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Intercultural Interactions in Business and Management

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Edited By Rita Salvi and Hiromasa Tanaka

Given the consolidated position of English as the international language for communication in business and management, this book depicts a wide scenario in which to analyse and compare interactions between eastern/western European users of English, as well as Asian/European/North American speakers. From each chapter, different sociolinguistic realities emerge. They affect English, as used largely by non-native speakers, but also the relationship between local or national cultures and the global professional discourse community.
In this context not only the specialized lexis is analysed, but rather the ways in which different geo-political cultures construe, manifest and establish their identities. Although it is difficult to classify pragmatic usages of language, the six chapters in the first section deal with language and culture following a genre-based approach, whereas the six chapters of the second section specifically consider corporate identity in intercultural interactions.
This volume, which aims to avoid stereotypes and promote mutual understanding, is the offspring of a two-day seminar as part of the 10th ESSE (European Society for the Study of English) Conference, held in Turin, August 2010.

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HIROMASA TANAKA East-West Business Communication from an East Asian Perspective 211

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HIROMASA TANAKA East-West Business Communication from an East Asian Perspective 1. Introduction The ever increasing size and interconnectedness of the Asian economy has highlighted the need for efficient intercultural business communi- cation in the region. Partly because of Asia’s linguistic diversity, Eng- lish as lingua franca (ELF) is increasingly used in intercultural busi- ness interaction. In spite of the inherent multiplicity of ELF users, what we know about intercultural ELF communication in Asian busi- ness is largely based on traditional East-West comparative studies that investigate the interaction between Asians and Westerners (i.e. North Americans, Australians, and West Europeans). To date, there has been limited research investigating empirical data from English interaction between Asians. Taking a post-structuralist perspective that assumes that ELF is situational and fluid, this chapter uses the notions developed in ELF, and research in intercultural communication, as frameworks to examine audio-recorded business interaction between Asians. This chapter investigates empirical data including naturally oc- curring business interaction between Japanese entrepreneurs and In- dian business practitioners. An interpretive qualitative approach is employed to analyze data collected using multiple methods, including interviews, audio-recorded conversation, and emails. The author pays special attention to identities and discursive strategies, and to their relationship to the forms of English language used by the interlocutors. The author intends to document how non-native, English speaking Asian interlocutors communicate, confront, develop trust, and reach agreement with limited linguistic resources in a situation where each one is uncertain about the others’ business norms and values. The fo- 212 Hiromasa...

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