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Motzen und Moral

Eine kontrastiv pragmatische Pilotstudie zur Unzufriedenheitskommunikation am universitären Arbeitsplatz (FR – DE – AT – PL – RU)

  • Nadine Thielemann EMAIL logo , Regina Göke and Zlatoslava Savych


The paper analyses complaining behaviour at the workplace across several languages (French, German in Austria and in Germany, Polish and Russian). As speech acts, complaints deal with socially unacceptable actions that are brought up as problematic issues retrospectively. This may include critical evaluative assessment or the request for compensation. Data have been collected using an online discourse completion task (DCT) including discourse scenarios in which the power distance between the participants as well as the weight of the transgression/misconduct varied. The results show that complaining strategies vary along several dimensions (e. g. mention of transgression +/-, justification of complaint +/-, way in which a solution or compensation is requested). The observed differences in complaining strategies can be interpreted in terms of culture-specific ways in which the relationship at the workplace is conceived of. Despite the general restrictions of DCT as a method of data collection, we suggest utilizing data and results derived from their analysis in the context of courses of intercultural business communication and of business language courses.


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