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30 - Corporate Discourse

from Part VI - Discourses, Publics and Mediatization

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 September 2020

Anna De Fina
Georgetown University, Washington DC
Alexandra Georgakopoulou
King's College London
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Starting from the premise that discourse is what brings organizations into being, this chapter presents a state-of-the-art review of research on corporate discourse. Its main goal is to evaluate the contributions that discourse analytical perspectives and methodologies have made to the understanding of organizational practices, showing how corporations use discourse strategically to create and maintain corporate identity and perform ideological work. This chapter is divided into two parts. The first part reviews studies concerned with aspects of internal communications, highlighting discursive strategies for “doing” business and adopted across contexts and media including business meetings, job interviews and business emails. The second part discusses studies investigating external communications, focusing specifically on communications with investors and stakeholders as well as with the wider world. Studies exploring CEO letters, annual and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports, advertising and branding are reviewed. This part also discusses research that examined corporate communications in “moments of crisis,” showing how corporations strategically employ discourse to maintain a positive public image. The final sections summarize the implications and the need for “doing” discourse analysis in corporate environments and conclude with avenues for further research.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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Further Reading

Using a combination of CDA and corpus linguistics, this volume offers comprehensive insights into the ways in which discourse constructs and maintains corporate identity and relationships with internal and external audiences. A wide range of written genres produced by corporations are explored in depth.

This book presents an excellent introduction to the role of language in many facets of business communication including stakeholder communication, brand narratives and management of conflict and self-branding. Each topic is discussed in an engaging way by drawing on a range of authentic examples.

Breeze, R. (2013). Corporate Discourse. London: Bloomsbury.
Darics, E. and Koller, V. (2018). Language in Business, Language at Work. London: Palgrave Higher Education.


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