Rapport Management in Virtual Team Communication


Satomi URA,

Meisei University, Japan


Technological innovation has been making the world's border blurred, in a way, varnished on online communication. The pandemic situation accelerates this trend. This study aims to investigate how the virtual working team builds up effective teamwork from a sociolinguistic perspective. This study views teamwork as a discourse to reveal rapport management in virtual coordination. Rapport management is the linguistic strategies that are used to construct and maintain social relationships (Spencer- Oatey, 2000). This study aims at investigating how the virtual team builds up effective teamwork from a sociolinguistic perspective.  This working team has adapted several communicative channels, such as emails among individual members, mailing lists, text messaging, and social network systems. I focus on interactions via Instant Message (IM) program. IM program has various functions such as sending receiving text messages, sharing files, and emoticons to show interactive emotional expressions. The characteristic of IM of immediacy played important roll to construct rapport relation by sharing emotional and relational conversation. The data collected from the online interactions in a virtual team of Japanese organization will be analyzed by references to the notion of communities of practice as a framework (Lave & Wenger, 1991). Since this parent association includes Japanese parents' utterances, forms, or typical patterns displayed in the email texts will provide evidence of Japanese discourse's uniqueness (Fujio and Tanaka, 2012). On the other hand, this case study has a view of society. It shows that most parent association members are women. The point is that parenting duty heavily rely on women. This study also shed light on Japanese society's context about modernization, traditional ideas or values, and gender inequality behind the economic development in decades (Hendry, 2003). Backdrop explains how the discourse has been constructed through modernization.

Keywords: virtual team, rapport management, identity construction, communities of practice.

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