The influence of language and accounts on the persuasiveness of requests among native Dutch speakers within an international corporate setting.
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Requests are frequently performed speech acts in organizations. However, due to globalization, there is an increase in companies implementing English as the language of the organization. Consequently, the number of employees communicating in a non-native language increases, as well as the number of requests made in a non-native language. A non-native language can influence the persuasiveness of messages. In advertisements, using non-native languages often positively affects the persuasiveness of advertised messages. Additionally, accounts can influence the persuasiveness of a request. Nevertheless, no previous research has looked into the combined effect of language and account on the persuasiveness of requests. Hence, current study investigated the effects of language and account on the persuasiveness of a request in a corporate setting among Dutch employees. A 2 (language: native (Dutch) vs. non-native (English)) X 2 (account: account vs. no account) between-subjects experimental design was performed amongst 159 native Dutch speakers. Participants each read a scenario in which a request was made, either with or without an account and either in English or Dutch. It was found that both an account and a non-native language did not significantly affect the persuasiveness of the request, intention to comply with the request, and attitude towards the request. Additionally, there was no combined effect of language and account on persuasiveness. These findings suggest that language processing works differently for the processing of requests than it does for the processing of advertisements. Furthermore, it proposed that accounts behave differently in requests when there is a hierarchical distance between interactants compared to when there is no hierarchical difference. Consequently, the use of an account might not necessarily lead to a more persuasive request, rather other factors seem to matter, e.g. the relationship between requester and requestee or the quality of the request.
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