Blogs as a new form of corporate communication. A genre-based analysis of selected English-language corporate blogs.
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The subject of this PhD thesis, entitled “Blogs as a new form of corporate communication in corporation. A genre-based analysis of selected English-language corporate blogs” is the presentation of corporate blogs as a new form of corporate communication, their linguistic and discursive characteristics and the role they perform in corporate communication. Special attention was focused on the determination of the generic status of a corporate blog. The thesis also constitutes an attempt to fill in the research gap in the literature of the subject, in which relatively little attention has been given to the issues of corporate blogs. The analyses of corporate blogs combines corpus linguistics methodologies (McEnery i Wilson, 1996), discourse analysis (Partington, 1998; Partington, Duguin and Taylor, 2013) and genre analysis (Bhatia, 2002, 2004, 2018) with the use of corpus tools, such as computational programs “Wmatrix3” (Rayson, 2008) and Word Smith 4.0 (Scott, 1998), necessary to conduct quantitative analyses. The research material constitutes a corpus of English-language corporate blogs, compiled by the author, which consists of 500 randomly selected corporate blog posts taken from the corporate blogs run by ten top corporations from the field of Business Process Outsourcing and Information Technology. The aims of the study are as follow: - to provide a corpus-based and corpus-driven description of a corpus of English-language corporate blog posts; - to provide a systematic and comprehensive description of corporate blogs aiming to determine their generic status; - to confirm the hypothesis of the hybrid nature of a corporate blog; - to determine the structure and the content of a corporate blog home page and a corporate blog post; - to investigate stance-taking in corporate blogs; - to characterize lexical and phraseological features typical for corporate blog posts in terms of the use and functions of keywords (Scott, 1997), key semantic domains (Wilson and Rayson, 1993) and lexical bundles (Biber et al., 1999) generated from the CBC; - to fill in the gap in a systemic review of the literature of the subject concerning the issues of internet bogs, corporate blogs and corporate communication; - to fill in the gap in corpus linguistic studies of a relatively new form of digital communication, namely, a corporate blog. The study is the first attempt of a systematic and detailed linguistic description of corporate blogs. The results confirmed the initial hypothesis and showed that corporate blogs are unique texts due to their hybrid nature. In addition, it has been evidenced that they fulfil promotional, persuasive as well as advisory and informative functions. Also, corporate blogs are used to reinforce corporate culture, corporate identity and corporate image. As a result, the authors of corporate blogs provide their readers with the impression of a more personal type of communication, which departs from a typical business model, as well as attract and persuade them to maintain and strengthen the business relationship. Summing up, the results of the study provided an up-to-date, systematic and detailed description of the language used in corporate blogs, their role and functions in corporate discourse as well as their generic status.
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