[Air-l] query

david silver dsilver at u.washington.edu
Tue Jun 3 21:10:19 PDT 2003


the following query comes from Paulina Borsook, a great thinker and mind,
who wrote Cyberselfish.  please direct any suggestions to her at
<loris at well.com>.



i have a small research project for a division of an international
entertainment/consumer electronics corporation having to do with
investigating best practices for global work/information flow in a
multinational/multicultural/multilingual corporation. i am looking for
resources/exemplary or cautionary case histories/periodicals (my assignment
is to create a bibliography/in-house compendium of such materials).

some background on my project: the person i am doing it for is dir of
techpubs at said multinational. he is smart/thinks like an organizational
development person (though would never admit to such) + is aware of all
the language/interpersonal/cultural issues of involved in
creating/managing/obtaining information with regard to a task that
involves folks both across depts (technical, legal, corporate, hq, etc;
folks in us, europe, asia) and to folks outside (3rd-party developers). he
has done such a good job that his dept is growing.  in other words, his
dept is increasingly taking on additional tasks beyond the developer docs
he was first charged with managing: localization. consumer docs. etc etc.

-so- what he needs from me are resources/references that a) show best
practices/benchmarks in how other enterprises have dealt with these probs b)
cases, either exemplary or cautionary, dealing with these probs c) info that
outlines the problems or suggests possible solutions in a general, but still
 practical, way d) publications/news services that his dept ought to be
subscribing to (i have a query into the folks at 'information people and
technology', for example). his goal here is to create a resource that he can
use with his vps --- and above --- which has authoritative info on the
mostly invisible but very real probs of managing info/workflow in a
multinational/multilingual/multicultural corp, where the resulting
publications had different audiences/needs. i think his idea ultimately to
use this bibliographic resource to a) do his own job better b) possibly get
company resources to implement the stuff that needs to be implemented.

there have been 40 hundred million zillion articles written on certain
aspects of these topics --- have been intensively researching such for
weeks. but, i always believe that talking to smart people in the field is a
better way to find stuff, for all kinda of reasons. particularly with a
complex ambiguous research assignment like this, which touches on lots of
different aspects of a complicated problem, i am hoping to rely on the
kindness (and intelligence) of strangers, as opposed to the idiot savant
traits of google and abi inform.

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