Understanding each other: strategies for accommodation in a virtual business team project based in China

Jane Lockwood, Ying Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The use of accommodation strategies between native and nonnative interlocutors of English in the rapidly increased virtual and global work contexts remains underresearched. Contextualized in a Chinese IT outsourcing company where English is used as a lingua franca, this study focuses on how accommodation strategies are used by both on- and offshore team project members in their virtual meeting exchanges. The article argues that the actual linguistic exchange appears to be scaffolded and facilitated by a series of what the authors call “extratextual accommodation strategies” such as the use of detailed minutes of tasks set and completed, and an agreed meeting format. While “intratextual accommodation strategies,” that is, those relating to specific linguistic behaviors in English in the exchanges are also used by interlocutors to accommodate to each other’s speech; the article argues, therefore, that both extra- and intratextual accommodation strategies appear to work in a symbiotic way to ensure successful exchange in business virtual meeting contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-144
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Business Communication
Issue number1
Early online date30 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • virtual team meeting
  • IT outsourcing
  • intratextual accommodation strategies
  • extratextual accommodation strategies
  • Business English as a Lingua Franca (BELF)


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