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Personal, reflective writing in business communication and management

Pamela H Lawrence, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This project is designed to examine and, therefore, hopefully understand how and why personal, reflective writing is used in business communication classes. Personal, reflective writing is treated differently in business communication classes than it is in management classes, yet management theory is greatly influential in the development of business communication as an academic field. In management courses, mostly those with a leadership focus, personal, reflective writing is used as a way to help students identify personal values and goals and then connect those personal discoveries to professional values and goals. In leadership textbooks especially, evidence of personal, reflective writing exercises, such as the personal mission statement, is extensive, suggesting that personal development is integral to professional development, to becoming a manager and leader. Trade books designed to help readers improve and grow as managers and leaders also confirm this, as most books from the genre include personal, reflective writing exercises that are similar to those found in textbooks. However, in business communication textbooks personal, reflective writing exercises are different. To understand better how personal, reflective writing exercises are used in business communication as well as in its affecting discipline of management, this dissertation project has three research foci. They are: a content analysis of business communication and management textbook and business/leadership trade book personal, reflective writing exercises; a brief survey of Association of Business Communication members about their uses of using personal, reflective writing exercises in their classes; and, last, interviews with instructors of management in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts about their uses of personal, reflective writing in their classes. Results of each study and their implications are discussed.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Lawrence, Pamela H, "Personal, reflective writing in business communication and management" (2007). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3275795.