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The Language Factor in International Business

New Perspectives on Research, Teaching and Practice


Edited By Sylvain Dieltjens, Paul Gillaerts, Priscilla Heynderickx, Geert Jacobs and Elizabeth de Groot

This volume aims to explore what the field of business communication has accomplished so far and where it is heading. In addition to presenting new research, a number of the contributions included address the question of how business communication scholarship may be relevant to education and practice. While the multidimensional nature of the field does not allow a single answer to that question, the contributors generally agree that the ‘language factor’ in international business is an intriguing mix of communicative skills that are receiving increased attention across disciplines. The contributions deal with a wide spectrum of business settings, including leadership and management situations, gatekeeping encounters in a variety of organizations and through a range of media and cultures, oral interaction in the workplace, marketing and PR discourse, on-line communication, management, organizational and corporate communication, and, finally, global aspects of integrated marketing communications. Methodologically, it includes a broad range of approaches, including work in discourse analysis and ethno-methodology, rhetoric and document design, intercultural pragmatics and writing studies, genre analysis, e-semantics and sociolinguistics.


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Section 4: CSR Communication


Section 4: CSR &ommunication PAOLA CATENACCIO The ‘Value-Orientation’ of Business Discourse: The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility in Business Communication: A Case Study 1. Introduction Over the last three decades much research has been devoted to what Fairclough (1993) has called the ‘marketization of public discourse’, i.e. the process whereby traditionally non market-oriented institutions have increasingly come to operate as if they were “ordinary businesses com- peting to sell their products to consumers” (Fairclough 1993: 141). Such process, which involves the progressive encroaching of market-based discourses upon public discourse, is the direct outcome of the commodi- fication of social domains and institutions: despite the fact that their concern is not “producing commodities in the narrower economic sense of goods for sale, [they] nevertheless come to be organized and concep- tualized in terms of commodity production, distribution, and consump- tion” (Fairclough 1992: 207; cf. also Mautner 2010). The marketization of public discourse (with the accompanying rise in the deployment of promotional strategies in public communica- tion) has become an established fact in contemporary society, leading to claims about the progressive ‘encroaching’ of promotional dis- course upon genres and discourses which were originally of a more purely informative nature (Bhatia 2004). Parallel to this increasing commodification of public (and by extension social) discourse, how- ever, in the last couple of decades another interesting phenomenon has started to emerge. It is in many ways an unprecedented development, and it points in the direction of a markedly different – in fact opposite – trend, i.e. the...

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