University of Oulu

Jenni Virtaluoto, Annalisa Sannino, Yrjö Engeström (2016) Surviving Outsourcing and Offshoring: Technical Communication Professionals in Search of a Future. Journal of Business and Technical Communication Vol 30, Issue 4, pp. 495 - 532. https://doi.org/10.1177/1050651916651908

Surviving outsourcing and offshoring : technical communication professionals in search of a future

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Author: Virtaluoto, Jenni1; Sannino, Annalisa2; Engeström, Yrjö2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
2University of Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe201802193489
Language: English
Published: SAGE Publications, 2016
Description:

Abstract

Major trends, such as outsourcing and offshoring, and field-specific factors, such as the advent of content management systems, have fundamentally changed technical communication in recent years. These changes have been widely discussed in the literature of the field, and this article traces their impact on technical communicators in Finland, a high-cost country where downturns in the export industry and the downsizing of major employers are currently coinciding. Through the framework of activity theory, the article looks at the historical changes in the industry as sources of tension and contradictions that need to be understood in order to support professionals in the industry. With the help of interview data, the authors explore the tensions experienced by technical communication professionals in the face of such changes. This analysis leads to the formulation of a hypothesis of historical contradictions currently at play in the field of technical communication. Developmental potentials stemming from these contradictions are outlined as potential ways forward for technical communicators who notice similar tensions in their own environments.

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Series: Journal of business and technical communication
ISSN: 1050-6519
ISSN-E: 1552-4574
ISSN-L: 1050-6519
Volume: 30
Issue: 4
Pages: 495 - 532
DOI: 10.1177/1050651916651908
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1177/1050651916651908
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Subjects:
Funding: This work was supported by the first author’s grant from the Finnish Work Environment Fund (No. 114009). The writing of this article was partly supported by an Academy Research Fellowship (No. 264972) granted to the second author by the Academy of Finland, Research Council for Culture and Society.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 264972
Detailed Information: 264972 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: Jenni Virtaluoto, Annalisa Sannino, Yrjö Engeström, Surviving Outsourcing and Offshoring: Technical Communication Professionals in Search of a Future. Journal of Business and Technical Communication Vol 30, Issue 4, pp. 495 - 532. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.