The Structure of Business Complaint Calls in Saudi Arabic: A Socio-Pragmatic Analysis

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dc.contributor.advisor Charters, AH en
dc.contributor.advisor Buckingham, L en
dc.contributor.author Alfadda, Najla en
dc.date.accessioned 2019-02-27T20:44:58Z en
dc.date.issued 2019 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45589 en
dc.description.abstract Previous studies reveal a consensus among scholars regarding the need of business firms to understand and respond effectively to customers' complaints (Liu & McClure, 2001). Trading companies are one of these business contexts in which it is essential to determine 'proper' methods for conducting and handling a customer's complaint, especially since customer's complaints frequently occur in the trading industry. The present study analyses the sequential and interactional characteristics of business complaints and responses to them for both local citizens and customer service members in anonymized electronic audio recordings of 25 hours of naturally-occurring complaint phone calls to the Complaint Unit (CU) of a Furniture Trading Company (FTC) in Saudi Arabia. The participants of the study are members of the general public (customers) who called to complain about issues related to the services of this company during the study period together with the institutional staff members working in this company. A mixed methods approach is employed for data analysis. Quantitatively, the study develops a structured coding system for the core sequences of Saudi Arabic complaint phone calls. Qualitative analysis of some interactions complements the quantitative analysis. The interactional behaviour of Saudi Arabic speakers identified in Saudi Arabic telephone complaints is interpreted on the basis of the socio-cultural norms of the Saudi society that determine the interactional behaviour of the speakers. The framework for data analysis integrates the identified sequential organization and verbal strategies of complaint phone calls found in the literature with additional aspects which the researcher considered necessary to address the corpus of the Saudi Arabic complaint calls. The analysis suggests that in the context of institutional complaint discourse, complaints are Face-Threatening Acts (FTAs) but not inherently impolite in themselves. It also indicates that it is possible to identify a basic overall structural organization of the Saudi Arabic business complaints consisting of highly routinized recurring interactional moves. In institutional settings, there are some universal complaining strategies and other culture-specific ones. The choice of different complaint strategies and graders is explained in terms of a number of factors that affect the speech behaviour of complaining by native Saudi Arabic speakers in institutional discourse, including cultural norms, the customer's level of dissatisfaction, power, goals, and emotions. The study provides further evidence as to the role of culture in contextualizing speech utterances in Saudi institutional complaints. Drawing on the findings of the study, as well as taking into consideration certain contextual determinants in conflictual Saudi Arabic business exchanges, the thesis proposes an analytical framework of natural spoken complaint business interactions applied effectively to the Saudi Arabic culture and likely to be equally applicable to other languages and/or to other Arabic dialects. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265119510502091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title The Structure of Business Complaint Calls in Saudi Arabic: A Socio-Pragmatic Analysis en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Linguistics en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.elements-id 764211 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-02-28 en


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