Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Knowledge Management; Startups; Technical Communication


"Startups contribute to the economy and job creation in the United States. One of the primary assets of startups is tacit knowledge of the employees of the startup. Technical communicators can help startups capture, share, and leverage the tacit knowledge at startups. Technical communicators could benefit from learning how knowledge management initiatives at startups work. The current study is an ethnographic case-study that was conducted at a fast-growing startup in California.

The data for the study was collected through observations, informal and semi-structured formal interviews with participants, and feedback from customers of the startup. The collected data was analyzed based on Wick's conceptual framework. The framework describes four perspectives that technical communicators should know about knowledge management initiatives: document perspective, technological perspective, socio-organizational perspective, and knowledge organization perspective.

The study shows that at the research site, the content creation process for knowledge management initiatives is similar to the technical writing process for documentation projects. Technical communicators are expected to be technologically proficient in collaborative tools, authoring tools, as well as complex products of the startup. Technical communicators need to secure buy-in from all stakeholders and develop rapport with SMEs. Finally, knowledge management initiatives were on the radar of senior management at the startup. Being a part of high-visibility team could help technical communicators advance their careers. However, the conclusions are relevant only to the research site and cannot be generalized"--Abstract, page iii.


Wright, David

Committee Member(s)

Northcut, Kathryn M., 1964-
Malone, Edward A.


English and Technical Communication

Degree Name

M.S. in Technical Communication


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2017


x, 56 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 52-55).


© 2017 Amruta Anil Ranade

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11115

Electronic OCLC #