Power and Vulnerability: Managing Sensitive Language in Organisational Communication

Patrick Healey, Prashant Khare, Ignacio Castro, Gareth Tyson, Mladen Karan, Ravi Shekhar, Stephen McQuistin, Colin Perkins, Matthew Purver

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Organisational responsibilities can bring power but also a degree of vulnerability and exposure. This leads to divergent predictions about the use of potentially sensitive language: power might license it, exposure might inhibit it. Data from a large corpus of organisational emails shows that people in positions of relative power tend to avoid potentially sensitive words suggesting that, in at least some circumstances, vulnerability is a more significant influence than power in organisational language use.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2023
Event33rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Text and Discourse - University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 28 Jun 202330 Jun 2023
Conference number: 33


Conference33rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Text and Discourse
Abbreviated titleST&D
Internet address

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