Full citation 568

Anne-Laure Fayard, Anca Metiu (2014) The Role of Writing in Distributed Collaboration. The Role of Writing in Distributed Collaboration 25(5):1391-1413.

Type: Non-experimental study

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Individual, Organizations, Sectors

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Policy makers, Clinicians, Brokers, Manufacturers, Developers, Intermediaries, Users, Advocates, and Researchers.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Community, Federal Lab, Government, Large business, Small business, University

Format: Peer-reviewed journal article

Annotation: Writing is an integral activity to knowledge sharing, particularly among separate departments or different organizations. Certain communication norms serve as mechanisms to enable such collaborations. While written communication has a very great impact on distant partners, the same mechanisms apply to collaborators at the same site. This paper examines how writing addresses the dialogical challenges posed by distributed work, and how written communication supports distributed collaboration. Management theories were applied to actual written dialogues that produced novel ideas to identify and evaluate these mechanisms.

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model



Questioning ideas is a part of the development process heavily reliant on communication.
Analysis of researchers’ correspondences
Occurrences within model: NtK 1.3, 4.11


  • In collaborative problem solving, writing serves for “knowledge sharing, the questioning of ideas and the synergistic development of solutions”.
    Analysis of researchers’ correspondences 
    Occurrences within model: 1.5, 3.8, 3.9, 4.6, 7.5
  • Interpersonal dynamics like trust, identity, status, special distance and management structures influence participation in collaborations.
     Analysis of researchers’ correspondences
    Occurrences within model: KTA 7.C, NtK 4.1, 4.4, 4.6
  • Methods for driving collaboration through writing are objectifying, contextualizing, specifying, and reflecting upon ideas.
    Analysis of researchers’ correspondences
    Occurrences within model: NtK 1.4, 3.2, 3.8, 7.5