企业道歉行为的语用策略思考

发布时间:2022-01-20 21:05:54 论文编辑:vicky

本文是一篇英语毕业论文,笔者认为影响语用策略选择的主要因素是原因的可控性、冒犯的类型和道歉的时间。对于不可控因素引起的事件,客户是宽容的,企业可以从企业的角度采取更多的策略。对于可控因素造成的问题,客户问题非常严重,企业应该从客户的角度来选择策略。客户更关心实质性伤害引起的道歉。企业需要从客户的角度出发,用各种策略安抚他们。当企业能够预测违规行为时,就会在麻烦发生之前道歉,否则他们就更难弥补麻烦。


Chapter One   Introduction


1.1 Background of the Research

The media for exchanging the information is changing all the time. In the ancient times, humans passed the messages through carrier pigeons, smoke on beacon towers and workers who rode horses for thousands of miles. Nowadays, we live in an era of information.  News  on  the  Internet  bring  people  closer  together,  even  those  who  are separated  by  remote  distance.  There  is  no  doubt  that  it  brings  us  countless  benefits. However,  as  the  proverb  goes,  “where  fortune  lies,  where  misfortune  lies”.  If enterprises violate some tacit norms, it is hard for them to seal off the news. Their faults would spread fast and even become the hot search in different software, especially Sina Weibo,  which  is  so  influential  that  many  corporations  choose  it  as  a  means  of advertising.  Under  the  influence  of  the  Internet,  a  majority  of  netizen  will  know  the scandals immediately. The misconducts will impair the image of corporations and cause people’s  dislikes  and  criticism,  result  in  corporations’  economic  losses  and  even boycotts. To regain the reputation and protect the relationship with customers, almost each company which encounters this would issue statements to apologize. While only apologizing  is  not  enough  because  inappropriate  apologies  are  useless.  Only appropriate  apologies  can  shift  clients  and  potential  clients’  dissatisfaction  and  even enlarge publicity. 

Early in 1990, a professor who majored in the business law and public policy at Michigan State University pointed out that the CEO or certain senior of the corporation should apologize “in those situations where no one person or group of persons can be identified as being responsible for the decision” (Art 1990:11). During these thirty years, corporations make higher demands on themselves, and the marketing team and public relation departments  in  corporations  are  growing  fast.  They  try  to  behave  better  and apologize  when  their  service  or  goods  trigger  customers’  dissatisfaction.  Corporate apologies are not only stated by the CEO or another person, but always by the whole team  addressed  with  the  name  of  the  corporation.  Sometimes,  some  corporations announce  apologies  without  having  made  mistakes.  These  apologies  are  produced “under  coercion,  social  pressure,  economic  threat,  positional  threat,  etc.”  (Kimoga 2010:2184). 


1.2 Research Questions

First, this paper aims to examine the pragmatic strategies for corporate apologies. The corporate apology is different from the individual apology  either in terms of the degree of formality or impact. This means the study should be independent from the previous studies which mainly focus on the daily conversational data. Second, the study is intended to explain how those pragmatic strategies work to realize Repair Work. This theory can explain apologizing based on appropriateness which is the most important feature of corporate apologies. Third, when corporations decide to announce apologies, they must take several factors into consideration. This study attempts to find out main factors influencing corporation’s choice. To achieve these objectives and obtain new findings, the research questions are addressed as follows:

(1) What pragmatic strategies are used in making corporate apologies?

(2) How are these apologies realized in doing Repair Work through pragmatic strategies?

(3)  What  factors  possibly  influence  the  choice  of  pragmatic  strategies  for corporate apologies? 

英语毕业论文怎么写


Chapter Two   Literature Review


2.1 Studies on Apologies

2.1.1 Apologizing as a Speech Act

Speech act theory is a crucial theory in pragmatic study. Studies on speech acts have undergone several stages. Apologizing as a typical speech act is also studied by many scholars. As they propose different classifications of speech acts, apologizing is studied differently. 

