Providing insights into the way we all talk at work, this text contains material that illustrates the way people communicate with each other in their ordinary everyday encounters in the workplaces. The analysis focuses on how and why people "do" power and politeness in the workplace. It examines the strategies involved in balancing the demands of the workplace and maintaining good relationships with colleagues. Drawing on a large and very varied corpus of data, the authors explore specific types of workplace talk, such as giving advice and instructions, solving problems, running meetings, making decisions and more casual types of workplace talk such as humour and small talk.
Janet Holmes holds a Personal Chair in Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington, where she teaches a variety of sociolinguistics courses. She is Director of the Wellington Corpus of Spoken New Zealand English and of a FRST-funded research project on Language in the Workplace. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1994. She has published on a wide range of topics including New Zealand English, language and gender, sexist language, pragmatic particles, compliments and apologies, and most recently on workplace discourse. Her publications include a textbook, An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, a book on language and gender, Women, Men and Politeness, and the recently edited collection of papers Gendered Speech in Social Context. Maria Stubbe is a Research Fellow with the Language in the Workplace Project, based in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Her previous publications have focused on the analysis of spoken discourse in the areas of New Zealand English, language and gender and spoken communication in ethnically and linguistically diverse workplaces. She is currently also working on developing practical applications of the project's research findings for use by workplace practiitoners.