Taina Vuorela’s (Phil. Lic.) will defend here dissertation entitled "Approaches to a Business Negotiation Case Study: Teamwork, Humour and Teaching” at the Helsinki School of Economics (Main Building, Great Hall) on December 7 at 12.00 noon. The field of the study is international business communication. Professor (emeritus) Kari Sajavaara, PhD, (Jyväskylä University) will act as opponent and Professor Mirjaliisa Charles, PhD, (Helsinki School of Economics) as custodian.
The starting point for Vuorela’s study, which is in the research area of applied linguistics, was the development of negotiation skills training. The study used recorded business negotiations from an international Finnish company group as research data. The sales activity of a sales team was analysed with discourse analysis in a company-internal strategy meeting and a client negotiation.
According to the study, both humour and teamwork are used as strategic interactional tools when the sales team, in a client negotiation, tried to reach the goals it had set for itself in a strategy meeting. There is an ample amount of humour in both the client negotiation and the company-internal meeting. Most commonly, the sales team jokes through ironic exaggeration and comic incongruity. The topics of humour include selling in general and the transaction at hand. Also, the Finns’ ‘exotic’ customs and practices are the subject of humour while the team negotiates with a Central-European buying team.
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