Speech  act  theory  is  put  forward  by  Austin  (1962).  First,  he  differentiates constatives and performatives in response to grammarians’ findings that sentences and statements  are  not  the  same.  Constatives  are  utterances  containing  the  information which we can judge true or false. Performatives are utterances performing actions. The performatives require felicitous conditions. For instance, we are all clear that only the relevant  institution  or  government  has  the  power  to  announce  that  Wuhan  can  lift lockdown.  If  a  student  announces  that  Wuhan  lifts  lockdown,  the  announcement  is infelicitous. Later, Austin gives up this dichotomy by the fact that the division between constatives and performatives is obscure. He tries to “go back to fundamentals and consider how many senses there may be in which to say something is to do something” (Austin  1962:108).  Then,  a  trichotomy  of  the  locutionary  act,  illocutionary  act  and perlocutionary act comes out. In this sense, people perform three kinds of acts when they utter meaningful linguistic expressions. Locutionary acts point to the contents of utterances which are explored by the linguists who study phonetics, phonology and so on. Illocutionary acts are meaningful expressions, conveyed with people’s purposes (Hu  2014).  They  are  substantially  what  Austin  drives  at  as  the  Speech  Act  Theory. Perlocutionary acts are the results on the audience by the utterances, influenced by the circumstances (Levinson 1983). They are prone to be studied by the scholars who are interested in psychological and social factors. Furthermore, he classifies the speech acts into five categories, verdictives, expositives, excercitives, behabitives and commissives. Verdictives  concern  themself  with  giving  findings,  maybe  estimates  or  appraisals. Exercitives  are  words  exercising  the  power. 


2.2 Three Approaches to the Study of Corporate Apologies 

Koehn (2013) categorizes apologies into 3 types according to the identity of the spokesman,  the  private/  interpersonal  apology,  the  corporate/  CEO  apology  and  the nation-state/ collective apology. This section will focus on corporate apologies and here related studies on corporate apologies are presented. 

2.2.1 Crisis Communication Approach 

Studies on corporate apologies are burgeoning in the field of crisis communication. Benoit (1995) claims that corporations feel the same with individuals when they face their  alleged  wrongdoings.  Both  of  them  require  apologies  to  restore  their  image. Further,  he  points  out  the  differences  between  individual  apologies  and  corporate apologies.  Individuals  compete  fiercely  for  the  limited  resources.  Those  who  gain different  distributions  will  arouse  others’  unsatisfaction.  While  if  one  corporation makes mistakes and is not able to gain public forgiveness, other corporations will soon take  the  place  of  it.  The  efficiency  of  apologies  is  crucial  in  looming  crisis.  Hence, enterprises make more use of strategies than individuals. They seek for attorneys to try to  minimize  the  danger  of  litigation  by  flexible  use  of  pragmatic  strategies  (Benoit 1997).  The  accused  corporation  is  considered  responsible  for  an  act  which  is  held offensive.  Accordingly,  corporate  apologies  help  corporations  repair  their  damaged image with image repair strategies. 

Benoit puts forward the theory of image restoration discourse on the basis of the key  goal  of  communication,  that  is  to  maintain  the  reputation.  And  he  presents  an integrated  typology  of  image  restoration  strategies,  including  denial,  evasion  of responsibility, reduction of offensiveness, correction and mortification. Denial consists of simple denial and shifting the blame, which is to blame others but not the corporation itself. Evasion of responsibility contains provocation, defeasibility, accident and good intentions.  Reduction  of  offensiveness  embraces  bolstering,  minimization, differentiation, transcendence, attacking accuser and compensation. Corrective actions point to making plans to prevent or solve the problem (Benoit 1977). Mortification is explained as a complex image repair strategy including “an explicit acceptance of blame, expression of regret or remorse, or a request for forgiveness” (Benoit 2014:26). 

