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A Framework for How Expertise Is Communicated and Valued in Contemporary Organizations: Why Process Work Matters

A Framework for How Expertise Is Communicated and Valued in Contemporary Organizations: Why Process Work Matters
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Author(s): Jeffrey W. Treem (University of Texas at Austin, USA) and William C. Barley (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 20
Source title: Transformative Practice and Research in Organizational Communication
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Philip J. Salem (Texas State University, USA) and Erik Timmerman (University of Wisconsin, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2823-4.ch008

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Abstract

Changes in contemporary organizations and work environments suggest reconsideration of how expertise is constituted in organizations. Specifically, a communicative view of expertise is advanced that views expertise in organizations as the product of communicative signals that are associated with an actor, and attributed as expertise by an observer. This lens is discussed as particularly valuable given the ways communication technologies and distributed work arrangements obscure visibility into the work practices of individuals, and the ways communication alters assessments of expertise. Two distinctively communicative forms of expertise are presented as alternatives to more traditional domain-focused views of expertise: interactional expertise and process expertise. A framework is presented for how organizational communication scholars can study process expertise, and how this research will help build and extend theory related to the constitutive nature of expertise in organizations.

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