Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Humanities


Robert R Johnson


This dissertation is a report on a collaborative project between the Computer Science and the Humanities Departments to develop case studies that focus on issues of communication in the workplace, and the results of their use in the classroom. My argument is that case study teaching simulates real-world experience in a meaningful way, essentially developing a teachable way of developing phronesis, the reasoned capacity to act for the good in public.

In addition, it can be read as a "how-to" guide for educators who may wish to construct their own case studies. To that end, I have included a discussion of the ethnographic methodologies employed, and how it was adapted to our more pragmatic ends. Finally, I present my overarching argument for a new appraisal of the concept of techné. This reappraisal emphasizes its productive activity, poiesis, rather than focusing on its knowledge as has been the case in the past. I propose that focusing on the telos, the end outside the production, contributes to the diminishment, if not complete foreclosure, of a rich concept of techné.