Apology as a Crisis Response Strategy: a Genre-Based Analysis of Intercultural Corporate Apologies
Songqing Li

Corporate apologies made after an alleged wrongdoing or transgression could well be considered as an independent genre given that they are one of the most frequent and central crisis-related activity types. This article examines intercultural corporate apologies within the framework of genre analysis to discuss whether transnational corporations (TNCs) accommodate to cultural expectations of intended addressees and how the communicative purposes are achieved through the schematic structuring and linguistic realization patterns. The data collected for this study consists of 16 apologies delivered publically by TNCs of low-context cultures with an American or European root to Chinese people after having been accused of an alleged wrongdoing. The study shows that intercultural corporate apologies are made not only for reputation and trust repair, but also for illocutionary negotiation and discursive struggle. It will also be demonstrated that TNCs rarely accommodate to the cultural expectations of Chinese people in terms of the content of apology and its style. The implications of the study are then highlighted, with suggestions on the methodology of genre studies and the political dimension of genre, and the practice of intercultural apologies for crisis management practitioners.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijlc.v5n1a8