The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

‘Building rapport’ with customers across the world: the global diffusion of a call centre speech style

Hultgren, Anna Kristina (2011). ‘Building rapport’ with customers across the world: the global diffusion of a call centre speech style. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 15(1) pp. 36–64.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (625kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2010.00466.x
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

This paper identifies a particular ‘rapport-building’ speech style prescribed to call centre workers in four countries – Denmark, Britain, Hong Kong and the Philippines – irrespective of the language being spoken in the service interaction. It then compares Danish and British call centre workers’ compliance with the prescribed speech style and finds that Danish workers adhere significantly less to it than their British counterparts. It is suggested that this is attributable to the predominance of different politeness norms in the two cultures. The paper then discusses the indexicality of the prescribed speech style and argues that it is more commercially than culturally marked, despite the American origin of call centres. Overall, the paper draws attention to inadequacies in the paradigm focusing on the global spread of English, while lending support to recent theoretical suggestions to focus instead on how practices and styles are exported globally and potentially independently of language.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN: 1467-9841
Keywords: globalization; style; call centres; politeness
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > English Language & Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Language & Literacies
Item ID: 36562
Depositing User: Anna Kristina Hultgren
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2013 10:30
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2020 18:42
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/36562
Share this page:

Metrics

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU