Corporate Elites on Stage Speech Acts and Genre Positionings in Professional Communication

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Published Apr 19, 2024
Henrik Rahm Alexander Paulsson


Inspired by Austin’s work on the performativity of speech acts and Goffman’s notion of speaker positionings, this paper explores how annual general meetings are propelled by and interwoven with a corporate genre of professional communication. While observing more than thirty corporate annual general meetings for listed companies at Nasdaq Stockholm in Sweden over three years, we identified that the corporate elites populating the stages at these meetings act as meeting-professionals. Being meeting-professionals, the corporate elites have acquired knowledge of how to conduct a formal meeting by learning the genre, identifying which positions are available during a meeting and, based on these two pieces of knowledge, utter speech acts. Our concluding discussion points to the need for future studies of how corporate elites learn and use the genre of corporate communication to utter speech acts that ultimately form these kinds of formal meetings and perpetuate capitalist relations.

How to Cite

Rahm, Henrik, and Alexander Paulsson. 2024. “Corporate Elites on Stage: Speech Acts and Genre Positionings in Professional Communication”. Fachsprache 46 (1-2):62-75.
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Article Details


Performative speech acts, speaker positionings, corporate annual general meetings, meeting-professionals


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