Communication -- Sex differences, Communication of technical information, Sex role
Online collaborations are more prevalent in society due to electronic communication allowing students and professionals to communicate with each other, without needing to spend time or money traveling. The lack of visual cues in electronic communication means writing styles primarily set the tone of a message. A group member‟s gender can affect his or her writing style and what he or she assumes about the message. The differing writing styles and potential gender bias can cause misunderstandings, which delay projects and sometimes lead to ostracizing a group member. The gender composition of an online collaboration, therefore, can have a positive or negative effect on a project. This study helps technical communicators understand how to manage online collaborations effectively to produce a successful project. The study explains how the effects of gender composition on a project are influenced by electronic communication, gender roles, and online collaborations. Society-imposed gender roles include differing writing styles for each gender causing gender bias in both writing and reading electronic messages. Group members, monitors, and project managers must take care in managing online collaborations due to the differences in each gender‟s communication style, and differences in gender roles and expectations for multinational online collaborations. The study shows mixed-gender collaborations have increased chances of misunderstandings because of the differing communication styles of each gender compared to same-gender collaborations. However, the advantages of mixed-gender collaborations outweigh the disadvantages due to the variety of ideas, motivations, and expectations. Technical communicators understanding how all the major topics relate together to influence a iv collaboration are better able to manage an online collaboration and reduce the chances of misunderstandings to create a successful project.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English; Technical Communications Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Wardell, Erika A., "Gender Composition Of Online Technical Communication Collaborations" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1726.