ERIC Number: ED396558
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Discourse Organization and Power: Towards a Pragmatics of Sales Negotiations.
This study analyzed audio recordings of authentic business negotiations carried out by native speakers of English in British companies. Analysis focuses on the roles of buyer and seller, with special emphasis on the inherent power differential caused by the reality of the business transaction and the pragmatics of the business relationship. In these, a key feature is dynamism, which allows for developments in the business relationship. It is suggested that power relationships are reflected in the way the negotiators organize their discourse around topics. Consequently, a topic-oriented, cycle-based model is used to describe these power relationships and subtle power shifts. Topic initiation, development, and endings are examined from the perspective of power implications. In this process, the notion of tactical deference is introduced as a useful tool for description of a seemingly deliberate use by the less powerful speaker of less powerful or "weak" strategies for the sake of eventually achieving a shift in power. Some teaching applications are suggested for training non-native speakers, particularly business executives and sales staff, in English negotiating skills. Contains 16 references. (Author/MSE)
Descriptors: Audiotape Recordings, Business Communication, Discourse Analysis, English, English (Second Language), Foreign Countries, Interpersonal Communication, Language Patterns, Language Research, Linguistic Theory, Native Speakers, Persuasive Discourse, Power Structure, Pragmatics, Salesmanship, Second Language Instruction
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: "Pragmatics and Language Learning," Volume 4. Selected papers presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Pragmatics and Language Learning (6th, Urbana, IL, April 2-4, 1992); see FL 023 905.