Relational work in synchronous text-based CMC of virtual teams

Erika Darics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Based on close examinations of instant message (IM) interactions, this chapter argues that an interactional sociolinguistic approach to computer-mediated language use could provide explanations for phenomena that previously could not be accounted for in computer-mediated discourse analysis (CMDA). Drawing on the theoretical framework of relational work (Locher, 2006), the analysis focuses on non-task oriented talk and its function in forming and establishing communication norms in the team, as well as micro-level phenomena, such as hesitation, backchannel signals and emoticons. The conclusions of this preliminary research suggest that the linguistic strategies used for substituting audio-visual signals are strategically used in discursive functions and have an important role in relational work
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of research on discourse behavior and digital communication
Subtitle of host publicationlanguage structures and social interaction
EditorsRotimi Taiwo
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6152-0774-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-6152-0773-2
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • digital communication
  • computer-mediated communication
  • virtual work
  • linguistic politeness


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