This volume explores the complex relations between norms and exemplars of genres from business and technical communication. Contributors compare a variety of types of norm with textual practices in a variety of ways. The genres examined are typical of the range of audiences and media of workplace and business communication: product withdrawal notices, press releases, job ads, oral presentations, sales letters and tenders, chairman’s reports, and technical reports. They are compared with norms set by teachers, by unimaginative practice, by more or less self-appointed experts, or by practitioners who may not share the national or professional culture of their colleagues. However accurate these may be they never do justice to the complexity of ‘reality’. The contributors to this volume use a wide variety of methods in their attempt to capture this reality. Many analyse texts, but all combine this procedure with at least one other approach and often more: questionnaires, experiments assessing the effect of manipulated texts, analysis of practitioner comments, and use of natural sources of practitioner judgements like awards for good practice.