英语毕业论文参考


Chapter Three   Theoretical Framework ............................................. 18

3.1 Appropriateness in the Successful Performance of Speech Acts ................ 18

3.2 Politeness in the Performance of Speech Acts ............................ 19

3.3 Repair Work in Social Interaction ........................ 21

Chapter Four   Methodology ........................................... 26

4.1 Data Collection ............................................ 26

4.2 Research Procedure ................................................ 28

4.3 Data Description .................................... 29

Chapter Five   Pragmatic Strategies in Making Corporate Apologies ................ 35

5.1 Apologizing Explicitly .......................................... 35

5.2 Offering Redress ................................................ 37


Chapter Seven   Factors Influencing the Choice of Pragmatic Strategies


7.1 Controllability of the Causes

When the causes of the incidents are controllable, the enterprise should bear more responsibility.  Under  such  occasions,  it  is  the  enterprises’  subjective  intentions  or negligence that cause customers’ losses. They should have been more careful to avoid troubles.  Customers  should  not  have  been  suffered  from  the  losses.  The  enterprise should  directly  apologize  instead  of  shirking  responsibility,  otherwise  it  will  be considered as arrogant, indifferent and irresponsible by the customers and the public, and  the  event  will  be  more  and  more  difficult  to  control.  When  the  causes  are uncontrollable,  customers  are  relatively  more  tolerant.  They  know  that  corporations need  not  take  on  responsibility.  Towards  accidents  due  to  controllable  reasons  or uncontrollable reasons, their attitudes are different. 

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(Because of Typhoon Lekima, some flights today and tomorrow are influenced. From August 10th to 9 a.m., CA has canceled 304 flights. Follow up flights will be dynamically adjusted according to the weather. Air China will report the  flight  information  through  its  official  website,  Air  China  app,  official account  on  Weibo  and  WeChat.  In  order  to  reduce  the  impact  of  special weather on travel, please pay attention to the weather change all the time, learn the  flight  information,  and  arrange  your  travel  reasonably.  If  you  need  to change the ticket,  you can go through Air China official website, Air China app, Air China hotline 95583 and other channels. Sorry for the inconvenience. Air  China  will  continue  to  strengthen  the  follow-up  service  to  provide guarantee for your journey. - Air China 2019-8-10 10:35) 


Chapter Eight   Conclusion


8.1 Major Findings

This  study  adopts  mainly  qualitive  method  to  conduct  a  research  on  corporate apologies based on the data collected from Sina Weibo. First, it presents and describes the pragmatic strategies that corporations employ for corporate apologies. Then within the framework of the modified Repair Work, it examines how apologies are realized via pragmatic strategies. Last, it explores the primary factors which possibly influence the choice of pragmatic strategies. 

Six types of pragmatic strategies are discovered in  making corporate  apologies. The  illustration  here  follows  the  order  of  occurrences.  The  first  one  is  apologizing explicitly, namely, using expressions with Illocutionary Force Indicating Device (IFID). The second strategy is offering redress, including offering repair and providing after-service.  The  third  one  is  explaining,  with  sub-categorizations  as  describing  external causes,  admitting  self-deficiency  and  blurring  causes.  The  fourth  one  is  showing attitudes,  which  contains  thanks  for  attention,  promising  future  better  service  and indicating  longstanding  efforts  corporations  have  made.  The  fifth  one  is  connecting with customers spiritually, involving requesting for forgiveness and support, expressing remorse  and  expressing  concern  for  customers.  The  last  one  is  acknowledging responsibility,  with  the  two  sub-categories  of  admitting  having  brought  trouble  and accepting criticism. 

With  the  framework  of  the  modified  Repair  Work,  except  for  apologizing explicitly  which  is  a  common  strategy,  the  realizations  of  pragmatic  strategies  are examined and analyzed  from two perspectives, the corporation’s perspective and the customer’s  perspective.  From  the  corporation’s  perspective,  for  more  offensive accidents, the realizations of the strategies that corporations prefer as blurring causes, requesting for forgiveness and support and indicating longstanding efforts corporations have  made.  For  less  offensive  accidents,  the  realizations  of  the  strategies  that corporations prefer as describing external causes. From the customer’s perspective, for more  offensive  accidents,  the  strategies  are  realized  as  admitting  self-deficiency, expressing  remorse,  expressing  concern  for  customers  and  acknowledging responsibility. For less offensive accidents, the strategies are realized as offering redress, thanks  for  attention  and  promising  future  better  service. 

reference(omitted)

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