper draws upon the theory of deception and the literature on mediated cognition and learning, including the critical role of attention and elaboration in deception detection. From this literature, we developed a research model to suggest that overall cognitive effort expended in email processing decreases with attention to visual triggers and phishing deception indicators. The likelihood to respond to phishing emails increases with attention to visceral cues, but decreases with attention to phishing deception indicators and cognitive effort. Knowledge of email-based scams increases attention to phishing deception indicators, and directly decreases response likelihood. It also moderates the impact of attention to visceral triggers and that of phishing deception indicators on likelihood to respond. Methodology: Using a real phishing email as a stimulus, a survey of 321 members of a public university community in the Northeast US, who were intended victims of a spear phishing attack that took place, was conducted. The survey used validated measures developed in prior literature for the most part and tested results using the partial least-squares regression. Results and discussion: Our research model and hypotheses were supported by the data except that we did not find that cognitive effort significantly affects response likelihood. The implication of the study is that attention to visceral triggers, attention to phishing deception indicators, and phishing knowledg- play critical roles in phishing detection. The limitations of the study were that the data were drawn from students, and the study explored one phishing attack, relied on some single-item measures, cognitive effort measure, and a one-round survey. Future research would examine the impact of a varying degree of urgency and a varying level of phishing deception indicators, and actual victims of phishing attacks. View full abstract»

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  • Teaching Case Using a Research in Technical and Scientific Communication Class to Teach Essential Workplace Skills

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 363 - 377
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (353 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Teaching problem: Undergraduate research at the university level often focuses on the production of a traditional research paper, one with an academic orientation, often information heavy and analysis light, emphasizing the importance of secondary sources and documentation style over the process of inquiry. What approaches to undergraduate research would enable aspiring technical communicators to develop research skills that would better prepare them for success in a professional environment? Situating the case: The approaches described in this paper draw on the work of Mel Levine as presented in , in which he delineates several reasons why young people encounter problems when they enter professional environments: overly managed lives, no experience of delayed gratification, inability to think critically, limited knowledge of their own strengths and weaknesses, and an expectation of stability in the so-called adult world. Levine claims that these problems can be addressed by helping students develop a sense of inner direction as opposed to direction from without, an understanding of how to think critically and apply knowledge, a willingness to build and refine skills over time, and competent writing and speaking skills. In addition, the approaches described in this paper draw on three well-established research traditions: mixed methods research, problem-based research, and action research. How this case was studied: This paper describes the experiences of using two approaches to teach Research in Technical and Scientific Communication at a mid-sized state university in Virginia. The material was collected informally over a period of six years of teaching the course-through observation, student feedback, and completed research reports. About the case: Research in Technical and Scientific Communication required students to produce a research report within the context of real-world inquiry, appropriately focused for a specific audience and purpose, using both primary - nd secondary sources, and including analysis as well as information. Two approaches were used. The Real Client approach required students to investigate a small-scale, real-world problem or need, which became the focus of a research report that could be submitted to a specific audience for a specific purpose, both identified by the student early in the research process. The Impact of Technology approach required students to consider the impact of technology on modern life, investigate a narrower topic within this broad topic, and prepare a report that could be published in the university magazine or student newspaper. Examples of strong and weak research reports illustrate which features of each approach worked well and which posed challenges. Overall, students responded well to both approaches, but found the Impact of Technology approach more congenial because it was more familiar to them than the Real Client approach. Nonetheless, with both approaches, but especially with the Real Client approach, students seemed reluctant to make necessary contacts, conduct in-depth interviews, and include well-developed analysis. They were more comfortable gathering information anonymously through secondary source material or online surveys, and presenting that information with a limited amount of analysis. Both approaches served to move students toward a more realistic understanding of the kind of research needed in professional environments. Conclusions: These approaches also addressed the concerns raised by Levine. The study was limited by its informal nature, with observations and conclusions resulting from a six-year period of informal experimentation and refinement, during which the requirements for the research report were continually redesigned to better address what students would need to be successful in a workplace. View full abstract»

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  • IEEE open access publishing [advertisement]

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 378
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  • IEEE Xplore Digital Library [advertisement]

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 379
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  • IEEE Member Digital Library [advertisement]

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 380
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  • 2012 Index IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication Vol. 55

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 381 - 385
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  • IEEE Professional Communication Society Information

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): C3
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  • IEEE Professional Communication Society Information

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): C4
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Aims & Scope

The IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to applied research on professional communication--including but not limited to technical and business communication. It has been published since 1957 by the Professional Communication Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Saul Carliner
Concordia University