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Developing a Research Agenda in Collaborative and Partnered Professional Communication:Accounting for Accounts Christopher N Candlin & Alan A Jones Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney. April 9th, 2006.
1. What do we mean by ‘partnered’? 2. What do we mean by ‘collaborative’? 1 – A focus on product (outcomes) 2 – A focus on process (means)
Product v process What do such accounts imply? How are such accounts defined? Who is responsible for such accounts? Accountability andAccounts
The professional partner frames the project as the development and exercise of professional skills and, ultimately, professional expertise The research partner frames the project as an experiment in applied DA The professional partner’s goal: exercise skills, i.e. engage in skilled results-oriented practices. The research partner’s goal: demonstrate that applied DA can enhance professional practice Different accounts, and different goals
Communication is viewed as a means to an end. Communicative interactions and relationships are viewed as necessary but perhaps peripheral. Professional goals are thought to be achieved through the production of accurate diagnoses, briefs, reports (= official, or ‘espoused’ discourse). The ‘Professional Partner’ sees (and talks about) professional practices as being product oriented. Universities produce ‘fit-for-purpose’ graduates who then themselves produce accurate ‘accounts’ or ‘accountings’ for organisations/institutions. Account #1 (from the discourse of professional partners)
Communication is viewed as the realisation of professional purposes, as practices – i.e. the Research Partner sees professional practice as a process. The acquisition of professional skills, i.e. expertise, is accounted for as discursive practice, and as interactional process. Integration of content and language(Maastricht conference, 2006; ICLHE). Account #2 (from the discourse of discourse practitioners)
The espoused discourse of professional practice centres on constructs like clarity, accuracy, honesty, etc., in diagnoses, briefs, reports (i.e. ‘accounts’). The tacit discourse of professionals centres on risk, advice and advocacy for lay decision-makers. The primary discourse of discourse practitioners centres on analysis. (Discourse Analysis = DA). The secondary discourse of discourse practitioners centres on supporting the real-world practices of the professionals and/or partners. Two worlds:four ‘discourses’
PARTICIPANTS: Samantha Sin – accounting lecturer the professional partner Alan Jones – discourse practitioner the research/discourse partner Case Study: Financial Accounting
Most general definition of ‘accounting’: a convincing explanation that reveals basic causes. Example: "he was unable to give a clear accounting for his actions" From: wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn “What’s in a name?”
accountancy: the occupation and the profession responsible for maintaining and auditing financial records and preparing financial reports for a business Closely based on wordnet definition: wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn The specialised definition (accounting = accountancy)
Two distinct but parallel ‘accountings’ Accounting as a professional ‘practice’ – producing financial accountings for business organisations (‘practices’) Discourse analysis as praxis – reveals that accounting practice is largely accomplished through talk and writing (people talk the practice into existence) Meanings ‘in practice’
Six months of talk to agree that we can ‘collude’ i.e., collaborate … Six months to forge the ground-rules – the ‘contract’ – the partnership … Two different ‘discourses’ Two different sets of goals Two different sets of incentives When worlds ‘collude’
Don’t begin with a method, begin with a problem and/or a question. Uncover ‘mutuality’ through lots of talk. Goals and accountings can be aligned: practice-researchnexus. Different accountings can be fruitfully combined; qualitative and quantitative. Productive synergies >> new knowledge in the form of joint accountings. What have we learned?
Where does all this leave us in terms of a research agenda? What types of professional would respond to invitations from researchers? What is in it for the professional partner? What steps need to be taken – in what order? What kind of accountings could emerge? Each group to produce 8 – 10 Bullet Points. Points to be discussed in open session. Now what?