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1 – 10 of over 1000
Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

David A. Morand

The purpose is to show how actors' relative power or parity is dynamically instanced in discrete speech behaviors that are exchanged throughout everyday organizational…

1001

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to show how actors' relative power or parity is dynamically instanced in discrete speech behaviors that are exchanged throughout everyday organizational interaction.

Design/methodology/approach

Politeness theory, rooted in the dramaturgical theories of Erving Goffman, details a set of linguistic indices used to show regard for others' face. This conceptual paper draws on politeness theory to model the unfolding of power relations within face-to-face verbal interchange in organizations. The paper presents a number of propositions suggesting how power differentials (or parity) are reflected in a set of common speech behaviors used to defray threats to face throughout organizational interaction.

Findings

This article extends and applies politeness theory to organizations by exploring specific motives and linguistic outcomes of high and low power actors, describing the behavioral egalitarianism associated with organic organizations, and suggesting how the demand characteristics of face-to-face interaction create oligarchic tendencies that militate against the success of workplace participation. Politeness' role in the social construction of power, and in distortive processes within hierarchical communication, is also discussed.

Research limitations/implications

This paper enables researchers to understand the specific linguistic features associated with power-related roles, and it shows how the social distribution of certain speech behaviors is a function of power and dependency relations.

Practical implications

The findings provide managers a fine-grained understanding of how power affects speech, and an understanding of how such speech patterns may stymie attempts to stimulate organizational empowerment and employee voice.

Originality/value

Prior scholarship has neglected this most important topic.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1996

David A. Morand

Training programs designed to enhance managerial effectiveness at cross‐cultural communication tend to be directed at specific target cultures. This paper argues that an…

1210

Abstract

Training programs designed to enhance managerial effectiveness at cross‐cultural communication tend to be directed at specific target cultures. This paper argues that an etic approach, one based on universal variables that occur in every culture and that vary across cultures, comprises an important alternative. This paper reviews anthropological/sociolinguistic research on one universal variable, “politeness.” Politeness, or linguistic indirection used to show social consideration, is a crucial element of interpersonal communication in all human cultures, yet it has received little mention in the literature. Implications of politeness for managerial cross‐cultural communication are explored. The implications of a universalistic approach to cross‐cultural communication training are discussed.

Details

The International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1055-3185

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2006

Dawn Lerman

Aims to examine consumer politeness, an interaction style that may prevent a dissatisfied customer from complaining about a negative service encounter, and seeks to…

10584

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to examine consumer politeness, an interaction style that may prevent a dissatisfied customer from complaining about a negative service encounter, and seeks to determine the relationship between politeness and the propensity to engage in various types of complaining behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Two surveys served to develop and validate a scale for measuring politeness and tested the relationship between consumer politeness and complaining behavior. The specific items for the politeness scale were developed based on the distinction between negative and positive politeness as described by politeness theory.

Findings

The results suggest an inverse relationship between politeness and complaining behavior. The studies also find that polite and impolite consumers do not necessarily engage in the same types of complaining behavior.

Research limitations/implications

In future studies, researchers may consider examining the conditions under which polite consumers do and do not voice complaints. Researchers may also consider investigating the possibility of a relationship between politeness and the opposite of complaining behavior, i.e. complimenting behavior.

Practical implications

Given that voice offers managers an opportunity to identify and then remedy problems, they should look for non‐threatening ways to encourage consumers to engage in this behavior. Managers may, for example, consider using positive politeness as a means for soliciting complaints.

Originality/value

This study introduces a sociolinguistic construct to help explain propensity to engage in complaining behavior. As such, it serves to identify and isolate one of the challenges managers face in addressing consumer complaints across a variety of service industries.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2022

Jung Ran Park, Erik Poole and Jiexun Li

The purpose of this study is to explore linguistic stylometric patterns encompassing lexical, syntactic, structural, sentiment and politeness features that are found in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore linguistic stylometric patterns encompassing lexical, syntactic, structural, sentiment and politeness features that are found in librarians’ responses to user queries.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 462 online texts/transcripts comprising answers of librarians to users’ questions drawn from the Internet Public Library were examined. A Principal Component Analysis, which is a data reduction technique, was conducted on the texts and transcripts. Data analysis illustrates the three principal components that predominantly occur in librarians’ answers: stylometric richness, stylometric brevity and interpersonal support.

