A1 Journal article (refereed)
The Use of Multimodal Resources by Technical Managers and Their Peers in Meetings Using English as the Business Lingua Franca (2020)


Räisänen, Tiina (2020). The Use of Multimodal Resources by Technical Managers and Their Peers in Meetings Using English as the Business Lingua Franca. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 63 (2), 172-187. DOI: 10.1109/TPC.2020.2988759


JYU authors or editors


Publication details

All authors or editors: Räisänen, Tiina

Journal or series: IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication

ISSN: 0361-1434

eISSN: 1558-1500

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 63

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 172-187

Publisher: IEEE

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TPC.2020.2988759

Open Access: Publication channel is not openly available

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/69655


Abstract

Background: Engineers increasingly work and advance their careers in international business settings. As technical managers, they need management and technical skills when working with different stakeholders with whom they may not share a common first language. Studies have revealed that informal oral communication skills are of prime importance for global engineers who face challenges in building shared meaning and formulating clear messages in meetings with non-native speakers of English. This article proposes that studying the use of multimodal resources (spoken language, gaze, gestures, and objects) in meetings can unpack how work tasks are accomplished in business through different communicative strategies. Literature review: This paper focuses on engineers’ and technical managers’ needs and challenges in professional and intercultural communication where English is used as a business lingua franca (BELF) in multimodal meetings. While multimodal conversation and discourse analytic studies highlight the dynamic nature of meeting interaction, previous technical and professional communication and BELF research on multimodality is limited. Research questions: 1. How do technical managers use multimodal resources to articulate their ideas in BELF meetings with their peers? 2. How does the use of multimodal resources contribute to the construction of shared meaning in explanatory, consensus-seeking, and solution-finding communication? Methodology: This study reports on two case studies and multimodal discourse analysis of video-recorded meetings among technical managers and their peers in four companies. The use of multimodal resources is analyzed in explanatory, consensus-seeking, and solution-finding communication. Results and conclusions: In BELF meetings, assemblages of spoken language, gestures, tools, whiteboard, and documents contribute to constructing shared meaning. This study has implications for global professional and engineering communication. Future research should further examine multimodality in BELF meetings.


Keywords: technical communication; oral language skills; verbal communication; oral communication; communicative skills; engineers; technological fields; international communication; facial expressions; gestures; multimodality; lingua franca; English language

Free keywords: engineering communication; English as a business lingua franca (BELF); gaze; gesture; meeting; multimodal discourse analysis; object; technical manager (TM); oral communication; linguistics; companies; task analysis; engineering profession; stakeholders


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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020


Last updated on 2021-21-01 at 14:18