Outsourcing Technical Communication: Issues, Policies and Practices

This book examines the impact of outsourcing on the field of technical communication. Aided by new technologies and driven by global market structures, technical communication products that were once developed in the United States or Western Europe are now being developed in Asia, Eastern Europe, and other parts of the world. If technical communication follows other fields, such as information technologies, electronics manufacturing, and even textiles, this 'outsourcing' of technical communication products and jobs will surely influence our profession-but how? What kinds of jobs will remain in the United States? Which jobs are more efficiently handled outside the United States? How can U.S. technical communicators develop a 'comparative advantage' in the global economy? How can collaboration and joint development of information products be managed? What are the ethical, cultural, social, and economic dilemmas created by outsourcing?This collection is designed as a theory/practice book that addresses the needs of graduate students, faculty, and technical communicators who want to teach, practice, or conduct research in this area. It addresses technical communications and outsourcing in six different parts of the world, including the United States. It also explores issues of curriculum, project management, legal considerations, and intercultural communication problems.This title is suitable for: Technical communication professionals in academia and industry; managers, researchers, and teachers of documentation projects who are involved in offshore outsourcing situations and need to find best practices, strategies, or recommendations for being successful; technical writers (freelancers and corporate employees) working with international partners interested in how outsourcing can affect the future of their profession; non-U.S. writers working in outsourcing projects looking to perform satisfactorily in their jobs; undergraduate and graduate professors in universities and community colleges teaching courses in publications management, information design, international communication, and technical writing, and students enrolled in those courses; teachers and students in rhetorical theory and professional communication pedagogy courses; ESL (English as a second language) and ESP (English for specific purposes) readers.