Requests at work: Negotiating the Conditions for Conversation

Denise E. Murray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article is based on a longitudinal study of communication in a business environment. The majority of interactions in this business environment are conversation for action, that is, conversations through which participants get things done. Typically, these conversations begin with a bid for action (usually realized by a request) by one party. The requestee can accept the bid or negotiate to change the conditions of the initiating bid for action. Four validity conditions are negotiable: comprehensibility, truth, sincerity, and rightness. This article presents a model for the opening of such conversations for action. The opening moves are represented by a transition network with the options available at each node represented by system networks. This model demonstrates the two-tier nature of interaction: participants respond to both the request and its conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-83
Number of pages26
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


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