Global Resources in ESP: The Impact of Professional Communication Research on Organizational Communication

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

I would like to share with you an outstanding book chapter that addresses issues in organizational communication from the point of view of the professional communication researcher (in contrast to the view of the trainer).

Have you ever thought about…

  •  how communication involves people performing for other people (meaning that the “actor” and the “audience” are both important in the performance)?
  • how communication creates and changes organizations (and how the visible and invisible rules of the organization influence what can and cannot be communicated and thereby what can and cannot be created)?
  •  how communication shapes professional roles and identity (including how we think of ourselves and others as professionals and what we must do to be recognized as professionals)?
  • how an organization’s performance is related to how its members communicate (and how we can improve the performance of an organization if we improve how communication occurs within the organization at multiple levels)?
  • where the most important communication occurs within an organization (such as  important meetings between professionals in the organization and clients/stakeholders)?
  • how communication research can be effectively conducted (taking into account that research involves performances between the researcher and the subject[s])?
  • what communication research can and cannot reveal (including the knowledge underlying the actions of an expert)?
  • how communication research is related to ESP program design (including the view that the best ESP program design is the direct result of communication research)?

Here’s the book:

Candlin, C.N. & Crichton, J. (2011). Emergent themes and research challenges: Reconceptualising LSP. In M. Peterson & J. Engberg (Eds.), Current trends in LSP research: Aims and methods.Bern: Peter Lang.

The authors (Chris and Jonathan) told me that readers should feel free to contact either of them with any questions or comments.  (I had hoped to provide a link to the chapter but have not been able to do so.)

As ESPers, we seek to provide training that meets the immediate needs of our learners for specific English language communication skills. What would happen if, as ESPers, we first focused on identifying how communication within an organization could be improved at multiple levels?

After conducting such professional communication research at a medical clinic or hospital, for example, imagine saying to a client, “Based on my research, the key meeting between ‘nurse’ and ‘patient’ could be done more effectively in the following way. What do you think? I can provide the related communication training program for native and nonnative speakers of English.” If you are not interested in research and only interested in training, you might consider forming an alliance with a professional communication researcher.

Check out the chapter, and I’ll see you next week!


About Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight (PhD in Linguistics, MBA, MPIA) is an associate professor in the Department of International Communication (International Business Career major) and has also been working in the Career Education Center of Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. In the TESOL ESP Interest Section (ESPIS), he has served as chair and English in occupational settings (EOS) representative, and he is currently the ESPIS community manager. He was also a member of the Governance Review Task Force (GRTF) appointed by the board of directors. In addition, he has been a TESOL blogger in the area of English for Specific Purposes (ESP). He has more than 30 years of professional experience working for private, public, and academic sector institutions including Sony and the Japan Patent Office. His doctoral research on leadership communication (i.e., discourse) as a basis for leadership development was under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Christopher Candlin and Dr. Alan Jones.
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