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By Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini, Catherine Nickerson, Brigitte Planken (auth.)

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Cultural strategy, [the] business strategy, and [the] communication strategy are interrelated. ’ (Varner, 2000: 53). 5 Business discourse around the world In the final section of this chapter we will look at business discourse research around the world as well as profiling a number of researchers that represent each geographical area and cultural tradition. Turning first to North America, we can see that disciplinary boundaries and questions of identity have been common concerns for researchers involved with the field of business communication in particular, the field in which some researchers interested in business discourse are active.

As we will discuss in the next chapter, this type of qualitative, multi-approach analysis may provide a fruitful line of enquiry for business discourse researchers in the future. 5 An overview of Sharon Livesey’s work in the Journal of Business Communication 1. McDonalds: in her award-winning 1999 case study, Livesey examines the public discourse of an alliance between McDonalds and the Environmental Defense Fund in the US which drew both on the (then) emerging discourse of market environmentalism, and on issues of command and control.

As in Gina Poncini’s work on multilingual business meetings discussed in Chapter 2 and in Mirjaliisa Charles’ work on negotiations that we have introduced above, the emphasis is therefore on how participants work together to find a solution, rather than on defining the communication breakdowns that may occur (see also Ken Willing’s pioneering work on white collar multicultural workplaces in Australia as profiled in Chapter 4). As a theory of interaction, Spencer-Oatey’s framework (see also Chapter 2) pinpoints a number of key dimensions that may play a role in the success or failure of intercultural communication in business contexts, including content, the organization of talk, politeness, style and deference, and body language.

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