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Turn allocation in Japanese business meetings : emergence of institutionality

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Item Summary

Title: Turn allocation in Japanese business meetings : emergence of institutionality
Authors: Murayama, Emi
Keywords: conversation analysis
business meeting
turn allocation
institutional talk
Issue Date: May 2012
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2012]
Abstract: This dissertation uses conversation analysis as a theoretical and methodological framework to examine the organization of in-house business meetings that are conducted in Japanese. In particular, this study focuses on how institutionality becomes apparent within the participants' interactions. The data consists of six videotaped in-house meetings: three departmental staff meetings (bukai) and three interdepartmental meetings (kaigi.) The members' distinction between the two types of meeting is found to be crucial in this study. Using video-recordings of the business meetings, this study provides a detailed description of the participants' moment-to-moment interactional practices, even when no verbal interaction is involved.
The first objective of this study is twofold: (a) to investigate how participants orient to the boundaries that mark the beginnings and endings of meetings, and (b) to identify what members do (or do not do) during the pre-meeting period. It is common among the meetings in the data for the chairpersons to mark explicitly both a meeting's opening and closing. However, the patterns of premeeting organization differ between the two types of meetings.
Meetings in institutional settings tend to have a pre-established turn allocation system. The second objective of the present study is to investigate how precisely a turn-allocation system is operated in Japanese business meetings, and where the institutionality of the interaction emerges in that process. Identifying how reporters acquire their report turns, this study examines turn-allocation patterns specific to the reporting activities at meetings. It is also shown that the patterns of turn-allocation differ between the two types of meetings and that they depend upon the way in which a topic is provided.
Through close observation of the participants' interactional practices, including their gaze and bodily movements, this study highlights the interactional patterns that are either common to all the in-house business meetings or particular to a type of meeting in the data. It is hoped that this study will not only yield insights into how meetings are organized in a Japanese business context, but will also promote a multimodal approach (as typified by the use of video-recorded data) to research on business interaction in Japanese.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - East Asian Languages and Literatures (Japanese)

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