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ERIC Number: EJ896961
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1080-5699
A Close Textual Analysis of Corporate Layoff Memos
Warnick, Quinn
Business Communication Quarterly, v73 n3 p322-326 Sep 2010
All employers occasionally must deliver bad news to their employees, but few bad news situations can compete with the delicate task of announcing layoffs. In an electronic age, when layoff notices delivered via email are quickly leaked to outsiders, CEOs must take into account not only the employees who will be affected by the layoffs but also the reporters, bloggers, and stock analysts who will undoubtedly see the emails. In an attempt to please these multiple audiences, employers often downplay the negative news or sandwich it between hopeful predictions about the future. Although this strategy may mitigate the short-term effects of announcing bad news, it can also backfire, angering employees who feel they have been disrespected, disregarded, or deceived. A multipronged approach to studying these memos can reveal a multitude of rhetorical features that will be useful to academics and practitioners alike. In this article, the author discusses and applies close textual analysis (CTA) to three corporate layoff memos, focusing particularly on the use of euphemism to mask bad news messages. [The memos analyzed for this article are presented as "Appendixes," available at]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A