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Positive Deviance as Design Thinking: Challenging Notions of Stasis in Technical and Professional Communication

Resource type
Author/contributor
Title
Positive Deviance as Design Thinking: Challenging Notions of Stasis in Technical and Professional Communication
Abstract
In design thinking, extreme users have found work-arounds for common problems, but they are few in number and often overlooked in toolkits and write-ups. This article posits that positive deviance, an approach to social and behavioral change that is compatible with design thinking, offers technical and professional communicators an accessible and innovative methodology for engaging extreme users. The authors analyze a case study of how the positive deviance approach was used to address federal recidivism on the U.S.–Mexico border. They conducted a positive deviance inquiry to arrive at the everyday replicable behaviors that enabled released individuals to complete their terms of supervised release successfully, despite the odds against them and without access to special resources. The authors conclude by discussing the value and implications of focusing on extreme users.
Publication
Journal of Business and Technical Communication
Date
2019
Citation
Dura, L. (2019). Positive Deviance as Design Thinking: Challenging Notions of Stasis in Technical and Professional Communication. Journal of Business and Technical Communication. https://www.dropbox.com/s/6yr7lr84ybla50i/Dura%20et%20al%20-%20PD%20Design%20Thinking%202019.pdf?dl=0