The effects of arguments and native versus non-native language use on the persuasiveness of requests in corporate settings
As globalization leads to an increase in multilingualism in businesses, language has become an important aspect of business communication (Marschan-Piekkari et al., 1999). Research on persuasive messages (advertisements) indicates that the use of a non-native language is more positively effective towards persuasiveness than the use of a native language (Hornikx & Van Meurs, 2016; Van Hooft & Truong, 2012). When it comes to business communication, making requests is one of the most frequent used speech acts (Park, Jeon, & Shim, 2021). When making requests, the use of argumentations and the presence of hierarchical levels show to be important factors to increase comprehensibility of requests and compliance with the request (Baranova & Dingemanse, 2016; Hendriks, 2010; Langer et al., 1978; Parry, 2009). To date, it is unclear whether the use of argumentations and a native versus a non-native language have an effect on requests made in corporate settings, without hierarchical differences. This experimental study investigated the effects of arguments (present vs. absent) and language (native vs. non-native) on the persuasiveness of requests being made in corporate settings, without hierarchical differences between the requester and requestee. An online Qualitrics questionnaire provided 159 useable responses, of which the data was used to test two hypotheses. The first hypothesis was that individuals who receive a request with an argument will perceive the request as more persuasive than the individuals who receive a request without an argument. The second hypothesis was that individuals who receive a request in their non-native language will perceive the request as being more persuasive than the individuals who receive a request in their native language. The results for both hypotheses were found to be insignificant. Therefore, the findings of this research indicate that arguments, as well as the difference between a native and non-native language for a request do not affect the persuasiveness of a request being made in corporate settings, without hierarchical differences.
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