Findings

The results of the study have important implications in digital information services because stylometric features such as lexical richness, structural clarity and interpersonal support may interplay with the degree of complexity of user queries, the (a)synchronous communication mode, application of information service guideline and manuals and overall characteristics and quality of a given digital information service. Such interplay may bring forth a direct impact on user perceptions and satisfaction regarding interaction with librarians and the information service received through the computer-mediated communication channel.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the stylometric features encompassing lexical, syntactic, structural, sentiment and politeness using Principal Component Analysis have not been explored in digital information/reference services. Thus, there is an emergent need to explore more fully how linguistic stylometric features interplay with the types of user queries, the asynchronous online communication mode, application of information service guidelines and the quality of a particular digital information service.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

Jung‐ran Park, Guisu Li and Amy Burger

The purpose of this paper is to explore the communicative rituals of opening and closing manifested in e‐mail‐based Internet Public Library's (IPL's) online reference interaction.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the communicative rituals of opening and closing manifested in e‐mail‐based Internet Public Library's (IPL's) online reference interaction.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 400 transcripts comprising user queries and responses by IPL librarians are examined. The opening and closing elements are identified to examine the way in which IPL librarians and users construct social space; that is, communicate their interpersonal and affective stances during the course of seeking and offering information.

Findings

The results of data analysis show regular patterns of verbal and structural politeness indicators of opening and closing e‐mail discourse. Linguistic elements such as greetings and acknowledgement are included in all the sampled transcripts; i.e. a 100 percent occurrence. Closing rituals have a 95 percent occurrence of linguistic features such as acknowledgement and invitation for follow‐up. In contrast, there is a low occurrence of personalized openings through greeting by user name (26 percent). This lack of personalization also occurs in closings: personalized farewell through use of librarian name appears in only 8 percent of closings.

Research limitations/implications

The employment of the various politeness tactics in opening and closing reflects the librarian's attention and concern to user's information needs, interests and wants. Such communicative competence narrows social distance and brings forth close socio‐interpersonal space for interaction; this may, in turn, improve the overall quality of reference service. Research findings also indicate that more use of personal names may decrease the social distance between the librarian and user, resulting in increased solidarity and proximity.

Originality/value

The study provides new insights into linguistic politeness and the functions of address forms such as personal names with a view toward developing effective opening and closing rituals that contribute to the enhancement of virtual reference services.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 66 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Yousef Ibrahim al-Rojaie

This study attempts to identify and analyze the pragmatic functions of religious expressions, that is, invocations that include the name of Allah (God), in naturally…

Abstract

Purpose

This study attempts to identify and analyze the pragmatic functions of religious expressions, that is, invocations that include the name of Allah (God), in naturally occurring social interactions in Najdi Arabic, which is spoken in Central Saudi Arabia.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the speech act theory and politeness model, an analysis of the data illustrates that religious expressions, in addition to their prototypical religious meanings and uses in everyday interactions, are employed to communicate a wide range of pragmatic functions.

Findings

These include signaling the end of a conversation, persuading, mitigating and hedging, showing agreement and approval, reinforcing emphasis, expressing emotions, seeking protection from the evil eye, conveying skepticism and ambiguity, expressing humor and sarcasm, and showing respect and honor. The embedded multifunctional dimension of religious expressions in the present data is interpreted as serving as a politeness marker with which speakers promote both positive politeness (by showing solidarity, claiming common grounds, and building rapport) and negative politeness (by reducing imposition and emphasizing personal autonomy).

Originality/value

This study further highlights the interplay between religion, culture, and language use in Najdi Arabic.

Details

Saudi Journal of Language Studies, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2634-243X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Amarjit S. Gill, Alan B. Flaschner and Mickey Shachar

The paper seeks to extend Coulter and Coulter (2002) findings regarding the impact of “person‐related” service characteristics (empathy, politeness, and similarity) and…

3802

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to extend Coulter and Coulter (2002) findings regarding the impact of “person‐related” service characteristics (empathy, politeness, and similarity) and “offer‐related” service characteristics (customization, competence, and promptness) by examining business client trust in their current bank service representatives based on the length of the relationships with their banks.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper tested the effects of the above variables by collecting data from small business owners in the transportation industry in British Columbia, Canada. Clients were surveyed as to their beliefs about and feelings toward their bank service representatives.

