Business Communication in English: Developments and Directions in Research
Business communication in English is getting more highlighted in the globalized context, as the English language spreads as the most dominant lingua franca in international business settings. While the volume of studies focused on business communication in various disciplines continues to increase, new strands of research emerge; some approaches are going out of focus. To improve our understanding and offer a more realistic picture of the field of business communication in English, we examined promising trends in the area. The study primarily selected 254 publications pertaining to Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences, which were extracted from the Scopus database for the period from 2012 to 2016. All sources relevant to technical communication as well as narrowly concentrated studies in management and marketing were excluded as irrelevant. Using search strategies, sampling, content analysis, comparison analysis, categorization, the present paper revealed the basic trends in the field. 254 papers were filtered for the purpose of detecting their links to business communication in English by identifying the relevance of the keywords of the papers and then comparing the selections made by both authors. All the 144 publications ultimately sorted out in our study were then amalgamated into a bigger direction of research. According to the findings of the present research the most widely explored themes relevant to business communication in English cover discourse studies and issues of pragmatics and effective business communication; research of business communication skills and competencies including their classifications, practice-related and teaching aspects; didactic studies for teaching business communication at tertiary level; publications on intercultural and cross-cultural business communication, on English as a lingua franca in business-related contexts. The research maintains that the emphasis in the field is shifting from the business language towards studying discourse and context as well as communication skills and competencies.