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Communication in Global Corporations

Successful Project Management via Email

Series:

Justyna Alnajjar

This volume investigates the issues of specialist email discourse conducted in Business English as a lingua franca (BELF) by specialists working in international teams within the field of project management. It discusses aspects of team language and team culture in professional international environments taking into consideration the tenets of anthropocentric linguistics. The research project, the results of which are presented in this book, was carried out on the basis of authentic business emails received from a global company. The results of the research project are divided into two parts: the first part focuses on conventions applied by project team members, whereas the second part is devoted to the illocutionary acts relevant to communication during the execution of global projects.

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4. Email Communication in Global Virtual Teams From a Linguistic Point of View

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In Chapter 3 I described tools (electronic and Web 2.0) and means (shared repertoire) that enable members of global virtual teams to communicate and thus handle specific projects. In this chapter I present linguistic aspects of communication in global virtual teams as exemplified by specialist email discourse. Firstly, I describe the data (specialist emails exchanged by a given project team in a global corporation) and elaborate on issues concerning specialist email and specialist email discourse as presented in literature on the subject (see Section 4.1.). Secondly, I present the method(s) of analysis (see Section 4.2.) and discuss the findings of the study (see Section 4.3.). 4.1. The Study First of all, I would like to draw the readers’ attention to some organisational aspects concerning data collection and preparation for research purposes. Namely, it is difficult to gain access to authentic materials from global corporations, especially representative internal communication data. The reluctance of companies to share internal communication data, e.g. internal emails, has been witnessed by numerous business communication researchers. For example: Many business discourse researchers prefer to work with authentic data, despite the difficulties associated with gaining access to business organizations and the confidentiality agreements that are necessary to work on the data and publish the findings. (Bargiela-Chiappini/Nickerson/Planken, 2007: 12) . . . the analysis of real corpora from the internal communication of companies is much hindered by the reluctance of companies to allow researchers to have a look from inside the company. (Gillaerts, 2012: 28) Anyone working with organisational emails knows...

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