Findings

The findings in this paper demonstrate that all six factors are related to trust building in general, but the factors are more salient at different periods of the relationship with their banks. Customization was found to be of particular importance at “crucial” periods of time in the business life cycle.

Practical implications

The results in this paper demonstrate how relationship‐managers at banks can work toward the establishment of their clients' trust by emphasizing the attributes that meet their clients' respective and timely needs.

Originality/value

In this paper Coulter and Coulter (2002) documented that both “person‐related” and “offer‐related” service characteristics have an impact on trust. This study focused on and presents the relative importance of these characteristics in general and across various time periods in particular. The results uniquely demonstrate that the relative importance of the factors in building trust varies according to stages in the life cycle of the businesses.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2007

Lynn Westbrook

The purpose of this study is to examine the use of formality indicators in chat reference interchanges within the context of politeness theory, with its corollaries of…

3088

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the use of formality indicators in chat reference interchanges within the context of politeness theory, with its corollaries of face‐threat and social relationship development.

Design/methodology/approach

This discourse analysis identifies the syntactic and content indicators and patterns of formality levels in a purposive sample of 402 chat transcripts (covering 6,572 minutes) from one academic year at a large, US, public university.

Findings

Syntactic formality markers include regular use of contractions, slang, sentence fragments, and non‐standard punctuation as well as limited use of acronyms and abbreviations with rare use of emoticons. Content‐based markers included apologies, self‐disclosure, and expressions of extreme need. Use patterns are related to the level of responsibility assumed by the librarian as well as the interview stages.

Research limitations/implications

A limited data source and potential coder bias are the two limitations of this study. The research implications point to the need for chat reference librarians to assume greater control of formality nuances in order to encourage a more effective search for the user.

Practical implications

The fundamentals of politeness theory, particularly in terms of formality indicators, should be incorporated into staff training and behavioral standards for reference librarians. While future research is needed to determine the most effective means of employing this theoretical construct, this study implies that a self‐reflective, culturally sensitive use of the nuances of formality can enhance the user's experience.

Originality/value

This study is the first to systematically examine formality indicators in the context of politeness theory. The use of two coders, a full academic year's worth of data, and a substantial sample provide great depth.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 63 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Jing Li, Bonnie Canziani and Yuchin Hsieh

The purpose of this study was to identify similarities and differences in US and Chinese subjects’ emotional responses to and perceptions of courtesy of simulated…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to identify similarities and differences in US and Chinese subjects’ emotional responses to and perceptions of courtesy of simulated English-language communication prompts.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through a web-based stimulus administered on US and Chinese students. Subject responses to eye contact and smile images and a set of verbal expressions were measured on ratings of emotion and courtesy.

Findings

Smiling with direct eye contact and warmed-up verbal expressions were found to elicit a higher level of emotional response and were perceived as viable server politeness cues. US and Chinese participants had similar responses to facial and verbal prompts.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to understanding about service employee cues, such as courtesy, that can influence service quality in a cross-cultural tourism setting.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2022

Izabella Parowicz

Early Polish press advertising (between 1850s and 1939) was characterized by a distinctive and today’s extinct combination of elements of persuasion and exceptional…

Abstract

Purpose

Early Polish press advertising (between 1850s and 1939) was characterized by a distinctive and today’s extinct combination of elements of persuasion and exceptional courtesy toward potential customers. The purpose of this paper is to show the place of customer psychology in the earliest Polish advertising textbooks in the context of the actions of Polish press advertisers at that time, convinced of the susceptibility of their recipients to courtesy, appreciation and flattery.

Design/methodology/approach

Historical method based on archival research in Polish digital libraries was used with the aim of identifying and analyzing primary sources, enriched by examples of advertisements from pre-1939 newspapers and historical periodicals illustrating the phenomenon in question and by the findings of more recent Polish-language research papers.

Findings

The issue of courtesy was, in fact, discussed by many authors of Polish advertising textbooks in the period under study. They viewed excessive courtesy in print advertising as an unmodern approach. However, empirical research from 1936 has been preserved which proves that a combination of persuasion and courtesy in advertising was perceived as most effective by its target groups.

Originality/value

This study introduces hitherto unknown Polish marketing thought and practice, drawing on the earliest, mostly forgotten Polish marketing textbooks and other primary sources from the years 1896 to 1939. Thus, this study contributes to the body of research on the history of advertising.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

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