Currently Project Management as a field is understood from an engineering and management perspective as a system of planning, managing and monitoring work processes involved in projects. The systems focus does not preclude communication as an important element, but it does not synthesize communication concepts with project management practices. Understanding Project Management from a communication perspective entails synthesizing key concepts from Knowledge Communication, Knowledge Management and Rhetoric. From Knowledge Communication, key concepts include Wenger's Communities of Practice (1998), Nonaka & Takeuchi´s' SECI model describing the relationship between tacit and explicit knowledge in the context of knowledge creation (1995), and Davenport & Prusak's problematization of knowledge definitions in Working Knowledge (1998, 2000). From a Knowledge Management Perspective, key concepts include McDermott's discussion of "Why technology inspired, but cannot deliver Knowledge Management" (in Lesser, Fontaine & Slusher, eds. 2000), Tsoukas discussion of tacit knowledge (in Little & Ray, eds. 2005) and Seely Brown's Social Life of Information (Seely Brown & Duguid 2000). From a rhetorical perspective, concepts include Bitzer's discussion of the rhetorical situation as emerging from exigence, Burke's reductive process of Terministic Screens and his productive process of Entitlement (Language as symbolic action, 1960), Bazerman's discussion of the enmeshment of the writing and shaping of texts in social activities and contexts (1988), Carolyn Miller's notion of genre as social action (1994), and Bakhtin's connection between speech genres and spheres of social activities. The questions this synthesis will address include: How do knowledge communication and knowledge management contribute to understanding project management as a problem-solving process? How does a rhetorical perspective affect the way in which project management tools can be understood and applied?
Knowledge Communication; Project Management
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IPCC International Professional Communication Conference, 2008