Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

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


Schoeneborn, Dennis (2014). The Pervasive Power of PowerPoint: How a Genre of Professional Communication Permeates Organizational Communication. Organization Studies, 34(12):1777-1801.

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.

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.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
15 citations in Web of Science®
24 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

64 downloads since deposited on 30 Aug 2019
64 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Strategy and Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Management of Technology and Innovation
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:30 Aug 2019 07:38
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 03:34
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0170-8406
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840613485843
Official URL:http://oss.sagepub.com/content/34/12/1777
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:8850

Download

Green Open Access

Download PDF  'The Pervasive Power of PowerPoint: How a Genre of Professional Communication Permeates Organizational Communication'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 868kB
View at publisher