CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Managerial language is a genre in itself and makes up a particular category of performative speech. The stated objective when presenting strategic goals or team building strategies is always dressed up in a particular way that will determine its aptness and success. The context of internationalization and interdependence in which business activities take place reinforces a stereotype of management-speak, based on a particular format, vocabulary and grammar permeated by anglicisms and lack of syntax. Aimed at unifying and galvanizing business teams, “corp-speak” conveys a sense of power and distinctiveness, suggests exclusiveness rather than inclusiveness, generates bewilderment and anxiety and is very much at one with the strategy of obfuscation that seems to be the sole contemporary register where the economic future is concerned. Circulating freely within the international and finance community and uniting it as it goes, it acts with the hypnotic effect of incantation on the financial and media scene but has a paradoxical impact on the daily working lives of men and women. As the language of speculation and anticipation, it is more akin to performance discourse than to performative speech.


  • corpu-speak
  • discourse
  • domination
  • linguistic community
  • ethos
  • performance
  • strategy
  • translation
Nicole d’Almeida
Cendrine Avisseau
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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