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Upward Influence: A Linguistic Act of Gaining Compliance

By Asha Kaul


Employees within the organization are faced with the task of influencing their superiors and gaining compliance. By effectively using influence they can secure desired results and resources from their superiors. According to scholars and researchers use of appropriate upward influence strategies also contribute to the effective functioning of the organization. While considerable work has been done on strategies, literature on the medium through which these strategies are applied, viz. speech, is sparse. The study attempts to bridge the gap by demonstrating through analysis of dialogue in the corporate environment that study of speech and familiarity with rules can facilitate the process of upward influence. It draws on Speech Act Theory to prove that employees can frame their strategies for successful upward influencing by structuring them in accordance with linguistic rules.

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