Relational Talk at Work

Janet Holmes, Meredith Marra and Bernadette Vine

in Leadership, Discourse, and Ethnicity

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199730759
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918454 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics

Relational Talk at Work

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This chapter focuses on relational talk at work and illustrates the different ways in which leaders attend to workplace relationships in Māori and Pākehā workplaces. The analysis examines, in particular, how leaders use social talk and humor as strategies for maintaining and strengthening collegial relationships in their everyday workplace interactions. Similarities and differences in the ways in which relational practice is enacted at work are discussed, focusing, in particular, on the influence of the distinctive values of the ethnicized workplaces.

Keywords: workplace relationships; Māori; Pākehā workplaces; social talk; humor; collegial relationships

Chapter.  9706 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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