Move structure and communication style of leaders’ messages in corporate discourse: A cross-cultural perspective

Sing Bik Cindy Ngai, Rita Gill Singh

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As an important tool to influence stakeholders’ perception, leader messages, subsumed under public relations discourse, play an integral role in corporate communication. Drawing on the analysis of linguistic move structure and communication styles employed by researchers, this study adopts a multidimensional framework by using both discourse and quantitative analysis to compare how leaders in Global 500 corporations in China and the United States rely upon specific linguistic features to engage stakeholders in corporate discourse published on their websites. The results show pertinent differences in communication styles, where Chinese corporations tend to be more instrumental, elaborate and competitive while US corporations are more affective, succinct and harmonious. These observations depart from previous findings on interpersonal communication styles in cross-cultural research. This study also extends the boundary of corporate genre analysis by suggesting that the moves adopted in the structure of corporate messages are highly specific to the particular genre.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-295
Number of pages20
JournalDiscourse and Communication
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Communication styles
  • corporate public relations discourse
  • cross-cultural
  • global corporations
  • leaders’ messages
  • move structure analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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