- Association for Business Communication
The Association for Business Communication (ABC) is the primary academic organization for the field of
business communicationscholarship, research, education and practice. The mission statement on its website reflects this: “The Association for Business Communication (ABC) is an international organization committed to fostering excellence in business communication scholarship, research, education, and practice.”
Much of the strength of the organization rests in its interdisciplinary nature. Members belong to such varied academic fields as
Management, Marketing, English, Foreign Languages, Speech, Communication, Linguistics, and Information Systems. Additionally, the organization brings together university academics, business practitioners and business consultants.
The ABC is an international organization, divided into eight regional divisions, each with their own separate academic conferences. The regions are Europe; Asia and Pacific Rim;
Caribbeanand Central Americaand five North American regions (Canada, Southwest US, Eastern US, Southeast US and Midwest US). Each year the entire membership meets at the International Convention in October or November. Midyear, two regional conferences are held, one of the European region and one of the North American regions. The Asia and Pacific Rim region holds a conference every two years. At the International Convention and at the regional conferences, members come together to share research in business communication, participate in workshops, and network.
A Board of Directors and an Executive Committee leads the ABC. The Board of Directors is directly elected with a Vice President elected from each of 8 regions and 12 directors at large, with staggered terms. The executive committee consists of a permanent position of Executive Director and four officers of the Association. The members of the executive committee serve for four years in rotating capacity, beginning as second vice president in the first year, then first vice president the next, president the next and past president the last year on the committee. The organization as a whole elects the second vice president position from among candidates on the Board of Directors.
The current Executive Director of the ABC is Dr. Betty S. Johnson of (
Stephen F. Austin State University). She took office in 2007.
For 2007-2008, the Executive Committee consists of President Dr. Roger Conaway (
University of Texas at Tyler), First Vice President Dr. James Dubinsky ( Virginia Tech), Second Vice President, Deborah Valentine ( Emory University)- Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and Immediate Past President Dr. Jackie Harrison ( AUT University– Auckland, New Zealand).
The ABC publishes two widely respected refereed journals: The Journal of Business Communication (JBC) and the Business Communication Quarterly (BCQ).
Journal of Business Communication
The JBC was founded in 1963. At the time (and for several decades) it remained the only journal devoted solely to business communication theory. In its own words on the ABC website “publishes manuscripts that contribute to knowledge and theory of business communication as a distinct, multifaceted field approached through the administrative disciplines, the liberal arts, and the social sciences.”
The JBC summarizes its research focus as devoted to articles that “contribute to knowledge and theory of business communication as a distinct, multifaceted field approached through the administrative disciplines, the liberal arts, and the social sciences. Accordingly, JBC seeks manuscripts that address all areas of business communication including but not limited to business composition/technical writing, information systems, international business communication, management communication, and organizational and corporate communication. In addition, JBC welcomes submissions concerning the role of written, verbal, nonverbal and electronic communication in the creation, maintenance, and performance of profit and not for profit business.”
The current editor of the JBC is Dr. Margaret Baker Graham of
Iowa State University.
Business Communication Quarterly
The Business Communication Quarterly was founded in 1937. In its earlier years, the BCQ was known as the “Bulletin of the ABCA” and later the “Bulletin of the ABC.” It took on its present name in 1994.
In its own words on the ABC website, the BCQ is “devoted to the teaching of business communication, which is a broad, interdisciplinary field.” The BCQ summarizes the focus of its articles as
“-discussions of issues and methods for teaching business communication in a variety of settings: two–year college, technical institute, four-year college, university, corporate or agency training program, and the like
-case studies of specific classroom techniques
-tutorials on business communication processes or products, especially innovations in electronic technology that need to be introduced into the classroom
-research on classroom teaching or assessment
-summary reviews of literature on teaching business communication
-book reviews-reviews of both textbooks and other items of interest to teachers
-reports on strategies for program development”
The current editor of the BCQ is Dr. Kathryn Riley of the
Illinois Institute of Technology.
tanding Committees, Ad Hoc Committees and Interest Groups
The ABC has 17 standing committees, as follow:
1. Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (
AACSB) Liaison2. Business Practices Committee3. Community College Committee4. Convention Procedures Committee5. Diversity Initiative Committee6. Employment Opportunities Committee7. Intercultural Communication Committee8. International Issues Committee 9. Modern Language Association(MLA) Liaison Committee10. Nominations Committee11. Publications Board12. Research Committee13. Review of the Executive Director Committee 14. Student Competition Committee 15. Teaching Committee 16. Undergraduate Studies Committee17. Web Board
The ABC has Ad Hoc Committees for interests that have not yet warranted a Standing Committee, but may in the future become so. Many of the Standing Committees began as Ad Hoc Committees. In 2006 has four Ad Hoc Committees:
1. Marketing of ABC 2. Non-Tenure Track Faculty 3. Professional Ethics 4. Retired Members
Additionally, ABC members pursue a number of professional objectives through voluntary interest groups. Interest group may be convened by the First Vice President or by members’ current interest groups. In 2006, the ABC had the following five Interest Groups:
MBAConsortium 2. Business Practices 3. Consultants' Interest Group 4. Intercultural Communication 5. RhetoricSpecial Interest Group
The ABC was founded in 1936, beginning with a modest membership of 72 members, all but one from the United States (the only exception being from Canada). The organization, based at the University of Illinois was then named the “Association of College Teachers of Business Writers.” The next year, 1937, that name changed to the “American Business Writing Association.”
By the 1960’s, the field had grown considerably and became heavily interested in areas well beyond business writing (such as oral presentations, negotiations, and nonverbal communication among others). In 1967, the Board of Directors voted to change the name of the organization to the “American Business Communication Association” to reflect this change.
By the late 1970’s, as the membership of the organization grew to include more member from outside the Americas and as the focus of research expanded heavily into the fields of intercultural communication and cross-cultural business communication practice, the term “American” became increasingly inaccurate of both the membership and focus of the organization. In 1985, the Board of Directors voted to change the name to its current “Association for Business Communication.”
In 1990, the ABC moved its headquarters from
Illinoisfirst to the University of North Texas(from 1990-1994) and then to Baruch College CUNYin New York City(from 1994 2007). Presently, the ABC is headquartered at ( Stephen F. Austin State University).
* [http://www.businesscommunication.org/ Association for Business Communication]
* [http://www.businessforums.co.nz/ New Zealand Business Forum Communication]
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