An Exploratory Study of the Role of Silence in Business Communication
Dr. Zsuzsanna Zsubrinszky

This paper is concerned with the forms and functions of silence in business communication. The empirical data come from three personal interviews conducted with Hungarian business professionals working in different fields of business. The first interview is conducted with an expert in pharmaceutical business, the second one is with a senior manager in the telecommunications industry, and the third one is done with a marketing manager. In the research audio recordings were made in Hungarian, which were then transcribed and translated into English. For the data analysis Laningen’s (1988) three step phenomenological method has been used. The advantage of qualitative personal interviews is that it provides much flexibility both in the conduct of data collection and subsequent analysis. The results make us realise how complex and ambiguous, yet finely-tuned the use of silence in business communication can be.

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