The paper aims at analyzing the discourse of financial and economic crisis. Focusing on the latest scandals that have affected the automobile industry, the paper illustrates the results of research that investigates the discourse strategies used by corporations to manage events of crisis and meltdown. In particular, it delves into the discursive practices used in the ‘Letters to the Shareholders’ by CEOs and/or Chairmen, which are representative of governance genres (Fairclough 2003; Zanola 2010). The methodology adopted in the study is principally based on contributions from pragmatics and crisis communication, as well as critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics. In particular, it draws upon Searle’s (1976) direction of fit and Hearit’s (2006) Theory of Apologia. An accurate analysis of the illocutionary force conveyed by speech acts and speech act sets demonstrates that the ultimate strategy of corporations to repair their image is not so much apologizing for their wrongdoings, as providing an apologia to disclaim responsibility for the damage they caused.

Discourse Strategies in Governance Genres: How Corporations Manage Economic and Financial Crisis

Gaetano Falco
2018

Abstract

The paper aims at analyzing the discourse of financial and economic crisis. Focusing on the latest scandals that have affected the automobile industry, the paper illustrates the results of research that investigates the discourse strategies used by corporations to manage events of crisis and meltdown. In particular, it delves into the discursive practices used in the ‘Letters to the Shareholders’ by CEOs and/or Chairmen, which are representative of governance genres (Fairclough 2003; Zanola 2010). The methodology adopted in the study is principally based on contributions from pragmatics and crisis communication, as well as critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics. In particular, it draws upon Searle’s (1976) direction of fit and Hearit’s (2006) Theory of Apologia. An accurate analysis of the illocutionary force conveyed by speech acts and speech act sets demonstrates that the ultimate strategy of corporations to repair their image is not so much apologizing for their wrongdoings, as providing an apologia to disclaim responsibility for the damage they caused.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/220641
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