The Pervasive Power of PowerPoint: How a Genre of Professional Communication Permeates Organizational Communication

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper examines the pervasive role of Microsoft’s presentation software PowerPoint as a genre of professional and organizational communication. Frequently, PowerPoint is not only used for the primary function it was initially designed for, i.e., facilitating live presentations, but also for alternative purposes such as project documentation. Its application in a neighboring domain, however, poses a functional dilemma: does the PowerPoint genre preserve the features of its primary function, i.e., presentation, or rather adapt to the new function, i.e., documentation? By drawing on a communication-centered perspective, this paper examines PowerPoint’s role in the domain of project documentation as a clash between the constitutive affordances of professional and of organizational communication. To investigate this issue empirically, I conducted a case study at a multinational business consulting firm. The study allows identification of three distinct PowerPoint subgenres, which differ in how they adapt to the function of project documentation. This paper contributes to organization studies by specifying the boundary conditions under which a genre of professional communication such as PowerPoint can be expected to maintain its genre-inherent characteristics even in the face of contradictory organizational requirements and to impose these characteristics on a neighboring domain of organizational communication practices
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalOrganization Studies
    Volume34
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)1777-1801
    ISSN0170-8406
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Cite this

    @article{367ee195407f46f3a7ec7838a325ac68,
    title = "The Pervasive Power of PowerPoint: How a Genre of Professional Communication Permeates Organizational Communication",
    abstract = "This paper examines the pervasive role of Microsoft’s presentation software PowerPoint as a genre of professional and organizational communication. Frequently, PowerPoint is not only used for the primary function it was initially designed for, i.e., facilitating live presentations, but also for alternative purposes such as project documentation. Its application in a neighboring domain, however, poses a functional dilemma: does the PowerPoint genre preserve the features of its primary function, i.e., presentation, or rather adapt to the new function, i.e., documentation? By drawing on a communication-centered perspective, this paper examines PowerPoint’s role in the domain of project documentation as a clash between the constitutive affordances of professional and of organizational communication. To investigate this issue empirically, I conducted a case study at a multinational business consulting firm. The study allows identification of three distinct PowerPoint subgenres, which differ in how they adapt to the function of project documentation. This paper contributes to organization studies by specifying the boundary conditions under which a genre of professional communication such as PowerPoint can be expected to maintain its genre-inherent characteristics even in the face of contradictory organizational requirements and to impose these characteristics on a neighboring domain of organizational communication practices",
    keywords = "Genre analysis, Organizational communication , PowerPoint, Professional communication, Project documentation",
    author = "Dennis Schoeneborn",
    year = "2013",
    doi = "10.1177/0170840613485843",
    language = "English",
    volume = "34",
    pages = "1777--1801",
    journal = "Organization Studies",
    issn = "0170-8406",
    publisher = "Sage Publications Ltd.",
    number = "12",

    }

    The Pervasive Power of PowerPoint : How a Genre of Professional Communication Permeates Organizational Communication. / Schoeneborn, Dennis .

    In: Organization Studies, Vol. 34, No. 12, 2013, p. 1777-1801.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The Pervasive Power of PowerPoint

    T2 - How a Genre of Professional Communication Permeates Organizational Communication

    AU - Schoeneborn, Dennis

    PY - 2013

    Y1 - 2013

    N2 - This paper examines the pervasive role of Microsoft’s presentation software PowerPoint as a genre of professional and organizational communication. Frequently, PowerPoint is not only used for the primary function it was initially designed for, i.e., facilitating live presentations, but also for alternative purposes such as project documentation. Its application in a neighboring domain, however, poses a functional dilemma: does the PowerPoint genre preserve the features of its primary function, i.e., presentation, or rather adapt to the new function, i.e., documentation? By drawing on a communication-centered perspective, this paper examines PowerPoint’s role in the domain of project documentation as a clash between the constitutive affordances of professional and of organizational communication. To investigate this issue empirically, I conducted a case study at a multinational business consulting firm. The study allows identification of three distinct PowerPoint subgenres, which differ in how they adapt to the function of project documentation. This paper contributes to organization studies by specifying the boundary conditions under which a genre of professional communication such as PowerPoint can be expected to maintain its genre-inherent characteristics even in the face of contradictory organizational requirements and to impose these characteristics on a neighboring domain of organizational communication practices

    AB - This paper examines the pervasive role of Microsoft’s presentation software PowerPoint as a genre of professional and organizational communication. Frequently, PowerPoint is not only used for the primary function it was initially designed for, i.e., facilitating live presentations, but also for alternative purposes such as project documentation. Its application in a neighboring domain, however, poses a functional dilemma: does the PowerPoint genre preserve the features of its primary function, i.e., presentation, or rather adapt to the new function, i.e., documentation? By drawing on a communication-centered perspective, this paper examines PowerPoint’s role in the domain of project documentation as a clash between the constitutive affordances of professional and of organizational communication. To investigate this issue empirically, I conducted a case study at a multinational business consulting firm. The study allows identification of three distinct PowerPoint subgenres, which differ in how they adapt to the function of project documentation. This paper contributes to organization studies by specifying the boundary conditions under which a genre of professional communication such as PowerPoint can be expected to maintain its genre-inherent characteristics even in the face of contradictory organizational requirements and to impose these characteristics on a neighboring domain of organizational communication practices

    KW - Genre analysis

    KW - Organizational communication

    KW - PowerPoint

    KW - Professional communication

    KW - Project documentation

    U2 - 10.1177/0170840613485843

    DO - 10.1177/0170840613485843

    M3 - Journal article

    VL - 34

    SP - 1777

    EP - 1801

    JO - Organization Studies

    JF - Organization Studies

    SN - 0170-8406

    IS - 12

    ER -