Exploring the characteristics of different types of workplace
conversations, including decision-making, training, briefing or making
arrangements, this enthralling account pays particular attention to
interactions with a more social focus, such as small talk or office gossip.
Presenting a range of approaches to analyzing such workplace discourse,
Almut Koester argues for a combination of quantitative corpus-based
methods, to compare specific linguistic features in different genres and
qualitative methods involving a close analysis of individual conversations,
to explore such issues as politeness, power, conflict and
consensus-building. A corpus of conversations recorded in a variety of
office environments both in the UK and the USA is used throughout to
demonstrate the interplay between speakers accomplishing tasks and
maintaining relationships in the workplace.