PhD Studentship on Reframing in Mediation (Switzerland)

The Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics (IALS) of USI Università della Svizzera italiana invites applications for a PhD position (100%, 3 years). The PhD candidate will develop his or her dissertation within the project: “The inferential dynamics of reframing within dispute mediators’ argumentation”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. This dissertation will be supervised by Prof. Sara Greco.

The research project
The selected candidate will develop his or her dissertation in the framework of a research project directed by Prof. Sara Greco; this project proposes a novel interpretation of reframing as an argumentative competence of dispute mediators. The PhD candidate will be equally expected to substantially contribute to activities related to this research project, both at the scientific and at the organizational level. The project “The inferential dynamics of reframing within dispute mediators’ argumentation” is part of a broader stream of research concerning argumentation in dispute mediation that is carried out at the IALS. Within this project, regular interaction with professional mediators in Switzerland will be required.

Place of work
Lugano. Availability to travel to other parts of Switzerland and abroad (for purposes of collaboration and research) is required.

The IALS institute represents a lively research environment for a PhD student who specializes in argumentation. Interaction with several researchers specializing on argumentation in different contexts, as well as interdisciplinary interactions with colleagues inside and outside the Faculty is an asset for a PhD candidate who wants to work on argumentation in a specific communication field such as conflict resolution. The candidate will also take part in the activities of the Laboratory for the study of Argumentation in the Contexts of the Public Sphere (LACoPS).

• A Master (or equivalent title) in argumentation, communication, language sciences, social sciences, psychology, conflict studies, or related disciplines.
• High personal interest in the analysis of discourse and argumentation. Proven attitude for a fine-grained analysis of communicative interaction. Inclination towards the study of argumentation, discourse analysis, and the linguistic specificities of the discourse of conflict resolution.
• Interest for dispute mediation and other conflict resolution practices; nuanced understanding of the human and social value of conflict resolution.
• Fluency in English is necessary. Fluency in French is also strictly required, as the PhD candidate will conduct his or her research in collaboration with a board of experts, including academics and mediators, who are largely based in the French part of Switzerland. Knowledge of Italian will be considered an added value; in any case, it is expected that the selected candidate will learn to communicate in Italian during the PhD.
• Motivation to engage in the elaboration of a PhD dissertation. Ability to work in team and autonomy in scheduling research steps. Interest for teaching and availability to collaborate with colleagues (engage in scientific dialogue, listen and think critically) are required. The ability to establish good working relations with professional mediators will be considered an important asset.

Job description
The PhD candidate will participate in all phases of the research project. He or she will have the task of setting up a collection of data for his or her dissertation, while at the same time pursuing the goals of the project. Data collection will require interaction with professional mediators in Switzerland.

The PhD candidate will write a dissertation related to the research topic of the project. He or she will collaborate in the organization of scientific and dissemination activities related to the project. It is expected that he or she will regularly collaborate with researchers at the IALS as well as other scholars who are in the scientific board of the project.

The PhD candidate is also asked to present papers at scientific conferences, and produce publications for scientific journals.

Contract terms
The project is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the PhD student will be receiving a salary according to the SNF policies.

Starting date
1st March 2017 (at the earliest). However, the position will be kept open until a suitable candidate has been found.

Applications must include: a motivation letter, a complete CV, copies of university titles, an electronic version of a research work (Master thesis or other scientific publication). The latter must be accompanied by a short summary in English (1 page maximum). A support letter written by the Master thesis supervisor (or another Professor who knows the candidate well) is equally welcome.

Applications must be sent to Prof. Sara Greco in electronic format (sara.greco AT For any further information about this position, please contact her.

Deadline for applications
The deadline for applications is February 10, 2017; but applications will be received until the position is filled.

Crossing boundaries Asia/Pacific CFP


Working Title: Crossing Boundaries: Working and Communicating in the Asia Pacific Region
Proposal Submission Deadline: July 15, 2011

A book edited by
Jolanta Aritz, Ph.D.
Center for Management Communication, Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini, Ph.D.
Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, UK

Robyn C. Walker, Ph.D.
Center for Management Communication, Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

We invite you to submit a chapter for an edited volume of research on Asian Business Discourse(s) (ABD). Routledge Publishing has expressed an interest in the topic of Asian discourse(s) and is interested in publishing the volume.

We are looking for manuscripts that provide:
*       Illumination of the field: Past, current, and future
*       Theoretical developments in the field
*       Empirical research studies.
The contributions should be focused on the use of business or organizational discourse methods and their application in the area of Asian Business Discourse(s).

We use the term “business discourse” to refer to authentic language interaction, talk, and writing in a corporate setting that is “founded on the twin notions of discourse as situated action and of language as work” (Nickerson & Chiappini, 2002, p. 277, emphasis original). It is a language-based approach of looking at individuals who engage in interaction in a corporate setting that is motivated by a concern to understand how they communicate strategically in an organizational context (Bargiela-Chiappini, Nickerson, & Planken, 2007). The variety of methodologies employed to conduct such analysis include conversation analysis, pragmatics, corpus linguistics, genre analysis, ethnography, and rhetorical analysis.

The term “organizational discourse” is used by scholars in the fields of management and communication working in the tradition of North American organizational communication; although, one can also come across the term “organizational rhetoric” used in more management-oriented scholarship. Based on the way the two terms are used, we conclude that the rhetorical emphasis, heightened by the use of the term “organizational rhetoric,” is  subsumed under “organizational discourse” as one of four domains of discourse that constitute texts for analysis. The other three domains include conversation and dialogue; narratives and stories; and tropes or metaphors (Grant et al. 2004).

The field of business and organizational discourse has traditionally relied on a Western paradigm/ perspective. Asian Business Discourse(s) is an enterprise with Western antecedents but with increasingly localized expressions, which reflect the concerns and expectations of specific geo-political and socio-economic locales (Bargiella-Chiappini, in press, emphasis in original). Some East and South East Asian scholarship is still emerging (see: Jung 2009; Chew 2009) while other has reached a more advanced stage of development (e.g. Nair-Venugopal, 2009; Cheng 2009; Zhu and Li 2009; Tanaka 2009) (Bargiella-Chiappini, in press).

The proposed volume intends to give a stronger voice to research on business communication practices in Asian countries and build an intersection between scholarship coming out of that region and business practices that would benefit from integrating the findings into their training programs and operational practices. The global economy has created new realities for businesses, and the need for understanding differing communication practices and cultural values is greater than ever, particularly in regard to the surging economies in the East.

Abstract Submission Guidelines
Researchers are invited to submit a one-page proposal clearly explaining the objective of their proposed chapter, including an explanation of the research methodology used, the research questions and the key findings of their study. Please send abstracts as e-mail attachments to or by July 15, 2011.

Abstracts should include:
1. The title of the paper
2. A list of 3-5 key words describing the area and focus
3. The name(s) of the author(s) and their affiliation(s)
4. The corresponding author’s e-mail address and contact details
5. A short biographical statement for each author.

Bargiella-Chiappini, F. (in press). Asian Business Discourse(s). In J. Aritz & R. Walker (Eds.) Discourse Perspectives on Organizational Communication. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Bargiela-Chiappini, F., Nickerson, C. & Planken, B. (2007). Business Discourse. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bargiela-Chiappini, F. &  Nickerson, C. (2002). Business Discourse: Old Debates, New Horizons. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, (IRAL), 40 (4): 273-381.

Grant, Hardy, C., Oswick, C. & Putnam, L. (2004). The Sage Handbook of Organizational Discourse. London: Sage.

Thank you,
Robyn Walker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Clinical Management Communication
USC Marshall School of Business