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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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6. Conclusions

Extract

This book has been an exploration, from a linguistic point of view, of specialist email discourse conducted by employees of global corporations, especially by members of global project teams (global virtual teams) using English as a lingua franca. The discussion presented in this book was based on the tenets of anthropocentric linguistics, the origins of which date back to the 1970s. According to the anthropocentric approach, the researcher should first define the following terms: ‘language’, ‘knowledge’, ‘culture’ in order to conduct diligent linguistic analysis on human communication (Chapter 1). It turns out that applying certain wide-spread theories, especially the theories concerning ‘language’, to the analysis of human communication can lead to some erroneous conclusions (see Section 1.1.4., quotation by Keller). Due to the fact that in this volume I analysed specialist communication, I had to redefine the following terms: ‘specialist language’, ‘specialist knowledge’, ‘specialist culture’, ‘specialist communication’, and ‘specialist intercultural and interlingual communication’. Following the tenets of anthropocentric linguistics, I explained these terms in connection with human beings and not as if they existed on their own or without context. As a result, I carried out the analysis of specialist email communication in connection with real specialists, i.e. I observed their communicative actions—utterances produced by these specialists, such as specialist emails exchanged by a given global team during the project execution. Before having conducted linguistic analysis and presenting the results, I first presented the state of the art of corporate communication, especially internal communication in transnational corporations (Chapter 2)...

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