Professur für Marketing

Accents in Business Communication: An Integrative Model and Propositions for Future Research

Today's business interactions are characterized by encounters between people with diverse language backgrounds. This article examines how, why and under what circumstances regional or foreign speech patterns affect consumer judgments and reactions. Building on a synthesis of accent research and theories, including the work of related disciplines such as linguistics and social psychology, this article suggests an integrative model that helps to understand accent effects in business contexts. The model disentangles the effects of social categorization, stereotype activation, and speech processing that jointly influence different business-related outcomes. The model highlights three categories of factors that moderate these accent effects, namely sender, receiver, and communication variables. The paper further identifies several issues which remain unresolved and which require continued research. An agenda for future research sets out several propositions to help researchers approach regional and foreign accents in business environments.

Accents in Business Communication

Mai, R.; Hoffmann, S. (2014). Accents in Business Communication: An Integrative Model and Propositions for Future Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, 24 (1), 137-158.