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The Dissemination of Contemporary Knowledge in English

Genres, Discourse Strategies and Professional Practices

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Edited By Rita Salvi and Janet Bowker

This volume brings together a series of studies on the nature of the dissemination of specialist knowledge in English, its various principles, conceptualizations, constructs and pragmatic dynamics, over a range of discourse genres: knowledge discourse is addressed to a number of audiences, expert and lay, in a variety of fields, legal, political, economic, institutional, academic, organizational and professional. The authors explore the use of language in the creation and diffusion of knowledge, in its transformation from being a mere repository of information, achieved through complex discursive processes. These processes use both general pragma-linguistic textual resources, and also derive from the communicative practices specific to the discourse communities in question. The studies as a whole demonstrate the multi-levels of knowledge, its very varied typology, and its dynamic nature in ongoing co-construction, maintenance and updating among heterogeneous audiences.
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Directive Acts and Narration in Corporate Training Events: Framing Structures and Processes through Language

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Information is the difference that makes a difference. (Bateson 1954)

1. Introduction

It has been asserted that we are currently witnessing a third wave of globalization, having undergone the prior experiences of nations, organizations and enterprises connecting on a world scale. This new phase is characterised by the ineluctable dissolution of frontiers in all spheres of human activity, constructing what Thomas Friedman has called the ‘flat’ world (Friedman 2005). A corollary of this is the changing status of ‘information’: more real information is available in real time to more people than in any period in human history. The implications of this for transnational business operations are considerable.1 In these new (and at the same time highly transient and mobile) realities, the incisive handling of information lies at the heart of corporate success in global markets: distributed information has to be converted into useful and useable ‘knowledge’ through the processes of effective learning, working towards the creation of ‘The Learning Organization’ through ‘Knowledge Management’ processes. Organizational communications are the main vehicle for these achievements. ← 145 | 146 →

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