Accounting for the right to assign a task in meeting interaction
Journal article by Jan Svennevig and Olga Djordjilovic in Journal of Pragmatics Special Issue: Epistemics and Deontics in Conversational Directives, volume 78, 2015.
This article analyzes how meeting participants account for their right to assign a work-related task to a colleague in meeting interaction. It focuses on accounts which appeal to benefactive effect, that is, the benefits of the proposed action to the operation of the organization. Such accounts are often formulated as general strategies or policies for action. They are shown to be related to the deontic rights of the participants in that subordinates engage in more extensive accounting practices than do managers. Accounts that evoke other interests than benefits to the organization are shown to be vulnerable to being questioned or rejected. The study thus contributes to understanding how benefactive stance is used for legitimizing requests for institutionally relevant actions.